January 2019

Childhood Trauma: Understanding, Supporting, and Preventing

As a result of the publication of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control, many have become more aware of the impact of trauma on individuals across the lifespan.  In response, professionals have been looking for materials to help educate and support those in their organizations who may work with families who have experienced trauma.

Almost two years ago, the Military Families Learning Network’s Early Intervention team began a quest to design a web-based module that would provide a high-level overview of this topic.  On Nov. 30, the module “Childhood Trauma: Understanding, Supporting, and Preventing” was publicly launched. The course is designed to be a starting point for individuals and organizations as they begin their own work to better support individuals and families who have experienced trauma.  It consists of four self-paced units and is relevant for anyone working with children and families:

Prevalence and Impact of Trauma
The basic terms commonly associated with trauma are used as a foundation for this unit.  A broad overview of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente is also provided.  Finally, the module discusses the potential impact of trauma across an individual’s lifespan.

Manifestations of Trauma in Young Children
In unit two, participants will evaluate several scenarios that provide examples of some ways the impact of trauma may manifest in young children, and explore the connection between trauma and disability.  These scenarios explore the connection between disability and maltreatment and ask learners to evaluate behaviors as manifestations of trauma or disability.

Providing Trauma-Informed Supports
An introduction to trauma-informed care, and how its practices can be used to better support young children and their families is the focus for unit three.  The four broad areas of trauma-informed care as suggested by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are reviewed.  Varying policies related to trauma, abuse, and neglect that were established by professional early childhood and education organizations are also discussed.   

Preventing Future Trauma
The final unit addresses not only mandated reporting as a prevention model, but also the importance of self-care and strategies for implementing effective self-care strategies.

The content of the module was developed by Deserai Miller, Ph.D., LCSW, a post-doctoral fellow in the Special Education Department at the University of Illinois.  Dr. Miller earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and her Master’s degree in social work with a specialization in schools from the University of Illinois.

Additional design and technical support was completed by MFLN educational technologist, Jen Chilek, M.Ed., and Early Intervention program coordinator, Robyn DiPietro-Wells.

More information about the course, how to enroll, and continuing education credits can be found by visiting the ‘Childhood Trauma: Understanding, Supporting, and Preventing’ course page. 


newsbites heading graphic

Resource Discovery | The Navy Corpsmen Wellness Guide
A service provider’s job is to take care of others and to do no harm. However, it is relatively common for service providers to overlook their own stress. It is critically important to notice your own stressors and how they might be affecting you.

The Power of Music
The literature shows that if anxiety gets too high, it can hinder a person’s ability to perform skills at an effective level. Music provides a safe, cost-effective, and easy method for potentially reducing anxiety so that we can perform at our best.

Financial Tips for Service Members
Service members and their families make many financial sacrifices to serve their country. In this blog post we have compiled nine military-specific financial tips you can share with service members.

The Spice of Life: Getting to Know Blended Families
Researchers estimate that 40% of adults in the U.S. have a family member who is not biologically related to them (Zeleznikov & Zeleznikov, 2015). What can counselors and therapists do to accommodate the needs of blended families?

podcast title

Show Up Inspired!

Leverage the Power of Music to Improve Performance

This episode examines the potential of music to help reduce anxiety and improve performance during the work day. Strategies for leveraging the power of music to impact mood and performance will be discussed, along with interviews featuring Dr. Kevin Gosselin of the HonorHealth Research Institute, and Christina, a service provider supporting families at a U.S. Military installation.

Working Out Loud for Resilience

Build Your Network; Build Your Resilience

Jessica Beckendorf and Bob Bertsch will share network-building tips, help you reflect on building and sustaining relationships, and share specific strategies you can use to support your resilience.

Mastering the Art of Mindfulness

Mastering the art of balancing work and life’s stressors can be an elusive task for us all. The phrase “keep calm and carry on” isn’t always easy. In this podcast series the narrator provides mindfulness tactics intended to help you discover and observe your reactions to life’s stressors and provide tools for responding effectively. Mindfulness, if you are not familiar with the term, means paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude.


Share this printable version of the January 2019 Network News!