Resilience and Child Traumatic Stress

What is resilience? Resilience is the ability of a child to recover and show early and effective adaptation following a potentially traumatic event.

What is a traumatic event? Traumatic events, like sexual or physical abuse, witnessing domestic or community violence, or being in a natural disaster, often cause children to have strong, upsetting feelings and can potentially disturb daily life, development, and ability to function. The effect of a traumatic event depends in part on the severity of a child’s experience. All children have some strengths to help them adjust and recover following a traumatic event. At the same time, some children who experience a traumatic event may be significantly affected. This is not the fault of these children or a sign of weakness or failing. Instead, some traumatic events can overwhelm children’s capacity to adapt to them, which affects their ability to recover. In these cases, a child may need additional family and system resources, services, and supports for resilience and recovery.