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This article is the author’s final published version in Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, January 2023.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2023.


Community-based programs serve a critical need for vulnerable youth and families. In recent years, researchers and practitioners have urged programs to adopt a trauma-informed care (TIC) approach to address adversity in young people's lives. The purpose of this article is to describe the implementation and outcomes of the Trauma Ambassador (TA) Program, a pilot youth leadership program guided by a community-university partnership that utilized a TIC approach in an underserved East North Philadelphia neighborhood. Fourteen youth engaged in interactive trainings to build their understanding of trauma and develop practical tools to support encounters with individuals with trauma histories. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted to better understand program implementation and outcomes. Rich data emerged that identifies a myriad of ways that youth and their community might benefit from a program like the one described. The program successfully impacted participants, as TAs recognized their own trauma and were motivated to help others who may have trauma histories. This program provided quality youth development experiences, particularly with respect to trauma-informed care, and results support taking a holistic, healing-centered approach to foster well-being for youth and adult mentors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.