Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care Into School-Based Programs

J Sch Health. 2017 Dec;87(12):958-967. doi: 10.1111/josh.12568.


Background: This article provides an overview of the rationale and process for incorporating trauma-informed approaches into US school-based programs, using school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programs as an example.

Methods: Research literature is reviewed on the prevalence and outcomes of childhood trauma, including the links between trauma and pregnancy. Information is then presented concerning the implementation of trauma-informed approaches in school settings, describing activities undertaken, barriers encountered, and outcomes achieved. Next, we describe the implications of this literature for school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programs, outlining the reasons for including trauma-informed approaches in these programs, the prerequisites for doing so, and some examples of successful implementation.

Results: Many children in our country experience trauma, placing them at increased risk of multiple health concerns including adolescent pregnancy. In response to this situation, some schools have successfully incorporated trauma-informed approaches into adolescent pregnancy prevention programs, as well as other programming.

Conclusions: Incorporating trauma-informed approaches into school settings, including school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programs, is a viable and important way to address the multiple needs of traumatized children.

Keywords: professional preparation of school health professionals; reproductive health; risk behaviors; school-based clinics; stress; violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control*
  • Risk-Taking
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Students / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries