Children Entering Foster Care with History of Abuse



Abuse and trauma are the most common reasons children enter the foster care system. In observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Trinity Youth Services (TYS) would like to focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that impacts children with history of abuse and the ways TYS cares for these children.

In a report by the Children’s Bureau, the following were six circumstances associated with the removal of a child from the home:

circumstances table

When a child is displaced from their home due to circumstance of abuse, they are faced with ongoing and difficult challenges. One major challenge is living with, and working to overcome, the anxiety and fears associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to a study done by SAFY, one in four youths in foster care will experience PTSD. In comparison to children not in the foster care system, the Harvard Crimson stated that foster children are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD.

When left untreated PTSD can result in severe consequences and possible impairments in functioning for their age. Children with untreated PTSD can develop anxiety resulting in anger management issues, hypervigilance, avoidant behaviors, panic, feelings of loneliness, depression, school problems and more issues that continue to impact their lives. To treat PTSD and other issues resulting from abuse, professional treatment is critical.

TYS understands the grievous impact of abuse on children, which is why mental health services can change the course of their lives. Each child who enters our care is given access to assessment, individualized treatment planning, and other treatment types tailored to meet their particular needs and achieve their objectives. Our therapists make certain that each child’s goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-related), that each goal addresses the reduction of symptoms related to their identified diagnosis, and interventions are selected which specifically address goals. All TYS staff are trained in Trauma-Informed Care, a variety of Evidence-Based Treatment Services (Seeking Safety, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing), and Promising Practices (Managing Adaptive Practices) are utilized to ensure the best practices are being implemented.

TYS offers a variety of programs such as our Foster-Adopt program, Home-Based Family Care, Intensive Services Foster Care and Mental Health Services. To learn more about our programs call us at (800) 964-9811 or email us at

Isabel Millward-Pena, Communications Specialist
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working at Trinity as an intern, was hired as clerical, and was then promoted to communications in our development department. Prior to her work at Trinity, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017. Isabel is an active member of Trinity’s Diversity, Inclusion, Value and Equity (DIVE) team and volunteers her time at the Children’s Foundation of America.

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