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September 2022Vol. 23, No. 7Toolkit Provides Guidance for Child Welfare Professionals Supporting Children and Youth During and After Natural Disasters

Child Trends released A Toolkit for Child Welfare Agencies to Help Young People Heal and Thrive During and After Natural Disasters, which is designed for child welfare professionals looking to support young people during and after natural disasters. About 14 percent of children and youth have experienced at least one natural disaster by the age of 18.  Although the toolkit was not tested with children and youth during a pandemic, it may still be useful during and after pandemics given that natural disasters and pandemics have a number of similar challenges.


The toolkit includes three sections:


  1. Recommendations for child welfare professionals to prepare for and respond to natural disasters
  2. An overview of trauma-informed care and other methods to promote healing and resilience after natural disasters
  3. Interventions to support children and youth who experience a natural disaster


In addition, the toolkit includes the following:


  • Resources for incorporating youth, program, and community voices in disaster planning
  • A summary of evidence on trauma, healing, and resilience during and after natural disasters
  • Tools for implementing trauma-informed care
  • Strategies to promote culturally responsive care
  • Guidance for partnering with community service providers


The intended audience for the toolkit is frontline caseworkers and administrators, as well as community partners, looking to promote healing and resilience. The toolkit can also be integrated into agency disaster plans.


The toolkit, which was developed by Child Trends with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, is available on the Child Trends website.