Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training

About This Program

Target Population: Parents (e.g., birth parents, foster parents, kinship parents, adoptive parents, etc.) and caregivers of children who have histories of relational trauma or have experienced early adversity such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, multiple home placements, and violence.

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

TBRI Online Caregiver Training is a program available via 18 modules on a website that can be accessed in the home or any other location with Internet availability. The training presents the Trust-Based Relational Intervention, a holistic approach that is multidisciplinary, flexible, and attachment-centered. It is a trauma-informed intervention that is specifically designed for children who have histories of relational trauma or have experienced early adversity such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, multiple home placements, and violence. TBRI consists of three sets of harmonious principles: Connecting, Empowering, and Correcting Principles. These principles have been used in homes, schools, orphanages, residential treatment centers, and other environments. They are designed for use with children and youth of all ages and risk levels. By helping caregivers understand what should have happened in early development, TBRI principles guide children and youth back to their natural developmental trajectory.

Program Goals

The goals of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training are:

  • Create an environment of physical, social, and psychological safety
  • Recognize and meet children's physiological needs (e.g., hydration)
  • Structure experiences to enhance emotional and behavioral self-regulation
  • Enhance caregivers' mindful awareness and mindful caregiving
  • Build and strengthen secure attachments between caregivers and children
  • Build and strengthen resilience in caregivers and children
  • Help caregivers master the use of proactive strategies for behavioral change
  • Help caregivers master the IDEAL Response (Immediate, Direct, Efficient, Active, Leveled at behavior, not child)
  • Help caregivers master Levels of Response (Playful, Structured, Calming, Protective)

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Essential Components

The essential components of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training include:

  • TBRI® Connecting Principles
    • Connecting Principles help children build trust and meaningful relationships. These include:
      • Engagement Strategies, which connect with children nonverbally, such as with eye contact, behavior matching, and playful engagement.
      • Mindfulness Strategies, which involve parents and caregivers being aware of what they bring to interactions with their children, such as being conscious of their own relationship histories.
  • TBRI® Empowering Principles
    • Empowering Principles help children learn important skills like self-regulation. There are two types of Empowering strategies:
      • Physiological Strategies, which focus on the internal physical needs of the child. These include things like hydration, blood sugar, and sensory needs.
      • Ecological Strategies, which focus on the child's external environment and guide children toward learning self-regulation skills. Ecological Strategies include things like transitions, scaffolding (guided support appropriate to a child's level that facilitates learning), and daily rituals.
  • TBRI® Correcting Principles
    • Correcting Principles help children learn behavioral and social competence so that they can better navigate the social world they live in. Correcting Principles include:
      • Proactive Strategies, which are designed to teach social skills to children during calm times.
      • Responsive Strategies, which provide caregivers with tools for responding to challenging behavior from children.
  • Includes 18 modules with topics such as:
    • TBRI Overview
    • Daily Transitions
    • Mindfulness
    • Brain Chemistry
    • Life Value Terms
  • The content of each module consists of 20-40 minutes of direct instruction on a TBRI principles and/or strategy
  • Many modules also include video examples and demonstrations.

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Caregivers' lack of mindfulness, and associated deficits (e.g., inability to remain calm and recognize children's needs)
  • Caregivers' lack of awareness about their own caregiving history, and its impact on their own ability to provide care
  • Caregivers who have children that experience the following:
    • Inability to give and/or receive nurturing care
    • Hyper-vigilance and lack of felt safety
    • Inability to regulate their own emotions and/or behavior
    • Problem behavior, including both internalizing and externalizing behaviors
    • Sensory related deficits, including, for example, hypersensitivity and/or hypo-sensitivity to touch
    • Poor social skills (e.g., doesn't know how to appropriately ask for their needs)
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: TBRI involves all individuals involved in providing care for children including biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, caseworkers, teachers, coaches, therapists, counselors, social workers, child advocates, and direct care staff. Caregivers can share specific modules with other relevant people in a child's life, (e.g., teachers, caseworkers, counselors, etc.).

Recommended Intensity:

18 learning modules (20-40 minutes to view each module) which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Recommended Duration:

Caregivers can purchase access to the modules for up to three months during which it is recommended that caregivers view all 18 modules at least once.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Virtual (Online, Telephone, Video, Zoom, etc.)

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Online Whiteboard Modules (online video lectures with quizzes), Internet connection, and computer

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

No service providers are used in this intervention.

Manual Information

There is not a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Type/Location:

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is no formal support available for implementation of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Fidelity Measures

There are no fidelity measures for Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are no implementation guides or manuals for Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Implementation Cost

There are no studies of the costs of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) - Online Caregiver Training.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Razuri, E. B., Howard, A. R., Parris, S. R., Call, C., DeLuna, J., Hall, J. S., Purvis, K. B., & Cross, D. R. (2016). Decrease in behavioral problems and trauma symptoms among at-risk adopted children following trauma-informed web-based trauma-informed parent training intervention. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13(2), 165–178.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 256


  • Age — Children: 5–12 years; Adults: 42–43 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 101 White/Caucasian, 71 Black/African American, 44 Asian, 30 Hispanic/Latino, 7 Other, and 3 Native American; Adults: 247 White/Caucasian, 3 Other, 2 Asian, 2 Hispanic/Latino, 1 Black/African American, and 1 Native American
  • Gender — Children: 50% Male and 50% Female; Adults: 94% Female and 6% Male
  • Status — Participants were adopted children with histories of early maltreatment and neglect.

Location/Institution: Texas Christian University

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a web-based version of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) for reducing behavioral problems and trauma symptoms in at-risk adopted children. Participants were randomly assigned to either TBRI or a control group. Measures utilized include the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC). Results indicate that children of parents in the TBRI group demonstrated significant decreases in behavioral problems on the SDQ and significant decreases in trauma symptoms on the TSCYC after intervention. Scores for children in a matched-sample control group did not change. Limitations include lack of full randomization, reliance on self-reported measures, and lack of follow-up.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., & Pennings, J. S. (2009). Trust-Based Relational Intervention: Interactive principles for adopted children with special social-emotional needs. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 48, 3–22.

Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., Dansereau, D. F., & Parris, S. R. (2013). Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI): A systematic approach to complex developmental trauma. Child & Youth Services, 34(4), 1–28.

Purvis, K. B., Parris, S. R., & Cross, D. R. (2011). Trust-Based Relational Intervention: Principles and practices. In E. A. Rosman, C. E. Johnson, & N. M. Callahan (Eds.), Adoption Factbook V (pp. 497–503). National Council for Adoption.

Contact Information

Erin Razuri, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, TCU
Phone: (817) 257-7415
Fax: (817) 257-0630

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: December 2022

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2021

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2016