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Children in foster care have experienced significant trauma due to the loss of primary attachment figures and the circumstances associated with that loss. Children who have suffered trauma generally present with cognitive, social, physical, and emotional vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are often expressed in the P–12 academic setting through difficulties with behavioral and emotional self-regulation, academic functioning, and physical ailments and illness related to chronic stress-induced compromised immune systems. This results in academic failure for half of all children in care. Training in how to respond to children who have suffered trauma is essential to ensure that children are comfortable and feel secure in the classroom so that they can access their education. To that end, a framework to support children in P–12 settings who are particularly vulnerable to academic failure due to trauma is presented.


Originally published in The Journal of At-Risk Issues, 20(1), 10-16.