Kansas Foster Care Contractor Sees Benefits Of Trauma-Informed Training

By Meg Wingerter

The foster care system I
n Kansas has problems, but a national child welfare group sees one area where it could lead the way for other states.

Tracey Feild, director of the child welfare strategy group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation http://www.aecf.org/people/tracey-feild/#sthash.HinSSw0K.dpbs, said work on childhood trauma by KVC Kansas, one of the state’s two foster care contractors, could be a model for others. The Casey Foundation sponsors the annual Kids Count report and other child-focused research.

KVC partnered with Child Trends https://www.childtrends.org/, a nonpartisan national research group, to find out if training foster parents and caseworkers about childhood trauma would result in fewer moves for foster children. Childhood trauma includes experiences such as such as being exposed to violence, experiencing economic hardship or living with parents or guardians who abuse alcohol or drugs, are mentally ill or served time in prison.

KVC and Child Trends found that if adults understood the effects of traumatic events, children were more likely to stay in one home http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740917301342 during their time in foster care. Children working with better-trained adults also were observed to have better behavior.

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