Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope With Trauma
Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope With Trauma Course Objectives and Outline:
- Identify at least three common clinical problems faced by foster/adoptive children.
- Describe two presenting problems often observed among foster/adoptive children.
- Identify two developmental challenges often observed among foster/adoptive children.
- Explain at least two resources in assisting foster/adoptive children.
- Addressing Toxic Stress
- How to Identify Trauma
- How to Respond
- The Medical Home
Instructors: Nicole Hiltibran, MA, LMFT; Julie Campbell, Phd
Author: American Academy of Pediatrics
Adoptive and foster families may struggle to understand and support their new children. Because these children may have experienced significant trauma prior to their placement, they may view and react to people and events in ways that may seem unusual, exaggerated, or irrational. Recent advances in developmental science are revealing how significant adversity in childhood alters both the way the genome is read and the developing brain is wired. In this way, early childhood trauma is biologically embedded, influencing learning, behavior and health for decades to come.
The purpose of this guide is to support adoptive and foster families by strengthening the abilities of pediatricians to: 1) identify traumatized children, 2) educate families about toxic stress and the possible biological, behavioral, and social manifestations of early childhood trauma, and 3) empower families to respond to their child’s behavior in a manner that acknowledges past trauma but promotes the learning of new, more adaptive reactions to stress.
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