Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) [Trauma Treatment - System-Level Programs (Child & Adolescent)]

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Organizational systems (e.g., residential programs, schools, group homes, hospital settings, etc.) working with and supporting children/adolescents/young adults (0-21 years) who have experienced chronic/complex trauma and their caregivers

For organizations that serve children ages: 0 – 21

Brief Description

ARC is a core components framework designed to support organizational change in agencies that work with youth and families who have experienced complex trauma. The framework is organized around the core domains of attachment (i.e., building safe caregiving systems), regulation (i.e., supporting youth regulation across domains), and developmental competency (i.e., supporting factors associated with resilient outcomes); and is designed to be translatable across service systems. In organizations/systems implementing ARC, (e.g., within a residential program, school, inpatient center, etc.) the system itself is a key target of intervention, with change efforts focused on development of trauma-informed systems structures. ARC can also be used as a client-level trauma treatment intervention on its own or in combination with the system-level program, click here to go to the program’s entry in the Trauma Treatment-Client Level Interventions (Child & Adolescent) topic area.

Program Goals:

The goals for Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) [Trauma Treatment - System-Level Programs (Child & Adolescent)] are:

  • Integrate routine, rhythms, and structures into intervention approaches and daily functioning to increase felt safety and support skill development
  • Support adult caregivers including milieu staff, administrators, support staff, and educators in understanding and managing their own responses to youth in their care
  • Build adult/provider/caregiver capacity to effectively understand and respond to the needs driving youth behaviors
  • Support effective responses to youth behavior that are trauma-informed and that increase, rather than decrease, safety
  • Build child/adolescent understanding of emotional and physiological experience, including a language for experience and an ability to connect and contextualize emotional cues, through systematic approaches that engage youth in reflecting upon their internal experience
  • Build child/adolescent ability to effectively manage and tolerate emotional and physiological experience through systematic approaches to supported regulation
  • Build organizational structures and supports to engage and support children/adolescents in building and sustaining relational connections with others
  • Support children/adolescents in recognizing choice points, managing impulsive behaviors, and actively making choices through staff/caregiver training and systematic structures that support active problem evaluation, decision-making, and empowerment in youth
  • Engage systems in developing activities and approaches that support youth understanding of self, including unique characteristics and influences, coherence across time and situations, sources of efficacy and esteem, and future template
  • Build organizational structures and systems that support youth in reflecting upon, processing, and developing a narrative of traumatic experience, and integrating this into a coherent and comprehensive understanding of self

Contact Information

Margaret Blaustein, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute
Phone: (617) 232-1303 or (617) 232-1280

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2016