Installing trauma-informed care through the Tennessee Child Protective Services Academy

Psychol Serv. 2019 Feb;16(1):143-152. doi: 10.1037/ser0000320. Epub 2018 Dec 20.


The Child Protective Services (CPS) Academy was designed to equip members of the child-welfare workforce with knowledge that would assist them with addressing trauma in the lives of children and families. In its design, the CPS Academy applied principles of trauma-informed care, integrating evidence-based research, and a variety of clinical strategies into a comprehensive training program. Over a 2-year period, 277 frontline workers completed training through the CPS Academy. Data were collected as part of a quality-improvement effort to gauge participant satisfaction with the training platform. Participants reported that all components of the training were beneficial and relevant to their work in child welfare. Participants also demonstrated statistically significant improvement in trauma knowledge after participation in the CPS Academy (z = -4.73, p < .001), regardless of their level of education or years of experience in child welfare, F(3, 196) = 1.85, p = .14, ηp² = .03, 95% CI [0.00, 0.07]. Therefore, the content and structure of the CPS Academy can be implemented within large organizational systems to train child-welfare and CPS workforces efficiently and effectively. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Protective Services*
  • Child Welfare*
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Continuing / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Trauma / diagnosis*
  • Psychological Trauma / therapy*
  • Tennessee