• June 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 4

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Practice Model Addresses Complex Trauma

Trauma can mean many things for children. It can mean having a parent or family member incarcerated, experiencing or witnessing violence in their home or community, or living in a home with parents or family members that struggle with mental health or substance use issues. Trauma Smart, a practice model created by the Crittenton Children's Center, seeks to address the wide range of trauma that can affect children's lives.

Currently implemented in Head Start classrooms across 26 counties in the Kansas City, MO, metro area and across Missouri, Trauma Smart focuses on helping all members of a child's community—parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, school staff, etc.—recognize signs of trauma in children and help children cope. The model seeks to do the following:

  • Prepare children for social and academic success
  • Actively include parents in their child's school experience
  • Improve the work environment for teachers and school personnel
  • Create practical and enduring change for children, families, and communities

The Trauma Smart website offers users detailed information on the model and outcomes from the field. It also provides tools and resources for parents and caregivers on topics such as how to create routines for children, what to say when a child has a tantrum, tips for self-care, and talking to children about death, as well as resources for professionals in the field. 

Learn more on the Trauma Smart website at http://traumasmart.org/.

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