Document Type


Publication Date



This Article provides an introduction to, and brief overview of trauma, its impact upon foster children, and steps children's advocates" can take to lessen or ameliorate the impact of trauma upon their clients. This Article begins in Part 11 by defining relevant terms. Part III addresses the prevalence of trauma among children entering the child welfare system. Part IV considers the neurodevelopmental (i.e., the developing brain) impact of trauma on children and will explore how that trauma may manifest emotionally and behaviorally. With this foundation in place, Part V discusses the need for a comprehensive trauma assessment including a thorough review of the child's history of potentially traumatic experiences and the impact those experiences have had and are continuing to have on the child. This Article argues that a more complete understanding of the number and severity of potentially traumatic events a child has experienced, as well as knowledge of the various traumatic impacts on the child's developing brain are essential to begin addressing the needs of children in the child welfare system. Next, in Part VI, this Article explores ways in which a child's resilience can be enhanced, specifically the importance of connectedness/relatedness, mastery, and affect regulation. Finally, Part VII discusses implications of this information for children's advocates.