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Child protection services and social services

Child Protection Services and Social Services

Resources related to trauma-informed care in social services, including child protection settings, can be found here.

Guides

Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems

Created by the the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

How can we use insights from cutting-edge science to improve the well-being and long-term life prospects of the most vulnerable children in our society? This paper shows how the science of child development can be leveraged to strengthen and improve the public child welfare system so that it can better support the children, families, and communities it serves.

The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System

Created by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

This issue brief discusses the importance of cultivating a child welfare system that recognizes and responds appropriately to trauma. After providing a brief overview of trauma and its effects, the brief explores steps that are involved in transitioning to a trauma-informed system and features examples from State and local programs incorporating trauma-informed practice. The brief concludes by highlighting how cross-system collaborations can help promote trauma-informed child welfare practice. 

Using Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice to Improve Placement Stability

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Offers details about using trauma-informed child welfare practice to improve placement stability. This guide outlines the need for trauma-informed child welfare practices, how to build that knowledge within a workforce, the use of trauma-informed mental health screening and assessment, case planning and management, referral for treatment, and cross-system partnerships and collaboration. 

Trauma: What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Provides child welfare attorneys with knowledge about trauma, practice tips for incorporating trauma-informed practices into legal representation, and resources to assist in the representation of clients with histories of trauma. This guide aides in the representation of their clients, with the understanding that not all suggestions will be applicable or appropriate in all cases.

Complex Trauma: Facts for Directors, Administrators, and Staff in Residential Settings

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Provides information for staff in residential treatment centers on how to understand behavior through a trauma lens, as well as recommendations for directors and administrators on trauma-informed residential policies, staff training and self-care, as well as the developmental and educational needs of youth.

Complex Trauma: Facts for Treatment Staff in Residential Settings

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Details the importance of a holistic, multidisciplinary, multi-level approach to addressing the needs of youth with complex trauma in residential treatment settings. This fact sheet offers general guidelines for treatment providers, challenging them to “avoid a view of youth behavior that is limited solely to behavior management.”

The Other Side of Covid

Created by McMaster Children’s Hospital.

This fact sheet provides information on the prevalence of child maltreatment during the pademic as well as tools to support children and families who experience trauma.

Videos

Panel of "P'tits criss": Words of Former Youth in Care

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, is a discussion among former youth in care about trauma and institutional violence, moral asphyxiation, and the consequences of these experiences. Through excerpts from the podcast Confession of P'tit Criss, we demonstrate the importance of taking into account the life history of youth. One of the striking observations is the need to humanize services, because many young people report that they did not receive the psychological and physical care they needed.

- By Jessica Côté-Guimond, Maggy Durand & Annie Thériault.

(Presentation in French with translation).

University-Black Community Partnerships to Build Capacity for Social Change in Youth Protection

In this panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, the question of how university/community partnerships build capacity in Black communities of Montreal, which empower Black youth aging out of care to assume leadership for social change is addressed.

- By Leith Hamilton & Elijah Olise.

 

Making Meaning of Attachment: Learned Patterns of Giving and Receiving Care Tell the Story of Mental Health in the Early Years

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, mentions the way relationship patterns between infants and caregivers develop very early and together determine security. The questions of how the attachment pattern evolves, along with protective and risk factors, as well as how mental health develops in infancy and in the early years, are addressed.

- By Mary Rella.

Recognizing and Responding Safely to Child Maltreatment

This session, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, discusses child maltreatment, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; and children’s exposure to intimate partner violence. The Violence, Evidence, Guidance, Action (VEGA) online evidence-based education resources, developed to assist healthcare and social service providers and students in recognizing and responding safely to child maltreatment, are presented.

- By Harriet MacMillan & Mellissa Kimber.

Moral Distress and Burnout Among Finnish Social Workers

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, addresses the definition of moral distress, the challenges when trying to measure moral distress, as well as the results of a new measure called the Moral Distress Instrument (MDI) tested among Finnish social workers.

-  By Maija Mänttäri-van der Kuip, Denise Michelle Brend & Mari Huhtala.

Reacting to Youth Violence: How Investing in Employee Wellbeing Can Help Prevent Workplace Violence

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, addresses the distress experienced by child protection workers after an act of client aggression or other types of potentially traumatic events and how it could predict subsequent victimization over time. The wellbeing of professionals, which reduces the risk of violence, is further emphasized.

- By Josianne Lamothe, Steve Geoffrion & Stephan Guay.

The Effect of Residential Care Worker Resilience on the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Professional Quality of Life: A Mediation Analysis

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, addresses the importance of understanding the needs of residential care workers in regards to trauma-informed care training and how support is critical to building knowledge, enhancing resilience, and improving practices.

- By Lise Milne & Cody Fogg.

FR - Plus forts ensemble : le soutien social sur le lieu de travail chez les éducateurs en contexte résidentiel

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, discusses the importance of support for professionals working in the child welfare and youth justice systems, as they are at risk for secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and moral distress.

- By Denise Brend & Delphine Collin-Vézina.

Books

Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can’t Live with their Parents

Created by Janice Levy.

Finding the Right Spot is a story for all kids who can't live with their parents, regardless of the circumstances. It's a story about resilience and loyalty, hope and disappointment, love, sadness, and anger, too. It's about whether life is fair, and wondering what will happen tomorrow, and talking about all of it. And finally, it's about what makes the spot you're in feel right. A Note to Caregivers by Jennifer Wilgocki, MS, and Marcia Kahn Wright, PhD, discusses the emotional experience of children who are in foster care, kinship care, or otherwise not living with their parents, and the vital support that the adults in their lives can offer. 

Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care

Created by Jennifer Wilgocki et Marcia Kahn Wright.

Will I live with my parents again? Will I stay with my foster parents forever? For children in foster care, the answer to many questions is often "maybe." Maybe Days addresses the questions, feelings, and concerns these children most often face. Honest and reassuring, it also provides basic information that children want and need to know, including the roles of various people in the foster care system and whom to ask for help. An extensive afterword for adults caring for foster children describes the child's experience, underscores the importance of open communication, and outlines a variety of ways to help children adjust to the "maybe days" — and to thrive. 

Protecting Children: Theorical and Practical Aspects

Created by Dr. Kathleen Kufeldt, Dr. Barbara Fallon and Dr. Brad McKenzie.

This book provides information on the key concepts regarding child welfare system. It explores Indigenous child welfare and offers conclusions and recommendations to promote positive outcomes for children and families involved in the system. 

Websites

Trauma-Informed Child Welfare

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed tools and materials for building skills and increasing knowledge about childhood trauma to help child welfare administrators, caseworkers, frontline staff, mental health personnel, and caregivers understand and respond to the needs of traumatized children.

https://www.nctsn.org/trauma-informed-care/creating-trauma-informed-systems/child-welfare 

Training

The Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Supports caseworkers, supervisors, and all other levels of the child welfare workforce in implementing trauma-informed knowledge and skills in their daily interactions, professional services and organizational culture. The third edition of the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit (CWTTT) incorporates two foundational trainings, a specialized skills training for supervisors and caseworkers, and a supervisor consultation series to enhance transfer of learning into day-to-day practice.

https://www.nctsn.org/resources/child-welfare-trauma-training-toolkit 

Being Trauma Aware Course (Free)

Created by the Luna Centre and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This free three-hour course is designed to equip and empower people who work with children and youth to be a support to children who may have been exposed to maltreatment or other adverse experiences. 

Children in Care and Mental Health

In this video, Dr. Jenney presents information about trauma and trauma-informed practices that should be included in interventions. She also gives tools on how professionals can help children who have experienced traumas. 

- Created by Child, Adolescent and Family (CASA) Mental Health. 

Infographics

Treating Complex Trauma in Youth in Care: The ARC Framework

Created by the Centre for Research on Children and Families.

This infographic provides information on the implementation of the ARC model for youth in care in Quebec. The model is described and how this model can be used with youth with complex trauma is discussed.