Trauma-Informed Care


What is Trauma Sensitive or Trauma-Informed Care?

The term, “Trauma-Sensitive”, or “Trauma-Informed” as it is used in our school setting, refers to the way in which adults interact with students in the school setting in regards to all all aspects of their education; social-emotional, academic, and behavioral. Over the past two decades, many advancemenplcmurphy2ots have been made in our understanding of the impact of chronic stress or trauma on students and how this impacts their ability to learn and function in the school setting.  Schools across the country, including here in Olathe, have been utilizing this research and new knowledge about neurological functioning to help improve our ability to positively impact the lives of children who face many challenges.

In Olathe we have specialized programs like Claire Learning Center (on the campus of KidsTLC) and Prairie Learning Center that have adopted Trauma-Informed Care as their school-wide approach to working with students.  Additionally, many of our other specialized programs as well as our general education buildings are finding great benefits for students by adopting trauma-informed practices.

The primary goal in a trauma-informed program is to ensure that a student feels safe enough to learn.  This feeling of safety is established through connections with caring adults who are emotionally regulated, accepting, listeners, and empathetic.  By establishing feelings of safety, students are able to access the part of their b
rain that makes learning and thinking possible.  SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides an excellent description of trauma-informed systems:

  1. Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;pic1
  2. Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;
  3. Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
  4. Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”



More information can be found about trauma-informed programs and the impact of trauma on learning through the links below:

Olathe Public Schools’ Therapeutic Programs:

Claire Learning Center:

Prairie Learning Center:

Information on the Web:

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Written By: John Laffoon Date posted: October 4, 2016