TitleStrengthening children’s roots of resilience: Trauma-responsive early learning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLipscomb, ST, Hatfield, BE, Lewis, H, Goka-Dubose, E, Fisher, PA
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Date Published12/2019


  • Early care and education (ECE) is a promising avenue for nurturing resilience.
  • Roots of Resilience aims to strengthen trauma-responsive practice in ECE.
  • Examining program feasibility is important prior to investigations of impacts.
  • This preliminary study suggests that the Roots of Resilience program is feasible.
  • ECE teachers may also increase their knowledge and application of practices.

With the majority of children in the United States attending early care and education (ECE) prior to kindergarten (National Survey of Early Care and Education, 2016), the opportunity to reach children early, and strengthen resilience in the context of everyday life, is profound. Yet, ECE teachers often lack professional supports to meet the needs of children impacted by trauma (Cummings, Addante, Swindell, & Meadan, 2017; Loomis, 2018). The Roots of Resilience program was designed to address this issue through an online course and video-based coaching. Recognizing the importance of feasibility and of balancing rigor with relevance to create wide-spread change (Glasgow & Chambers, 2012), this preliminary study of Roots of Resilience focuses on feasibility and examines teachers’ learning and application of practices consistent with trauma-responsive care. Seventeen ECE teachers from family child care homes, centers, and Head Start programs participated. The majority (69%) had less than a Bachelor’s-level education. Qualitative and quantitative data sources included teacher surveys, quizzes, discussion board entries, workbook entries, coach ratings, and observations. Findings indicate that the program is feasible for ECE teachers and offer preliminary evidence that it may help teachers strengthen their knowledge and application of practices to identify and respond to children’s needs. An iterative development process and a strengths-based approach were identified as critical program attributes.

Short TitleChildren and Youth Services Review