Trauma-informed care (TIC) is defined by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network as medical care in which all parties involved assess, recognize and respond to the effects of traumatic stress on children, caregivers and healthcare providers. In the clinical setting, TIC includes the prevention, identification and assessment of trauma, response to trauma and recovery from trauma as a focus of all services.
The resources below, including resources from the AAP Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment, and Resilience (PATTeR) project, provide information and guidance on implementing TIC in pediatric settings.
Trauma-Informed Care Overview
A traumatic event is a frightening, dangerous or violent event that poses a threat to a child’s life or body integrity. Trauma can result from adversities such as community violence, natural disasters, unintentional injuries, terrorism, racism, immigrant or refugee traumas and/or those involving the caregiving relationship such as intimate partner violence, parental substance use, parental mental illness, caregiver death, separation from a caregiver, neglect or abuse – originally defined as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Pediatricians are likely to be the first, and often only, professionals who encounter the 68% of American children who have experienced trauma and have the greatest potential for early identification and response to childhood trauma.
TIC is fundamentally relational health care – the ability to form safe, stable and nurturing relationships (SSNRs). Pediatricians are able to support the caregiver-child relationship, the context in which there can be recovery from trauma and the restoration of resilience.
New Online Course: Trauma-Informed Care and Resilience Promotion
This video-based series aims to empower pediatricians and healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to implement evidence-based, trauma-informed care and resilience promotion in their everyday practice. CME and MOC credit available for this course.
Moving Beyond ACE Scores Infographic
This infographic explains why collecting an ACE score is not effective clinically and how to provide trauma-informed care instead.
The AAP provides recommendations and guidelines to support pediatricians, other pediatric health care providers and health care systems in the implementation of trauma-informed care.
- Clinical Report: Trauma-Informed Care
- This clinical report summarizes current, practical advice for rendering trauma-informed care across varied medical settings.
- Policy Statement: Trauma-Informed Care in Child Health Systems
- This policy statement summarizes what policy makers, legislators, and health care organizations need to consider in terms of infrastructure, resources, and financial support to facilitate the integration of TIC principles into all pediatric points of care.
The resources below provide information and guidance to support pediatricians in taking a trauma-informed approach to pediatric care.
If you are interested in upcoming educational opportunities or have questions related to trauma-informed care, please contact us.
Related AAP Resources & Initiatives
Click on the resources below to learn more about related initiatives.
American Academy of Pediatrics