Web Resources – Trauma-Informed Courts

Lindsay StaresLindsay Stares, Communications Department, National CASA Association

Summary: The following publications provide further reading and more in-depth information on the subject of trauma-informed dependency courts.

Toward a Conceptual Framework for Trauma-Informed Practice in Juvenile and Family Courts
By Shawn C. Marsh, PH.D., Carly B. Dierkhising, MA, provided by The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

This article provides a discussion of the development of trauma-informed practice in juvenile and family courts, including the connections between developmentally-informed and trauma-informed practices and recent work using “trauma audits” to evaluate courts.


Ten Things Every Juvenile Court Judge Should Know About Trauma and Delinquency
By Kristine Buffington, MSW, Carly B. Dierkhising, MA, Shawn C. Marsh, Ph.D., provided by The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

This technical assistance bulletin highlights crucial subjects for judges to understand in order to best assist traumatized youth in the juvenile justice system. It includes useful definitions and a lengthy list of further references as well as information about the harmful impact of trauma on a child’s development and the beneficial impact of trauma-informed practice. 


Health Issues for Judges to Consider for Children in Foster Care
From the American Academy of Pediatrics and Healthy Foster Care America

This publication provides an overview of important health issues for children and youth in foster care, such as conditions which are found disproportionally among children in foster care. It includes thorough descriptions of many mental health concerns often related to trauma. The appendix also provides age-appropriate forms that judges can share with case workers or caregivers to obtain, record, and track relevant health information for individual children.


SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach
Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This publication features an extremely in-depth definition of trauma and the elements and principles that define a trauma-informed system. It also provides guidance for implementing these principles and a brief history of the study of trauma and collaboration across different sectors in recognizing the impact of trauma on different populations.


Social Policy Report, Volume 28, Number 1, 2014,published by The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).


  • “The Biological Embedding of Child Abuse and Neglect: Implications for Policy and Practice”
    Provides an overview of the research on the effects of maltreatment on children's health into adulthood, particularly in the area of neurobiology. SRCD has also created a two-page brief to complement the longer report.
  • “Neuroscience and Child Maltreatment: The Role of Epigenetics and Resilience in Maltreated Children”
  • “Neuroscience Enhanced: Child Maltreatment Interventions to Improve Outcomes”
  • “A Call to Action: Promoting Effective Interventions for Children in Child Welfare Using Neuroscience”


The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law has provided the following resources:

Establishing a Trauma-Informed Lawyer-Client Relationship

Communicating with Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma

These pieces provide detailed advice for attorneys working with young people who have experienced trauma. The author focuses on tips for building trusting relationships and improving communication which may be of use to anyone seeking to work with traumatized youth.

Both articles © Copyright 2014, American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission from the ABA Center on Children and the Law. All rights reserved. This article is part of a series on trauma and children in the child welfare system and will be compiled into a forthcoming book. For more articles, visit www.childlawpractice.org


Additional Resources provided by NCJFCJ:

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

NCJFCJ: Trauma Informed System of Care: Principles, Definitions, Resources and Tools

Trauma-informed judges take gentler approach, administer problem-solving justice to stop cycle of adverse childhood experiences


National CASA Association Reprint Policy

If an article published in The Judges' Page is reproduced, credit shall be given to the author(s) of the article, the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

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