Presenter Information

Chelsea Williams, M.Ed., Hailey Murray, MS.Ed., Jay Moser, M.Ed., Heather Roesinger, MS.Ed., Tammy Hughes, Ph.D., ABPP

Abstract

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (n.d.) “…more than 80% of justice-involved youth report experiencing trauma, with many having experienced multiple, chronic, and pervasive interpersonal traumas.” Justice-involved youth at the Academic Institute -- a school within Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) that is tasked with educating children who are incarcerated at the facility -- sought guidance on how to support youth who have a history of trauma. The curriculum from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network called ‘Complex Trauma: A Guide for Youth and Those Who Care About Them’ was implemented with 25 students in small groups. Psychoeducational materials and activities addressed the definitions and personal responses of individuals who have been exposed to complex trauma. The program also addresses how trauma impacts these youth’s functioning, ways youth cope, and how to improve life after experiencing trauma. The student’s personal knowledge of the physical and mental health impact of trauma was measured. Art therapy was integrated into the modules to expand opportunities for therapeutic expressions. Student progress and counselor’s perceptions of the usefulness of the program are presented.

School

School of Education

Advisor

Tammy Hughes, PhD.

Submission Type

Paper

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Trauma-Informed Programming for Incarcerated Youth

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (n.d.) “…more than 80% of justice-involved youth report experiencing trauma, with many having experienced multiple, chronic, and pervasive interpersonal traumas.” Justice-involved youth at the Academic Institute -- a school within Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) that is tasked with educating children who are incarcerated at the facility -- sought guidance on how to support youth who have a history of trauma. The curriculum from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network called ‘Complex Trauma: A Guide for Youth and Those Who Care About Them’ was implemented with 25 students in small groups. Psychoeducational materials and activities addressed the definitions and personal responses of individuals who have been exposed to complex trauma. The program also addresses how trauma impacts these youth’s functioning, ways youth cope, and how to improve life after experiencing trauma. The student’s personal knowledge of the physical and mental health impact of trauma was measured. Art therapy was integrated into the modules to expand opportunities for therapeutic expressions. Student progress and counselor’s perceptions of the usefulness of the program are presented.