Working with the Child Welfare System

When children involved in the child welfare system need medical care, they are particularly in need of providers knowledgeable in trauma-informed care. Illness- or injury-related posttraumatic stress reactions can impair a child's psychosocial / functional recovery and lead to worse health outcomes. While any ill or injured child may experience pediatric medical traumatic stress (PMTS), children in foster care, who often have a prior trauma history or lack social support, are at greater risk.

Enhance your skills in trauma-informed care and learn tips for working effectively with the child welfare system as a health care professional.

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PMTS and Working with Child Welfare Systems Nursing Course


Trauma can be both a medical and psychological event in the eyes of children and families experiencing serious illnesses, injuries, or painful procedures. By enhancing patient centered care with trauma informed care, health care providers can reduce the impact of difficult or frightening medical events, and help children and families cope with emotional reactions to illness and injury.

How Doctors and Nurses Make a Difference with Trauma Informed Care

Healthcare providers are experts in treating illness and saving lives. After attending to the basics of physical health (A-B-C: Airway, Breathing, Circulation), you can promote psychosocial recovery by paying attention to the D-E-F (Distress, Emotional Support, Family).

What is Trauma Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care shares many principles with patient centered care. However, trauma informed care incorporates an awareness of the impact of traumatic stress on ill or injured children and families as a part of treating the medical aspects of the trauma.

Last Updated (August 22, 2016)



Making Promises to Patients

Of the tenets which make up the practice of trauma informed care, the first and foremost is to minimize traumatic aspects of medical care. That is to pay attention to the child's and family's experience of medical care and do what you can to reduce frightening or painful aspects of necessary care and procedures. Seem simple enough, right?

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Trauma Informed Care at the Bedside

A common question among doctors and nurses looking to implement trauma informed care is “What does it mean to be trauma informed in my department/unit/practice?” 

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Evidence Based Coping Tools for Pediatric Patients

When a doctor diagnoses a child with an illness or treats an injury, both the child and their family will experience a range of emotions. Some may be angry. Some may be sad. Many will be overwhelmed. In the weeks following the injury or diagnosis...

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Economics of Trauma Informed Care

Practicing trauma informed care is often touted as a way to improve quality of care and health outcomes. But could there be economic benefits to implementing trauma informed care? 

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