Child & Youth Trauma

Child & Youth Trauma

This section of the portal provides information on childhood trauma. Traumatic experiences during this period can influence well-being all the way into adulthood, impacting behavior, physical and mental health, and relationships. Childhood traumas are particularly severe when they are linked to deleterious experiences with parental figures, since these people are supposed to represent a safe and comforting presence in the child's life (also known as interpersonal trauma or developmental trauma).

Balados & Podcasts

Experts at Home: Dr. Christine Courtois on Dealing With Trauma

This podcast talks about the impacts of both past and present trauma as well as tools to help people heal

- Created by PsychAlive.

The Brain Architects Podcast

Harvard University

The Brain Architects is a new podcast that focuses on the specific, practical questions that often arise during the critically important period of early childhood. Bringing together experts and practitioners from pediatrics, social services, and education, among other disciplines, the podcast gathers many different voices that aren’t always speaking directly to each other. The Brain Architects can help all of us can use the science of child development to improve the lives of the children we interact with every day.

- Created by the Center on the Developing Child.

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. 

Books & Articles

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma and Adversity

This book is for anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do. The fascinating scientific insight and innovative, acclaimed health interventions in The Deepest Well represent vitally important hope for preventing lifelong illness for those we love and for generations to come?.

- Created by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. 

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog

Created by Dr. Bruce D. Perry.

Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, Dr. Perry explains what exactly happens to the brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress -- and reveals the unexpected measures that can be taken to ease a child's pain and help him grow into a healthy adult.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Created by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.

In The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.  

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Created by Dr. Judith Lewis Herman.

Trauma and Recovery is revered as the seminal text on understanding trauma survivors. By placing individual experience in a broader political frame, Harvard psychiatrist Judith Herman argues that psychological trauma is inseparable from its social and political context. Drawing on her own research on incest, as well as a vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, she shows surprising parallels between private horrors like child abuse and public horrors like war.  

The Role of Healthy Relational Interactions in Buffering the Impact of Childhood Trauma

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

This article, written by Dr. Christine R. Ludy-Dobson and Dr. Bruce D. Perry provides information on how the role of healthy relational interactions can buffer the impacts of childhood trauma.

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

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

In this article, written by Dr. Richard L. Gasskill and Dr. Bruce D. Perry, the impacts on the developing brain of traumatic experiences, including child sexual abuse, as well as treatments and interventions are discussed. 

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

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

In this article, written by Dr. Bruce D. Perry, 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.

The Traumagenic Neurodevelopmental Model of Psychosis Revisited

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

This article, written by Dr. John Read, Dr. Roar Fosse, Dr. Andrew Moskowitz and Dr. Bruce D. Perry, provides information on the evidence that childhood adversities are risk factors for psychosis has accumulated rapidly. Research into the mechanisms underlying these relationships has focused, productively, on psychological processes, including cognition, attachment and dissociation. Indeed, in this article, the literature on biological mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood trauma and psychosis published since 2001 is summarized.

Stress, Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

The purpose of this article, written by Dr. Bruce D. Perry 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.

Maltreatment: A 
 the Role

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

The purpose of this article, written by Dr. Bruce D. Perry, is to examine potential mechanisms underlying the well documented and complex relationships between maltreatment in childhood and the subsequent development of psychopathology. 

Key Updates to Understanding Roles of Childhood Trauma in Overall Health

Created by Dr. Jeremy Weleff and Dr. Dawn Potter.

This article reviews recent literature that has changed clinical and social viewpoints on child abuse and neglect and can be used as a primer to better understand: (1) influences of child abuse and neglect on physical illness; (2) critical diagnostic advances relevant to persons who have experienced child abuse and neglect; and (3) ethical, research, and practical questions generated by these new understandings.

The Societal Burden of Child Abuse: Long-Term Mental Health and Behavioral Consequences

Created by Dr. Lisa Prock.

This compendium volume collects some of the most recent research and organizes it within three categories: societal effects, effects on health (including mental health) behaviors, and epigenetic effects. Specific topics include the associations between childhood abuse and the following factors: juvenile sexual offending, juvenile delinquency, adult aggression, cognitive development, adult smoking, sleep patterns, suicidal behaviors, psychopathology, and epigenomic mechanisms.

Guides & Facts Sheets

Trauma-Informed Practice

From Theory to Practice (for children aged 0-11 - free electronic version)

The aim of this support kit for caregivers is to raise awareness in clinical settings of knowledge about trauma in children and adolescents, so that caregivers can incorporate it in their practices. 

- Created by Institut universitaire Jeunes en difficulté (IUJD).

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

Created by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This guide 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. 

Trauma-Informed Care Fact Sheet - Native Children: Trauma and Its Effects

Created by the National Indian Child Welfare Association, le Child, the Adolescent and Family Branch, the Center for Mental Health Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This fact sheet provides information about trauma in Indian country, impact of trauma on Indigenous children and characteristics of trauma-informed systems.  

Violence and Maltreatment

Created by The Early Childhood Observatory.

This document will help you learn more about child maltreatment among young children and adolescents in Quebec. It also provides a better understanding of the consequences and how to prevent further victimization.

The Costs of Child Maltreatment in Quebec

Created by The Early Childhood Observatory.

This document provides information on the consequences of childhood trauma in Quebec, based on data from youth protection services.

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.

How Can We Prevent Sexual Violence?

Created by Marie-Vincent Foundation.

This page offers tips on how to prevent sexual violence.

Child Development and Trauma

Created by the Victoria State Government.

These fact sheets provide guidance about child development and trauma, grouped by age, as well as possible indicators of trauma and trauma impacts. 

What Is Child Trauma?

Created by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet will help you learn more about childhood trauma and answer the following questions: What is a traumatic event? What experiences might be traumatic? What is child traumatic stress? What are the risk and protective factors?  

Trauma Types

Created by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet provides information on a range of traumatic events or trauma types to which children and adolescents can be exposed.

Complex Trauma

Created by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This guide provides information on various topics related to complex trauma, such as effects, screening and assessment, and interventions to prioritize.

A Guide to Toxic Stress

Created by the Center on the Developing Child.

This guide takes a step-by-step approach to learning more about the effects of toxic stress.

Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM): Practice Brief

Created by the Canadian Child and Youth Advocacy Research and Knowledge Centre.

This guide offers information about child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), more precisely about who victims and offenders are, as well as ways to intervene with victims. It also highlights resources to guide professionals as well as children or families affected by child sexual abuse.


The Pair of ACEs

This illustration helps to visualize how adversity in childhood can be complex and rooted in toxic community environments. 

- Created by Wendy Ellis, William Dietz, Kuan-Lung Daniel and adapted by the Canadian Consortium on Child and Youth Trauma, McGill University. 

How Trauma Can Impact Four Types of Memory

This infographic provides information on the way trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s memory. It also addresses how traumatic memory can affect not only the brain, but also the body and nervous system as well. 

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

Understanding Child Trauma

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative.

This infographic, developed by SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCSTI), provides information on the prevalence and impact of traumatic events on children, and what actions can be taken to support children who experience traumatic events.

How to Manage Trauma

Created by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

This infographic provides information on the prevalence of trauma, the types of trauma and the symptoms that can be experienced as a result of trauma. It also offers ideas for coping strategies that can help integrate trauma, as well as outlining the different kinds of treatment that can be effective for people coping with such situations.

What Are ACEs and How Do They Relate to Toxic Stress?

Created by the Center on the Developing Child.

This infographic answers frequently asked questions about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their link with toxic stress. 

How to Differentiate Freeze From Shutdown

Created by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine.

This infographic provides information on the "freeze" and "shut down" traumatic reactions to help differentiate them.

Why Trauma Matters in Primary Care

Created by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

This infographic offers further information on the importance of considering trauma, particularly by outlining the consequences of trauma.

Cultural Responsiveness to Racial Trauma

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This infographic offers mental health providers information on understanding cultural responsiveness to racial trauma, why it matters, and what to do. This infographic includes information on what is racial trauma, what is cultural responsiveness, how did we get here, what are the effects of racial trauma and discrimination, as well as your responsibility as a mental health provider.

How Trauma Can Impact Your Window of Tolerance

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

The window of tolerance is a concept originally developed by Dr. Dan Siegel, MD to describe the optimal zone of “arousal” for a person to function in everyday life. When a person is operating within this zone or window, they can effectively manage and cope with their emotions. For people who have experienced trauma, it is often difficult to regulate emotions and the zone of arousal where they can function effectively becomes quite narrow.

Mapping Your Nervous System’s Response to Trauma

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

This infographic addresses how your nervous system responds to danger. According to polyvagal theory, the nervous system has three pathways it can follow in the face of a threat. By helping clients map these pathways, they can begin to identify their triggers and develop strategies for staying grounded.

What Happens in the Brain During Trauma?

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

This infographic explains how, after trauma, children are often left with many painful sensations and emotions including shame and guilt, and that’s especially true if they weren’t able to protect themselves or escape. It thus focuses on why it is useful to understand how their brain and body did work to protect them during the traumatic event.

Key Points – Understanding Complex Trauma, the Impacts and Intervention

Created by Geneviève Salvaille and Lucie Thivierge.

This infographic provides a better understanding of childhood interpersonal trauma, listing the related developmental sequelae.

Complex Trauma: The Alarm System

Created by Geneviève Salvaille and Lucie Thivierge.

This infographic illustrates the possible reactions a human being can have when faced with danger, and explains how children who are victims of trauma have their alarm systems constantly activated.

Complex Trauma: The Triggers

Created by Geneviève Salvaille and Lucie Thivierge.

This infographic gives a better understanding of how different external elements can activate traumatized children's alarm systems.

Complex Trauma: A New Lens

Created by Geneviève Salvaille and Lucie Thivierge.

This infographic offers a new insight into children's behavior, illustrating the different reasons for their reactions.


Cracked Up

In Cracked Up we witness the impact adverse childhood experiences can have across a lifetime through the incredible story of actor, comedian, master impressionist and Saturday Night Live veteran, Darrell Hammond. Cracked Up creates an inspiring balance between comedy and tragedy helping us understand the effects of childhood trauma in a new light, breaking down barriers of stigma and replacing shame with compassion and hope.

-  Available on Netflix.


The Brain Story Certification (Free)

Created by The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

This course provides a deeper understanding of brain development and its connection to addiction and mental health. The newer version of the course includes a new bibliography, a new glossary, an improved navigation system, updated videos, and reflective questions in each module.

Videos & Webinars

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

This videos explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

- Created by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris.

Understanding Complex Trauma Behaviours With Dr. Kirk Austin

In this video, Dr. Kirk Austin deepens our understanding of the ways in which complex trauma impacts seven developmental domains, and highlights effective intervention strategies.

- Created by Complex Trauma Resources.

Kanieke’ha:ke Social Worker Wanda Gabriel on Trauma

In this video, Dr. Wanda Gabriel discusses intergenerational trauma and how it is perpetrated, trauma-informed responses when working with oppressed individuals and how oppression works. 

- Created by Wanda Gabriel.

Characteristics, Impacts, and Interventions Regarding Child Sexual Abuse

In this video, Dr. Lise Milne provides information on the diverse characteristics of child sexual abuse as well as the possible impacts. It also gives tools on how to deal with disclosures and how to intervene to minimize deleterious effects. 

- Created by Sexual Assault Services of Sask (SASS).

The Brain Architecture Videos and Game ($)

This 4-to-6 player tabletop game builds an understanding of the powerful role of experience on early brain development. The goal is to build a brain that is as tall as possible, which represents functionality, and as sturdy as possible, which represents the ability to withstand stresses.

Created by The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

Healing Neen ($)

This documentary follows the amazing recovery of Tonier "Neen" Cain from a lifetime of abuse and drug addiction to a career as a nationally-known speaker and educator on the devastation of trauma and the hope of recovery.

- Created by Laura Cain and Diana Gross.

Every Kid Is One Caring Adult Away From Being a Success Story

In this video, Josh Shipp recounts his story of how he was in foster care and had all the chances of falling into the justice system, and finally encountered the family that was going to change his faith.

- Created by Josh Shipp – Center on the Developing Child.

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.

Honest Conversations - Youtube Series

This webinar and live-streaming series was born out of the need to learn unique perspectives from different communities and how they deal with the issue of child sexual abuse. The unique strengths and challenges of protecting children in different communities are discussed.

- Created by Darkness to Light.

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.


FR - Intervention auprès des enfants et des jeunes réfugiés

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, presents the CRÉDIL organization and its areas of intervention, defines the migratory paths of young refugees, discusses their perceptions of the different realities, and offers avenues for reflection on the experiences of these children.

- By Émilie Picard-Perreault & Jazmin Verdugo.

FR - Décortiquer l'hétérogénéité : les profils des jeunes adolescentes victimes d'agression sexuelle

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, illustrates the fact that even within a relatively homogeneous sample (adolescent victims of sexual abuse with contact referred to youth protection), sub-groups with distinct difficulties and needs can be identified, inviting us to adopt an individualized approach adapted to the profile of each adolescent victim of sexual abuse.

- By Alexandra Matte Landry, Geneviève Paquette, Mélanie Lapalme, Isabelle Daigneault & Marc Tourigny.


Resilience Scale

This page provides information on the resilience scale, which is a metaphor to explain why some people seem more resilient than others and to help visualize how to improve resilience: the ability to respond positively in the face of adversity. It also offers videos, as well as interactive illustrations to better comprehend the concept of resilience. 

- Created by The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

InBrief: Resilience Series

This series, composed of videos, reports, tools, and guides, provides information on resilience, such as its definition and skills to develop in order to be resilient.

- Created by the Center on the Developing Child.

JRI : Leaders in Social Justice

Created by Justice Research Institute (JRI).

This website offers diverse types of resources, including trauma-informed care services, the ARC framework, the Building Communities of Care, the JRI Continuum, the Equine Therapy (EFT-CT Model), and Permanency.