October 2019Vol. 20, No. 8Study Assesses Impact of Training on Resource Parents' Sensitivity to Children's Trauma Symptoms
A study looking at the impact of specialized training—the Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC)—on the sensitivity of new resource parents to children's trauma-related behavioral and emotional issues found that such training helps parents identify child posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and reduce related parenting stress. Resource parents were shown to be more knowledgeable about PTSS after participation in the training, which was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
The study was designed to address the effects of the RPC on how parents face the challenges of caring for children who struggle with emotional and behavioral health issues due to exposure to trauma. When resource parents lack awareness about the mental health repercussions of trauma and the proper tools for addressing it, foster placements risk disruption. Resource parents need to know how to care for chronically traumatized children to limit the disruption of foster placements. When they understand the effects of trauma on a child's development, resource parents are better equipped to help their foster or adopted children heal from the trauma and form healthy attachments.
The RPC features eight modules to improve resource parents' knowledge and skills related to caring for traumatized children. Module topics include the types of trauma and their effects, the importance of building a safe place, feelings and behaviors related to trauma, advocacy, the importance of connections and healing, and self-care. Training was provided in eight 2.5-hour sessions by two health-care professionals, with a follow-up session 6 months after the last training.
"Increasing resource parents' sensitivity towards child posttraumatic stress symptoms: A descriptive study on a trauma-informed resource parent training," by Maj R. Gigengack, Irma M. Hein, Robert Lindeboom, and Ramón J. L. Lindauer (Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 12), is available at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40653-017-0162-z (383 KB).