• AAPA

Abuse, Neglect & Trauma


It is difficult to understand the connection of your adopted child’s current behavior and their past. With older children adoptions, it is likely that your child will have experienced some form of trauma. There are different types of trauma from sexual abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, physical abuse, etc. It is crucial to understand the length and frequency of the trauma. A child often doesn’t recognize that they have experienced abuse, neglect, or trauma. They have developed coping mechanism that helped them survive, however your role is to teach them how to heal and thrive.

When seeking professional help verify that the health professional is adoption competent, licensed and uses evidence-based interventions to treat trauma. For example, Trauma Focused -Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) has proven most successful for children and adolescents (ages 3-18). Talking with other parents can also help in getting recommendations of creditable health professionals in your area. Other topics that can overlap are: Loss & Grief and Professional Help. Also, if you have major concerns, please contact your AAPA caseworker directly. This resource guide is not an all-inclusive list, rather a tool to help you access the information you need.

AAPA Abuse, Neglect & Trauma (PDF)

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