Thursday, January 16, 2020: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Marquis BR Salon 7, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development (ADOL)
Todd Herrenkohl, PhD, University of Washington
Lynette M. Renner, PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Research shows that children's exposure to chronic stress and adversity can have serious and lasting consequences. Symptoms of traumatic stress linked to various forms of adversity, such as being abused, witnessing violence, or being deprived of basic resources, are evident in many children who struggle in schools and informal learning environments, but efforts to respond to these children has been slow and insufficient. Still, schools remain a vitally important context in which to embed prevention and interventions strategies that can support the needs of traumatized children. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), trauma-informed schools (TIS) are those in which teachers, social workers, and other professionals (1) recognize and respond to the impact of traumatic stress; (2) provide for the physical and psychological safety of children; (3) respond by integrating knowledge about trauma into the school system; and (4) avoid engaging in actions that can re-traumatize those who are vulnerable. Related practices include screening students for trauma exposure and using evidence-based and culturally responsive assessment and intervention strategies to treat the effects of trauma in children requiring immediate care. Additionally, NCTSN recommends that organizations prevent and attend to the symptoms of secondary trauma in professionals who work with vulnerable children. In this symposium, we explore these different principles and dimension of TIS by reviewing current models of practice in schools and assessing the degree to which these models conform to guidance provided by NCTSN and other organizations (e.g., Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA). We also provide examples of select models and practices that align with TIS principles, including those in arts-based programming. Additionally, we explore how trauma training for teachers and other school staff can enhance efforts at self-care, reduce staff attrition; and strengthen school experiences for vulnerable youth.
* noted as presenting author
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