Project

Trauma-Informed Care: Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice to Build Resilience in Children and Families

about the project

Topics

Capabilities

Status

Client

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Nearly half of all U.S. children are exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), such as abuse, neglect, incarceration of a family member, substance use in the home, divorce, and witnessing domestic violence.

Mounting evidence demonstrates a negative impact on children’s brain development and increased risk for severe emotional disturbance in childhood. The long-term effects in adulthood include serious mental illness, health problems, unemployment, and addiction—particularly to opioids.

This project brings together researchers, policymakers, stakeholders, and practitioners to share new research and identify opportunities for addressing ACEs. It will increase understanding of the effects of trauma-informed services on child development, the links between ACEs and misuse of opioids and other substances, and how psychological and biological pathways affected by child trauma increase the development of emotional disturbance and mental illness.

The project aims to improve outcomes for trauma-affected children and families by—

  • Highlighting the science of building resilience and the protective factors communities can provide for children and families
  • Gaining insights from federal and state programs, trauma experts, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to identify promising and successful models and approaches
  • Documenting common elements leading to positive impacts
  • Creating learning communities implementing trauma-informed care
  • Illuminating gaps and opportunities to inform future policy and research efforts

JBA will conduct scans, literature reviews, and key informant discussions to summarize promising practices and approaches. The findings will be shared in briefs, papers, presentations, and journal articles.

Staff

  • Erin Ingoldsby, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate

    Erin Ingoldsby has more than 23 years of experience in applied social science research, program evaluation, and evaluation technical assistance in diverse content...

  • Heidi Melz, Ph.D., M.S. Senior Research Associate

    Heidi Melz has 15 years of experience researching interventions that address child welfare issues and family structure, functioning, and well-being. She...

  • Pirkko Ahonen, Ph.D., M.S. Senior Research Associate

    Pirkko Ahonen has 18 years of experience in evaluation studies, technical assistance, and applied research. She currently serves as the project director for the Tribal...

  • Allison Meisch, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate

    Allison Meisch is a developmental psychologist with more than 16 years of experience in quantitative and qualitative methods, program evaluation, applied...

  • Joelle Ruben, M.S.W. Senior Communications Associate
  • James P. DeSantis, Ph.D. Vice President
  • Colleen Morrison, Ph.D. Research Associate

Partner

Education Development Center

about the project

Topics

Capabilities

Status

Client

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation