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Justice System Professionals

Children who come to the attention of the juvenile justice system are a challenging and underserved population. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help juvenile justice professionals understand and provide trauma-focused services to these youth. These resources include tools and materials for building skills and increasing knowledge about childhood trauma to help judges, attorneys, law enforcement, probation officers, frontline residential staff, mental health personnel, and caregivers understand and respond to the needs of traumatized children. In addition to the NCTSN resources highlighted below, Justice System Professionals can learn more about creating trauma-informed Justice Systems in the Trauma-Informed Care section of this website.

NCTSN Resource

NCTSN Bench Cards for the Trauma-Informed Judge

Type: Special Resource

Provides judges with useful questions and guidelines to help make decisions based on the emerging scientific findings in the traumatic stress field. These bench cards assist judges and court-appointed professionals doing mental health assessment of children.

NCTSN Resource

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Type: Fact Sheet

Describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help and support them.

NCTSN Resource

What Is Child Traumatic Stress?

Type: Fact Sheet

Defines child traumatic stress. This fact sheet gives an overview of trauma, describes traumatic stress symptoms, and ways children may be impacted.

NCTSN Resource

Trauma-Informed Legal Advocacy: A Resource for Juvenile Defense Attorneys

Type: Resource Guide

​Provides juvenile defense attorneys with knowledge about trauma, the definition of trauma-informed legal advocacy, the impact of trauma exposure on child development, and effects of trauma on the attorney-client relationship. This guide aides in how to consider the benefits and dangers of sharin

NCTSN Resource

The NCTSN National Juvenile Probation Officer Survey

Type: Special Resource

Details the results of a nationwide survey of probation officers. This survey looks at what probation officers know about trauma, how best to collaborate with them, and what products they would like to meet their needs with respect to trauma-informed practices.

NCTSN Resource

Trauma: What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know

Type: Resource Guide

Provides child welfare attorneys with knowledge about trauma, practice tips for incorporating trauma-informed practices into legal representation, and resources to assist in the representation of clients with histories of trauma.

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