In September 2005, LAUSD was awarded a SAMHSA grant to establish the LAUSD Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Schools and Communities (TSA for Schools). Recently refunded in 2012, and now known as The Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools, our center is a partnership between LAUSD School Mental Health, USC School of Social Work, RAND Health, UCLA Health Services Research Center, UCLA Child Anxiety Program, and 3-C Institute for Social Development. A member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), The Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools serves as a national leader in the promotion of trauma-informed schools, by identifying, developing, evaluating, and disseminating evidence-based trauma services across a continuum, from prevention services that focus on building resilience in students, to early interventions and more intensive services for trauma-exposed youth.
With a mission of enhancing schools’ ability to provide trauma-informed approaches to assure a supportive and nurturing environment for all students, our primary goals are to: serve as the primary trauma resource site for our nation’s schools; develop and disseminate school trauma prevention programs and; create and disseminate web-based training and skill-building programs for youth, teachers and school mental health professionals.
LAUSD TSA Center assists school mental health professionals and school communities to raise trauma awareness and the ability to deliver trauma informed services. LAUSD TSA Center staff is available to assist with specific requests and information relating to training. For more information or for technical assistance, please contact: 213-241-3841.
TSA for Schools Brochure
Resources for School Personnel
Training and Technical Assistance
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in schools
Developed by our TSA for Schools, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) is the only school-based early intervention program proven to be effective in addressing the mental health symptoms of traumatized youth who have been exposed to a wide variety of violence in their community. This program not only addresses trauma symptoms but can impact school performance and overall functioning as well as build resilience in youth and their families. CBITS was initially developed with a public health approach in mind, and made for and by school-based clinicians who serve an ethnically diverse student population, this program has been successfully disseminated in schools across the U.S. and internationally and has been nationally recognized as one of the leading school-based trauma interventions.
The CBITS Program
CBITS is a skills-based group intervention that is aimed at relieving symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and general anxiety among children exposed to community violence and trauma. Designed for use in schools by school based mental health professionals, CBITS was developed in close collaboration with school staff and administrators to alleviate behaviors that interfere with learning and regular school attendance.
CBITS has been implemented in elementary and middle schools across the country, with bicultural and bilingual students (Spanish, Russian, Armenian, and Korean) and multicultural, urban and rural populations, including Native American adolescents. The program has been studied extensively and has been shown in a randomized control trial to reduce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and depression.
CBITS has been implemented in grades six to nine (ages 10-15) with students who have experienced a wide range of violence such as community violence, trauma due to accidents and natural disasters, and trauma involving significant loss.
CBITS consists of 10 group sessions (six to eight children per group) of approximately an hour in length, conducted once a week in a school setting. In addition to the group sessions, participants receive one to three individual sessions, usually held before the exposure exercises. CBITS also includes parent education sessions and teacher education sessions. Student case management services and teacher consultation are added as needed.
CBITS Treatment Components
• Education about reactions to trauma
• Learning skills in relaxation
• Cognitive Therapy
• Real Life exposure
• Stress or trauma exposure
• Problem solving
As with other therapeutic interventions, parental permission is required for children to participate in CBITS groups in schools.
For more information, please visit
Training and Technical Assistance
1. CBITS Training
CBITS training is recommended for any mental health clinicians interested in implementing the model. It is designed for master’s degree-level (or higher) mental health professionals.
The 2-day clinical training includes: 1) An overview of child trauma and PTSD and the mental health and academic consequences, 2) A review of the history and evidence base of CBITS, 3) Instruction and practice with screening and assessment, including the introduction of valid screening tools, 4) Thorough session by session demonstrations and supervised practice of each core concept for group and individual sessions, including how to make the material culturally and contextually relevant to the audience, 5) Review of parent and teacher sessions, and 6) Engagement activities around implementation issues and site planning.
2. Child Trauma: The Effects of Community Violence on Students
This workshop will paint a picture of both hope and caution. Children exposed to violence and trauma can be resilient, with the proper support. The negative effects of violence exposure on learning are well documented and may explain one aspect of the bleak reality that minority and underserved students continue to trail far behind their peers in academic outcomes after generations of education “reform”. Multiple studies have found that substantial numbers of children exposed to community violence and trauma later develop symptoms of child traumatic stress and associated difficulties. Exposure to community violence has also been positively correlated with decreased reading ability, lower grade-point average, more days of school absence, decreased rates of high school graduation, and increased expulsions and suspensions.
This workshop underscores the importance of focusing on prevention and early intervention, and identifying students who need further treatment to ensure that those that need it get the appropriate treatment rather than assuming that children will outgrow their symptoms.
3. Treating Trauma in Schools
Introduction to Prevention and Early Intervention using Evidence Based/Trauma-Informed, Culturally Competent Practice for Mental Health Professionals.
This workshop introduces a framework for creating “trauma informed” school systems by building the capacity of school community stakeholders: administrators, teachers, and school mental health professionals to understand the connection between children’s life experiences and their behaviors at school. The trauma-informed school can make specific modifications in the classroom and system wide, promoting school wide positive behavior supports to students who have been exposed to trauma.
4. Psycho-education Program; Impact of Trauma on Students For:
a.Mental Health Professionals
b.Educators - Teachers, School Administrators, Aides, Office Staff
c.Parents, Families and Community Members
d.Law Enforcement Professionals
e.Juvenile Justice Staff
These workshops are designed to impact the systems in which we operate as professionals and caregivers. They are designed to provide a “trauma lens”, underscore the importance of focusing on prevention and early intervention and identifying students who need further treatment to ensure that those that need it get the appropriate treatment rather than assuming that children will outgrow their symptoms. These workshops will also introduce Psychological First Aid for students after a school crisis, emergency or disaster. This model helps students bounce back more quickly from a critical event; assisting students to return to school, stay in school, continue to learn, and return to their usual school based activities after such an event.
For more information about any of the above training opportunities, please contact: 213.241.3841