Trauma-informed practice and culturally responsive care are core values of the NCTSN. These compel us to acknowledge historical events, biases, and population demographics in understanding health disparities and disproportionality. We recognize that historical trauma is a significant part of the trauma history for a child, a family, and a culture. The NCTSN affirms the importance of addressing the impact of historical trauma, including slavery, on the lives of African Americans in the United States. Current-day racial injustice in law enforcement, prisons, and other institutions are part of the history of oppression and racism that can affect the trauma experience, treatment, and recovery of African Americans.

In this regard, the NCTSN has developed a position statement as a call to action for the Network to collectively integrate specific activities within the work of the NCTSN: (1) increase knowledge about the impact of race-based traumatic stress that affects many African American children, their families, and the communities in which they live; (2) in collaboration with experts in historical trauma related to African American history, develop and disseminate resources that child trauma professionals can use to identify, assess, and address historical trauma and racism in the context of high quality, trauma-informed, culturally responsive care; and (3) become a national leader in raising awareness about historical trauma related to African Americans, the effects of current-day racial injustice, and the implication of such history and experiences on trauma-informed health and mental health care.

Public Awareness

Homeless Youth Awareness Month

As many as 2.5 million youth per year experience homelessness (The National Center on Family Homelessness). Along with losing their home, community, friends, and routines as well as their sense of stability and safety, many homeless youths also are victims of trauma. While trying to survive on the streets, youth are exposed to countless dangers, with an increased likelihood of substance abuse, early parenthood, impulsivity, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a vulnerability to being trafficked. In support of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, the NCTSN is providing resources to help communities, families, educators, mental health and child welfare professionals, and policy makers and advocates better understand and deal with homeless youth.

Military Family Month

November is the Month of the Military Family. Military families make tremendous sacrifices as they contend with separation from their families and make adjustments to new living situations and communities. However, most Military Families embody strength, resilience, and courage. The NCTSN has a number of excellent resources, webinars, and links to partner organizations to support the well-being of our Nation’s Military Families, including those with a service member currently serving in the US Armed Forces, or those who have retired or separated. The NCTSN offers a special thanks to all NCTSN sites that provide care and support for our military and veteran families. Most importantly, the NCTSN appreciates and acknowledges the tremendous contributions our Military Families make to our Nation.



Science to Policy and Practice:
Applying the Science of Child Development to Child Welfare Systems

How can we use insights from cutting-edge science to improve the well-being and long-term prospects of the most vulnerable children in our society? Child welfare systems encounter hundreds of thousands of such children and their families every year. In their report, Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems (2016), the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University first draws on the Center’s extensive work to synthesize and translate relevant scientific knowledge, then examines how that knowledge might be applied to child welfare policy and practice. The report is aimed at everyone with an interest in child welfare, from legislators and system leaders to front-line workers, parents, and youth.


Using the CANS-Trauma Comprehensive Course

The CANS-Trauma Comprehensive is a tool designed to support individual service, treatment planning, and evaluation of service systems. The Learning Center now offers Using the CANS-Trauma Comprehensive Course, which contains


NEW RPC Online Lesson
The Invisible Suitcase: Part One

Children in foster care can exhibit challenging behavior that’s difficult to manage at times. Many of the children who come into foster care bring with them a history of experiencing trauma. But did you know that they also bring beliefs about themselves, caregivers, and the world, as a result of the trauma they have experienced? In part I of the Invisible Suitcase 2-part interactive lessons, you will learn about the beliefs that children often bring into their foster homes and how these beliefs are connected to their challenging, and at times puzzling, behavior. The narrator, Henry, will walk you through how a child’s experiences help form their beliefs, and in turn, how these beliefs are connected to the way they behave.

NEW RPC Podcast!
The Resource Parent Curriculum in a Large Arizona Agency

In this podcast, Heather Ford, the Supervisor of the Trauma Specialization Team of the Arizona’s Children Association, describes her agency’s use of the RPC in their seven sites. They always have a group going at each site (sometimes more than one). Ford describes how they introduced the practice, how she trains new group facilitators, and how she assures that all staff continue to present the material as intended.

Updated Trainer Tips for the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit

An extensive review and update to the trainer tips for the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit (CWTTT) is now available. Follow the link below for general training tips, ideas for additional activities, and resources for each of the 14 modules of the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit.

SAMHSA's Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center Presents 

Resources, Innovations, and Partnerships:
Supporting the Wellness of Military Children and their Families

Date: November 22, 2016
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Research has shown that military and veteran children are particularly resilient, especially when provided with the right tools, activities, and support. But, how what are those tools? This webinar will an overview of the research on military and veteran children and tips for supporting military families.  Presenters will discuss strategies to build partnerships and develop targeted messaging to better engage and support military and veteran families. Several of Sesame Workshop’s new and most effective tools and resources will be highlighted, including their latest mobile app and resources for military and veteran children. Participants will be able to download the mobile app, a variety of links, and innovative tools and resources to aid parents, caregivers, educators, and providers in providing the needed support to the children of our service members and veterans.
Cicely K. Burrows-McElwain, L.C.S.W.-C. | Military and Veteran Affairs Liaison, National Policy Liaison Branch, Division of Regional and National Policy/Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation (OPPI), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Gregory Leskin, Ph.D. | Program Director, Military and Veteran Families Program, UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
Rocio Galarza, M.A. | Assistant Vice President, Sesame Workshop
Click here to register prior to the event:

If you have any questions about your registration, please contact Amanda Rózsavölgyi, at 518-439-7415 ext. 5272 or by e-mail at






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.