The Interconnectedness of Disability and Trauma in Foster and Kinship Care: The Importance of Trauma-Informed Care

Kostas Hatzikiriakidis, Amanda O’Connor, Melissa Savaglio, Helen Skouteris, Rachael Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A high prevalence of maltreatment, abuse, neglect and the onset of subsequent trauma has been well-documented among both young people with disability and young people residing in foster and kinship care. However, no uniform policies or guidelines currently exist for the delivery of trauma-informed models of care to build the capacity of foster and kinship carers in responding to and supporting the complex needs of children and young people in their care with disability who may have been exposed to trauma. While no evidence of the application of trauma-informed models of care for this cohort exists, some evidence of trauma-informed models of care to support people with disability beyond the scope of out-of-home care has recently emerged. The authors discuss this emerging work and recognise an opportunity to leverage this evidence to guide the practices of foster and kinship carers. Clearly, there is an opportunity to work towards improving the development and wellbeing of children and young people with disability in foster and kinship care through the development, implementation, and evaluation of a tailored trauma-informed model of care that is co-designed and grounded in the underlying theoretical principles of disability and trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-910
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2023


  • Disability
  • foster care
  • kinship care
  • out-of-home care
  • trauma-informed care
  • young people

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