Developmental Trauma + NEW Roots

Posted - February 4, 2020

“Trauma-informed ER”

“Trauma-informed schools”

“Trauma-informed case workers”

In the helping professions, “Trauma-informed” is quite the buzzword as of late. Parents and families in different fields must be asking, but why? What is all this trauma, and why is everyone so concerned about it? Simply put, when a child experiences Trauma, specifically, Developmental Trauma, it changes everything.


Developmental Trauma is defined by one of its top researchers, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, as “the experience of multiple, chronic and prolonged, developmentally adverse traumatic events, most often of an interpersonal nature and early-life onset” (2014). In layman’s terms, developmental trauma challenges a child’s ability to trust the very adults they should be able to lean on the most. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with the child’s relationship skills. We now know that the body, mind, and spirit all undeniably influence one another. Developmental Trauma can, and most often does, affect a child’s mental health, physical well-being, and view of the world around them.


This is where NEW Roots comes in, changing the path for this child and giving hope for a future full of health, relationships, and joy. NEW Roots is ready to plant seeds of nurture, equip families, and support a lifestyle of wellness in both the child and their family. We are deeply grounded in three areas to ensure we are always seeing and serving the whole child, rather than just focusing on academics, or diet, or counseling. NEW Roots is committed to serving every child as an individual and, providing the foundation for each child’s unique care plan. Every child will be part of both Nurture Group and Life Skills Group, and every parent will attend Trust-Based Relational Intervention® Caregiver Training. Beyond that, the program is completely personalized.


N: Nurture

            Our desire at NEW Roots is for children to learn how to give and receive care in the context of loving relationships, directly combatting the effects of Developmental Trauma. For this reason, every child in the program will attend Nurture Group. Every child will also attend a group titled, “Life Skills”, where children learn how to communicate their needs and emotions, as well as how to regulate these feelings. Initially, children all need to be taught how to feel emotions in a healthy way, be given language for these feelings, and eventually be guided through expressing feelings to others in a productive way. Eventually, they learn to regulate their emotions independently. Some children or families may also receive a counseling referral as recommended by the NEW Roots staff.


E: Equip

            NEW Roots will always be first and foremost advocates for the family system. We want your family to function at its best, so you can live life to the fullest, together! To ensure we achieve this goal, every family in the New Roots program will go through the trauma-informed and attachment-based program, Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®). This intervention is focused on providing practical tools for those working with children to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children.


W: Wellness                                                                               

As previously mentioned, trauma truly impacts the individual as a whole, including the body. That said, this can look very different in each child. Due to the unique needs of each child, this is where families will see the most diversity in program. NEW Roots partners with local grocers, chiropractic care, dietitians, therapy dogs, and more to ensure that the body is healed from the inside out. Not every child will need each service in this category, so it will be carefully crafted to the family’s desires and NEW Roots recommendations.


Developmental Trauma (DT) is devastating– plain and simple. It seeps into the hearts and brains of our most precious children, and if not addressed, will change them forever. NEW Roots knows that witnessing this breaks the hearts of parents in ways we can only imagine. We know parents and caregivers know their own children best. We see you as an integral part our program and are elated to see how all members of your family can grow with us. NEW Roots is so very passionate about nipping DT in the bud and tossing it out of the garden so children can bloom into their most gorgeous, flourishing selves. Visit us online to learn more about how we are planting seeds of hope today at:   


Author: Elizabeth Reese