What is child and youth trauma and what are its consequences?

Guides & Fact Sheets

Signs of Developmental Trauma at Home and School

This fact sheet provides an overview of the main signs of developmental trauma that can be seen in children, including sensory problems, attachment insecurity, and emotional dysregulation and describes how these manifest both at home and at school. 

To consult this fact sheet click: here

- Created by Beacon House - Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team. 

Assessment of Complex Trauma by Parents and Caregivers

Offers parents and caregivers a brief checklist to use to determine if a complete assessment for complex trauma should be scheduled. This fact sheet will help parents and caregivers determine when to seek professional help. 

- Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

How Trauma Can Impact Four Types of Memory

Trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s memory and traumatic memory can affect not only the brain, but also the body and nervous system as well. But conceptualizing how trauma can impact the different types of memory can be challenging, so this tool breaks down this process.

- Created by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM)

What Is Child Traumatic Stress?

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Defines child traumatic stress. This fact sheet gives an overview of trauma, describes traumatic stress symptoms, and ways children may be impacted. 

Complex Trauma: Facts for Caregivers

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Helps parents and caregivers recognize the signs and symptoms of complex trauma and offers recommendations on how to help children heal. 

Trauma and Your Family

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Offers parents and caregivers information about trauma. This fact sheet defines traumatic stress and describes how common it is, how it can impact a family, and things a family can do to cope with traumatic stress. 

Age-Related Reactions to Traumatic Event

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help and support them. 

What is Child Trauma?

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Defines traumatic events and child traumatic stress and provides information on risk factors that contribute to the development of symptoms, and protective factors at the child, family, and community levels can reduce the adverse impact of trauma.

Understanding Child Traumatic Stress: A Guide for Parents

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Offers parents information about child traumatic stress (CTS), the best way to treat CTS, what parents can do at home for their children, and how parents can make sure their children receive support at school. 

What is Complex Trauma? A Resource Guide for Youth and Those Who Care About Them

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Offers information about complex trauma, how it can impact youth, both good and harmful coping strategies, and ways to improve. This guide is for youth who have experienced complex trauma or who know someone who has. Clinicians, caregivers, and other adults can also use the guide to have conversations with youth about what complex trauma is. 

Statistics on Sexual Violence

Created by Marie-Vincent Foundation.

This page provides information on various statistics related to sexual violence.

What Is Sexual Violence?

Created by Marie-Vincent Foundation.

This page provides clear definitions of the different themes related to sexual assault and helps to distinguish them.

What Are Consequences of Sexual Violence?

Created by Marie-Vincent Foundation.

This page provides a clear understanding of the various consequences that can result from sexual abuse, including physical, emotional, psychological and academic consequences.

Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect

Created by the Child Welfare Information Gateaway.

This factsheet provides information on the long-term consequences that children may develop when experiencing child abuse or neglect.

Child Maltreatment

Created by the World Health Organization.

This factsheet provides information on child maltreatment, including: scope of the problem, consequences of maltreatment, risk factors, prevention, and the World Health Organization (WHO) response. 


Make Resilience Matter

This website provides information on children exposed to intimate partner violence and the consequences.

To consult this website click: here

- Created by Make Resilience Matter.

Trauma Types

When a child feels intensely threatened by an event he or she is involved in or witnesses, we call that event a trauma. There is a range of traumatic events or trauma types to which children and adolescents can be exposed.

To consult this website click: here

- Created by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. 


Videos & Interviews

Dr. Afifi’s Quest to Change Parents’ Behaviour and Keep Kids Safe

Dr. Afifi describes her research into the long-term physical and mental health effects of child maltreatment and her quest to influence parents to change their behaviour to create healthier kids. 
- Created by On the mic with Mike. 

What is Trauma? You Are Not Alone

In this video, Dr. Sprang explains what is trauma in children and its consequences on adults surrounding them (e.g., teachers, foster parents, etc.) 

- Created by Ket Series.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): impact on brain, body and behaviour

This video provides information about adverse childhood experiences and its repercussions on individuals’ health. It presents how the brain reacts to ACEs and the differences between good and bad stressors.

- Created by Dr. Andrea Gonzalez.

The Child Trauma Academy Channel - SevenSlideSeries

The videos available on this Youtube channel provide information on the brain and how adverse experiences can affect brain structures, including threat response patterns, sensitization and tolerance, and much more. 

- Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

FR - Guide pratique sur le trauma complexe chez les enfants et les adolescents

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, discusses a practical guide proposing several avenues of intervention to accompany children and adolescents in a sensitive manner adapted to their issues. It is intended for parents, teachers, educators, caregivers, foster families, and the various professionals who are taking care of them.

- By Marie-Ève Grisé Bolduc.

(Presentation in French).


Books & Articles

How compassion can triumph over toxic childhood trauma

The Conversation

This article gives information about childhood trauma and the resulting consequences on survivors’ health, from babies impaired development to adult health problems. It also provides information on protective factors. 

- Created by Dr. Sheri Madigan, Dr. Nicole Racine and Dr. Suzanne Tough.

Developmental Trauma

This article has been written for parents, care givers, friends and family of children who have experienced early loss, trauma and attachment disruption, as well as professionals and those who have experienced trauma themselves. It provides current evidence and thinking to re-frame the ‘'problems’' often seen in these children as '‘wise adaptations'’ to the lessons that life has taught them. 

- Created by Beacon House - Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team.

Child Sexual Abuse, Traumatic Experiences, and Their Impacts on the Developing Brain

In this article, the impacts on the developing brain of traumatic experiences, including child sexual abuse, as well as treatments and interventions are discussed. 

- Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

Maltreatment and the Developing Child: How Early Childhood Experience Shapes Child and Culture

In this article, information on how early experiences of maltreatment shape children and culture, as well as prevention and solutions to child maltratment and its consequences are discussed.

- Created by the Child Trauma Academy.


How Does Trauma Affect a Child's Brain Development?

In this podcast, information on children who have witnessed traumatic events —  domestic violence, shootings, or even fighting — and the physical impacts on brain growth that can lead to lifelong social and developmental issues are discussed. In addition, neurological effects of trauma and neglect, as well as signs and patterns of stress often found in children are identified.

- Created by The Source. 

Stress, Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) in Children

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of PTSD in children. While targeted for an interdisciplinary audience, portions may be helpful to parents and caregivers living with children suffering from PTSD.

- Created by the Child Trauma Academy.