Combatting the immediate and lifelong negative effects of repeated exposure to violence on children
Head Start-Trauma Smart (HS-TS) is an early childhood trauma intervention model that addresses the effects of complex trauma—such as community and family violence, poverty, illness, and homelessness— for young preschool-age children, their families, and the Head Start teachers who care for them.
The model gives all Head Start staff and parents training to create calm, connected classrooms and home environments that recognize and address behavioral and other problems triggered by trauma, and provide the supports for children to learn and thrive.
With the help of a $2.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Crittenton Children’s Center in Kansas City is replicating its HS-TS program into urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout Missouri. The expanded program will benefit an estimated 3,265 preschool students in 156 classrooms each year, for the next three years. The consistently positive HSTS outcomes suggest that the program holds promise to become a federally designated best-practice model to benefit the more than 900,000 children in Head Start programs nationwide.