Bringing a trauma-informed systems perspective to child welfare outcomes research

Date 01/18/17 5:00pm to 5:00pm
Presenter(s) Christian Connell, Ph.D., Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
Location The Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building, Penn State


Child maltreatment poses a significant public health crisis in the US. Each year over 2 million cases of suspected abuse or neglect are investigated by state child welfare systems. Youth who experience abuse or neglect are at elevated risk of a range of negative behavioral health outcomes. Dr. Connell will describe his program of research, which uses a social-ecological framework to examine effects of individual, family, and contextual risk and protective processes on outcomes for children and their families following incidents of abuse or neglect. He will also discuss results of an intervention study testing the effects of community-based wraparound services to improve behavioral outcomes for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Finally, state and federal systems are beginning to recognize the overlapping effects of maltreatment and other traumatic experiences on the health and wellbeing of children and families. Dr. Connell will describe efforts to increase the capacity of state child welfare and behavioral health systems to provide trauma-informed services. Systems-level efforts show promise at increasing access to appropriate services and supports to promote improved behavioral health outcomes among youth who experience maltreatment and related traumatic life experiences.

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