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ERIC Number: ED558495
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Services for Families of Infants and Toddlers Experiencing Trauma. A Research-to-Practice Brief. OPRE Report 2015-14
Harden, Branda Jones
Administration for Children & Families
Infancy is a time of extreme opportunity, but it is also a time of extreme vulnerability, particularly for those reared in high-risk environments. Although infant exposure to any risk is important to understand, this brief focuses on the experience and impact of "trauma," defined as witnessing or experiencing an event that poses a real or perceived threat. Beginning life in the context of trauma places infants and toddlers on a compromised developmental path. Because of this, the impact of trauma on infants and toddlers can be particularly harmful. On the other hand, the developmental plasticity (i.e., the potential for developmental change in response to the environment) during this early period of life may allow infants and toddlers to rebound from these traumatic experiences, particularly if they experience "stable, nurturing caregiving." The author briefly summarizes what is known about the impact of trauma on infants and toddlers, and the intervention strategies that could potentially protect them from the adverse consequences of traumatic experiences. She focuses on interventions that support parents in providing the stable and nurturing caregiving that is responsive to the child's general developmental needs and that promotes children's sense of safety and security. Such interventions may reduce or provide a buffer against infants' traumatic experiences. Finally, the author considers how child care, Early Head Start, home visitation, and child welfare can become trauma-informed infant/toddler service delivery systems.
Administration for Children & Families. US Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, DC 20447. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; ICF International
Grant or Contract Numbers: HHSP23320095636WC