Neuro trauma training: Feasibility and acceptability of online training in executive function for residential childcare workers

Louise Hendry, Emily Taylor*, Lucie Mackinlay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In residential childcare for youth who have been removed from the birth home as a result of childhood maltreatment, staff are working with after-effects of developmental trauma. Experiencing trauma and neglect at a young age is likely to lead to adaptive alterations in brain development, in part due to over- or under-activation of the body’s stress response. As a result, care-experienced children and youth with trauma backgrounds are likely to experience various neurodevelopmental difficulties, including executive function problems. There is a gap in training provision related to executive function in the context of neurodevelopmental trauma and its implications for current behavior, affect and cognition.
Objective: To conduct a feasibility and acceptability trial of an online training course for residential workers with care-experienced children, focusing on the impact of trauma on the development of executive function. The development of the training and an evaluation of its outcomes are described. Participants and setting: Staff working in residential childcare across the UK were invited to participate in an online training and evaluation protocol.
Methods: Participants completed measures of perceived and actual knowledge before and after training. Completion rates, outcomes data and evaluation feedback was used to assess the acceptability and feasibility of the training,
Results: Of 318 initial registrants, 47.7% completed the training and post-training measures. Significant learning gains were found, along with (p<.001, d1⁄41.08) positive feedback from participants. Technological constraints were the most significant limitation.
Conclusions: An online neurodevelopmental trauma training is feasible and acceptable to residential childcare workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-133
JournalChild and Youth Services
Issue number2
Early online date26 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • care-experience
  • children
  • executive function
  • knowledge transfer
  • online training
  • residential childcare staff
  • youth


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