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Identifying the trauma recovery needs of maltreated children: An examination of child welfare workers' effectiveness in screening for traumatic stress.

08:00 EDT 16th May 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Identifying the trauma recovery needs of maltreated children: An examination of child welfare workers' effectiveness in screening for traumatic stress."

Children in the child welfare system comprise a group characterized by exposure to trauma via experiences of maltreatment, under circumstances presenting multiple risk factors for traumatic stress. High rates of posttraumatic stress have been observed in this population. However, there is currently no standard for the universal screening of children in child welfare for trauma exposure and traumatic stress. This study examined the trauma experiences of a sample of maltreated children and whether their child welfare workers were effective screeners of traumatic stress symptoms. Descriptive and correlational analyses were conducted regarding a sample of children (N = 131) with trauma screenings completed by their child welfare workers and clinical measures of traumatic stress symptoms. Four hierarchical regression models were also examined to determine whether workers' screening information regarding child age, trauma exposure history and symptoms of traumatic stress were predictive of outcomes on clinical measures. The analyses revealed complex trauma exposure histories and high rates of traumatic stress symptoms among this generally younger sample of maltreated children. Additionally, the models supported workers' efficacy in screening for symptoms of total posttraumatic stress and specific trauma symptoms of intrusion and avoidance. Workers were less effective in screening for the symptoms of arousal. These findings support the importance of identifying the trauma recovery needs of maltreated children and the utility of child protection workers in assisting with the trauma screening process. Implications are provided for related practice, policy and training efforts in child welfare.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Child abuse & neglect
ISSN: 1873-7757
Pages: 296-307

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