Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents (or RPC for short) was developed by NCTSN. CCFH has the honor of training providers to deliver this workshop to resource parents.
Resource parent refers to a kinship, foster or adoptive parent. This workshop helps resource parents care for children who have previously experienced trauma, often in their family of origin. It addresses complex trauma issues and the behaviors, thoughts and feelings that are often the results of a traumatic past. This shift to providing trauma-informed care to children in their homes is achieved by educating caregivers on the reasons for behaviors from a trauma-informed perspective and providing exercises that can help understand how and what tactics to put in place to best support youth with a trauma history.
Some of the topics covered include:
- Recognizing signs of trauma.
- Creating and maintaining a safe space, both physically and emotionally.
- Learning how to be more comfortable with difficult emotions and behaviors.
- Working to build a healthy relationship with the child and fostering healthy relationships with others.
- Looking at the life story from a strength-based perspective.
- Building the confidence to parent a child who has experienced trauma.
The workshop is presented by a qualified Staff Facilitator and one or more Co-Facilitators who have lived experience as a resource parent or in the child welfare system.
Because the workshop can be emotionally intense Staff Facilitators must be highly trained to manage a group. Staff Facilitators are usually child welfare workers or mental-health workers who specialize in supporting children and families involved with child welfare. The RPC workshop is generally offered once a week for eight weeks. Resource parents get a chance to practice the techniques and concepts from group and talk about their current issues in real time.
Many behaviors that may seem odd or malicious are rooted in traumatic experiences. These behaviors are identified with the function they serve for the child and addressed in a respectful, loving, and affirming way. Without knowledge of trauma responses, resource parents are not always able to soothe or change challenging behaviors.
To become a Staff Facilitator those with access to resource parents must attend intensive training. This training is offered by CCFH and sponsored by NCDSS. The most recent cohort of Staff Facilitators has just finished training. During the 22-23 training:
- 43 people across the state learned all the important concepts in RPC and started practicing workshop facilitation skills.
- 24 facilitators finished all the requirements and have been added to our provider roster.
- 160+ resource parents attended a workshop provided by trainees this spring/summer!!
We are so proud of our new Staff Facilitators, and we know that they will go on to help many, many resource parents and their families in the future. If you are interested in becoming a Staff Facilitator you can find more information here and find out more about the 23-24 cohort call for applications here. If you’d like the training announcement sent to you directly, please email Dina Gerber at email@example.com to be put on the training announcement listserve.