Addressing Birth Parent Trauma: Pathway to Reunification

  • Elizabeth A. Thompson


Recognizing and addressing birth parent trauma is increasingly recognized as a critical component of achieving the longstanding goals of the child welfare system. This chapter describes the negative impact of psychological trauma on parents’ coping, parenting capacity, and ability to successfully navigate the system itself. The author delineates a three-step approach for dealing with this issue: screening; adopting general trauma-informed principles, practices, and procedures; and application of specific trauma interventions. A review of 17 interventions found in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices and/or the California Evidence-Based Clearing House for Child Welfare, that specifically address adult trauma, is highlighted. In acknowledgment of the focused efforts necessary for child and family-serving systems to become trauma-informed, the author provides a discussion of challenges and offers suggestions for successful application of what should be considered best practice.


Birth Parent Trauma Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Reunification Adult Trauma Treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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