The southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center at Western Michigan University recognizes that exposure to potentially traumatic events can affect child functioning within the cognitive, affective, behavioral and physiological domains.
Many symptoms can subsequently be manifested, including hyper-vigilance, withdrawal, sleeping difficulties, depression and significant mood swings. Often, such symptoms may not be immediately revealed. Early detection of child trauma can minimize psychological and physiological risk to children.
The goal of the center is to assess the impact to children following exposure to traumatic events. The target population is children, ages 3 months to 17 years, entering foster care due to experiences of child abuse or neglect. Children with other traumatic experiences are also considered for assessment.
The trauma center also helps by supporting the education and implementation of trauma informed systems to individuals and communities around the state to help better serve children and their families.