Working with Traumatized Youth in Child Welfare

Edited by Nancy Boyd Webb

October 28, 2005
ISBN 9781593852245
Price: $45.00
316 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"

Until recently, there has not been a great deal of overlap in the child welfare and trauma literatures. This text bridges that divide by integrating perspectives from both fields to help practitioners understand and address the special needs of maltreated children and adolescents and their families. Current knowledge on attachment, trauma, and risk and resilience is clearly explained, including the impact of abuse on the brain. Readers learn how to conduct assessments and implement a range of effective helping strategies with youth in foster care and other settings. Featuring extensive case illustrations, the book gives particular attention to diversity issues and the importance of supporting child and family strengths.

This title is part of the Clinical Practice with Children, Adolescents, and Families Series, edited by Nancy Boyd Webb.

“A text that is exceptionally well grounded with regard to concepts, theory, practice, and evidence. It is a book that lays a foundation and a challenge for bridging the gap between child welfare and mental health systems in order to optimally help traumatized youth and families....This edited volume ends with an extremely valuable appendix that lists child- and trauma-related organizations, national child welfare resource centers, training and certification programs, and child- and trauma-related professional journals....The text will be of value to all who lead, educate for, and practice within systems striving to work competently and compassionately with traumatized youth and families. Working with Traumatized Youth in Child Welfare is much more than its title—it defines gaps in trauma work and constructs some sturdy bridles for the benefit of children, adolescents, families, and clinicians.”

Clinical Social Work Journal

“Makes a good contribution toward providing practitioners who have not had training in disaster mental health or trauma, with information and resources....Webb's book is a helpful guide to practice, and it includes a wide span of possible interventions and related issues....A useful tool in examining pertinent issues related to work with child trauma survivors in the child welfare system.”


“This book is a 'must read' for anyone administrating, investigating, monitoring, or caring for youth in the child welfare system. It supplies basic information for students in mental health and other fields who plan to provide care or treatment for this population. Chapters define problems faced by the child welfare system and the youth and family members under its care, review the effects of maltreatment on the developing brain, and detail treatment methods and interventions that may assist youths’ recovery from (often multiple) traumas.”

—Kathleen Nader, DSW, Austin, Texas

“This refreshing and long-needed book will open new possibilities for interventions with children and families in the child welfare system. It offers a compelling review of the impact of trauma on a child's brain and development. The assessment and intervention methods, resources, and case examples in every chapter brilliantly integrate theory and practice and support the development of skills that are critical for this work. This is a 'must read' for clinicians, child welfare workers, and program managers, and a great text for students preparing for child welfare practice.”

—Pat Sandau-Beckler, PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, New Mexico State University

“Nancy Boyd Webb is a nationally known expert in child treatment, and this timely volume will be a welcome contribution for current and future child welfare practitioners. The book guides the reader through the latest theories and research on the association of early life trauma with developmental psychopathology, then presents empirically based treatment strategies for traumatized maltreated youth. Ideal for undergraduate and graduate classrooms in social work, psychology, nursing, special education—wherever concern for the mental health of maltreated children is found.”

—Martha Morrison Dore, PhD, Adelphi University School of Social Work

Table of Contents

Foreword, James R. Dumpson


1. The Nature and Scope of the Problem

Anthony N. Maluccio

2. The Impact of Trauma on Youth and Families in the Child Welfare System

Nancy Boyd Webb

3. Applying the Principles of Neurodevelopment to Clinical Work with Maltreated and Traumatized Children: The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics

Bruce D. Perry

4. Assessment of Trauma in Children and Youth

Mark Cameron, Jennifer Elkins, and Neil Guterman

5. Family and Social Factors Affecting Youth in the Child Welfare System

Gary R. Anderson and John Seita



6. Selected Treatment Approaches for Helping Traumatized Youth

Nancy Boyd Webb

7. The Intergenerational Transmission of Family Violence

Elizabeth M. Tracy and Pamela J. Johnson

8. Ethnically Sensitive Practice with Children and Families

Carmen Ortiz Hendricks and Rowena Fong

9. Children with Disabilities in Child Welfare: Empowering the Disenfranchised

Patrick Shannon

10. Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Traumatized Children in Out-of-Home Care

David A.Crenshaw and Kenneth V. Hardy

11. Animal-Assisted Pychotherapy and Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy

Susan M. Brooks

12.Treating Traumatized Adolescent Mothers: A Structured Approach

Ruth DeRosa and David Pelcovitz

13. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing with Traumatized Youth

Ricky Greenwald



14. The View from the Child Welfare System

Vincent J. Fontana and Mayu P. B. Gonzales

15. The View from the Mental Health System

Marilyn B. Benoit


Child-Related and Trauma-Related Professional Organizations

National Child Welfare Resource Centers

Training Programs and Certifications

Child-Related and Trauma-Related Professional Journals

Additional Trauma Resources


About the Editor

Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, LICSW, RPT-S, is a leading authority on play therapy with children who have experienced loss and traumatic bereavement. She is University Distinguished Professor Emerita of Social Work in the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University, where she held an endowed Chair in Child Welfare Studies and founded the Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Child and Adolescent Therapy. Dr. Webb taught clinical practice at Fordham for 30 years. She has published numerous books on child therapy, trauma, and bereavement, including Helping Bereaved Children, Third Edition; Play Therapy with Children and Adolescents in Crisis, Fourth Edition; and Social Work Practice with Children, Fourth Edition. Dr. Webb is an active supervisor, consultant, and trainer who presents frequently at conferences in the United States and internationally. She is a recipient of honors including the Day-Garrett Award from the Smith College School for Social Work, the Clinical Practice Award from the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the designation of Distinguished Scholar by the National Academies of Practice in Social Work.


Gary R. Anderson, PhD, School of Social Work, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Marilyn B. Benoit, MD, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Washington, DC

Susan M. Brooks, PsyD, Green Chimneys Children’s Services, Brewster, NY

Mark Cameron, PhD, Department of Social Work, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, Rhinebeck Child and Family Center, Rhinebeck, NY

Ruth R. DeRosa, PhD, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY

Jennifer Elkins, MSSW, School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY

Vincent J. Fontana, MD (deceased), The Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection, New York Foundling Hospital, New York, NY

Rowena Fong, EdD, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Mayu P. B. Gonzales, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, New York Medical College, and New York Foundling Hospital, New York, NY

Ricky Greenwald, PsyD, Child Trauma Institute, Greenfield, MA

Neil Guterman, PhD, School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY

Kenneth V. Hardy, PhD, The Eikenberg Institute for Relationships, New York, NY

Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, DSW, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, New York, NY

Pamela J. Johnson, MSW, PhD candidate, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Anthony N. Maluccio, DSW, West Hartford, CT

David Pelcovitz, PhD, Child and Adolescent Psychology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY

Bruce D. Perry, MD, The ChildTrauma Academy, Houston, TX

John Seita, EdD, School of Social Work, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Patrick Shannon, PhD, School of Social Work, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Elizabeth M. Tracy, PhD, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, Tarrytown, NY


Social work practitioners and students; also of interest to other mental health professionals working with traumatized children and adolescents.

Course Use

Will serve as a supplemental text in courses in child welfare practice, social work practice with children and families, trauma and PTSD, and related topics.