Awareness Pages

In support of National Preparedness Month―sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to honor its Ready Campaign―the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is offering disaster preparedness resources to enhance our nation's capacity to prepare for and respond to terrorism, mass violence, and disasters. This year's theme is "Don't Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today."

September 11th
National Day of Service & Remembrance

The anniversary of a terrorist attack or disaster can serve as a powerful reminder of earlier reactions to the tragedy, and can trigger renewed feelings of anxiety, sorrow, and concerns about the future. These reactions, even after 15 years, can interfere with daily functioning at home, work, or school. The NCTSN has compiled resources for disaster response workers, educators, families, medical personnel, mental health professionals, and youth to help with recurring reactions and with current stresses and adversities.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and on September 10th we observe World Suicide Prevention Day. The NCTSN is proud to observe Suicide Prevention Month and World Suicide Prevention Day, and offer resources to help educate families and communities, mental health and victim services professionals, and policy makers about the profound impact suicide has on men, women, and children.

Policy Fact Sheet
Natural & Technological Disasters

The NCCTS Policy Program is announcing the release of a new NCTSN Policy Brief, entitled The Impact of Natural and Technological Disasters on Children, Families, and Communities. This resource was developed in collaboration with the NCTSN Terrorism and Disaster Network Committee to provide policymakers, and other stakeholders, with an overview of natural and technological disasters and their relationship to child trauma. This policy brief also offers policy-relevant, child trauma-focused recommendations to assist policymakers in their response to natural and technological disasters. This resource is part of a series of policy briefs being developed by the NCCTS Policy Program, the NCTSN Policy Task Force, and other key NCTSN partners.

The PFA Wallet Card had a design overhaul and the updated version is now up on the NCTSN website. With hand-drawn art by Dr. Bob Seaver, the card is a colorful revamp of a great resource for parents, teachers, professionals, and community members. The wallet card features our PFA mascot, Buddy the St. Bernard, who guides the user through the eight core actions of Psychological First Aid and provides a list of useful reminders for those providing support to survivors. Make sure to check out the new PFA Wallet Card and download it now for an on-the-go review of PFA!

NCTSN Training Guidelines

New Training Guidelines posted on! The NCTSN Training and Implementation Program announces the release of these additional Training Guidelines: Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC); Real Life Heroes (RLH); and Assessment-Based Treatment for Traumatized Children: Trauma Assessment Pathway (TAP).

Developed via a partnership between EBT developers and the NCCTS, these Training Guidelines provide consistent information on requirements for pre-work, face-to-face training, consultation, case completion, maintenance, supervision, and certification or fostering across models.

These Guidelines can be downloaded by visiting:

(download specific EBT Training Guidelines from right-hand column of the table)


Policy Issues in Implementing Trauma-Informed Schools

September 22 from 9:00am PT-10:30am PT/12:00pm ET-1:30pm ET

Presenters: Pamela Vona, MA, Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools; Christopher Blodgett, PhD, CLEAR Trauma Center, Washington State University; Erica Ramirez MEd, Community Health Advocates School at Augustus F. Hawkins High School, Los Angeles Unified School District.

Moderator: Diane Elmore, PhD, MPH, UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

In this webinar, experts will explore policy challenges and lessons learned in promoting and supporting trauma-informed schools. Speakers will share key NCTSN resources related to the development and implementation of trauma-informed schools; discuss the relationship between practice and policy in the sustainability of trauma-informed school models; and share examples and insights gained from the creation and implementation of a trauma-informed school in Los Angeles, California.


National Forum to Address Youth Exposure to Community Violence

September 14, 2016 from 9:00 to 10:30 AM PT / 12:00 to 1:30 PM ET

Presenters: Alisa Miller, PhD, Children’s Hospital Boston; Jaleel Abdul-Adil, PhD, Urban Youth Trauma Center; Angel Pantoja, Free Write, Arts & Literacy; Vincent Price, Good News; Brad Stolbach, PhD, University of Chicago; Vanessa Westley, Chicago Police Department; Maryann E. Robinson, PhD, RN, CAPT, SAMHSA

Community violence – especially in urban areas – is an escalating crisis for far too many children and families across the United States. Given the need for attention and solutions to this urgent issue, this month the National Child Traumatic Stress Network will host a national forum addressing community violence in the lives of youth. The forum will consist of individuals currently involved in addressing community violence and its impacts on young people. Hearing from the perspectives of youth, mentors, therapists, police officers, and federal agency administrators, forum attendees will learn about responses to community violence and how this has looked in different parts of the country. The goal of this forum is to raise awareness about the impacts of community violence, acknowledge its increasing urgency as a public health crisis, and to offer examples of solutions through partnership and collaboration.

Phone: 1-855-244-8681; Access Code: 735 699 966 (by weblink & phone)



Trauma-Informed Parenting: Supplemental Resources

(Adapted from Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma, a Workshop for Resource Parents)

These resources were developed in response to feedback from families and clinicians about the value of providing trauma informed parenting information to all caregivers. They were originally included in Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma, a Workshop for Resource Parents. However, clinicians and facilitators began to share copies with a broader audience because they contain useful information for all types of families and caregivers. These materials were therefore adapted from their original version and purpose to include more inclusive language and for more general use outside of the child welfare system. Anyone downloading these resources is welcome to use them as a large packet or as stand-alone handouts. Copies are permissible and encouraged.




Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress (PMTS) and Working with the Child Welfare System is a new online course that addresses crucial issues of injuries, or acute/chronic illnesses in foster care children. Healthcare professionals will learn about pediatric medical traumatic stress symptoms and risk factors unique to children in the child welfare system, and skills for effective delivery of pediatric health care for these children. This online course from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & Nemours/A.I DuPont Hospital for Children, Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, in collaboration with Northeast Treatment Centers of Philadelphia provides 1.0 Continuing Education Credit for nurses at no cost.


Tyish Hall Brown, Harolyn Belcher, Jennifer Accardo, Ripudaman Minhas, and Ernestine C. Briggs in their article, Trauma exposure and sleep disturbance in a sample of youth from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set published in Sleep Health (June 2016), look at how adverse childhood experiences are prevalent and have been associated with sleep disturbance. However, there are limited data examining factors that influence this relationship. The purpose of this study was to extend the current literature by characterizing the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and sleep disturbance in a sample of trauma-exposed youth and to identify factors that may influence this relationship.


Aimee Hildenbrand, Meghan Marsac, Brian Daly, Douglas Chute, and Nancy Kassam-Adams in their article Acute pain and posttraumatic stress after pediatric injury published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology (February 2016), examined the relationship between acute pain and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in youth following injury. The study looked at children aged 8-17 years who sustained an injury (and their parents) to assess (using the Color Analogue Pain Scale (CAS) children's worst pain since the injury. Six months later, participants completed follow-up interviews to assess child PTSS. They found that the CAS may be a useful addition to existing screening tools for PTSS among children. Additional research is warranted to understand underlying mechanisms linking acute pain and PTSS to improve assessment, prevention, and treatment approaches and promote optimal recovery after pediatric injury.





This project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.