The trauma-informed approach is guided by the “Four R’s”: Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understanding potential paths for recovery; recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and seeks to actively resist retraumatization. (SAHMSA,2014)  This Town Square-created resource gives practical ways to utilize the Four R’s.

Trauma informed care handout

No words could describe our sadness, outrage, and devastation over the past few weeks. We are thinking about the children, teachers, and families who were and continue to be tragically affected by senseless acts of violence. As educators, parents, and humans, we too are struggling with our emotions and with what to say to children. Below are a few resources to use as we face these difficult conversations. 


           Resources for Speaking with Children About Difficult Subjects

          Talking to children about the Shooting

          Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers

Lastly, we want to share a resource from the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center as a reminder of the importance of caring for ourselves, especially in moments of grief. 

          Caring for Ourselves as We Care for Others



El cuidado informado sobre el trauma se guía por las “Cuatro R”: Es consciente (realize) del impacto generalizado del trauma y comprende las posibles vías de recuperación; reconoce los signos y síntomas del trauma en los clientes, las familias, el personal y otras personas relacionadas con los sistemas; responde integrando plenamente los conocimientos sobre el trauma en las políticas, los procedimientos y las prácticas, y trata de resistir activamente la retraumatización (SAHMSA, 2014)

Este recurso creado por Town Square ofrece formas prácticas de utilizar las Cuatro R.

El Cuidado Informado sobre el Trauma

The NCTSN offers information about many types of trauma, treatments, and other related topics. There are specific resources for parents and care providers as well as training. The mission of NCTSN is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children and families, as well as to raise public awareness about childhood trauma and stress. This page has resources for caregivers of young children who have been exposed to trauma.

“The most important adults in a young child’s life are caregivers and relatives. These adults can help reestablish security and stability for children who have experienced trauma.”

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) created this report on childhood trauma to help anyone who works with children to understand what research is showing about the impact of trauma on young children.

“Young children are less able to anticipate danger or to know how to keep themselves safe, and so are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exposure to trauma.”

Included in the report are information about childhood trauma, behaviors linked to exposure to trauma, and the role of caregivers as protective factors for children.  There are also resources for professionals and families.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Early Childhood Trauma

The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition (ICTC) brings together many organizations to work on educating the community about the effects of childhood trauma and create programs and systems that prevent trauma and support the needs of children and families.