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Trauma Screening & Assessment

As of July 1, 2023 it is now required by Florida Statute (SB-1064) that every child entering out-of-home care receives a trauma screening and assessment if needed. All Star Children’s Foundation (ASCF) provides trauma screening and assessment services to children in Florida’s Circuit 12. For further information about trauma screening and assessment services, please see FAQ’s below.

Frequently Asked Questions

The exact components of a trauma screen may vary depending on a child’s age and developmental level, but generally include the following: 

  1. Introduction and rapport building with clinician 
  2. Explanation of trauma screening purpose and procedures, as well as how results will be used 
  3. Administration of a developmentally-appropriate trauma screening measure that assesses trauma exposure history (what has happened to the child) and how a potentially traumatic past has impacted the child’s emotional, social, and behavioral functioning. 
  • Children functioning at 8 years of age and above will be asked to self-report trauma history and symptoms.  
  • Trauma screening for children functioning younger than 8 will include caregiver report. 
  1. For those children who screen positive for trauma history and symptoms, a trauma assessment will then be administered in the same session. 
  2. Same-day feedback provided to child and caregiver about how trauma may be impacting child’s current functioning, along with recommendations for services and supports. 

A trauma assessment includes a more detailed look at a child’s potentially traumatic experiences (e.g., age trauma(s) occurred, frequency, length of time, etc.) and how these experiences influence a child’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors across settings. This includes structured caregiver and child interviews, along with child self-report (if appropriate) and caregiver report on standardized measures of child/youth emotional and behavioral functioning. 

Children who have experienced change and adversity in their lives often benefit from preparation for appointments and meetings. It is important to communicate what the child will be doing and why in a developmentally appropriate way that your child can understand. Below is an example of one way to prepare your child for his/her trauma screening appointment. 

“On [day/time], we will be going to All Star Children’s Foundation for an appointment. We will be there from [time] to [time]. All Star is a place that helps children who have been through changes in their family. You will be meeting with a counselor who will ask you questions to learn about you, what do well, and what you may need some help with as you adjust to this new living situation. The people at All Star want to make sure you have all you need to be healthy and happy so it is important to be as honest as possible and tell them what you think you need.” 

Feel free to bring whatever you may need during the 2-hour appointment to occupy yourself. Depending on the time of your appointment and age of the child, you may want to bring a drink and snacks.  

Yes. All Star requires that a parent or guardian is present at our facility for the duration of a child’s appointment. This is likely a challenging time for your child and the presence of someone familiar may help him/her feel more safe and secure in our setting. Depending on the nature of the child’s removal and current functioning, we may also need you to provide additional information through interview or standardized reporting forms.  

The provider meeting with you and your child will provide verbal feedback regarding screening/ assessment results and recommended follow-up steps.  

Following your child’s appointment, All Star will send a written report with findings and recommendations to the Safe Children Coalition (SCC) and CBHA assessor working with your child. To obtain a copy, please contact your child’s child welfare case manager. 

All Star Children’s Foundation is a foster care campus and outpatient services center that provides assessment and therapeutic intervention services to children and families in the community with child welfare involvement. All Star also offers a variety of trauma training programs to foster parents and various community members/organizations.  

For any questions regarding screening and assessment at All Star, please contact either Kristin Hoffman, Ph.D. (kristinh@allstarchildren.org) or Chelsea Hernandez (chelseah@allstarchildren.org) or via phone at 941-217-6503.