ARC Reflections—ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP

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ARC Reflections—ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP

The Casey Foundation developed this training to benefit foster parents who are caring for children with traumatic experiences.

When and where

Date and time

Location

Online

About this event

Because foster parents play a critical role in supporting children in foster care, who often have experienced trauma, the Casey Foundation developed ARC Reflections, a nine-session program that child welfare agencies can use to train foster parents to better care for children who have had traumatic experiences.

A new skill-build­ing cur­ricu­lum to help fos­ter par­ents, kin and oth­er care­givers sup­port chil­dren who have expe­ri­enced trau­ma is now avail­able. ARC Reflec­tions pro­vides care­givers with tools and hands-on train­ing to help chil­dren and teens build healthy attach­ments with adults, reg­u­late their emo­tions and behav­ior and build strengths and com­pe­ten­cies that may have been dis­rupt­ed by expo­sure to trauma.

“ARC Reflec­tions is a free­stand­ing, in-ser­vice par­ent­ing course that adds a trau­ma focus to a child wel­fare agency’s array of resources for care­givers,” says Tracey Feild, direc­tor of the Casey Foundation’s Child Wel­fare Strat­e­gy Group. ​“If imple­ment­ed well, the cur­ricu­lum can reduce place­ment dis­rup­tions and fos­ter par­ent turnover and allow chil­dren and their care­givers to focus on build­ing a rela­tion­ship and permanence.”

Test­ed in six pilot sites in 2015 and eval­u­at­ed by Child Trends, ARC Reflec­tions — a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Casey Foun­da­tion and the Jus­tice Resource Insti­tute — was writ­ten by clin­i­cians Mar­garet Blaustein and Kris­tine Kin­niburgh, the devel­op­ers of the Attach­ment, Reg­u­la­tion and Com­pe­ten­cy (ARC) frame­work. A grow­ing body of research indi­cates that the ARC frame­work reduces children’s symp­toms of post­trau­mat­ic stress and increas­es their adap­tive and social skills.

Dur­ing the curriculum’s nine two-hour ses­sions, facil­i­ta­tors help care­givers prac­tice prob­lem-solv­ing skills that they can apply in their homes and rela­tion­ships. In addi­tion, ​“Olivia’s Sto­ry,” a com­pos­ite case study of a child’s expe­ri­ences at dif­fer­ent ages and devel­op­men­tal stages, rein­forces key themes and illus­trates strate­gies for help­ing chil­dren with their emo­tions and behavior.

The cur­ricu­lum encour­ages fos­ter par­ents to be curi­ous and reflec­tive about chil­dren in their care and gauge their own reac­tions and respons­es. Fre­quent ​“check-ins” allow adults to link their lev­els of ener­gy and emo­tion­al states with their abil­i­ty to be thought­ful, engaged caregivers.