Sharing power is an integral part of trauma-informed practice, but it can be challenging to talk about power dynamics. This resource was developed to be a companion to What’s Sharing Power Got to Do with Trauma-Informed Practice? and Sharing Power: A Tool for Reflection in hopes that others may benefit from experiences hosting conversations about this important, yet potentially provocative, topic.

Screening and Assessment webpages provide an overview of trauma-informed screening and assessment practices that ensure that clinicians identify and address critical needs early in the process.

Trauma Screening refers to a tool or process that is a brief, focused inquiry to determine whether an individual has experienced one or more traumatic events, has reactions to such events, has specific mental or behavioral health needs, and/or needs a referral for a comprehensive trauma-informed mental health assessment.

Trauma-Informed Mental Health Assessment refers to a process that includes a clinical interview, standardized measures, and/or behavioral observations designed to gather an in-depth understanding of the nature, timing, and severity of the traumatic events, the effects of those events, current trauma-related symptoms, and functional impairment(s). Clinicians use this to understand a child’s trauma history and symptom profile; to determine whether a child is developmentally on target in the social, emotional, and behavioral domains; to inform case conceptualization and drive treatment planning; and to monitor progress over time.

The following sections contain more information about screening and assessment:

Trauma screening

Trauma-informed assessment resources

Engaging families in screening and assessment

Considerations for implementation



Providers at the Center for Child and Family Health in Durham, North Carolina have found a unique way to make the RPC more inclusive for adopted children who have experienced trauma. In this 10-minute podcast, Felicia Gibson, PhD, who works in Post Adoption Support Services at CCFH, tells how her group created this nine-week psychoeducational parent/child program. The podcast host is Melissa Hoffman, PhD, from University of Tennessee Health Science Center, The Tennessee Network of Trauma-Informed and Evidence-Based System (TN TIES). Each three-hour session of FACT (Families and Adopted Children Together) includes a shared meal, fun activities for the kids, and Family Together Time to reinforce messages that map onto the RPC learning modules. The program grew from parents’ reports that their adopted kids who had experienced trauma felt isolated and carried shame associated with their traumatic experiences. Since parents and children attend sessions together, FACT also addresses child care issues that sometimes hamper parent participation in the RPC training. CCFH will soon hold a reunion for participants from the first seven sessions and plans to make the program available to the RPC Learning Center in the future.


Policy Issues in Implementing Trauma-Informed Schools
September 22 from 9:00am PT-10:30am PT/12:00pm ET-1:30pm ET
Presenters: Pamela Vona, MA, University of Southern California; Christopher Blodgett, PhD, CLEAR Trauma Center, Washington State University; Erica Ramirez MEd, Community Health Advocates School at Augustus F. Hawkins High School, Los Angeles Unified School District.
Moderator: Diane Elmore, PhD, MPH, UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

In this webinar, experts will explore policy challenges and lessons learned in promoting and supporting trauma-informed schools. Speakers will share key NCTSN resources related to the development and implementation of trauma-informed schools; discuss the relationship between practice and policy in the sustainability of trauma-informed school models; and share examples and insights gained from the creation and implementation of a trauma-informed school in Los Angeles, California.



Trauma-Informed Parenting: How to Talk Trauma with an MD

As trauma-informed caregivers, one of our many responsibilities is to partner with a variety of providers, including pediatricians. Unless you have some medical training yourself, this is not an easy task! In this 30-minute webinar, Heather Forkey, MD, makes it a little easier to understand the “rhythm” of a pediatric appointment. Dr. Forkey offers suggestions for how resource parents and pediatricians can understand a variety of physical and behavioral symptoms children may exhibit, using a "trauma lens."



October 18 - 21, 2016
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC

The overarching goal of the Charleston Child Trauma Conference is to deepen professionals’ knowledge in the area of child trauma and traumatic stress, with an emphasis on bridging research and practice. Critical sub goals include (1) advancing knowledge of current research on the incidence and prevalence of trauma exposure, (2) increasing under­standing of the most current research on the etiology of trauma-related disorders, (3) advancing knowledge in evidence-based treatments for children and caregivers who have experienced traumatic events, and (4) strengthening knowledge of the aforementioned areas with respect to underserved and diverse groups. On completion of this conference, participants should be able to do the following:

  • Utilize current research in the provision of services to victims of child maltreatment and child trauma
  • Make appropriate referrals to treatment for children who have experienced trauma and traumatic stress
  • Describe key components of evidence-based mental health treatments
  • Discuss and implement multidisciplinary approaches to supporting victims of child trauma and their families

The Chadwick Center’s 31st Annual San Diego International
Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
Tuesday, January 31Friday, February 3, 2017
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, San Diego, California
Preconference Institutes and Trainings:
Sunday, January 29—Monday, January 20, 2017

The San Diego Conference focuses on multi-disciplinary best-practice efforts to prevent, if possible, or otherwise to investigate, treat, and prosecute child and family maltreatment. The objective of the San Diego Conference is to develop and enhance professional skills and knowledge in the prevention, recognition, assessment and treatment of all forms of maltreatment including those related to family violence as well as to enhance investigative and legal skills. In-depth issues include support for families, prevention, leadership, policy-making. The conference addresses translating the latest research into action.


Psychosocial Care for Injured Children:
Worldwide Survey among Hospital Emergency Department Staff

E. Alisic, C. Hoysted, N. Kassam-Adams, M. A. Landolt, S. Curtis, A. B. Kharbanda, and colleagues are authors of Psychosocial Care for Injured Children: Worldwide Survey among Hospital Emergency Department Staff, published in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. Authors surveyed 2648 emergency department (ED) staff physicians and nurses from 87 countries regarding their knowledge of traumatic stress in children, their attitude toward providing psychosocial care, and their confidence in doing so. They also looked at differences in outcomes according to demographic, professional, and organizational characteristics and training preferences.
Authors concluded that ED staff need and would welcome more education regarding child traumatic stress and psychosocial care. Universal education packages that are readily available can be modified for use in the ED.



The Latent Structure of Acute Stress Disorder Symptoms in Trauma-Exposed Children and Adolescents

A. McKinnon, R. Meiser-Stedman, P. Watson, C. Dixon, N. Kassam-Adams, A. Ehlers, and colleagues, in their article The Latent Structure of Acute Stress Disorder Symptoms in Trauma-Exposed Children and Adolescents (July 2016) just published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, explored the latent structure of ASD symptoms in a trauma-exposed sample of 594 children and young people. The revision of Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) in the DSM-5 proposes a cluster-free model of ASD symptoms in both adults and youth. Published evaluations of competing models of ASD clustering in youth have rarely been examined. Authors’ findings suggest that a uni-factorial general distress model is not the optimal model of capturing the latent structure of ASD symptom profiles in youth and that modifying the current DSM-5 9+ symptom algorithm could potentially lead to a more developmentally sensitive conceptualization.



Child disaster mental health services: 
A review of the system of care, assessment approaches, and evidence base for intervention

Betty Pfefferbaum and Carol S. North in their article, Child disaster mental health services:  A review of the system of care, assessment approaches, and evidence base for intervention published in Current Psychiatry Reports (January 2016), describe the services and service delivery system organized to care for children in the aftermath of a disaster, the importance of assessment and strategies for assessment, the value of a stepped care approach, and the evaluation research exploring child disaster mental health interventions. Authors assessed the evidence base for disaster interventions by summarizing recent reviews of numerous child disaster mental health interventions.




This project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.