Trauma Informed Early Childhood Services

The goal of this curriculum is to build New Hampshire’s capacity to provide trauma-informed early childhood services, including childcare, home visiting, early education, and health and mental health services. In doing so, we hope that you engage in trauma-informed care in your own setting and spread the message of trauma-informed care to cross-system partners. This curriculum is divided into four units which include an introduction to Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Services, and then cover the impact of trauma on young children in terms of their neurobiology and development, the screening and interventions used with traumatized children, and reflective practices used to work with caregivers and traumatized young children. Each of these units will help to build your capacity to provide trauma-informed early childhood care. As you complete each unit of the tutorial, you will be asked to submit an online assessment. At the end of Unit 4, you will be able to download a certificate of completion.

Unit 1: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Services

By the end of the unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Define a “traumatic event” for young children
  2. Explain 4 types of trauma
  3. Know the prevalence of trauma in young children
  4. Define trauma-informed care within the context of early childhood services
  5. Understand and value your role in helping young children impacted by trauma
  6. Explore your fears and your concerns about addressing trauma

Unit 2: The Impact of Trauma on Young Children: Neurobiology and Development

By the end of the unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic structure and development of the brain as it relates to trauma in young children
  2. Recognize the behavioral signs of an overused fear or stress response system in young children
  3. Understand how sensitization and desensitization of the human stress response system may manifest in the behavior of a young child
  4. Explain the impact of deprivation and neglect on young children and how they may be represented in behavior
  5. Know the primary criteria for diagnoses frequently given to traumatized children
  6. Know the functional impairments often observed in traumatized children
  7. Understand the long-term impact of exposure to trauma on behavior and health outcomes
  8. Understand the role of implicit and explicit memory in trauma and relationships
  9. Understand the concept of neuroplasticity and resilience as it pertains to recovery from trauma

Unit 3: Screening and Intervention with Traumatized Young Children

By the end of the unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Understand the purpose of screening young children for traumatic exposure and symptoms
  2. Understand the limitations of screening measures
  3. Identify opportunities for screening
  4. Identify 2 screening measures for trauma in young children
  5. Know how to introduce screening measures to families
  6. Identify when a referral for mental health treatment is merited
  7. Describe 3 key intervention strategies for traumatized young children
  8. Understand the parallel arousal cycle and know strategies to manage arousal
  9. Appreciate and deploy strength-based approaches to avoid an over-focus on problems
  10. Explain trauma concepts to caregivers

Unit 4: Working with Caregivers and Traumatized Young Children Using Reflective Practice

By the end of the unit, learners will be able to:

  1. Understand the conditions necessary to engage in a reflective relationship
  2. Describe the reasons why reflective practice is important when working with traumatized young children and their caregivers
  3. Intervene in conversation in a way that demonstrates reflective practice skills
  4. Explain the importance of reflection to a caregiver, colleague, or supervisor

Case Management/Care Coordination EBP Implementation Home Visiting Parenting Education Socio-emotional Development for Children

Healthy Start Regional Meeting (KS, IA, MO, NE, OK)

Meeting Materials:

Case Management/Care Coordination Communication Community and Organizational Partnerships EBP Implementation Strategic Planning

National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

Medical‐legal partnership (MLP) is an approach to health that integrates the work of healthcare, public health, and civil legal aid to more effectively identify, treat, and prevent health‐harming legal needs for patients, clinics, and populations. MLP addresses legal needs in the areas of income supports and insurance; housing and utilities; employment and education; legal status; and personal and family stability. MLP:

  • Trains healthcare, public health, and legal teams to work collaboratively and identify needs upstream;
  • Treats individual patients’ health‐harming social and legal needs with legal care ranging from triage and consultations to legal representation;
  • Transforms clinic practice and institutional policies to better respond to patients’ health‐harming social and legal needs; and
  • Prevents health‐harming legal needs broadly by detecting patterns and improving policies and regulations that have an impact on population health. 

Case Management/Care Coordination Insurance Coverage Other Risk Assessment

Healthy Start Regional Meeting (NJ, DC, MD)

Meeting Materials:

  • Meeting Agenda
  • Case Management-Care Coordination: Moving Participants from Here to There |  Slides
  • Understanding the Evaluation Process for Healthy Start Projects | Slides
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement | Slides
  • The Community Reference System | Worksheet
  • Top 100 Engagement | Worksheet
  • The Stakeholder Engagement Wheel | Worksheet
  • DC, MD, NJ Healthy Start Projects | Slides
  • MCH Title V Block Grant | Handout
  • Healthy Start EPIC Center | Services Offered Handout
  • The Healthy Start Collective Impact Peer Learning Network | Overview Handout

Case Management/Care Coordination Community Engagement Participant Recruitment and Retention Program evaluation

Healthy Start Regional Meeting (IL)

Meeting Materials:

  • Local Healthy Start Evaluation: Measuring Impact | Slides
  • Collective Impact | Recommended Reading
  • Sustaining Fatherhood Involvement Panel: Fathers as Assets to their Children, Families, and Communities | Slides
  • High Alignment/High Action | Handout
  • Action Aligned Commitments | Handout
  • The State of Infant Health in Illinois: Identifying Opportunities and Monitoring Change | Slides
  • Becoming Trauma Informed: Applying the Research to Our Work | Slides
  • Turn the Curve | Diagram and Questions
  • Person Role System Framework | Briefing Notes

Backbone Organization Case Management/Care Coordination Common Agenda Father/Partner Involvement Program evaluation

Healthy Start Regional Meeting (AZ, CA, NM, TX)

Meeting Materials:

  • BCFS Healthy Start Laredo | Slides
  • Recruitment Strategies | Slides
  • Addressing Healthy Start TA Areas of Interest | Slides
  • Effective Fatherhood Programs Q/A and Open Discussion | Slides
  • Healthy Start CoIIN Overview | Slides
  • Collective Impact – Peer Learning Networks | Slides
  • Building the Healthy Start Community | Slides
  • Healthy Start Regional Meeting: Techniques, Tools, and Treasures | Slides
  • Overview of Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement | Slides

Case Management/Care Coordination Community Engagement Program evaluation Quality Improvement

Ask the Expert: Reproductive Life Planning: Setting Goals for a Healthy Family

The CDC has recommended that everyone, both female and male, develop a Reproductive Life Plan. In this webinar, we will discuss what that means for participants in Healthy Start programs and, in particular, how it applies to contraception and preconception/interconception care. The benefits of reproductive life planning on maternal and infant health, as well as every woman’s hopes and dreams, will be emphasized.


After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe what is meant by a Reproductive Life Plan
  • Discuss the role of Contraception, Preconception Care, and Interconception Care in a Reproductive Life Plan
  • Identify benefits of Reproductive Life Planning


Webinar Materials:

Case Management/Care Coordination Reproductive Life Planning/Family Planning

Ask the Expert: Using Doulas as a Resource for Case Management

This webinar will focus on the role of case management in HealthConnect One’s community-based doula model. Documented impact achieved with this program will be presented. The webinar will also provide examples of how this model can enhance programs.


At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify two important functions of case management
  • Identify two positive outcomes of community-based doula programs
  • Describe three ways that community-based doula programs fulfill case management objectives

Webinar Materials:

Case Management/Care Coordination

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