60% of Educators Have NO Training in Trauma-Informed Practices

60% of Educators have NO training in Trauma-Informed Practices.

By Dr. Will Henson

I’ve been working with kids with challenging behavior for 28 years. I use trauma-informed practices because they are the most effective intervention I’ve found.  As a consultant, I’ve gone to this almost exclusively and moved my client districts toward this. I often wonder: why isn’t everyone using this approach?

A recent study showed that while 63% of educators had been trained to use PBIS, and 52% had training in de-escalation strategies only 27% of educators had training in Trauma-Informed practices (another 13% were unsure if they had). Meanwhile, data shows that up to 45% of students in school today are reporting the critical level of 3 or more ACEs. So why aren’t trauma-informed practices being taught in our schools?

In my experience helping districts become trauma-informed here are some reasons I encounter:

  1. People are unaware of the widespread incidence of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)
  2. People think that other practices they are doing are already sufficient.
  3. People think that trauma-informed practices only work for students who are identified as having had traumatic childhoods.

I believe that moving to a trauma-informed model is the best, and most effective, way to address challenging behavior, and support students. 

Comments (2)

Trauma-informed is descriptive of a body of knowledge which hopefully helps educators become trauma-sensitive. One can have all the information, but students need us to be trauma-sensitive which I believe informs behavior. Sensitivity impacts what I do in ways information might not. What can we do to increase trauma-sensitivity in school districts?

Thanks for your comment. We believe that the first step is to provide consistent, practical, and job-specific training to ALL school staff, not just on awareness of ACEs, but also training to change mindset, and tools for action. Trauma Informed practices are universally effective, and have broad impacts on students and staff. Our approach at 321insight is to support district and school efforts to help staff become focused on building student resilience by providing them with high quality and effective tools and materials to use to train.

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