Type of services provided:
Trauma Smart offers a robust array of organizational support for educational settings, with a particular focus on early learning settings, to build the internal capacity of child serving organizations to best support children impacted by trauma. The model also provides trauma recovery therapy to children in the early childhood settings receiving the organizational support, or works with the organization to build relationships with their local clinicians. The model is largely built on the principles of Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC), and was developed in close consultation and collaboration with the designers of ARC. It supports adults to make needed trauma informed changes in early learning environments, while enhancing universally supportive adult approaches that benefit children impacted my complex trauma and toxic stress. The model includes extensive training, classroom level coaching, consultation, parent engagement classes to teach ARC, and other capacity building approaches.
Trauma Smart is being implemented in a growing number of settings, but is primarily utilized in early childhood learning environments like Head Start, though childcare, and k-6 education implementations are underway.
Please note: Trauma Smart is operated out of Crittenton Children’s Center within Saint Lukes Hospital in Missouri, and is funded through private and public (grant) funds.
Length of program/number of sessions:
The educational/organizational capacity building model requires a minimum two year commitment within the setting. The therapeutic interventions [Attachment, self Regulation and Competency (ARC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are used with children as needed] vary in length of service, which is determined by the clinician and family.
Type(s) of trauma/concerns addressed:
Toxic stress, complex trauma, historical trauma. This model is not DV exposure-specific, but uses a more general complex trauma and adverse childhood experiences lens.
Toxic stress and complex trauma
Education level of providers:
Varies based on role, but all of their staff and trainers are Masters level licensed clinicians
After years of delivering mental health therapy to children in Head Start settings in Missouri, the Crittenton Children’s Center began to recognize that trauma in early childhood settings is pervasive, and necessitates significant culture shift within child serving organizations to best meet the needs of impacted children and their parents. They recognized that universal, environmental supports are needed, and that staff in these settings also need considerable supports to manage and remediate the symptoms of vicarious trauma while learning trauma informed, enhanced practices.
This model is focused on organizational mindset and practice shifts, with supplemental individual trauma interventions for children, making it holistic and unique. They focus on transforming existing science and research related to childhood trauma impact and recovery so that communities, parents, and varying levels of staff can utilize what works while integrating their own cultural values and perspectives.