Many services for children and families in Connecticut incorporate trauma-informed care, but more needs to be done to improve outcomes for children, according to a new report from the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut.
The group recommended expanding trauma screening and access to evidence-based care, developing a statewide plan to address trauma and including trauma-informed care training for all professionals who work with children.
Trauma can have lifelong adverse effects on children’s emotional and physical well-being. It has been linked to developmental delays, behavioral health problems and difficulties in school and is associated with chronic health issues such as diabetes and emphysema, according to the report.
Jason Lang, a clinical psychologist and co-author of the report, said too many children are suffering in silence. The outcomes associated with trauma should be a call to act as urgently as if a toxic chemical or disease were harming children, he said.
“It’s a concern that’s not talked about as much as it could be,” he said.
Since 2007, more than 50,000 children in Connecticut have been screened for exposure to trauma, the report said. That leaves nearly 800,000 children who have not.
In addition, more than 8,600 professionals in the state have been trained in trauma-informed care and more than 8,700 children have received trauma-focused, evidence-based care.
The report looked at four areas of a trauma-informed system: workforce development, practice changes and use of evidence-based practices, screening and collaboration.
Each area includes a checklist that other states or cities could use to see how they can improve. The report also includes specific recommendations for how Connecticut can improve in those areas.
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