Who is ARC Intended For?
The ARC Framework was developed for children and adolescents who have been impacted by complex trauma, and their caregiving systems. Complex trauma includes a range of stressful experiences which are typically chronic and interpersonal in nature, and may affect many different areas of a child or adolescent’s life.
ARC is both a clinical framework, used to guide treatment intervention, and an organizational framework, used to support trauma-informed care in child- and family-serving systems. ARC can be used across the mental health services care continuum (inpatient, residential, outpatient, and community / home based settings), as well as with the range of caregivers (primary, resource, and milieu-based), and has been successfully applied in settings which are not traditionally mental-health focused, such as schools and after-school programs, day care settings, shelters, and primary care health systems. Further, ARC has been adapted and used in specialized settings (e.g., juvenile justice, foster care, education) and for use within different cultural contexts (e.g., Native American/Native Alaskan youth; urban youth of color; faith-based services, etc.). ARC concepts may be integrated in many ways, including into individual and group therapy, caregiver education and support, staff training, and milieu practices.
ARC has now been used in settings serving children and families from birth through early adulthood, across levels of developmental functioning. ARC can be used to treat youth with a variety of trauma-related diagnoses that include but go beyond PTSD, including behavioral disorders, depression, and anxiety.
ARC is a treatment framework used to support clinical intervention with children, adolescents, and their caregiving systems. ARC defines “caregiver” as any influential adult in a child’s life, and may include biological parents, foster or adoptive parents, kin / other relatives, as well as other important adults such as teachers, child welfare workers, and care providers.
ARC concepts are used to guide trauma-informed care practices in the range of settings serving children and families impacted by chronic stress. To date, ARC concepts have been successfully applied in a wide and growing range of systems, including early intervention / prevention, schools, domestic violence and homeless shelters, substance abuse treatment programs, inpatient and acute care settings, residential treatment programs, group homes, juvenile justice programs, child welfare systems, foster care training programs, and more. We welcome the opportunity that each new collaboration presents for learning about how to improve trauma-informed care for children and families.