Trauma Informed Care

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Trauma Informed Care

What is Trauma Informed Care?

When children experience trauma, it impedes their ability to learn and increases the risk of adopting unhealthy behaviors, including drug and alcohol use or dropping out of school.  Simply put, a child cannot regulate and learn or become adaptive when their brain is not calm. When trauma goes untreated, it affects a child’s entire life and paves the way for future social and cognitive impairment, substance use disorders, mental health issues, physical ailments and even early death. 

Trauma Informed Care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. As an organization promoting positive mental health, we believe it is in the best interest of communities to be aware of Trauma Informed Care and the ways it can positively affect a child’s mental health, academic performance and overall wellbeing.

A Unique Approach

Trauma Informed Care is a unique approach that identifies the presence of trauma symptoms in an individual and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. Becoming a Trauma Informed organization or system involves:

  • Realizing the widespread impact of trauma and understanding potential paths for regulation
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma in others
  • Fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices
  • Seeking to actively resist re-traumatization
  • Renovating the environment to apply trauma informed principles

What are the Benefits to Becoming Trauma Informed?

Trauma Informed Care has been shown to:

  • Reduce disruptive behaviors and critical incidents
  • Improve engagement and academic performance
  • Increase program outcomes and graduation rates
  • Decrease levels of stress and burnout among staff and faculty

How Does My Organization Become Trauma Informed?

Tykes & Teens is dedicated to supporting local agencies and schools throughout the Treasure Coast in becoming Trauma Informed. Our Trauma Informed Care Team can provide your staff with the training, support and tools they need to build on the inherent strengths your students or clients already have in order to promote resiliency in a healing centered environment.

Trauma Informed Care training can be presented to your organization at no cost thanks to funding by the Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network.

The training series can be delivered either virtually or in person and includes seven distinct classes, including:

Trauma Informed Practice

This session provides an overview of Trauma Informed Care and the impact that trauma has on the brain. Topics include adverse childhood experiences, principles of trauma informed environments, and strategies for creating a culture that focuses on a healing-centered approach.

Motivational Interviewing

Individuals who have experienced trauma can find it difficult to trust others and often resist support from helping professionals. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based communication skill used to help evoke engagement, promote self-efficacy, and elicit motivation for behavioral change and healthy development. This type of communication empowers all and helps build trusting relationships between youth and adults.


Individuals who have experienced long-term trauma often have a diminished capacity to problem-solve, which can negatively impact many aspects of their lives. In this session participants learn to mediate the limbic system (flight/fight response center of the brain) and build an awareness of mindfulness practices that can help create a more regulated brain functioning.

Reflective Practice

This well-respected framework for communication accepts that we have the capacity to learn from each other and develop a higher level of empathy and compassion. This equality-based approach fosters positive relationships between adults and youth by increasing curiosity, exploring the awareness of judgmental thoughts and understanding one another’s perspectives.

Implicit Bias

People filter the world through unique perspectives built on experiences. This training uses research from the Harvard Implicit Bias test to help individuals understand how their own lens has been created through the level of safety and/or trauma they have experienced. It also defines cultural bias, implicit and explicit bias, and how each affects our decision making and interactions regarding others.

Compassion Fatigue and Resiliency

Individuals in helping or healing professions often experience fatigue and/or burn out.  Using the Professional Quality of Life scale as an evaluation tool, this training guides participants in developing a personalized Plan of Action to understand risk factors and identify strategies to overcome compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary trauma. Content focuses on going beyond self-care to build resiliency in adults who work with youth so that they remain available and able to navigate difficult situations using a healing-centered approach.

Case Studies Using a Trauma Informed Lens

This presentation allows participants the opportunity to utilize and synthesize skills learned in the Trauma Informed Care series. Participants examine specific cases brought forth by participants and brainstorm strategies for success through a collective trauma informed lens.

To schedule a training or to learn more, please complete our online Trauma Informed Care Request Form.

A member of our dedicated Trauma Informed Care team will follow up with you directly to answer any questions and determine how we can best meet your professional development needs.



Trauma Informed Care Coordinator: Cassey Chang, LCSW

Trauma Informed Care Specialist: Jessie Adamson, MS

“Stressed brains can’t learn.”

That was the nugget of neuroscience that Jim Sporleder, principal of a high school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, took away from an educational conference in 2010. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln Alternative High School had gone down by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five-fold.

— Paper Tigers, One high school’s unlikely success story


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