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Centering trauma-informed approaches in schools within a social justice framework

NCJ Number
Psychology in the Schools Volume: Online Dated: 2022
Date Published
February 2022

This manuscript reviews existing efforts to integrate a social justice focus within the ongoing work of the Safe Schools NOLA project.


Growing evidence establishing the prevalence and educational consequences of childhood trauma has led to a national focus on equipping schools to support the specific needs of students who have experienced trauma. Despite clear evidence of disproportionate trauma exposure among students of color, most models of trauma-informed schools do not explicitly address the intersection of race and trauma within their system-level efforts to help staff realize the prevalence and impact of trauma, recognize the signs of trauma exposure, or respond in ways to avoid re-traumatization. This manuscript will review existing efforts to integrate a social justice focus within the ongoing work as part of the Safe Schools NOLA project. The authors present the conceptual framework and describe how principles relevant to social justice are intentionally integrated into strategies that support the adoption and implementation of trauma-informed approaches in schools. The authors also discuss limitations in the current approach and offer suggestions to support the development of trauma-informed schools that can advance a social justice agenda. (Publisher provided abstract)

Date Published: February 1, 2022