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Essential Elements

Children and families become known to the child welfare system because of suspected abuse or neglect. Experiences which — in combination with domestic violence, community violence, poverty, and other stressors — can result in traumatic stress reactions and/or the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Given the prevalence of trauma and traumatic stress reactions among child welfare system-involved children, families, caregivers, professionals, and other stakeholders, it is critical that child welfare professionals link families with trauma-informed treatment and services, and integrate an understanding of trauma into their own practice.

The following represent the Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System:

Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System

  1. Maximize physical and psychological safety for children and families.
  2. Identify trauma-related needs of children and families.
  3. Enhance child well-being and resilience.
  4. Enhance family well-being and resilience.
  5. Enhance the well-being and resilience of those working in the system.
  6. Partner with youth and families.
  7. Partner with agencies and systems that interact with children and families.