Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE): An evidence-informed program for children with a history of trauma and other behavioral challenges.
Child maltreatment impacts approximately two million children each year, with physical abuse and neglect the most common form of maltreatment. These children are at risk for mental and physical health concerns and the ability to form positive social relationships is also adversely affected. Child Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) is a set of skills designed to improve interactions of any adult and child or adolescent. Based on parent training programs, including the strong evidence-based treatment, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), CARE was initially developed to fill an important gap in mental health services for children of any age who are considered at-risk for maltreatment or other problems. CARE subsequently has been extended for use by adults who interact with children and youth outside of existing mental health therapeutic services as well as to compliment other services the child or adolescent may be receiving. Developed through discussions with Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapists and requests for a training similar to PCIT for the non-mental health professional, CARE is not therapy, but is comprised of a set of skills that can support other services provided to families. Since 2006, over 2000 caregivers, mental health, child welfare, educators, and other professionals have received CARE training with a focus on children who are exposed to trauma and maltreatment. This article presents implementation successes and challenges of a trauma-informed training designed to help adults connect and enhance their relationships with children considered at-risk.
Gurwitch, RH; Messer, EP; Masse, J; Olafson, E; Boat, BW; Putnam, FW
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