The Book You Need to Provide Powerful Healing!

Trauma-Informed Care: the Restorative Approach is your step-by-step guide to implementing trauma-informed care in your child serving agency.


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Author Patricia Wilcox has written the essential guide to trauma-informed care with at-risk youth. Wilcox provides a foundational understanding of trauma’s impact on the developing brain, then details its implications for treatment, the promotion of pro-social behaviors, and improving the culture among clients and staff. Incorporating the key concepts of compassionate understanding, validation, skill teaching, and the primacy of trustworthy relationships for healing trauma and rebuilding connections in the child’s brain, Wilcox tackles some of the most difficult challenges in treatment settings with practical approaches grounded in theory and research. This book is an invaluable resource for parents, social workers, childcare staff, therapists, agency administrators, and anyone who cares about how kids are treated when they need skillful, trauma-informed care.

Comments by Trauma Professionals

“This remarkable and inspiring book has the potential to radically change child mental health treatment (and parenting) for children with challenging behaviors and histories of trauma. Integrating current research with practicality, compassion, and ethics, Wilcox presents a compelling case for ‘Trauma-Informed Treatment: The Restorative Approach’ as a best practice in trauma-informed child treatment.”
–Karen W. Saakvitne, PhD, author, Risking Connection

“Thank you again for sharing your experience so clearly in your book! It is not often that I read a book that is both extremely informative and extremely inspiring at the same time!”
–Russ Carlton, LPC, LMFT/Clinical Administrator, Grafton Integrated Health Network

“Pat Wilcox has written a book full of compassion and common sense.  She integrates the restorative approach with a trauma-informed one, enriching both in the process.  Her vast experience with children, youth, and their families is fully apparent here, as is her creative way of thinking about and working with them.  Pat tells important stories about young people and their traumas, about their responses to being traumatized, and about how a particular kind of setting with a particular set of staff behaviors might be most helpful.  Her bulleted lists of ideas are priceless and the volume’s valuable appendices are an additional highlight.  Pat’s deep caring for children and youth, their families, and the staff who serve them is evident throughout this important, new work.”

Roger D. Fallot, Ph.D. Director of Research and Evaluation; Community Connections; Washington, DC

“Trauma-Informed Care: The Restorative Approach is a solid contribution to clinical work with children and youth in congregate care and their families. Patricia Wilcox offers a smart relational approach grounded in trauma theory and brain-behavior research. She presents the theoretical basis for the restorative approach, describes the approach clearly and succinctly, and illustrates its application lavishly with clinical examples. Her style is conversational and collaborative. Wilcox’s vast experience with this population shines through in both the examples and the comfortable way she raises and addresses potential objections to using the restorative approach. It is a must-read for trainees and workers new to this field and a wonderful resource for administrators, families, policy makers, and staff at all levels of experience. . It is a must-read for trainees and workers new to this field and a wonderful resource for administrators, families, policy makers, and staff at all levels of experience. Anyone who works with this population or who is treating or raising kids can benefit from reading this fine volume.”

Laurie Anne Pearlman, Ph.D. Co-author, Risking Connection: A Training Curriculum for Working with Survivors of Childhood Abuse


Table of Contents

Chapter One: From Theory into Practice: The Importance of Trauma Informed Care

Chapter Two: The Restorative Approach: a Trauma-Informed Treatment System

Chapter Three: Stories from Everyday Life in Trauma Informed Care

Chapter Four: Changing the Definitions of Behaviors

Chapter Five: Dilemmas of Trauma Informed Care

Chapter Six: When Children Hurt Others

Chapter Seven: The Role of the Clinician in Trauma Informed Care

Chapter Eight: Trauma Informed Care for the Family

Chapter Nine: Trauma Informed Foster Care

Chapter Ten: Complimentary Therapies

Chapter Eleven: The Trauma Informed Agency

Chapter Twelve: Cultivating a Trauma Sensitive Staff

Chapter Thirteen: Transformation Process

Chapter 14 Sustainability

Chapter Fifteen: Evaluating Trauma Informed Care




Valuable Tools Included in the Book

Exercise: Taking Responsibility

How to Assign a Restorative Task

Task Planning Worksheet

Creating Restorative Healing Tasks

Examples of Tasks for Healing

Restorative Tasks for Making Amends

Outline for Case Presentation

Complementary Therapies for Trauma-Informed Programs

Sample ICPMP

Goals for Trauma-Informed Treatment Planning

Sample Handout: The Restorative Approach for Parents and Guardians

Sample Family Crisis Prevention and Management Plan

Team Self-Evaluation: Effective Services for Survivor Parents

Assessing Trauma-Informed Foster Homes

Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Behavior Management in the Home

Scenarios and Questions for Hiring Interviews

Trauma-Informed Care in Youth-Serving Settings: Agency Self-Assessment

Theory of Change Exercise for Staff

Sample Behavior-Management Policy

Sample Satisfaction Surveys, Family and Child

Indicators of Trauma-Informed Care: Staff Behaviors in the Milieu

Trauma-Informed Care Belief Measure