Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2020


Students who have been exposed to trauma may face social/emotional, behavioral, or cognitive developmental delays, poor health, problems in school, and mental health issues. These effects may last into adulthood. The intent of a trauma-informed school approach is to break the cycle of trauma by identifying trauma in students, providing support and interventions to help students cope and heal, and helping prevent future trauma. In order to meet these standards, schools need to collaborate with families and mental health professionals. Teachers need the proper training in trauma recognition to be able to provide an environment for all students to feel safe and connected. In this literature review, the definition of trauma and the effects on brain development and health outcomes will be explained. Next, the principles of a trauma-informed school approach and steps for school districts will be discussed. Finally, obstacles for implementation, strategies for teachers, community involvement, and positive outcomes for students are described.