Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach for Youth Across Service Sectors

Recent upheaval in cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, New York, and Ferguson reminds us of the devastating impact of trauma on young people. Trauma affects youth in all communities, and responses to those experiences by child-serving systems are critical. It is important for providers serving youth to understand how best to respond and support healing.

Service providers and policymakers in the youth-serving field are continually learning more from research about trauma, traumatic experiences, and the various responses to traumatic events. It is important for youth-serving systems to develop a greater understanding of the association between trauma and mental health and substance use disorders, and how it can derail the healthy development of youth.

The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs at AIR recently prepared an issue brief, Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach for Youth Across Service Sectors, for SAMHSA. It defines trauma and highlights its prevalence, opportunities for recovery, and offers seven core principles of a trauma-informed approach for youth service providers.