Center for Trauma Care in Schools

The Center for Trauma Care in Schools (CTCS) was established as a hub for training and school-based delivery of evidence-based practices (EBPs) to treat traumatic stress in children. The Center uses the Learning Community model, building and expanding communities of practice to increase access and improve quality of care.

The goals of CTCS are to:

  1. Increase access to trauma services via school-based interventions
  2. Improve quality of services through provision of a continuum of evidence-based screening and treatments; and 
  3. Foster trauma-informed school environments that support students impacted by traumatic stress.

CTCS trains school teachers and staff in the etiology, symptoms, and effects of trauma exposure on social-emotional wellness and learning. Teachers learn trauma-informed interventions to de-escalate student reactivity and increase trauma-sensitive school environments. To build a future workforce that is skilled in treating trauma in schools, CTCS runs a trauma-focused internship in collaboration with local graduate schools of social work and counseling.

More than
of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14

Children are
more likely to receive treatment in a school-based health center than in a community clinic

Less than
of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need

Connecting With Care

CONNECTING WITH CARE (CWC) integrates full-time mental health professionals into schools to increase access, improve quality, and reduce stigma—so that children do better in school and in life. CWC is a hub for training and the school-based delivery of evidence-based practices (EBPs) to treat traumatic stress in children. Services are delivered to students by community mental health clinicians who are trained by CWC to provide EBPs in the schools. Since 2006, CWC has demonstrated a sustainable model for financing and delivering school-based mental health. It has been designated as a “Promising Innovative Practice,” by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality since 2008, ranking CWC at its highest level for models without randomized, controlled experimental designs.

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Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Mindfulness

AIP Program Director Susan Lovett is a Facilitator of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) who provides trainings on trauma-sensitive yoga teaching in addition to teaching both community-based and school-based trauma-sensitive yoga classes for students, staff and families. Susan is also a Facilitator of Mindful School’s mindfulness curriculum and is one of the developers of Hearts + Minds, a trauma-sensitive mindfulness program for students. Hearts + Minds is a 10-session curriculum that supports classroom teachers in developing their own mindfulness practices and leading the Hearts + Minds program with their students.

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Evidence-based Practices for Traumatic Stress

The Center for Trauma Care in Schools provides a comprehensive approach to trauma treatment in a school setting, utilizing evidence-based treatments. The Center trains clinicians and interns and provides consultation and supervision in trauma screening, and cognitive/behavioral and body-based practices to treat the psychological, emotional, and physiological symptoms of trauma. Services are provided to students in individual and group modalities. The Center also trains school staff about the effects of traumatic stress on academic and social-emotional functioning and consults with schools to help them implement strategies and systems to support students impacted by trauma.

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Trauma Informed Schools

The Center for Trauma Care in Schools is focused on creating school environments all students can thrive and access the services and supports they need. This extends beyond individual treatments to include discipline policy reform, classroom mindfulness practices, de-escalation spaces, and other initiatives to help foster an atmosphere of safety and stability for all students, teachers, and staff within a school.

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Trauma-Focused Intern Training

The Center for Trauma Care in Schools created the Trauma-Focused Intern Training Program, a workforce development partnership between CTCS, graduate schools of social work and counseling, local school districts, and local mental health provider agencies. It is designed to provide specialized training and consultation in providing trauma treatment services to students in school settings. The program provides students with training during their internship year in a number of evidenced-based practices (EBPs) including: Trauma Systems Therapy (school based adaptation), Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and Mindfulness, Coping Cat for Anxiety, and CBITS and/or Bounce Back ( both school-based group treatments for traumatic stress).

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