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Trauma Assessments/Consultations are intended for children who have been exposed to potentially traumatic events that can affect the child’s functioning in many areas. Early detection of trauma can minimize psychological and physiological risk to these children who often pose complex challenges for parents, caregivers and educators.
Often, such symptoms may not be immediately revealed and are misinterpreted as learning disorders or acting out. Many symptoms can manifest following trauma, including:
- sleeping difficulties
- significant mood swings
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Assessments are provided by a local team of interdisciplinary professionals from Livingston County who have received specialized training. The Trauma Informed Assessments are conducted with a child. Information is also gathered from a caregiver and professionals involved with the child.
The process involves exploring and evaluating the impact of abuse and/or neglect on children ages infant to 18 years old. Assessments evaluate various developmental domains that encompass:
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Consultation: A child who meets these criteria may receive a trauma consultation:
- Resident of Livingston County or in the county’s jurisdiction
- Considered to have a SED — Serious Emotional Disorder (SED is defined as a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder)
- Age infant to 18 years old
- Child has experienced trauma, abuse or neglect
Assessment: A child who meets the above criteria and one of these criteria may receive a trauma assessment:
- Is in—or at risk of—an out of home placement due to their behavior
- Is receiving or has received services from multiple systems or agencies
- Is receiving services but behavior continues to escalate or child is not benefiting from those services
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During a consultation, the team meets with the professionals and family members who are involved with the child and gather information on the young person. The team makes recommendations based on the information gathered and focuses on improving the child’s day to day functioning and supporting his or her safety in the community. Following a consultation, the team may recommend a full or partial assessment.
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Trauma Informed Assessments/Consultations gather critical information in various developmental areas of a child’s life to help create treatment recommendations that can ultimately improve their day-to-day functioning and keep them safe.
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The team is made up of local professionals including social workers, counselors, physicians, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Team members have received specialized training and coaching from the Southwest Michigan Trauma Assessment Center, a nationally recognized provider of trauma assessments.
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The Livingston County Trauma Informed Steering Committee promotes trauma informed practices in the county including overseeing the Trauma Informed Assessments, Trauma Informed Consultations and Caregiver Education Program. This committee is an interdisciplinary team of leaders from local human service organizations that offers oversight and provides gate–keeping functions for the program and the team.
The Livingston County Trauma Informed Steering Committee reviews all referrals and assigns cases based on criteria and community priorities. LACASA Center serves as the lead agency for this project.