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Trauma-Informed Practice with Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System
-February 6, 2013

In this NRCPFC webcast, presenters discussed a growing area of focus in child welfare – trauma-informed practice and intervention. During this webcast, Dr. Glenn Saxe and Erika Tullberg from the NYU Child Study Center provided information about how trauma impacts children, families, and staff involved in the child welfare system, and offered concrete ways that foster parents, staff, agency leaders, and other stakeholders can help mitigate trauma’s impact on children, families, and the child welfare system overall. During this presentation Dr. Saxe provided an overview of Trauma Systems Therapy, an evidence-informed, comprehensive, multi-pronged approach used by a growing number of child welfare providers that goes beyond a doctor and a child/youth in an office and takes into account a child/youth’s support system and home environment in addressing his or her trauma-related symptoms. The presenters shared information about resources that can support trauma-informed practice and intervention.

Erika Tullberg
Erika Tullberg is an Assistant Professor of Research at the NYU Child Study Center and the Director of the Atlas Project, an Administration for Children and Families-funded effort to address trauma and other mental health issues in New York State’s child welfare system.  She is also the Associate Director of the NYU Center Coordinated Trauma Services in Child Welfare and Mental Health, a National Child Traumatic Stress Network Treatment and Service Adaptation Center focused on developing trauma-informed child welfare systems, and a co-chair of the Network’s Child Welfare Committee. Ms. Tullberg was previously the Co-Founder and Administrative Director of the Children’s Trauma Institute, a collaboration between NYU and the New York City Administration for Children's Services, the city's public child welfare agency, where she was part of a team that developed interventions to address trauma and secondary trauma experienced by children, parents and staff in the child welfare system.  Prior to joining NYU, Ms. Tullberg was the Assistant Commissioner for Clinical Policy for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, where she led a multi-disciplinary department that planned, implemented, and oversaw program and policy development within New York City’s child welfare system in the areas of domestic violence, health, mental health and substance abuse.  Ms. Tullberg has a masters degree in public health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a masters degree in public administration from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.  She is also a parent to a 22-year-old foster care alumna.

Glenn N. Saxe, MD
Arnold Simon Professorship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. Saxe is a physician-scientist with a focus on the psychiatric consequences of traumatic events in children; he is especially interested in the identification of the bio-behavioral processes by which symptoms emerge and persist.  Dr. Saxe joined NYULMC as Chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Director of the Child Study Center in October 2010.  He came to NYULMC from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital where he served as the Associate Chief of Psychiatry for Research and Development. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Saxe has been a pioneer in research on the identification of bio-behavioral processes that lead to traumatic stress in children.  He is responsible for publishing some of the first studies of childhood Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), as well as initial findings of bio-behavioral risk factors for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in acutely traumatized children.  In 2005, his team published the first study of candidate genes as a risk factor for PTSD in children.  Dr. Saxe is also the principle developer of Trauma Systems Therapy (TST), a treatment model for traumatized children and families designed to be integrated into usual systems of care.  Currently, TST is used in over 40 agencies across 13 states.  The manual for TST, Collaborative Treatment of Traumatized Children and Teens: the Trauma Systems Therapy Approach, was published in 2006 by Guilford Press and was recently translated into Korean.   Dr. Saxe received his undergraduate degree from McGill University and his medical degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  He completed residency training in psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a fellowship in traumatic stress disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital in Boston.


Additional resources on trauma are available on the following websites/webpages: