Conference Coverage

Ten-step trauma intervention offers help for foster families



– Trauma-Informed Parenting Skills for Resource Parents, a new intervention program, might be an answer to addressing trauma symptoms in foster homes, according to a presentation at the annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Rates of trauma exposure range from 80% to 93% in child welfare populations. In light of those statistics, foster parents are left to deal with the effects of traumatic stress symptoms without proper preparation or tools. Trauma-Informed Parenting Skills for Resource Parents targets different aspects of the way in which trauma can affect both the foster child and other members of the family.

Dr. Ginny Sprang

“This is an intervention that occurs in the context of the caregiver-child relationship,” said presenters Jessica Eslinger, PhD, and Ginny Sprang, PhD, both of the University of Kentucky, Lexington. “The foster caregivers are the ones who are the recipients of the intervention in service of their child. Basically, what we are doing is teaching foster parents the skills they need to interact and intervene with their children in real time during the day-to-day interactions in their homes in ways that they can effect positive change.”

The program is structured over the course of 10 weekly, 60- to 90-minute sessions for parents with foster children or those who plan to begin fostering. It is designed for caregivers of children aged 0-17 years. In addition, the intervention uses four key components: trauma awareness, caregiver relationships as the context for healing, trauma-informed parenting strategies, and creating physical and psychological safety, according to the program’s website.

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