Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit (2008)
The Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit is designed to teach basic knowledge, skills, and values about working with children who are in the child welfare system and who have experienced traumatic stress. It also teaches how to use this knowledge to support children's safety, permanency, and well-being through case analysis and corresponding interventions tailored for them and their biological and resource families. Additional multimedia resources on this toolkit are available in the NCTSN Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma.
The toolkit was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, in collaboration with the following organizations:
- Rady Children's Hospital, Chadwick Center for Children and Families
- Child and Family Policy Institute of California (CFPIC)
- California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC)
- California Institute for Mental Health (CIMH)
- Introduction to the Toolkit (PDF)
- Trainer's Guide
- Slide Kit (PPT)
- Supplemental Handouts (PDF)
- LISA 9-1-1 Call (Audio File)
- Comprehensive Guide (PDF)
- Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit: Tutorial (Mediasite)
This section of the Toolkit explains how the product was developed and piloted, and outlines the philosophy that guides the training content and activities.
The Trainer's Guide is divided into seven modules and is supported by the Comprehensive Guide. The Trainer's Guide can be downloaded as a single PDF file, or as individual modules (see list and descriptions, below).
The seven modules vary in length and together total approximately 12 training hours. The curriculum can be presented in two full days, 7.5 hours each day (including a one-hour lunch break and two 15-minute breaks); in stand-alone modules; or as a multi-session in-service.
Introduction to the Trainer's Guide (PDF)
The introductory materials begin with the Cover Page, Acknowledgements, and Table of Contents. Also included are the Materials Checklist, Goals and Learning Objectives, Sample Daily Agendas, and Lesson Plans.
Module 1: Creating Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice: Introduction to the Essential Elements (PDF)
The module begins by making connections between trauma-informed practice and the Department of Health and Human Services' Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) goals of safety, permanency, and well-being, utilizing a small group discussion and large group report-back activity. Next, participants are given an overview of the Essential Elements of trauma-informed child welfare practice, utilizing a lecture format. This presentation is followed by an opportunity for participants to review the Comprehensive Guide and identify ways in which the Essential Elements may be translated into practice.
Module 2: What is Child Traumatic Stress? (PDF)
A foundational lecture, supported by PowerPoint slides, is the primary medium for this module. It is augmented by an audio clip and a vignette discussion. The slides introduce and define child traumatic stress, complex trauma, trauma and the brain, resiliency factors, and what child welfare workers can do to mitigate the impact of trauma. Developmental and cultural influences on trauma responses are also discussed.
Module 3: The Impact of Trauma on Children's Behavior, Development, and Relationships (PDF)
Module 3 emphasizes the first three Essential Elements: maximize the child's sense of safety; assist children in reducing overwhelming emotion; and help children make new meaning of their trauma history and current experiences. Significant time is spent exploring how trauma affects developmental trajectories and the role that symptoms and behaviors play in a child's attempts to cope and self-regulate. Participants distinguish between physical and psychological safety, and the child welfare worker's role in aiming to secure both. The module utilizes lecture and PowerPoint slides, small and large group discussions, a simulation activity, and case vignette analysis. Workers are also given an opportunity to apply lessons learned to actual cases they provide.
Module 4: Assessment of a Child's Trauma Experiences (PDF)
This module covers the next three Essential Elements: address the impact of trauma and subsequent changes in the child's behavior, development, and relationships; coordinate services with other agencies; and utilize comprehensive assessment of the child's trauma experience and its impact on the child's development and behavior to guide services. Significant time is spent discussing trauma-informed care, including the importance of trauma assessment and trauma-focused, evidence-based treatment. The Child Welfare Trauma Referral Tool is introduced with the goal of providing a way for child welfare workers to organize information and make informed decisions about the type and appropriateness of mental health referrals. Participants' understanding and skill in using the tool are measured using structured vignettes.
Module 5: Providing Support to the Child, Family, and Caregivers (PDF)
The module begins with a brief lecture about Essential Elements 7 and 8: support and promote positive and stable relationships in the life of the child; and provide support and guidance to the child's family and caregivers. Suggested video clips (see links to videos in Resources list) and a handout introduce participants to children's thoughts and ideas about the importance of stable relationships in their lives, and furnish child welfare workers with tools for supporting caregivers. Participants then apply these Essential Elements to a case vignette.
Module 6: Managing Professional and Personal Stress (PDF)
This module contains a brief lecture about secondary traumatic stress (STS), followed by a case illustration. The vignette discussion addresses worker susceptibility to STS, its warning signs, and strategies for managing stress. The module concludes with participants completing a Self-Care Inventory, Work/Life Balance handout, and/or an opportunity to practice a relaxation/stress reduction exercise
Module 7: Summary (PDF)
This module provides a menu of concluding activities that can be used by the trainer, as time permits.
Appendix A, Optional Follow-Up 1-3 Months After The Training, outlines a plan for following up with participants one to three months after completion of the training. Appendix B, Additional Case Vignettes, provides three extra vignettes that may be used as supplemental material or as substitutes for the vignettes that are suggested throughout the training. Appendix C, References and Bibliography, lists the sources that were accessed and reviewed by the curriculum designer(s) to prepare and to write the main, supplemental, and background content information; training tips; training activities; and any other information conveyed in the training materials. This section also includes web sites and other helpful resources. Appendix D provides a brief description of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and California Partners
The Slide Kit consists of a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation that accompanies the Trainer's Guide. Integrated into the Trainer's Guide are notes that identify which PowerPoint slides the trainer should use to accompany each module.
The Supplemental Handouts consist of a variety of resources and handouts that are referenced throughout the Trainer's Guide. They can be downloaded as a single file or as individual handouts (see list, below). Trainers are encouraged to make copies of these materials and provide them to each participant during the training.
- Slide Presentation
- The Essential Elements of Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice
- Case Vignette-Tommy
- Coping with Trauma Reminders
- Case Vignette-Andrew
- Sample Letter: Evaluation of Action Plans (PDF file or Word template)
- Bringing It Back to Work: Essential Elements 1, 2, and 3
- Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit Training Evaluation (Day 1)
- Emotional Chain of Custody
- Example of NCTSN Fact Sheet
- Questions to Ask Mental Health Providers
- Empirically Supported Treatments and Promising Practices
- Trauma-Informed Bingo
- Child Welfare Trauma Referral Tool
- Definitions of Different Trauma Types
- Case Vignette-Joshua
- Bringing It Back to Work: Essential Elements 4, 5, and 6
- The Invisible Suitcase: Behavioral Challenges of Traumatized Children
- What Children and Youth in Foster Care Want You to Know
- Case Vignette-Chris
- Bringing It Back to Work: Essential Elements 7 and 8
- Case Vignette-Mary
- Child Welfare Work and Secondary Traumatic Stress
- Work/Life Balance Plan
- Self-Care Inventory
- Bringing It Back to Work: Essential Element 9
- Personal Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice Action Plan: Daily Strategies
- Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit Training Evaluation (Day 2)
- Transfer of Learning Follow-Up Form (for County and/or Training Personnel)
LISA 9-1-1 Call (Audio File)
The Lisa 9-1-1 Call is a short audio clip of an actual 9-1-1 call made to San Diego emergency services by a young girl who was witnessing a domestic violence incident between her parents. It is used to guide an activity in Module 1 of the Trainer's Guide.
The Comprehensive Guide provides background reading material that is consistent with the Trainers' Guide. It is intended as a resource to help child welfare workers learn more about the impact of child traumatic stress among children in the child welfare system. The Comprehensive Guide defines child traumatic stress; provides information about the incidence and impact of trauma on children in the child welfare system; describes the Essential Elements of trauma-informed child welfare practice, and explains the importance of trauma assessment and how to identify trauma-informed providers.
Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit: Tutorial (Mediasite)
This 40 minute tutorial walks viewers through the Toolkit and highlights the resources and content in each section. The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how different components of the Toolkit--the Slidekit, Trainer's Guide, Comprehensive Guide, Supplemental Handouts, activities, case vignettes and evaluation--can be used in a training. This train-the-trainer manual has been developed to be utilized for a two day training.