It is estimated that approximately 90% of children in foster care have experienced a traumatic event, with nearly half reporting exposure to 4 or more types of traumatic events. Educators must remain alert to indicators suggesting a history of trauma and understand the difficulties foster youth may face regulating their emotions and behavior while in school.
A framework for foster youth trauma in the public education system identifies the interplay between macro-level forces, such as federal and state policy, and school and teacher micro-level forces.
The framework highlights the inadequacy of educators in identifying the manifestations of trauma, specifically in foster youth, and how the current implemented policy leads to misinterpretation of the outward behavioral displays of trauma as other behavioral issues.
IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL HEALTH POLICY, PRACTICE, AND EQUITY
Federal and state policies, school districts, teacher and principal practices, teacher and school administrator preparation programs must incorporate knowledge about trauma pervasiveness and the consequences of trauma on foster youth attitude and behavior in the classroom.
The framework guides change efforts toward improving school climate and culture through preparing school professionals to meet the diverse needs of foster youth and tackling those policies and behaviors that exclude foster youth from schooling.
School of Education
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Storey, V. A., & Roschanda, F. (2022). A Framework for Addressing Foster Care Trauma in the Public Education System: Perceptions and Implications. Journal of School Health, 93 (7), 621-627. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.13281