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Trauma and child welfare

Collection of resources related to trauma and child welfare.

About this guide

This guide provides access to a variety of materials relating to trauma and child welfare, including resources on the following topics:

  • The impacts of trauma on child development and well-being
  • The relationship between histories/experiences of trauma and parenting/family functioning
  • Types of trauma, including trauma that can affect an entire community or people (e.g. colonization and racism) and trauma that can be passed on within a specific family (e.g. intimate partner violence)
  • Steps that the child welfare system can take towards preventing the retraumatization or perpetuation of trauma within families

Understanding trauma and its impacts

Historical, intergenerational, and collective trauma

Understanding trauma-informed care and service delivery in child welfare

Trauma-Informed Supervision

“Trauma informed care begins with the physical environment of an organization that promotes comfort, safety, and privacy for staff and clients. A culture that promotes respectful relationships between staff at all levels and between staff and clients also reinforces safety and trust. A TI organization provides clear expectations for employees and rewards excellence. TI care also recognizes and legitimizes the existence of indirect trauma and is proactive in providing staff with resources to manage this. TI organizations promote choice, collaboration, and empowerment when staff and clients have an opportunity to have input into policies that impact them. Choice, collaboration, and empowerment are also promoted when staff are provided opportunities for continuing education and to improve upon their work, and recognized for their contributions.” 

- Carolyn Knight, The Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Supervision 

Trauma-informed organizational culture and readiness

Trauma-informed child welfare practice

Secondary trauma in child welfare