Resources – Parents & Caregivers

As a parent or caregiver, we know that it can be a huge challenge to care for a traumatized child or youth. The following are a combination of hand selected articles, handouts, links, and videos we believe would be helpful to you as you pour yourselves into the lives of these kids.  

These materials are a collection from our own clinicians and field experts as well as other credible professionals who practice in the realm of complex trauma. These materials are organized under a list of topics, and part of our commitment to you will be to continue to build on these resources to provide you with the ongoing support you need. 

We ask you respect the copyright applications of material on this site as well as those on other sites that we recommend to you.

You will notice some of our resources are free and others will require a CTR membership to access all the materials that can be made available to you. Sign up here. If cost is a barrier please contact us and explain your situation.

Below you will find some resources that we believe will give you an understanding of Complex Trauma and its effects on children and youth. These are a great starting place in understanding the impact complex trauma has on the brain and how we can better support our children on their healing journey.  These materials have been specially chosen for parents and caregivers.  If you would like to see the full list of resources please  click here.

What’s the Fuss About Complex Trauma

Learn More

Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents

Learn More

Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators

Learn More

The Impact of Toxic Stress

Learn More

Caregiver-Specific Resources

Please note, the resources listed within the topics below have been filtered specifically for Parents and Caregivers. For a comprehensive list of resources by topic, visit our Topical Resources page here.

ABORIGINAL/INDIGENOUS

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Inter-Generational Trauma

Inter-Generational Trauma by Fred Chou Sandy was a young adolescent boy that was currently in a foster care placement with two care groups; he was with his grandmother on the weekend in his own reserve and then during the week days he stayed with a foster family in his city.  He presented with behavioral issues; …

Trauma and Identity

Fourteen-year old Malia is a male of Caucasian and Somalian descent who has lived with his foster family for the past 4 years. Prior to moving in with his foster family, Malia lived with his biological Muslim family until he was 10 years old. His foster mother Angela came to me asking for help on …

Childhood Trauma Series in Indian Country

This article specifically address’ the different kinds of trauma that Indigenous children are exposed to and the reactions that may evolve (ie: ACEs, PTSD & affects in home and school).

ACEs

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ACE Score Calculator

ACEs are potentially traumatic events that can have a lasting impact on youth and adults.  This simplified calculator will help you determine what your ACE score is.

ACES and COMPLEX TRAUMA

In my previous post, I talked about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs) and how this is beginning to shake the foundation of how we view mental health problems. Take the ACEs test here The ACEs study points to a powerful connection between stressful childhood experiences and how it can create lifelong difficulties for people …

ACES SCORE and the correlation to chronic illness

An introductory video on the impact of childhood trauma, ACES and the connection between life long and chronic health conditions.  Dr Jeffrey Brenner states, “I believe ACE scores should become a vital sign, as important as height and weight”.

What are ACE’s?

A short 5 min. video overview of ACEs, what they are and how they impact on lifelong issues over the course of a lifetime.

ACES TOO HIGH – Childhood Trauma can lead to lifelong illness

Ongoing adversity in childhood leads to a chronic state of “fight, flight or freeze.” Researchers at Yale had recently shown that when inflammatory stress hormones flood a child’s body and brain, they alter the genes that oversee our stress reactivity, re-setting the stress response to “high” for life.

ADOPTION

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Adoption – An Effective Intervention

A scientific study on adoption as an effective intervention in the developmental domains of physical growth, attachment security, cognitive development, school achievement, self-esteem, and decreased behavioral problems.

ANXIETY

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Yoga as an Intervention for Complex Trauma

Yoga for Trauma by Lisa Frede Jaime sat cross legged on her new yellow yoga mat, wondering why she had ever agreed to try this. The instructor at the front of the room was addressing the class, yet Jaime’s mind was racing and she could hardly focus on what was being said – something about …

Back to School Shopping

I went to the mall today and I was surrounded by parents and their children who were doing their Back-to-school shopping. I could hear parents tell their children to pay attention and to choose which pair of shoes they liked. As I listened to the conversation, I had a memory of a time when I …

Anxiety or Aggression? When anxiety in children looks like anger, tantrums, or meltdowns

When children are under the influence of an anxious brain, their behaviour has nothing to do with wanting to push against the limits. Once kids have a more solid understanding of why they do what they do, they will be well on their way to finding a better response. Here’s where the adults in their lives will make a critical difference.

Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

Navigating anxiety is an essential life skill that will serve them in the years to come. In the heat of the moment, try these simple phrases to help your children identify, accept, and work through their anxious moments.

My Child is Anxious

This blog written by an educator gives insight and practical tools into how to help your anxious child.

ATTACHMENT

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The Attachment Dance: How Abuse & Neglect Drive Attachment Problems

Dr. Karyn Purvis explains in this audio bite the attachment cycle and how it affects a child behaviorally and neurochemically when he or she expresses a need that is met or, conversely, when that need is not met and the impact of this cycle on a child’s behavior, self-regulation, and mental health.

Attachment: Why it Matters Preview

In this 8 minute video, Dr. Karyn Purvis explains the importance of attachment and the difficulties presented for children that come from maltreated backgrounds.  “All Children need to know that they’re precious and unique and special.  But, a child that comes from a hard place needs to know it more desperately”.

BEDWETTING

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Ending Children’s Bedtime Problems

This study explores the link between a positive bedtime behavior and a small tangible reward in reducing disruptive bedtime behavior, night waking and problem behavior during waking hours.  Clinicians suggest an intervention plan that is tangible for caregivers to implement.

BRAIN & NEGLECT

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The Three Core Concepts in Early Development

Healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks necessary for the developing child. This three-part video series gives us a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse.

The Human Brain

Dr. B.D. Perry gives a brief introduction to core concepts regarding brain structure and function that provide the basis for developmentally sensitive and trauma-informed caregiving, education and therapy.

The Science of Neglect & the Developing Brain

Chronic neglect can actually disrupt and weaken the developing brain architecture.  This 20 page article provides scientific analysis of the effects of neglect, implications as well as the impact of intervention for maltreated children. 

BRAIN GAMES FOR KIDS

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Grow your Child’s Brain – Mind Exercises

Resources packed with information about the brain in a fun format of games, riddles, and puzzles for elementary and middle school students.

BRAINS: KIDS & DEVELOPMENT

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BRAIN AND STRESS

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Back to School Shopping

I went to the mall today and I was surrounded by parents and their children who were doing their Back-to-school shopping. I could hear parents tell their children to pay attention and to choose which pair of shoes they liked. As I listened to the conversation, I had a memory of a time when I …

The Three Core Concepts in Development & The Impact of Toxic Stress

This three-part video series depicts how advances in neuroscience give us a better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, the impact of toxic stress and the circuitry of the brain in the development of a child.

THE BRAIN: AN EXPLANATION

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The Hand Model of the Brain

This is a short but impacting visual on how our brains are structured and the connection between emotional regulation (2.30 mins)

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF CHILDREN

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EMOTIONAL REGULATION

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Relationship Repair

Relationship Repair by: Dr. Kirk Austin It seemed that every time Johnny returned from visiting his mother he would have an “off day”. He had spent the last year in a foster home because his mother was unable to care for him. Her mental health and addiction issues had provided the backdrop of their relationship …

Healthy Strategies for Responding to Children’s Challenging Emotions

What is emotional regulation vs. emotional dysregulation?  This publication guides caregivers and educators through an understanding of contributing factors to emotional dysregulation and helpful strategies to implement.

Helping Children Learn to Regulate Their Emotions

Emotional regulation refers to a person’s ability to regulate their emotional responses.  Childen in particular, need to be taught this skill and often act like they are ‘out ofcontrol’.  This article highlights practical skills to aid your child in self mastery of their emotions.

EFFECTS OF TRAUMA

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The Invisible Suitcase: Behavioral Challenges of Traumatized Children

Children who enter the foster care system typically arrive with at least a few personal belongings but many also arrive with another piece of baggage, one that they are not even aware of.  They have: an “invisible suitcase” filled with the beliefs they have about themselves, the people who care
for them, and the world in general.  This outlines in an easy readable format some of the beliefs to be aware of and practical ways to help.

INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA

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Intergenerational Trauma

Intergenerational Trauma (IGT) refers to the transmission of trauma from one generation to the next.  It is the notion that “traumatic experiences endured during childhood or adulthood, might profoundly influence the well-being of their offspring”.

INTERVENTION & HOPE

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The Power of a Caring Adult

This article supports the quote that, “Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult.”

MENTAL ILLNESS

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MINDFULNESS

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Yoga as an Intervention for Complex Trauma

Yoga for Trauma by Lisa Frede Jaime sat cross legged on her new yellow yoga mat, wondering why she had ever agreed to try this. The instructor at the front of the room was addressing the class, yet Jaime’s mind was racing and she could hardly focus on what was being said – something about …

POLICY

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PLAY

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PTSD & CHILDREN

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The Heavy Toll Of PTSD And Trauma On The Body And Mind

Trauma and PTSD are silent diseases. Victims often feel isolated and misunderstood and people suffering from PTSD may feel frozen in time, reliving their traumatic experience over and over.  Continue reading to see how you can support those suffering from these debilitating conditions.

PTSD in Children – An Introduction

This article provides an overview of PTSD in children.  While targeted for an interdisciplinary audience, portions may be helpful to parents and caregivers living with children suffering with PTSD.

RESILIENCY

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The Power of Affirmation and Resiliency Statements

In this video, Chris Ulmer takes the time to pay several compliments to each and every one of the eight students in his special education classroom. This is the power of affirmation and resiliency statements in action.

Resiliency – Self Talk For Kids

A moving video of a dad that motivates his daughter every day before school reminds us of the importance of positivity and building self-resilience in our children.

SELF CARE FOR CLINICIANS

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Tips for Vitality and Serenity

This article highlights some positive messaging and awareness of self/boundaries that can be incorporated into your life to create peace and balance.

Emergency Self-Care Worksheet for FOSTER FAMILIES

Foster families, this is a worksheet for you to plan out what you would do under extremely trying circumstances, even though this may be rare. It is important to develop a framework using your before you are faced with a crisis or feel overwhelmed.

Maintenance & Self-Care Worksheet

This assessment helps you identify the activities that you would like to add to your self-care practice in each self-care domain.

Self-Care Assessment

This assessment will help you highlight the things you are already doing for yourself and assist you in evaluating areas where there might be an imbalance in how you practice self-care.

Lifestyle and Stress Assessment

This assessment helps you identify what you do now (either well or poorly) to manage the stress in your life.

Clinicians: Caring for Yourself and How to Work with High-Risk Children and Families

This 18-page article, highlights understanding and preventing secondary traumatic stress when working with traumatized and maltreated children.

SLEEP

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The REST MODEL (On Sleep)

Dr. Austin, one of CTR’s clinicians, provides some practical strategies framed around the REST MODEL that will aid caregivers with helping children with bedtime routines.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING

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Relationship Repair

Relationship Repair by: Dr. Kirk Austin It seemed that every time Johnny returned from visiting his mother he would have an “off day”. He had spent the last year in a foster home because his mother was unable to care for him. Her mental health and addiction issues had provided the backdrop of their relationship …

CARE FOR KIDS – A School District’s Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning Pays Off

A testimonial about how Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky are seeing positive results from a district-wide commitment to the CARE for Kids program (Social And Emotional Learning) made just two years ago (6:31 mins).

TRAUMA

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Trauma, Brain & Relationship: Helping Children Heal

This 25 minute powerful documentary with renowned experts, share a new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children’s behaviors and social relationships.

Inter-Generational Trauma

Inter-Generational Trauma by Fred Chou Sandy was a young adolescent boy that was currently in a foster care placement with two care groups; he was with his grandmother on the weekend in his own reserve and then during the week days he stayed with a foster family in his city.  He presented with behavioral issues; …

Let’s Learn Together

This booklet aims to provide an insight into the many challenges that adopted children face, why these challenges might arise and various tips and ideas on how to manage key areas of difficulty for both parents and teachers.

Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators

This “Toolkit” on trauma, gives information for educators, parents and caregivers, including facts, suggestions, psychological and behavioral impact of trauma by grade level and self care.

TRAUMA: ITS EFFECT

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Trauma, Brain & Relationship: Helping Children Heal

This 25 minute powerful documentary with renowned experts, share a new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children’s behaviors and social relationships.

What Happened To This Child?

This extensive 18-page article outlines the adverse effects of trauma highlighting developmental lags, attachment, brain development, CTS, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and more.

TRAUMA INFORMED CAREGIVING

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Trauma, Brain & Relationship: Helping Children Heal

This 25 minute powerful documentary with renowned experts, share a new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children’s behaviors and social relationships.

Trauma-Informed Parenting

This article provides insightful information into the impact of complex trauma, factors to consider, signs and symptoms and how to live and care as a trauma informed parent.

How to Help Traumatized Children

This 17-page booklet will assist parents, caregivers, teachers and various professionals working with maltreated and traumatized children.

10 Questions Foster/Adopted Parents Ask

Specialists offer helpful insights and practical advice in response to some critical questions that are commonly asked by adoptive and foster parents – video content.

TRAUMA INFORMED PRACTICE

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Trauma, Brain & Relationship: Helping Children Heal

This 25 minute powerful documentary with renowned experts, share a new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children’s behaviors and social relationships.

TRAUMA & INTERVENTION

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What’s In A Name

What’s in a Name? Lionel was moody in recent weeks. His parents noticed that he appeared to be more withdrawn at home and spent more time in his room. When they inquired at the school, teachers mentioned that the other kids had been picking on Lionel because it was “different”. Not knowing how to deal …

Trauma and Identity

Fourteen-year old Malia is a male of Caucasian and Somalian descent who has lived with his foster family for the past 4 years. Prior to moving in with his foster family, Malia lived with his biological Muslim family until he was 10 years old. His foster mother Angela came to me asking for help on …

Maltreatment and the Effect of Trauma on the Developing Child

This article analyzes how early childhood experiences shape a child.  This article highlights how traumatic experiences and neglect impact on the neurobiology of the developing brain and the integration of the 6 core strengths towards healing.

TRAUMA SENSITIVE SCHOOLS

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Trauma, Brain & Relationship: Helping Children Heal

This 25 minute powerful documentary with renowned experts, share a new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children’s behaviors and social relationships.

TRAUMATIC STRESS

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Sensitization and Tolerance

This 10 minute video gives an introduction to the crucial role that patterns of stress response system activation play in pathology and healing.

The Science of Neglect & the Developing Brain

Chronic neglect can actually disrupt and weaken the developing brain architecture.  This 20 page article provides scientific analysis of the effects of neglect, implications as well as the impact of intervention for maltreated children. 

Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents

This article focuses on child traumatic stress, especially that most commonly found among children involved with the child welfare system and looks at effects of child traumatic stress and the most effective treatments.

TRAUMA AND TEACHING

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Trauma, Brain & Relationship: Helping Children Heal

This 25 minute powerful documentary with renowned experts, share a new understanding of how trauma effects the development of the mind body system, and how it affects children’s behaviors and social relationships.

What’s In A Name

What’s in a Name? Lionel was moody in recent weeks. His parents noticed that he appeared to be more withdrawn at home and spent more time in his room. When they inquired at the school, teachers mentioned that the other kids had been picking on Lionel because it was “different”. Not knowing how to deal …

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