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National Child Traumatic Stress Network e-Bulletin February 2014

New on the NCTSN Website 

The NCCTS Policy Program and the NCTSN Policy Collaborative Group have developed a new product for NCTSN members and partners to use in their interactions with policymakers and other stakeholders. This resource provides basic information about child trauma and the work of the NCTSN, and members and partners can use it to frame their communications with policymakers/stakeholders about child trauma. Members and partners can use the one-page reference as a "leave behind" resource for this unique audience. And coming soon: a policy product for developing and communicating policy strategies.
The Using Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice to Improve Placement Stability: Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) focused on developing and implementing trauma-informed child welfare practices that would increase the probability that children who need out-of-home placement remain in a single, appropriate, and stable home whenever possible. This BSC included nine teams from around the country, each representing a partnership between the public child welfare agency and a mental health agency or organization that provides evidence-based interventions for child trauma to children in foster care. Each team included administrators, supervisors, case workers, clinicians, a birth parent, a foster parent, and, on occasion, youth. These teams worked together from October 2010 through September 2012 to test, implement, and sustain trauma-informed strategies and practices that showed promise in improving placement stability. The following materials describe the results of their work, highlighting the trauma-informed practices they developed and adapted.
  • Executive Summary —A brief summary of the Using Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice to Improve Placement Stability Breakthrough Series Collaborative
  • Practice Cards —Cards describing practices tested throughout the Using Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice to Improve Placement Stability Breakthrough Series Collaborative, which teams found promising in improving placement stability for children in foster care. Cards provide an overview and rationale for each strategy, practices tested, demonstrations of promise, and pilot location.
  • Full Report —The full report, on the Using Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice to Improve Placement Stability Breakthrough Series Collaborative: Promising Practices and Lessons Learned, provides detailed information on (a) the need for this work; (b) the project background and overview; (c) key strategies and promising practices related to knowledge building and developing practice; trauma-informed mental health screening and assessment; case planning and management; externally delivered trauma-informed service; and partnerships among child welfare systems and cross-system collaboration; (d) challenges and lessons learns; (e) overall recommendations for testing and implementing trauma-informed promising practices to improve placement stability; and (e) opportunities for the future.
  • Appendices —The appendices to this report contain (a) articles pertinent to this BSC, (b) list of faculty, (c) briefs from outside experts, (c) the Collaborative Change Framework that guided the BSC, and (d) resources created by the teams as they implemented trauma-informed strategies.

Noteworthy Resources

The White House Council on Women and Girls just released the report, Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action, which analyzes the recent, reliable data on rape and sexual assault in our country. The report identifies those most at risk of being victims of these crimes, examines the cost of this violence (both to survivors and our communities), and describes the response, too often inadequate, of the criminal justice system. The report catalogues steps the Administration has taken to combat rape and sexual assault and identifies areas for further action.  






Recent Publications by Network Members, Affiliates, and Colleagues:

 Carly B. Dierkhising is among the authors of Child Maltreatment Reporting Patterns and Predictors of Substantiation: Comparing Adolescents and Younger Children in Child Maltreatment (Volume 18, Number 4). Adolescents—especially male adolescents—make up a disproportionately smaller portion of maltreatment reports than younger children. Using the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, authors sought to better understand the characteristics of adolescents reported to Child Protective Services (CPS), to examine whether these characteristics changed over time, and to determine whether certain child or CPS report characteristics predicted CPS involvement. Although adolescents were the focal group, younger children were analyzed for comparison. Between 2005 and 2010, reports of neglect and the proportion of children of Hispanic and unknown racial/ethnic origins increased. Concurrently, the proportion of cases resulting in CPS involvement declined. Although race/ethnicity predicted CPS involvement, this pattern was not consistent across all age groups or races/ethnicities. The type of alleged maltreatment did not typically predict CPS involvement; however, allegations of sexual abuse among school-aged children and adolescents, particularly among girls, were more likely to result in CPS involvement. These findings can assist child welfare professionals in determining appropriate services tailored to families and developing prevention programs targeting adolescents.
 Authors Chris Layne, Ginny Strand, Marciana Popescu, Julie B. Kaplow, Robert Abramovitz, Margaret Stuber, Lisa Amaya-Jackson, Leslie Ross & Robert S. Pynoos, in their article Using the Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma to Strengthen Clinical Knowledge in Evidence-Based Practitioners in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (now available online), present findings from three studies that utilized the Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma (CCCT), a five-tiered conceptual framework (comprising Empirical Evidence, Core Trauma Concepts, Intervention Objectives, Practice Elements, and Skills), coupled with problem-based learning, to build foundational trauma knowledge and clinical reasoning skills. Study 1 found that social work graduate students' participation in a CCCT course (N = 1,031) was linked to significant pre-post increases in self-reported confidence in applying core trauma concepts to their clinical work. Study 2 found significant pre-post increases in self-reported conceptual readiness (N = 576) and field readiness (N = 303) among social work graduate students participating in a "Gold Standard Plus" educational model that integrated classroom instruction in core trauma concepts, training in evidence-based trauma treatment (EBTT), and implementation of that EBTT in a supervised field placement. Students ranked the core concepts course as an equivalent or greater contributor to field readiness compared to standard EBTT training. Study 3 used qualitative methods to "distill" common elements (35 intervention objectives, 59 practice elements) from 26 manualized trauma interventions. The CCCT is a promising tool for educating "next-generation" evidence-based practitioners who possess competencies needed to implement modularized, individually tailored trauma interventions by strengthening clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning, and familiarity with common elements.

New on the NCTSN Learning Center

Opiate Exposed Newborns: Development, Assessment, and Treatment
February 21, 2014 (10:00 am PT)
Presenters: Cheryl Pratt, PhD, Children's Research Triangle; Rachana Singh, MD, MS, Tufts University School of Medicine; Amy R. Sommer, LICSW, Project NESST; Beth Marron, LICSW, Project Bright II; Erica Asselin, Mentoring Mom at Project NESST 
Presenters will discuss the potential impact of opiates on the developing fetus and baby. Three experts in the field of neonatal abstinence syndrome and one consumer, with first-hand experience, will discuss the potential impact of opiates on the developing fetus, how medical staff assess and support babies and families exposed to opiates, and tips and techniques for parents and providers as they transition from the hospital to either the family's home or a residential treatment facility. 

Coming Next Month on our Learning Center

Trauma-Informed Integrated Healthcare Speaker Series (Link Coming Soon. Please check the NCTSN Learning Center for more information at
Trauma- and Resilience-Informed Integrated Healthcare for Youth and Families 
March 25, 2014 (9:30 am PT)
Presenters: Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, American Academy of Pediatrics; Joshua Kaufman, LCSW, LA Unified School District, School Mental Health 
The Trauma-Informed Integrated Healthcare Webinar Series is intended to lay the groundwork of fundamental knowledge about Integrated Health Care and how it relates to trauma, explore the opportunities and obstacles involved in integrating physical health, mental health, and trauma awareness and treatment into one setting, and describe some successful models of this integration as we move towards developing a better understanding of the most effective practices for trauma-informed integrated healthcare.
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