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Department of Health and Human Services Releases Guidance on Victims of Childhood Trauma

August 5, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a comprehensive guidance letter to child welfare professionals and providers serving children and families who have experienced severe trauma. This guidance—based on emerging research and the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study—encourages the integrated use of trauma-focused screening, functional assessments, and evidence-based best practices to improve children’s well-being. Robert L. Listenbee, the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, wrote in a letter to the juvenile justice community: “The attached guidance, issued recently by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services … sets forth a clear pathway for those who work with children to integrate the use of trauma-focused … practices in child-serving settings to improve child well-being. It also outlines federal financial resources for addressing child trauma. I congratulate my colleagues at HHS for clearly showing us the way forward and commend the attached document to you.”


Download the HHS guidance letter.

Learn more about the Attorney General's Defending Childhood initiative.

Learn more about OJJDP’s publication series on the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence.