Understanding and responding to the needs of students who have experienced trauma is a critically important issue. In fact, Compton Unified School District was sued in 2015 for not providing appropriate services for students affected by trauma and not providing teachers with the appropriate training to recognize trauma and respond to its manifestations in the school contexts. Current research highlights the impact of child maltreatment and secondary adversities such as separation, removal, and substitute care placement as highly correlated with school behavior difficulties. These behavior difficulties in schools are highly correlated with either active trauma or posttrauma. The failure to recognize and effectively respond to trauma-induced behaviors in the classroom has led to serious consequences for students and professionals alike. Educational systems continue to struggle with how to provide teacher training in the area of trauma and trauma-informed inclusive practices, nurture trauma informed school climates, and foster interprofessional collaborations to serve students who have experience trauma.
The 2016 conference provided an overview on how trauma impacts students, why social workers and educators need to recognize and address the effects of trauma on students' learning, behavior and relationships while they are in school contexts, and showcased Michigan efforts to implement trauma informed practices in schools. There was also discussion on taking action through policy, social work and teaching practice, organizational efforts, cross-professional collaborations and the like. Participants engaged in roundtable discussions to develop and commit to efforts to integrate trauma informed practices into Michigan schools.
Please check back for information on the 2017 conference.