Trauma Informed Care Tools: Screening, Assessment, and Intervention

Healthcare providers have the unique opportunity to intervene, and often times prevent, many adverse health outcomes, including medical traumatic stress. When a child is injured or diagnosed with an illness, all family members are at risk for medical traumatic stress. Unfortunately the level of distress experienced is often not apparent during interactions focused on medical treatment. With regular screening for pediatric medical traumatic stress, healthcare providers assist with the critical step of identifying families who would benefit from additional psychosocial support beyond trauma-informed care.


Healthcare providers can use the Pediatric Psychosocial Preventive Health Model (PPPHM) to guide assessment of psychosocial risks and inform clinical decision making (e.g., referrals for varying levels of psychosocial support). This preventive health model suggests that the health care team regularly screen every ill or injured patient and family for acute distress and risk factors to determine which children and families might need more attention (i.e., Targeted follow-up or Clinical/Treatment referrals) that go beyond the Universal provision of basic trauma-informed support and information for all pediatric patients and their families).

 PPPHM Risk Level

Trauma Informed Care Tools: Screening and Assessment

Screening and assessment allow health care providers to triage pediatric patients and families to the appropriate and needed level of psychosocial care. It is important to understand the difference between screening and assessing for psychosocial risk and pediatric medical traumatic stress.

 Screening or Assessment