Building Trauma-Informed Services and Supports for Children, Families and Foster Caregivers Involved with the Child Welfare System

One-third of all children in the foster care system in the United States are between the ages of 1 and 5. This has significant implications for how we think about caring for and supporting children and their families within the child welfare system. Research has demonstrated that young children with secure attachments to nurturing and responsive primary caregivers have better outcomes as they grow and mature. Abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences that occur within compromised caregiving environments may create potential risks for children’s attachment relationships and their ongoing development. This activity will identify core elements of a trauma-informed child welfare system, and discuss best practices for building services and supports that strengthen children’s relationships with caregiving adults and foster resilience and well-being.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to

  • Define the core elements of a trauma-informed child welfare system
  • Describe protective factors contributing to the well-being and resilience of children who have experienced abuse, neglect and other trauma
  • Explain the developmental needs and trauma-related responses of children in the foster care system
  • Identify best practices for delivering trauma-informed services and supports for children in foster care
  • Discuss strategies for how child welfare and allied health practitioners can be responsive to the needs and trauma-related responses of children in their care

Blumenfeld Susan Blumenfeld, MSW, LCSW
Child Trauma Training Director
National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health
Chicago, Illinois

About the Presenter
Susan J. Blumenfeld, MSW, LCSW, is the Child Trauma Training Director for the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health, based in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Blumenfeld is an experienced mental health clinician, consultant and trainer for children and families affected by domestic violence, child abuse and other trauma.  She trains locally and nationally and mentors others to build trauma-informed services for families impacted by interpersonal violence.

Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Blumenfeld worked in home- and community-based children’s mental health and child welfare programs with experience as a clinician, supervisor, program manager and senior leader.

Ms. Blumenfeld is a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois with over 35 years of experience in developing more responsive community-based services and systems for children and families affected by trauma and violence. She received her Bachelor's degree from Washington University (St. Louis), her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois (Chicago) and a postgraduate certificate in infant mental health from the Erikson Institute (Chicago).

Disclosures of Relevant Financial Relationships
In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM, OptumHealth Education requires all those involved in the development of activity content to disclose their relevant financial relationships. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if such person (or their spouse/partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the last 12 months with a commercial interest whose products or services are discussed in the activity content over which the individual has control.
OptumHealth Education ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

Presenter Disclosure
Susan Blumenfeld, MSW, LCSW has indicated that she has no relevant financial relationships.

Activity Planners
Sarah Chart, RN
Senior Director
OptumHealth Education

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

V. Silverstein, MD
Eagle Creek Medical Communications
Durham, North Carolina

Activity Planner Disclosures
Sarah Chart and Rebecca Gleason reported that they are employees of and own stock in UnitedHealth Group.
V. Silverstein, MD has indicated that she has no relevant financial relationships.

Method of Participation
There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this activity.
For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.

Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the activity, which includes the following:

  • Completing the entire activity
  • Completing the Pre- and Post-Activity Assessments, Activity Evaluation, and Application for Certificate of Credit forms

You must be logged into your account to participate in this activity. Get started by clicking “Begin” and viewing the “CE Info”; then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen. At the end of the activity, you will be able to view, save, or print your certificate of participation. The Area of Practice you indicated in your profile corresponds with your certificate type. A complete listing of all of your activities can be found under “My Account”, “My Activities.”

Method for Calculating CE Credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealthcare – Community & State. OptumHealth Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Designation Statements
OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Physician Assistants
The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse Practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been pre-approved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization to which you wish you apply credit.

Provided By
This activity is jointly provided by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealthcare – Community Plan.

Commercial Support
There was no commercial support received for this activity.

Hardware/Software Requirements
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, peer support specialists, foster parents and others who have an interest in topics relevant to child welfare.
Please see below for a list of certifications that have been applied for and/or designated for this activity.

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
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