Parenting a child trauma cover

Parenting Matters: Parenting a child who has experienced trauma


Many children become looked after because they have experienced very difficult and painful experiences in their young lives that have a lasting impact on their lives.

This guide explores traumatic experiences and their effects on children at different stages of development. It provides expert knowledge coupled with facts, figures and guidance presented in a straightforward and accessible style.

An adoptive parent of twin boys describe what it is like to parent children who have experienced significant trauma and how this impacts their life as a family.

This book is part of CoramBAAF’s Parenting Matters series which explores many of the health conditions commonly diagnosed in looked after children.

See more titles in this series

Who is this book for?

A useful book for adopters, those thinking about adopting, foster carers, social work practitioners and all those involved in the care of looked after children. The combination of expert information and first-hand experience will help readers gain knowledge and understanding and make informed decisions.

What you will find in this book

The first half of the book examines what constitutes trauma in childhood, including its symptoms, prognosis and treatment. It outlines parenting tasks, addresses specific educational and social issues and answers a range of frequently asked questions.

In the second half, single adopter Matthew Blythe describes his experience of parenting twin boys who have experienced significant trauma and how this affected, and continues to affect, day-to-day family life.

The last eight years feel as though we have gone from crisis to another fallout to the next drama. I have coped with more than I ever thought was possible. But we are together. We are stronger. We are a team. I always wished I had written a diary to remember the stories, the happy and the sad, but whirlwinds don’t allow you time to think, hurricanes make you live from one moment to the next…Things have calmed over the years. There was no quick fix, and they certainly are not fixed. The screaming and rampaging have settled…The trauma, though, never, ever leaves them; we are still learning to live with that.’ Matthew Blythe

Read the contents page


Dr Dan Hughes has been a clinician specialising in the treatment of children and young people with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties for most of his professional life. He developed a treatment model that he calls Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy – also known as Attachment-Focused Family Therapy – for which he currently provides therapist training across the US, UK and Canada.


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As a foster carer who has looked after quite a few traumatised children, I wish I would have had access to this book ten years ago. The compact nature of the book coupled with the format serves to deliver a clear and true picture of the realities of caring for children who have suffered trauma. Overall, this book should prove valuable and compact enough to access in the, often small, pockets of time that carers get to themselves. I will be recommending this to my carers and will endeavour to complete the collection of eleven Parenting Maters books currently available.

Colin Chatten, National Carer Representative, Foster Care Associates, Rees Centre Newsletter

I am a therapist specialising in attachment difficulties. I use this book with my parents and would recommend it to anyone who works in this field.

Thomas Garnham, five stars,