New Complex Trauma Fact Sheets

The NCTSN Complex Trauma and Developmental Trauma Disorder Work Group has released 4 new fact sheets, extending a series designed to introduce Complex Trauma to a variety of audiences and provide recommendations for how to support youth. The new fact sheets in this series include:

Complex Trauma: Facts for Directors, Administrators, and Staff in Residential Settings
Beginning with a case example, this 6-page fact sheet gives information for staff in Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) on how to understand behavior through a trauma lens, as well as specific recommendations for directors and administrators on trauma-informed residential policies, staff training and self-care, and the developmental and educational needs of youth.

Complex Trauma: Facts for Treatment Staff in Residential Settings
This 4-page fact sheet details the importance of a holistic, multidisciplinary, multi-level approach to addressing the needs of youth with complex trauma in Residential Treatment settings. The fact sheet offers general guidelines for treatment providers in RTCs, challenging them to “avoid a . . . view of youth behavior that is limited solely to behavior management.”

Complex Trauma: In Urban African-American Children, Youth, and Families
This 4-page fact sheet discusses how families living in racially and economically segregated communities must also cope with the effects of historical trauma and intergenerational racism, and presents the specific barriers that African-Americans face in obtaining needed services. Finally, the fact sheet presents ideas for providers on building supportive relationships with African-American children and families who have experienced complex trauma.

Complex Trauma: In Juvenile Justice System-Involved Youth
This 7-page fact sheet delineates the path from complex trauma exposure to involvement in the juvenile justice system; describes the “survival-oriented coping” that youth adopt to manage their lives; and explores the many challenges these youth face in managing their emotions, physical responses, and impulses. The fact sheet presents recommendations for judges and juvenile justice program administrators, parents and family members, and adults who supervise youth



Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit Planning Tool is Here!

This planning tool is for Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit trainers to complete in collaboration with child welfare administrators to explore key considerations prior to implementing training on the Toolkit. The tool serves several purposes, including: to prepare the agency for training on the Toolkit, to identify potential barriers and resources related to implementation of the Toolkit, to plan for successful implementation, and to promote sustainability of trauma-informed child welfare practices. Child welfare administrators who are considering adopting and implementing the Toolkit can also utilize this planning tool as a readiness assessment and resource to guide planning and implementation. The tool can be completed in its entirety, or in segments at each phase of the implementation process, starting with Exploration.

14-Minute Body Scan Relax

This podcast was created by Karla Johnston-Krase, M. Div., RYT-200, to support you as a trauma-informed parent. As a parent herself through birth and adoption, Karla knows how parenting children who’ve experienced early life transitions can present unique challenges to the whole family. She is an advocate for radical self-care and helps others find simple and practical tools to create more ease and joy in body, life, and parenting. In this podcast, Karla provides guided relaxation that includes a body scan similar to something called Yoga Nidra, a style of relaxation that has amazing benefits to clients with trauma and PTSD. More therapists and counselors are integrating similar practices into their work. You can find additional resources at

Child Sexual Abuse Series
Adult Sexual Misconduct in Schools: Guidelines for School Staff, Volunteers, and Community Partners

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
9:00 to 10:30 AM PT / 12:00 to 1:30 PM ET

Presenters: Tonje Molyneux, MEd, Committee for Children; Holly Priebe-Sotelo, MSW, PPSC, Field Education, USC School of Social Work; Ruthlyn Webster, LCSW, ACSW, Kristi House, Orlowitz Lee Children’s Advocacy Center; Judith Cohen, MD, Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents, Allegheny General Hospital

All adults in the school community play a critical role in keeping children safe in schools. But what happens when the very people who are trained to educate and protect children violate these fundamental rights? This workshop will explore the difference between appropriate and inappropriate staff behavior; how to respond when allegations of sexual misconduct are made of a staff person; and how to recover following an incident or allegation of sexual misconduct.


AAP Report Addresses Behavioral Symptoms of Childhood Maltreatment
Reflecting the latest scientific findings on how traumatic experiences can shape a young child’s health and development, an updated American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report in the April 2017 issue of Pediatrics aims to help recognize and respond to symptoms of maltreatment in a positive, healing way. The report, “Clinical Considerations Related to the Behavioral Manifestations of Child Maltreatment” (published online March 20), highlights neurobiological research suggesting maltreatment early in life may alter a child’s psychological and physiological response to stressful situations and cause mental health and behavioral challenges that can continue long after the abuse, neglect, or trauma has ended. It advises pediatricians to counsel parents and caregivers that a child’s response to stress may be more than simple defiance or willful misbehavior. The report also points out that parents can be coached on how to prepare for reminders in the environment and how to avoid reinforcing the child’s negative reaction with their own. Anger or aggressive responses such as corporal punishment, for example, can further aggravate the child’s emotional reaction and lack of psychological safety. For persistent or severe behavioral problems stemming from trauma and maltreatment, the AAP recommends pediatricians help caregivers access evidence-based therapeutic treatments to help children resume normal developmental growth.


Network colleagues Christopher Edward Branson, Carly Lyn Baetz, Sarah McCue Horwitz, and Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood are the authors of Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Systems: A Systematic Review of Definitions and Core Components in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. The US Department of Justice has called for the creation of trauma-informed juvenile justice systems in order to combat the negative effects of trauma on youth offenders and frontline staff. Definitions of trauma-informed care have been proposed for various service systems, yet currently there is no widely accepted definition for juvenile justice. The current systematic review examined published definitions of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system in an effort to identify the most commonly named core elements and specific interventions or policies. The extant literature offers relative consensus around the core domains of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system, but much less agreement on the specific practices and policies. A logical next step is a review of the empirical research to determine which practices or policies produce positive outcomes for youth, staff, and the broader agency environment, which will help refine the core definitional elements that comprise a unified theory of trauma-informed practice for juvenile justice.

Network Colleagues Anne Kazak, Justin Nash, Kimberly Hiroto, Nadine Kaslow are the authors of Psychologists in Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs): Roles, Evidence, Opportunities, and Challenges in American Psychologist (Vol 72, Issue 1). The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is an increasingly common model of health care delivery with many exciting opportunities for psychologists. The PCMH reflects a philosophy and model of care that is highly consistent with psychological science and practice. It strives to provide patient-centered, comprehensive, team-based, coordinated, accessible, and quality- and safety-oriented health care delivery to individuals and families. Moreover, in keeping with changes in the health care system more broadly, the PCMH model prioritizes the integration of behavioral and physical health care; this emphasis lays the foundation for active and full engagement of psychologists in this context. This article provides an overview of the PCMH and the evidence and roles for psychologists across a range of pediatric, adult, and geriatric health care populations and settings. Current challenges to the necessary expansion of psychology in the PCMH are discussed, with particular attention to the needs for training and advocacy to support the contributions of behavioral health care in the PCMH. Psychology must embrace its rightful place as a health profession and appreciate and highlight the ways in which psychologists can play unique and critical roles in transforming present and future health care delivery models.





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.