Blending Components of:
- Resiliency Theory
- Together Facing the Challenge
- Trauma-Informed Care
KidsPeace recognizes that many of the children referred to its Foster Care Programs have experienced some type of emotional, physical and/or psychological trauma. Unresolved trauma significantly increases the risks for failure or poor life outcomes.
As stated by the President’s New Freedom Commission, the challenge is not only that the children feel better and act better while in care, but to go beyond symptom and behavior management to establish a pattern that will lead to long-term success. In effect, we help our children to do better in the short term but also to be better in the years to come; that is, to become resilient.
The KidsPeace Response
KidsPeace understands that providing treatment to children and adolescents requires knowledge of the effects of trauma and awareness of the impact of known risk factors on the developing child. Applying this understanding, KidsPeace developed a system of care supported by research and established on the following foundational components:
Trauma-informed care: Unresolved childhood trauma has adverse effects on a child’s development. KidsPeace Staff and foster families are trained in an overview of trauma-informed care to understand the traumas our children have experienced in order to provide the individualized care each child needs and deserves.
Resilience approach: All care and treatment are focused on helping children develop characteristics known to enhance protective factors, mitigate risk factors and improve their ability to overcome past trauma. Each child in placement receives an assessment identifying his/her existing risk and protective factors within the first 30 days. This assessment allows staff and families to work toward enhancing existing protective factors and mitigating known risk factors.
Together Facing the Challenge:An evidence-based curriculum of interventions utilized to improve problem behavior and support resilience in the lives of the children we serve.
The Overarching Framework
Various studies have been conducted on the lives of individuals who have faced significant adversity and have demonstrated the ability to overcome and succeed. From these studies comes a list of common factors found in the lives of these highly resilient individuals. These factors, known as “Protective Factors,” have become our focus in providing the care needed to assist our kids in overcoming their “risk” and succeeding. KidsPeace services are based on:
Together Facing the ChallengeKidsPeace has partnered with Duke University and Penn State University to research and develop the Together Facing the Challenge training and treatment curriculum. This evidence-based approach* to providing treatment to youth in foster care provides practical direction about how to:
- A formalized training curriculum to educate staff and families about Resiliency Theory as well as the interventions to support resilience in youth.
KidsPeace has always addressed the above and has recognized that its foster families are partners who are integral members of the treatment team. So, one might ask, “What is different?” The answers are:
- Build therapeutic relationships
- Perform and teach cooperation skills
- Implement effective parenting techniques
- Prepare youth for their future by teaching independence skills
- Provide ongoing assessment of effective foster parent use of the interventions trained, as well as provide ongoing training and coaching for needed improvement.
- Cohesiveness – Foster parents, recruiters/trainers, casework staff and supervisors are literally all working from the same proven playbook. The language, orientation and framework are the same across the board.
- Consistency in all homes around the use of a set of therapeutic interventions that support our Model of Care and have demonstrated proven results.
- Evidence-Based Practice – Together Facing the Challenge has been given a Level 2 rating for Research Evidence and a Level 1 rating for Child Welfare Relevance from the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.
*The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, April 2011