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Trauma Guide


In partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Jockey Being Family, the AAP has developed materials for pediatricians on how to support adoptive and foster families.


Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope With Trauma Webinar (Download PDF)


Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope With Trauma: A Guide for Pediatricians

The purpose of this guide is to support adoptive and foster families by strengthening the abilities of pediatricians to:

-identify traumatized children,
-educate families about toxic stress and the possible biological, behavioral, and social manifestations of early childhood trauma, and
-empower families to respond to their child’s behavior in a manner that acknowledges past trauma but promotes the learning of new, more adaptive reactions to stress.

Coding Tips

Pediatricians may use these codes for evaluations involving screening and anticipatory guidance related to trauma and other mental health/developmental concerns.

Visit Discharge and Referral Summary for Family

This discharge form is to be completed by the pediatrician and given to the family to guide them in following up on referrals and having the correct information to provide to the receiving/referred professional. It may also be useful to the pediatrician when communicating directly with a mental health professional. This form is not intended to provide a complete history nor is it for the referred professional to complete. The form can be completed electronically, printed, and provided to the family at the end of the visit. You may also save the form to your files.

Parenting After Trauma: Understanding Your Child’s Needs

This guide for families explains how trauma can impact a child and provides tips for making them feel safe in their new home. Pediatricians can reproduce and provide this handout to foster and adoptive parents. Click here to download this handout in Spanish.