Trauma Training and Intervention

Jean West, school social worker and certified trauma trainer, is developing a new program to serve the needs of children in the District who have experienced a traumatic event that is impacting their learning and/or behavior. “The more I learn about trauma,” she said, “The more I see what a huge mental health issue this is. It is important to look at the context of what children have been through in order to help them move forward.”

West has already worked with school counselors and social workers throughout the District to get them trauma certified. These trainings teach the Structured Sensory Intervention for Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP) approach, an approach developed by the National Institute for Training and Loss in Children (TLC). This approach uses hands-on, sensory interventions which allow children to process trauma in a safe way.

“Compare it to opening the cap of a pop bottle just a little and letting out some fizz,” said Jean West, “Then a little more. Releasing the pressure slowly and safely keeps the bottle from bubbling over.”

Staff training will focus on understanding trauma and creating a safe classroom environment to help students and improve their ability to function within a classroom. This step will move the District toward becoming a Trauma-Informed School District, with the eventual goal of becoming a Trauma-Practicing Environment.

In addition to working with schools, West conducts trainings that are open to the community. She also has a SITCAP work group made up of community members, District staff and mental health professionals, which meets bimonthly. Schools or community members who are interested in these events should contact West at [email protected].

More trauma information and parent resources are available at the TLC website:

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