This issue brief defines trauma, then discusses the trauma foster kids may go through and how caregivers and social workers should be ready to help. It is part of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative issue brief series.
Issue Brief #5
The definition and types of trauma.
What trauma-informed practice involves and why it’s important in foster care.
How trauma-informed practice can help rewire teen brains.
A critical component of trauma is that the person’s response involves intense fear, helplessness or horror.
Researchers and service providers have concluded that the great majority of young people in foster care have experienced trauma in some form as a result of maltreatment and foster care placement.
In one study, 12% of foster kids scored in the clinical range for post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), a condition once linked only with returning combat soldiers.
It is common to see traumatic emotional experiences in childhood morph into organic disease later in life.
The effects of trauma are cumulative over a lifetime.