- School-wide reform that seeks to change culture into a learning environment that is safer, more supportive, and more trauma-informed
- Programs generally include training for school staff to ensure they have the information and skills needed to assist children who have experienced trauma
- Generally include revisions to disciplinary policy, social-emotional instruction, and culturally adapted curriculum about trauma
- Often include parent education and engagement and community partnerships to support students
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)
Strong (second-highest tier)
Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
All school-aged children
Outcomes and impact
- Trauma-informed programs may result in a decrease in behavioral issues among students
- Studies show that interventions can ease and decrease trauma-related symptoms in students
- Some evidence that trauma-informed schools increase understanding of trauma and frequency of trauma-informed practice use among school staff
- School-wide interventions may improve student resilience, coping skills, ability to pay attention in class, and attendance
- Interventions are associated with improved graduation rates, academic achievement, classroom behavior, and student safety
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Foster strong relationships between school staff and mental health professionals.
- Establish clear commitments to changing school culture.
- Introduce trauma-informed practices carefully and with sensitivity to the school’s culture to build teacher buy-in.
- Expand the role of school counselors to support successful school-wide implementation.
- Provide information and training to all levels of staff in order to help them recognize trauma-related behaviors and understand how to best assist students.
- When possible, engage parents and caregivers with the trauma-informed policies and communicate any changes or improvements in the student’s behavioral patterns with their parent or caretaker.