Supporting Students with a History of Trauma

Implementing Districtwide Trauma-Informed Practice

Through a national survey and more than 150 research interviews, EAB has identified the majority of educators feel ill-equipped to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma and manage students’ resulting social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in a supportive way.

Many school systems are struggling to follow through on systemic change in taking a trauma-informed approach to educating students. In most cases, efforts are enacted at the individual staff level (e.g., leading small book reads, attending conferences) or through district-sponsored training that is optional for interested staff.

Adopting a trauma-sensitive approach to education requires ongoing commitment from staff to create a safe school environment, implement restorative practices, and build student skills through positive social, emotional, and behavioral supports. To promote efficacy and long-term sustainability, districts must also mitigate the mental and emotional demands placed on staff supporting students with a history of trauma.

This resource provides a guide with accompanying templates to help districts plan for and implement trauma-informed practice. The toolkit suggests a range of strategies to help districts educate all staff about childhood trauma, implement evidence-based programs that meet student needs, and support the well-being of teachers and staff.

Download the Toolkit

Step one: Implement a universal trauma-informed approach
Train all staff on the core principles and practices of trauma-informed care.

Step two: Offer specialized supports for higher-needs students
Implement evidence-based programs for students with higher levels of trauma.

Step three: Support staff social-emotional well-being
Mitigate compassion fatigue and prevent staff burnout.

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