Title IV-E Child Welfare Training and University Partnerships: Transforming State Child Protection Services into a Trauma-Informed System

Robin Hernandez-Mekonnen, Dawn Konrady


Children who are involved in the child welfare system have experienced trauma, and research indicates that parents of those children also frequently grapple with their own unresolved trauma. In addition, child welfare workers face high rates of secondary traumatic stress. Federal legislation from 2011 requires states to conduct universal trauma screening on children in foster care. The Administration on Children and Families (ACF) urges state Child Protection agencies (CPS) to become trauma-informed, however, many states still struggle to integrate a trauma focused practice model. This article describes the outcomes of a national, empirically driven, Core Concepts in Child Trauma for Child Welfare curriculum utilized in a Title IV-E university partnership program to teach graduate level child welfare agency supervisors. Findings suggest that the graduate trauma course demonstrates statistically significant gains in confidence, and also has a profound impact on the agency’s transformation into a trauma-informed system


Title IV-E; child welfare; trauma; secondary traumatic stress; social work education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18060/21323

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