Child Traumatic Stress

Child Traumatic Stress

A trauma is an intense event that threatens a person’s life or safety in a way that is too much for the mind to handle and leaves the person powerless.

Child traumatic stress occurs when children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events or traumatic situations, and when this exposure overwhelms their ability to cope with what they have experienced.

 Children respond to trauma in diverse ways which may include:

    • disturbed sleep
    • difficulty paying attention and concentrating
    • anger and irritability
    • withdrawal
    • repeated and intrusive thoughts
    • extreme distress-when confronted by anything that reminds them of their traumatic event
    • psychiatric conditions or other behavioral disorders


Parents and caregivers can play and important role in helping children and adolescents recover from their traumatic experiences.  Seeking trauma informed care therapy.

To find out more about what is available for counseling, therapy and treatment, contact a family advocate located at a Child Protection Center near you:

Suzy Owens,  Blank Children’s STAR & Developmental Center, West Des Moines, IA


Angie Mack, Mercy One Siouxland Child Advocacy Center, Sioux City, IA


Heather Blauer, St Luke’s Child Protection Center, Hiawatha, IA


Jenna Wagner, Mississippi Valley Child Protection Center, Muscatine, IA


Katie Strub, Allen Hospital Child Protection Center, Waterloo, IA


        Melisa Wagler, Child Protection Response Center,     Davenport, IA