Supporting Young Children Experiencing Separation and Trauma
Resources for Adults Who Care for Them
Young children and their families can be tremendously affected by trauma, with significant implications for well-being well into the future. And while young children can be very expressive, they often do not have the skills or ability to use words to express how they are feeling. Adults may notice a variety of unexpected, atypical behaviors, and may need help understanding and nurturing infants and toddlers who have been affected. Fortunately, there are infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) clinicians across the country who have experience working with this population and are trained to provide developmentally appropriate, two-generation, trauma-informed services.
This page offers resources for families and caregivers working with very young children who have experienced trauma as well as connection to specialized mental health professionals who understand the needs of very young children. Please see the directory below to reach an IECMH contact in your state who has volunteered to field inquiries and make connections to resources and clinicians.
IECMH professionals have also developed numerous resources to help parents, caregivers, and other adults support children who are affected by trauma. Please take a look at the Featured and Additional Resources sections to find free materials in English and Spanish to support your work with infants, toddlers, and caregivers who have experienced trauma.
When We Are Scared (webinar for adults; Chandra Ghosh Ippen
Available in Spanish
In this webinar, the animals from the book “Once I Was Very Very Scared” share heir story and help others learn about stress and trauma. This webinar shares common reactions to stress and how to support healing and recovery.
After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal (NCTSN)
Young children know when bad things happen, and they remember what they have been through. After a scary event, we often see changes in their behavior. This tip sheet offers tips for parents to help young children heal after a traumatic event.
Psychological First Aid (PFA)- Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers after Disasters (NCTSN)
Available in English and Spanish PFA is an evidence-informed approach to help families in the immediate aftermath of disaster. This resource offers guidance to support infants and toddlers.
Psychological First Aid (PFA)- Parent Tips for Helping Preschool-Age Children after Disasters (NCTSN)
Available in English and Spanish PFA is an evidence-informed approach to help families in the immediate aftermath of disaster. This resource offers guidance to support preschool-age children.
State IECMH Contacts
|Alabama||Jacqueline Navidad||Help Me Grow Alabama|
|Alaska||Gail Trujillo||Alaska Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health|
|Arizona||Clay Jones||Arizona Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Arkansas||Jamie Ward||Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health|
|California||Jenni Silverstein||California Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Colorado||Jean Cimino||Colorado Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Connecticut||Margaret Holmberg||Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health|
|District of Columbia||Dorinda Williams||Georgetown University|
|Florida||Lisa Negrini||Florida Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Georgia||Gloria Smith Cissé||The Southern Center for Choice Theory|
|Hawaii||Gail Breakey||Hawaii Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Idaho||Carol Young||Aim Early Idaho|
|Illinois||Delreen Schmidt-Lenz||Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Indiana||Angela Tomlin||Infancy Onward|
|Iowa||Patricia Rogness||Children and Families of Iowa|
|Kansas||Beth Blubaugh||Kansas Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health|
|Louisiana||Devi Miron Murphy||Louisiana Infant Mental Health Association|
|Maine||Debra Nugent Johnson||Maine Association for Infant Mental Health, Inc.|
|Maryland||Kay Connors||University of Maryland School of Medicine|
|Massachusetts||Mathieu Bermingham||Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Michigan||Joni Zieldorff||Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Minnesota||Lauren Moberg||Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health|
|Mississippi||Linda West||Mississippi Families for Kids|
|Missouri||Holly Griffin||Missouri Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health|
|Montana||Robin Lynn Treptow||Wisdom for the Body & for the Soul|
|Nebraska||Samantha Byrns||Nebraska Resource Project for Vulnerable Young Children|
|Nevada||Rhonda Lawrence||Nevada Department of Health and Human Services|
|New Hampshire||Ellyn Schreiber||New Hampshire Association for Infant Mental Health|
|New Jersey||Terri Buccarelli||New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health|
|New Mexico||Anna Vendrely||New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health|
|New York||Wendy Bender||New York State Association for Infant Mental Health|
|North Carolina||Sharon Loza||North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services|
|Ohio||Twinkle Schottke||Ohio Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Oklahoma||Maggie Elder||Oklahoma Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Oregon||Sherri Alderman||Oregon Infant Mental Health Association|
|Pennsylvania||Una Majmudar||Pennsylvania Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Rhode Island||Jean Twomey||Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health|
|South Carolina||Kerrie Schnake|
|Tennessee||Angela Webster||AIMHiTN, Association of Infant Mental Health in Tennessee|
|Utah||Codie Thurgood||Utah Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health|
|Virginia||Judith Martens||Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health|
|Washington||Jamie Elzea||Washington Association for Infant Mental Health|
|West Virginia||Erin Roxby||West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association|
|Wisconsin||Lana Nenide||Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health|
|Wyoming||Michael Morgan||University of Wyoming|
If you are an IECMH professional and would like to volunteer to serve as a statewide contact for a state with no contact currently listed, please contact Lindsay Usry at [email protected].
Additional Resources for Parents, Caregivers and Other Professionals
Shelter from the Storm (ZERO TO THREE)
Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health Resource Collection (AAIMH)
Includes topical coloring book (English and Spanish) and resources for alternative caregivers as well as for parents.
Attachment Vitamins: Interactive Course on Early Childhood Attachment, Stress, and Trauma (NCTSN)
Traumatic Separation and Refugee and Immigrant Children: Tips for Current Caregivers (NCTSN)
Once I was Very Very Scared (Chandra Ghosh Ippen)
Key Points: Traumatic Separation and Refugee and Immigrant Children (NCTSN)
Select NCTSN Resources Related to Traumatic Separation and Refugee and Immigrant Trauma (NCTSN)
This page was created in collaboration with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Director, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Strategy