Trauma-Informed Practice & Resilience

Providing expertise and resources to help overcome trauma and its effects and encourage environments designed for safe, healthy, and engaged learning.

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Overview

The enduring impacts of childhood trauma are widespread. Many educators and other child- and youth-serving professionals see the effects of trauma in their environments every day.

Knowledge, skills, and services are required to help boost resilience, promote well-being, and mitigate the impacts of trauma for children nationwide.

Trauma-Informed Practice & Resilience at WestEd works to ensure all children thrive by supporting child- and youth-serving systems in these ways:

  • Ensuring adults recognize trauma and have effective tools and strategies to serve children and youth who are experiencing trauma and its effects
  • Encouraging awareness of the importance of staff self-care and wellness practices to improve the sustainability of trauma-informed practices
  • Promoting trauma-informed leadership, policies, practices, norms, and environments

WestEd is addressing the challenge of the opioid epidemic and its widespread impact through cross-sector collaboration and the development of trauma-informed systems that support teaching and learning.

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At its foundation, Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP) recognizes that a child’s history of trauma impacts their development, learning, emotions and behavior.”

– Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children by Julie Nicholson, Linda Perez, & Julie Kurtz

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Guiding Principles

WestEd delivers solutions to help integrate trauma-informed practices with other whole-child initiatives, such as social and emotional learning approaches, restorative practice approaches, and school climate and culture efforts.

We are guided in this work by the WestEd mission, vision, and values. We also strengthen our work with you in accordance with the following principles.

  • Equity

    We will seek to strengthen children, families, and communities, especially those who have been underserved.

  • Courage

    We will be data-driven in our work, think creatively and expansively, try new approaches, and share important evidence-based findings.

  • Collaboration

    We will collaborate across sectors and disciplines. We will work to surmount the barriers and obstacles 
between us.

  • Asset-Based

    We will value the individuals, families, and communities we serve and the expertise they bring to this work.

  • Sustainability

    To promote equity and build capacity, we will support individuals, organizations, and communities in leading and sustaining their own work.

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Services

WestEd brings deep experience and understanding to provide support for children, youth, and families, especially those who have experienced poverty, homelessness, foster care, immigration, physical or sexual assault, learning or developmental challenges, and racial or gender discrimination.

WestEd is also actively addressing the impacts of the opioid epidemic by promoting the development of trauma-informed systems that support teaching and learning.


Our service focus, designed around your needs, includes the following solutions.

  • Professional Learning

    WestEd delivers in-person, virtual, and hybrid training and coaching. Our work supports a range of customizable formats, including support for Train-the-Trainer (TTT) and/or coaching models, Communities of Practice/Professional Learning Communities, and support for creation of credit-bearing courses.

  • Systems Building

    Our work includes support for workgroup/steering committee facilitation, strategic planning, meeting facilitation, and systems design including cross-sector convening and collective action facilitation.

  • Research & Evaluation

    WestEd partners with child- and youth-serving organizations to design experimental and quasi-experimental studies and program and economic evaluations.

  • Finance & Policy

    Our expertise includes identifying creative financing strategies, conducting policy reviews, and other related activities.

Contact Us to Learn More

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Impact

WestEd improved the confidence of our teaching and support staff in implementing trauma-responsive practices. The training was supportive of participants and gave them strategies to build a trauma-responsive classroom to support all children and families.”

– Cheryl Horney, M.A., Child Development Program Director

This [TIP-ECE] training exceeded our expectations and we look forward to bringing additional trainings to our community.

– Tammy Burns, Manager, Early Childhood Council of Kern Bakersfield, CA

[Our training] has provided staff with the tools necessary to work with the populations we serve on a daily basis, and at the same time trained staff on how to recognize their own triggers and take care of themselves in the process.

– Stacy Barnett, Child Development & Shelter Services Manager, Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault, Bakersfied, CA

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Team

Our team is comprised of leaders from education, health, mental health, and other professions who are highly skilled bringing evidence-based and promising approaches to clients working directly with trauma-impacted children.


  • BethAnn BerlinerBethAnn BerlinerBethAnn Berliner is a Senior Researcher and Project Director with more than two decades of research and technical assistance experience working across sectors to improve the academic and health outcomes of preK–12 students.View Full Bio
  • Jenny BetzJenny BetzJenny Betz is a School Climate Specialist in WestEd’s Health & Justice Program, providing coaching, training, and technical assistance with an emphasis on school climate and culture, trauma-informed practices and systems, equity, stakeholder engagement, youth leadership, bias-based bullying, and sustainability.View Full Bio
  • Cecelia DodgeCecelia DodgeCecelia Dodge is a Project Director with more than 25 years’ experience as a leader in special education. She works with school districts and state agencies to build fruitful relationships with stakeholders and to improve system and student outcomes.View Full Bio
  • Karen Moran FinelloKaren Moran FinelloKaren Moran Finello, PhD, is an applied developmental psychologist with a specialization in birth to five-year-olds and their families and works as Project Director in WestEd’s Center for Prevention & Early Intervention.View Full Bio
  • Sarah NadivSarah NadivSarah Nadiv directs early learning and trauma-informed practice for WestEd’s Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center and provides technical assistance to states on topics related to infant and early childhood development and mental health.View Full Bio
  • Christina PateChristina PateChristina Pate is a Senior Associate and Project Director with 15 years of experience in education, public health, wellness services, and service systems.View Full Bio
  • Natalie WalrondNatalie WalrondNatalie Walrond serves as Director of Cross-Sector Initiatives. In this role, she currently develops WestEd’s projects that invite partnership across social sectors (such as health, justice, and child welfare) to strengthen children, families, and communities.View Full Bio