Working In Collaboration with Providers and Caregivers
- Through child/classroom observation and regular interaction with staff, help to differentiate normative behaviors with those that suggest signs and symptoms of exposure to trauma
- With appropriate permission, provide additional information about a specific child and family
- Guide strategies for providing support for children and families impacted by trauma
- Help teachers/staff create a safe and supportive environment, with predictable routines and encourage these practices at home
- Outline ways to establish an intervention or "response plan" that matches the child's and family's needs and circumstances and encourage these practices at home.
- Help teachers/staff and families to identify reminders or triggers and find ways to anticipate and/or cope with them
- Identify specific supports or strategies for helping a child express and manage his/her feelings
- Encourage realistic positive problem solving and offer step-by-step support
- Identify community resources for effective therapeutic intervention and facilitate a referral in collaboration with Head Start/Early Head Start staff (Teacher, Home Visitor, Family Advocate, etc.) and the family
- Acknowledge teachers'/staff's and family's feelings, including frustration, helplessness, etc. and normalize these feelings
- Talk openly about the challenges of caring for a child who has experienced trauma and the teachers'/staff's and family's own response
- Recommend or offer opportunities for peer support, supervision, or ongoing consultation for teachers and staff as well as self-care strategies, including family members to help avoid burn-out or "secondary traumatization"
- Respond to the special support needs of teachers, staff, and family members who may have their own experience with trauma and encourage outside personal supports when needed
(Adapted from Blumenfeld, et al, 2010, used with permission)