Free Resources for Building Resilience in Young Children who Have Experienced Trauma and Maltreatment, and Their Families

Here’s the April issue of April 2018 The Right Stuff – Building Resilience. This issue has free, readily available resources building resilience in young children who have experienced trauma or maltreatment, and their families. If this is a familiar topic, I hope you will find some new resources to support your work. If this is a topic you would like to learn more about, you’ll find information ranging from definitions to evidence-based practices you can use on a daily basis.


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Camille Catlett

Scientist Emerita



The Right Stuff

Resources to Help Realize the

Promise of Each Vermont Child




Issue No. 20  April 2018 



Featured Topic: Building Resilience: Resources to Support Young Children Who Have Experienced Trauma or Maltreatment and Their Families

Vermont’s Act 43, passed in 2017, reminds us that one in eight Vermont children have experienced three or more adverse childhood experiences. The Act also underscores how important it is for all early childhood professionals and leaders to be well-informed about, use, and share evidence-based resources and practices to support young children who have experienced trauma or maltreatment. This issue of The Right Stuff highlights free resources for learning about and implementing such practices in ways that build resilience and are responsive to the cultures, languages, and circumstances of each family.



The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress

This report, which was published in Pediatrics, presents a framework that illustrates how early experiences and environmental influences can leave a lasting signature on the genetic predispositions that affect emerging brain architecture and long-term health. The report also examines extensive evidence of the disruptive impacts of toxic stress, offering intriguing insights into causal mechanisms that link early adversity to later impairments in learning, behavior, and both physical and mental well-being.


In Brief: Resilience Series

Reducing the effects of significant adversity on young children’s healthy development is critical to the progress and prosperity of any society. Yet not all children experience lasting harm as a result of adverse early experiences. Some may demonstrate resilience or an adaptive response to serious hardship. A better understanding of why some children do well despite early adversity is important because it can help us design policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential. These three videos provide an overview of why resilience matters, how it develops, and how to strengthen it in children.


Position Statement on Child Maltreatment 

The position statement from the Division for Early Childhood outlines the expected role of special education professionals who directly support and care for children with disabilities who have been maltreated or are at risk due to factors within their environment. It also provides definitions of terms, action recommendations and guidelines for working with families. For a one-page summary, go to


Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities

This technical package offers strategies based on the best available evidence to help prevent child abuse and neglect. The strategies in this package include those with a focus on preventing child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place as well as approaches to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of child abuse and neglect. They range from a focus on individuals, families, and relationships to broader community and societal change. This range of strategies is needed to better address the interplay between individual-family behavior and broader neighborhood, community, and cultural contexts.


Ten Ways to Foster Resilience in Young Children – Teaching Kids to “Bounce Back”

This article highlights practices for professionals to use to foster resilience in young children who have experienced trauma.


5 Ways Trauma-Informed Care Supports Children’s Development

This website highlights five ways in which trauma-informed care can support children’s healthy development.


Adverse Childhood Experiences · ACEs Too High?

Ten types of childhood trauma are measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. This website will enable any individual to assess their ACE score and to obtain information about the implications of that score.


Adverse Childhood Experiences Resources

This website offers a variety of resources, ranging from materials to support professionals and families to model programs and the results they’ve achieved, as well as infographics, articles, PowerPoint presentations, and research.


Risk and Prevention of Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities

Children living with disabilities are three times more likely to suffer abuse or neglect when compared to those without disabilities. This January 2018 document from the Child Welfare Information Gateway describes the extent of the problem, risk factors, and prevention strategies. It also provides current data and research and covers issues to consider when assessing a child with a disability for maltreatment.


Sesame Street in Communities – Traumatic Experiences

This child and family friendly website features familiar characters from the Sesame Street show and provides activities, articles, workshops, and printable information. These include links to an app called, “Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame” and another app activity called “Art Maker” through which children can create art that helps express their feelings after a traumatic event.


Want more free resources about the building resilience? Look for the 7-page annotated collection, Building Resilience: Resources for Supporting Young Children Who Have Experienced Trauma and Maltreatment and Their Families, at this website:



The Right Stuff is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources for supporting the learning and development of young children who are culturally, linguistically, and individually diverse, birth to Grade 3, and their families. All resources are readily available and free. The Right Stuff may be freely shared or reproduced. Past issues are available at


The Right Stuff is compiled by Camille Catlett, supported by the Vermont Agency of Education, and funded by the Vermont Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.


To receive your copy of The Right Stuff each month, send an email with no message to      


To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at




FPG Child Development Institute

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

CB #8185

Chapel Hill NC 27599-8185

Tel: (919) 966-6635

Fax: (919) 843-5784



For FedEx, UPS, etc.

521 S. Greensboro St. Rm 111

Carrboro NC 27510


Web Sites (personal website) (FPG Child Development Institute)





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