Evaluating foundational professional development training for trauma-informed approaches in schools.

Trauma-informed schools reflect a national movement toward implementing organizational practices and systems-change strategies that support trauma-exposed individuals. Although frameworks for trauma-informed schools delineate key features for navigating implementation processes, methods of installing these features in schools require additional study. Although foundational professional development (FPD) training is often utilized to prepare schools for implementing trauma-informed approaches, few researchers have examined whether such training influences factors known to promote implementation success: staff knowledge of and perceptions of acceptability for these approaches. The current study utilized a pre—post design to evaluate a 2-day FPD training as a tool for enhancing teacher knowledge of trauma-informed approaches prior to implementation. The study also examined whether gains in knowledge following the training were associated with teacher perceptions of acceptability of trauma-informed approaches and whether perceived alignment of trauma-informed approaches with existing school norms and practices, or system fit, moderated that relationship. Participants included 183 teachers from six schools who completed the training. Knowledge was assessed at pre- and posttraining, and perceptions of acceptability and system fit were assessed at posttraining. Results indicated significant knowledge growth following the training. Among teachers who perceived better system fit, knowledge growth was associated with increased acceptability for trauma-informed approaches. However, among teachers perceiving less system fit, knowledge growth was associated with decreased acceptability. Implications for the installation and implementation of trauma-informed approaches in schools are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)