Date of Award

Summer 5-24-2020

Document Type

Education 590 Project

Degree Name

Master of Education



Department Chair or Program Director

Vernimb, Peter Ed. D.

First Advisor

Vernimb, Peter Ed. D.

Major or Concentration



Educating today’s youth has many challenges, but the ever-growing population of students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences poses the greatest difficulty to educational professionals due to the lack of resources and knowledge available. Many students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences have unwanted behaviors that educators are not equipped to deal with due to the lack of knowledge of trauma-informed care. Trauma informed care needs to be integrated into all schools. This will allow equal access to public education for all students, even those seen as troubled due to circumstances beyond their control.

There are many factors that can influence the resiliency and social-emotional health of students who have been affected by adverse childhood experiences. As schools begin to recognize the symptoms of trauma and educate staff members on this recognition, schools will begin to see more students succeed. The strategies to deal with students who have been impacted by trauma need to be easily available to educators to allow all students to have access to a positive school climate that is conducive to learning, not just students unaffected by trauma. Often, students affected by ACEs are seen as problems with no solutions. This mindset needs to change, just as the mental health of our youth is ever-changing.

The number of children exposed to adverse childhood experiences is increasing at an alarming rate. Children who have been affected by adverse childhood experiences have faced varying degrees of abuse throughout their childhood to include sexual, mental, physical, emotional and substance abuse which can significantly alter the health and well-being of a child (Soleimnapour, Geirerstanger, & Brindis, 2017) (Sciearaffa, Zeanah, P., & Zeanah, C, 2018). The negative effects of adverse childhood experiences and the lack of resources available to students exposed to adverse childhood experiences are disheartening. The integration of trauma informed care in our schools needs to become a priority if the desire for all students to succeed continues to remain at the forefront of our policymakers.

Along with the integration of trauma-informed care, resources such as screening inventories measuring a student’s resiliency or the number of adverse childhood experiences, a child has experienced need to be available to use with students suspected of having been exposed to ACEs. Once educated in trauma-informed care, educators will be more apt to recognize the signs of trauma within a child. Educators can utilize the screening inventories to guide future interactions with students who have been affected by trauma.