Educator Resources

  • Educator Resources

All teachers have children in their classrooms that are dealing with the impact of trauma and loss in their lives. Some through their journeys of foster care and adoption; others through immigration as refugees, violence in the home, conflict in parental separation and divorce, serious illness, or a death in the family.  Children and youth touched by foster care and adoption, in particular, have told us that they want a school environment that is positive, inclusive, safe and sensitive to their unique needs and life experiences. ACO has gathered the following resources together for teachers and other educators to assist them in their work with children and youth.

Workshop for Educators:
Trauma & Loss: Creating School Communities of Well-being

ACO worked collectively with youth, families, educators and other professionals to develop a workshop to assist educators in creating school communities of well-being for adopted and foster children, and other vulnerable children, who have been touched by trauma and loss. The Workshop was piloted with great success in May 2017 to a diverse group of Ontario educators.

Trauma & Loss: Creating School Communities of Well-being is available as a Professional Activity day offering in 2017/18 at a cost of $1,000 for a 3-hour session and $2,000 for a full-day workshop.

ACO can accommodate large and small groups within a school community or across a school board. Our trainers are located in many regions of the province to be sensitive to local needs and facilitate this interactive workshop in communities/school boards.  If you would like more information about the workshop please contact ACO’s Permanency and Adoption Competency Training Program at [email protected].

Ontario’s foster and adopted children and youth have experienced significant loss and trauma in their young lives and we all must do our best to create environments in which they are able to thrive and heal.

They deserve nothing less.

[Download the Flyer]

 Other Resources for Educators


General Adoption Information

  • How to Adopt seminars: If you are interested in learning more about adoption in Ontario, you are welcome to attend one of the ACO’s How to Adopt (HTA) sessions. The HTA sessions are two hours in length and explain the three avenues to adoption in Ontario – public, private and international. The HTA session is available in a face-to-face format in some locations and through webinars for all. Find upcoming sessions.
  • Seven Core Issues of Adoption, ACT Practice Tool, Kinship Center, a member of Seneca Family of Agencies, California

Childhood Development & Adoption


Trauma-Sensitive Schools

The “movement” to create trauma-sensitive schools is very active in the US. For a comprehensive overview of how to create Trauma-Sensitive Schools, please visit In the resource section you can find two excellent resource volumes:

  • Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume 1 (Report & Policy Agenda)
  • Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume 2 (Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools)

Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI): TraumaSensitive Schools Descriptive Study

For additional trauma-informed school based resources (books, guides, manuals, webinars, etc.) check out

To view an interesting report on how US schools are addressing the crisis of childhood trauma see this NBC news report. It includes some good information, some great tips for schools and an 8-minute video called Welcome to the Calm Room about a particular US school’s approach.

Helpful Tools & Tips

*Ontario Addendum to the UK Guide, prepared by Lori DeWitte, an Ontario elementary school principal and an adoptive parent. This addendum highlights the law in Ontario for special education and school attendance age.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Complex (Early Life/Developmental) Trauma

For more information about childhood and developmental trauma click here.



Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)


  • Help for Billy, by Heather Forbes
  • Settling to Learn: Settling Troubled Pupils to Learn: Why Relationships Matter in School, by Louise Bomber & Daniel Hughes
  • Adoption in Schools: Resources for Parents & Teachers, by FAIR (Families Adopting in Response)
  • Self-Reg and Calm Alert & Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation, by Stuart Shanker
  • Working with Relational Trauma in Schools: An Educators Guide to Dyadic Developmental Practice, by Kim S. Golding, Sian Phillips & Louise Michelle Bomber
  • Belonging: A Relationship-Based Approach for Trauma-Informed Education, by Sian Phillips, Demi Melim & Daniel Hughes



For more information please contact us at [email protected]