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SWK 4639H Special Topics in Child & Family Social Work: Core Concepts of Child and Adolescent Trauma - Elective

This course will introduce students to the core concepts (general theory and foundational knowledge) which inform evidence-based assessment and intervention with traumatized children and adolescents. Strength-based practice will be highlighted along with a focus on the identification of protective and promotive factors that foster resiliency and post-traumatic growth. Trauma is broadly defined, and includes children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events including, but not limited to natural disasters, war, abuse and neglect, medical trauma, and witnessing interpersonal crime (e.g., domestic violence) and other traumatic events. The course will highlight the role of development, culture and empirical evidence in trauma-specific interventions with children, adolescents and their families. It will address the level of functioning of primary care giving environments and assess the capacity of the community to facilitate restorative processes.

Using a problem based learning approach (PBL), students will apply the core concepts of trauma treatment to five specifically designed cases that reflect a distillation of the best evidence about the impact of trauma on children, adolescents and families. This provides the opportunity for in-depth case study and to experience “real” cases as they actually unfold in clinical practice. Within the PBL framework, each student has a crucial role in her/his own learning and in contributing to the learning of other students. This includes demonstrated ability to listen deeply and attentively, integrate knowledge from specific course readings, and actively volunteer and contribute to the class discussions of the cases and exercises. It is essential that you come to class prepared with questions that reflect your readings and insights. Readings will be available and need to be completed prior to class beginning. Students will also be required to complete the free online Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy training which complements the readings and class content.

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