7.4

Building Trauma Informed Services

Early childhood mental health consultants can help to build trauma informed services through programmatic consultation. Consultants can work with Early Head Start and Head Start administrators and staff and provide guidance and recommendations for staff education, program policy, and practices that will prepare them to work effectively with a high-risk and potentially traumatized population. The

Activity: Effective Trauma-Focused Interventions Available in My Community

In addition to a list of community resources, it would be useful to know which effective interventions are available in your community, region or state in order to make informed referrals. Use the previously provided “Questions to Ask Early Childhood Mental Health Providers” and the list of effective interventions above to inquire with local, regional,

Recommending Evidence-based Interventions for Young Children and their Families

When considering therapeutic intervention for young children and their families affected by trauma, there are interventions that have an established evidence-base. These interventions have been listed by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), indicating the treatment developer, the intended age group, the level of evidence, and a brief description of the focus and design

Finding Qualified Therapists and Effective Therapy

Together, the early childhood mental health consultant, Early Head Start and Head Start staff, and the child’s family may decide that a child needs mental health intervention services. When making a referral for a specific child and family, the consultant, staff, and family should look for the following features of qualified providers and effective treatment.

Activity: My Trauma Informed Community Resource List

Take a moment to create your own trauma informed community resource list; identifying key community partners and gathering contact information for each one that has a special role in supporting young children and families impacted by trauma. Add others that may not be listed. My Trauma Informed Community Resource List Community Partner Contact Information Community

Linking Families to Resources

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Some young children and their families who experience acute trauma need assistance with post-traumatic stress symptoms. Others, with more chronic or complex trauma experiences, have poor attachment histories, and show associated developmental, relationship, and behavioral problems. Early Head Start and Head Start staff and early childhood mental health consultants are in a unique position to

Working In Collaboration with Providers and Caregivers

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Provide Tools Through child/classroom observation and regular interaction with staff, help to differentiate normative behaviors with those that suggest signs and symptoms of exposure to trauma With appropriate permission, provide additional information about a specific child and family Guide strategies for providing support for children and families impacted by trauma Help teachers/staff create a safe

Gathering Information from Early Head Start and Head Start Staff and Families

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Sensitive inquiry and observation Most often, a mental health consultant is alerted to a concern about a child or family by Early Head Start and Head Start staff. Sometimes, during a regular classroom observation, the consultant will note a child whose behavior is concerning. In either circumstance, consultation — child and family centered consultation —

Talking with Early Head Start and Head Start staff and Families

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Provide information Convey basic information about trauma and the impact of trauma on young children and families Describe how trauma and the response to trauma can influence development and emerge as challenging behavior Emphasize resilience and the importance of caring relationships With appropriate permission, provide additional information about a specific child and family Provide hope

This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.