First and foremost, caregivers must remember that trauma-effected youth are simply not a composite of their deficits, but are whole beings, with strengths, vulnerabilities, challenges, and resources.
“That’s where we come in as some of those resources,” Tomka said. “The framework seeks to recognize factors that derail normative development, and work with youth, families, and systems to rebuild healthy developmental pathways. Systems is really where we come in, and the school system is really a critical part of that.”
Caregivers can then begin implementing the three pillars of the ARC Framework.
- Attachment: Creation of a safe caregiving system able to support youth in meeting developmental, emotional, and relational needs.
- Regulation: The ability to safely regulate, identify, tolerate, and share experience on emotional, physiological, cognitive, and behavioral levels.
- Competency: Support in the mastery of an array of tasks crucial to resilient outcomes, including the ability to set goals and make active choices to develop an appropriate sense of self.
Trauma-effected youth “need relationships with adults to become resilient, and this is one of the things they struggle with,” Simari added. “The takeaway for caregivers and teachers is that you can be that person that can make the child resilient.”
Watch the webinar to learn more about engaging students who have been impacted by trauma and adversity.