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Home » Student Success » Health & Safety » Mental, Social, & Behavioral Health » Trauma-Informed SEL Practices

Trauma-Informed SEL Practices

Contact Information

Tammy Bolen
SEL Program Supervisor

Diane Stead
Administrative Assistant

A trauma-informed school recognizes that trauma affects staff, students, families, communities, and systems. A trauma-informed child and family service system responds to the impact of traumatic stress on children, caregivers, and service providers. Programs and agencies within these systems infuse and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies.

By implementing a trauma sensitive approach, school personnel act as a protective factor in the lives of students - beginning the journey to health, building resilience, and supporting student success.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Children experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), or toxic stress, are at risk for developing changes in the brain that can affect coordination, cognition/memory, and how they feel. These problems can lead to long-term physical and mental health problems for some students.

Adverse Childhood Experiences can include:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Household substance abuse

  • Household mental illness
  • Parental separation/divorce
  • Incarcerated household member
  • Emotional neglect
  • Physical neglect


Fortunately, early intervention can mitigate some of the long-term adverse effects that children may experience. School personnel are in a unique position, having routine contact with children and an opportunity for providing the structure, consistency, predictability, support and sense of safety known as trauma sensitive care.