# Trauma Informed Curriculum

MODULE 5

Developmental Perspective

## Summary

This module focuses on understanding impact of trauma over time, drawing on findings from the Early Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, and identifying coping strategies for trauma survivors.

## Learning Objectives

• Social workers will understand the impact of childhood trauma over time
• Social workers will be able to identify adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies for trauma survivors

Audience: Intermediate (some activities may be adapted for beginning trainees)

## Module Outline

### I. Long-term Impact of Childhood Trauma

Activity Title:  Long-Term Trauma Impact Sequence Game

Modality: Small Group and Large Group Activity

Learner Level: All Levels

Duration: 30min

Materials:

1. Full page cards for Long-Term Trauma Impact (not provided);
2. Finding Your ACE Score Self-Assessment Tool
4. on-line video on ACE

Facilitator Instructions:

• The Correct Order of the Long-Term Trauma Impact is:
1. Adverse Childhood Experiences
2. Disruptive Neurological Development
3. Social, Emotional and Cognitive Impairment
4. Adoption of Health-risk Behaviors
5. Disease, Disability and Social Problems
6. Early Death
• Trainer distributes the shuffled cards face down to groups of 6 people each.
• Once all the cards are distributed to each group, participants are given 5 minutes to decide which order they would likely occur from a developmental perspective over life from conception to death.
• Each group member will be asked to hold a sign and stand in a line in the sequence the group believes is correct.
• All groups stand up near their tables and the Trainer has every group identify their first card and contrast the various groups answer, encouraging discussion among the groups as to why they chose the cards in the order they did.
• Trainer can continue to have each member stand forward and share their cards in order from 1-6.  Each group sharing the first card, then each group sharing the second card until the activity is complete.
• Trainer can distribute the ACE Early Childhood Experiences Self-Assessment for participants to complete privately or following the module as preparation for reflective journaling on their own ACE scores.
• Supplemental reading links and on-line videos on ACE are provided for follow up reading and viewing.

### I. Coping Activity

Activity Title:  Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping Activity

Modality: Small Group Activity

Learner Level: All Levels

Duration: 15-30min

Materials:

1. Large chart pad paper, tape and markers (per each small group);
2.  reflective journals or blank pieces of paper and pens

Facilitator Instructions:

• Trainer begins by having each small group identify and list as many maladaptive or unhealthy coping strategies they can think of that apply to their target population.
• Each small group is provided a target population or age cohort to consider when listing behaviors (0-6, 7-13, 14-20, adult trauma survivor, new social worker experiencing PTSD and senior social worker experiencing Vicarious Trauma are examples).  If there are many small groups, more than once group can be assigned to an age cohort or target population.
• Trainer then has each small group identify and list as many adaptive or healthy coping strategies they can think of that apply to their target population.
• Once each group has compiled two lists, Trainer asks each group to begin marking or sorting maladaptive coping mechanisms into three categories they fit best: Re-Experiencing, Arousal or Avoidance.
• Trainer can inquire into how decisions were made to group coping behaviors in one area or another, noting that some times a coping mechanism can apply to a number of categories.
• Adaptive variations include having each small group make a list for each age cohort or dividing the room into two large groups for adults and children and noticing similarities and differences in their lists.
• Trainer can encourage participants to think about what Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping strategies or behaviors they are drawn to and write in their reflective journals which coping mechanisms seem to be intentional choices they make and which seem more automatic at times.
• Trainer can encourage participants to think about what might allow more awareness of coping strategies in all moments as well as more awareness of triggers that lead to mindless maladaptive coping skills being used.

### Alternative 1:  Enhancing Child Well-Being and Resilience

Activity: Integrate and adapt elements on the National Child Traumatic Stress Network NCTSN) Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit.

Access: You will need to register to access the materials, then you may download all resources

Recommended Module: Module 9, entitled Child Well-Being and Resilience.  Highlights from this module includes didactic information that may be particularly appropriate for beginning audiences and a useful activity on action planning to support resilience using a list of ideas called "What can a child welfare worker do?."

### Alternative 2:  Enhancing Family Well-Being and Resilience

Activity: Integrate and adapt elements on the National Child Traumatic Stress Network NCTSN) Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit described below.

Access: You will need to register to access the materials, then you may download all resources

Recommended Module: Module 10, entitled Family Well-Being and Resilience.  Highlights from this module includes didactic information about the importance of understanding trauma in working with birth parents and resource parents, examples of trauma-informed practice with birth parents, and essential elements of trauma-informed parenting.

### Key Resources and Reading

National Child Traumatic Stress Network summary/handout on the Impact of Complex Trauma

Larkin, H., V. J. Felitti, et al. (2014). "Social work and adverse childhood experiences research: Implications for practice and health policy." Social work in public health 29(1): 1-16.