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Historical Trauma

Historical trauma should also be considered. Historical trauma is the cumulative exposure to traumatic events that not only affect the individual exposed, but continue to affect subsequent generations.

Examples:

  • Legacy of slavery among African Americans
  • Impact of massacres, removal from homelands, and forced boarding school placements for American Indians and Alaskan Natives

Historical trauma can increase the impact of present-day trauma for a family in the child welfare system especially when actions like removal of children serve as triggers or reminders of the historical trauma for parents and family members.