Prevention and Intervention Resources for Educators and School Administrators
According to the California Department of Education, nearly six million students were enrolled in grades K-12 during the 2021-22 school year.
A teacher, counselor, coach, or other school staff may be the only person who will report suspected abuse—and that child is depending on them to act (National Children’s Alliance, 2022).
Educators play an essential role in child abuse prevention. According to the California Department of Education, nearly six million students were enrolled in grades K-12 during the 2021-22 school year. Recognizing the signs of abuse and/or neglect is the first step, but educators must also have the tools to make a report and knowledge of how to support a student impacted by trauma. Educators who support students impacted by trauma are also vulnerable to experiencing the effects of trauma (National Traumatic Stress Network, 2022), which can contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, or symptoms of secondary traumatic stress. Resources are available to help educators address the issue of trauma and its implications for learning, behavior, and school safety.
A teacher, counselor, coach, or other school staff may be the only person who will report
suspected abuse—and that child is depending on them to act.
It’s also important that educators understand their role in promoting family engagement. Research shows that children with families engaged in their education have better outcomes (Waterford, 2022). Discover tools to help educators and families work collaboratively to ensure student success, both at school and at home. This post pulls together resources from local, state, and national organizations that are designed to support educators and school administrators in their efforts to keep students safe and engage parents in their child’s learning journey. Access various toolkits, guides, videos, and more!
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC)
Our partner project, the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC), promotes the effective implementation of evidence-based practices for children and families involved with the child welfare system. How do you know if the programs your school or school district are using have research that show they work? Whether trying to prevent child maltreatment, substance abuse and mental health disorders, or support the educational needs of youth at risk, it’s important to select programs with a proven data-based track record. The (CEBC) developed a guide, Does that School-Based Program Have Research?, which highlights programs from their website that all have published, peer-reviewed comparison research (i.e., research evidence) with outcomes that show the program was effective in one or more research studies.
California Department of Education (CDE)
Access information from the California Department of Education (CDE) on identifying signs of suspected cases of child abuse and/or child neglect; training and reporting requirements for mandated reporters; training guides and model practices for parents, families, and administrators; and technical assistance to promote child well-being and protection from abuse both at home and in the classroom:
Visit the CDE’s Specialized Program’s page to discover additional resources for educators, parents, and child- and family-serving professionals!
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Schools play a critical role in providing students with health education, helping students feel connected, and referring students to mental and physical health services. School connectedness can reduce student health risk behaviors and experiences. Check out the CDC’s School Connectedness Helps Students Thrive and Classroom Management pages to learn more. In addition, access the Back-to-School 2023: Healthy Youth, Successful Futures toolkit for resources and sample social media posts to promote student health and well-being as they head back to school.
The Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Center
For over 40 years, The CAP Center has been a state, national and international service, training, advocacy and resource center dedicated to protecting children and building healthy families. Visit the CAP Center’s Preventing Child Abuse page to learn five steps you can take to keep kids safe this school year and beyond. Another great resource is their If a Child Comes to You page, which walks through what to do if a child confides in you they have been abused.
This simple graphic from Childhelp describes a handful of signs to keep an eye on to ensure the safety of children and adolescents:
- Shrinks at the approach of adults
- Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
- Avoidance of certain situations, such as refusing to go to school or ride the bus
- Loss of self-confidence or self-esteem
- Frequent absences from school
- Lack of clothing or supplies to meet physical needs
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Teachers and other school staff are in an optimal position to prevent, identify, and assist victims of child abuse and neglect because of their frequent contact with students. Child Welfare Information Gateway has curated a collection of School-Based Prevention Programs and other resources from various local, state, and national partners. Examples of topics include:
- 7 Ways Teachers Can Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
- Care of Victims of Child Maltreatment: The School Nurse’s Role
- Child Protection in Schools: A Four-Part Solution
- Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms
- The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect
- The School’s Role in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
- Steps Toward Child Abuse Prevention & Creating Safe School Environments
- What Teachers and Child Care Providers Can Do to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
- What Is Child Welfare? A Guide for Educators
View their full collection of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs online here.
Institute of Education Sciences
Ensuring that all children are well prepared for elementary school is a priority for parents, caregivers, guardians, and policy makers. To address this priority, the What Works Clearinghouse™ (WWC), in conjunction with an expert panel, distilled recent contemporary research into seven easily comprehensible and practical recommendations for educators working in preschool classrooms or for those personnel supervising teachers and overseeing educational practices for preschool programs.
Recommendations in the Preparing Young Children for School: Educator’s Practice Guide focus on practices to improve children’s social-emotional and executive function skills; practices for helping children understand foundational topics in mathematics; and ways to improve children’s vocabulary, letter knowledge, print recognition, and comprehension. Download here.
Mental Health America (MHA)
Back-to-school time is always met with mixed emotions, especially for the growing numbers of youth that struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression. MHA now has new, free resources to help support parents, teachers, students, caregivers, and others during this time of transition. The 2023 Back-to-School toolkit focuses on an area that MHA has seen to be a key driver of youth mental health concerns: social media and online activity. The toolkit, Selfies, Social, & Screens: Navigating Virtual Spaces for Youth, provides educational information and tips on how to tackle some of the most common online stressors for youth, like social comparison, body image, misinformation, and cyberbullying. Download the toolkit today!
National Education Association (NEA)
The NEA is committed to advancing justice and excellence in public education through the expertise, drive, and dedication of 3 million educators and allies. Explore the NEA’s special collection of educational resources developed in partnership with WETA to help educators and families work collaboratively to ensure student success, both at school and at home. Resources include instructional videos with expert tips on reading strategies, information on special education, tips for English language learners, articles that highlight best practices, and more!
For educators working with students who have experienced trauma, NEA’s Trauma-Informed Schools page provides resources to help address the issue of trauma and its implications for learning, behavior, and school safety.
National Children’s Alliance
Child abuse thrives when good people decide it’s none of their business. The National Children’s Alliance has developed the #ItsYourBusiness campaign to spread awareness about the signs of child abuse and what it takes to make the report. Whether you’re a teacher, doctor, family member, counselor, coach, or just a friend, you can’t depend on anyone else to do something about what might be happening. Suspect child abuse? Do something. You may be the only one who will.
Learn more about the #ItsYourBusiness campaign and download graphics, videos, tip sheets, and more online here.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
The NCTSN works to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout the United States. The NCTSN has developed resources to help school administrators support the well-being of educators and to help educators reduce the impact of stressors brought on by vicarious trauma, including:
- Pause-Reset-Nourish (PRN)* to Promote Wellbeing: Use as Needed to Care for Your Wellness!
- Self-Care for Educators
- Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators Webinar
- Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for School Staff
- Taking Care of Yourself
- Psychological First Aid for Schools (PFA-S) Field Operations Guide
- Psychological First Aid for Schools Webinar
- Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed School System
Read the NCTSN’s August 2022 Spotlight Resource Guide to learn more about supporting educators through challenging times.
Office of the California Surgeon General
Safe Spaces: Foundations of Trauma-Informed Practice for Educational and Care Settings is free online training from the Office of the California Surgeon General designed to help early care providers, TK-12 educators, and other school personnel recognize and respond to trauma and stress in children. Each module focuses on a specific age group (0-5, 5-11, and 12-18) and is filled with case examples, videos, strategies, and practices. Modules are available in English and Spanish. Take the training today!
Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) │ National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC)
The Office on Trafficking in Persons’ (OTIP) within the Administration of Children and Families aims to combat human trafficking by supporting and leading systems that prevent trafficking through public awareness and protect victims through identification and assistance. Explore OTIP’s resources for school systems and educators:
- Human Trafficking School Safety Protocol Toolkit
- Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Education (HTYPE) Demonstration Program
- SOAR for School-Based Professionals: The SOAR framework is a trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically appropriate response to human trafficking. This free SOAR training is designed for middle school and high school staff. A Certificate of Completion is available.
Waterford.org partners with families, districts, educators, and communities to help every child build the skills they need to succeed in school and life. Browse the following articles for specific tools and tips on engaging families in the education journey:
- How Family Engagement Leads to Student Success
- How to Promote Family Engagement During the First Weeks of School
- How to Boost Family Involvement through Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Windows and Mirrors: A Framework for Inclusive Curriculum
Educators can also explore the Waterford Reading Academy, which is designed to guide PreK-2 students along an adaptive learning path. Specific resources for parents include Waterford Upstart— a free, at-home learning program to help prepare children to start kindergarten with confidence.
Additional Tools, Readings, & Videos
Attendance Works: Bringing Attendance Home
Committee for Children: 3 Reasons Why Educators Are Essential to Child Abuse Prevention
Prevent Child Abuse America Utah: Child Abuse Prevention: How to Make Schools Safer
Trauma Sensitive Schools: Why We Need Trauma-Sensitive Schools (Video)
Extend Your Learning with CalTrin!
Educators and school administrators who are interested in building their knowledge of child trauma and secondary traumatic stress can access free trainings through CalTrin! Our innovative learning model enables professionals to choose training and educational experiences that work for their schedule, learning style, and career path:
- Webinars & Workshops: View CalTrin’s training calendar for all upcoming live learning opportunities.
- Training Archive: Access recordings and resources from prior CalTrin trainings.
- Self-Paced Courses: Designed for those who prefer a guided learning experience.
- CalTrin Blog: Explore these relevant resource collections:
- Keys to a Successful School Year: Resources to Engage Parents and Support Families
- Supporting LGBTQ+ and Gender-Diverse Youth
- The Importance of Father Involvement and Resources to Promote Engagement
- Resources to Support Early Childhood Mental Health
- Resources for Supporting Military Families
- Part One: Overview of Child Development
- Part Two: Social-Emotional Development
- Part Three: Emotional Regulation
*Last updated August 25, 2023