About This Project
What is a capstone project?
A capstone project is the culmination of my educational journey, allowing me to apply the knowledge and skills I've acquired during my studies to a real-world issue. For my capstone, I've chosen to address the vital topic of trauma-informed education for foster parents specifically related to mealtime and food-related behaviors.
Why this topic?
This project is aiming to assist foster, adoptive, and kinship caregivers in understanding the profound effects trauma has on a child's behavior concerning attachment styles, food, as well as their susceptibility to certain food-related conditions. Children who have experienced trauma often carry deep emotional scars that manifest in their relationship with food, leading to a range of negative behaviors. These can include overeating, undereating, stealing, hoarding, and/or exhibiting extreme aversions to certain foods. In addition, the impact of trauma on a child's attachment and bonding can significantly influence their eating habits and overall health. Recognizing and addressing these issues through trauma-informed education is essential for promoting both physical and emotional health. It can lead to healthier eating habits, improved relationships, reduced behavioral issues and risk of mental health issues, and an overall higher quality of life.
What do I mean by Trauma-Informed?
Trauma-informed care is an approach that takes into consideration the profound impact that traumatic experiences can have on a person, especially a child. It's a way of understanding that when children go through difficult and often painful events, it can affect how they think, feel, and behave. Being trauma-informed means being sensitive and supportive, recognizing that behaviors or reactions that might seem confusing or challenging in children could be their way of coping with past traumas. It's about creating a safe and caring environment where your child feels understood, valued, and supported as they heal and grow. Essentially, it's a way of parenting that prioritizes empathy, trust, and patience when helping your child navigate the effects of trauma.
What to Expect
I have created five education modules consisting of a video, PowerPoint, written material, and additional resources covering the following topics:
Establishing trust and developing a healthy attachment through a foster family relationship
Interoceptive Awareness: The Body-Emotion Connection.
Understanding Sensory Processing in Mealtime, Feeding, and Oral Motor Skills
Food and mealtime related behaviors and strategies to overcome them and conditions related to negative mealtime behaviors and poor nutrition, what to look for and when to seek out a professional.
You can expect each module to be between 30-45 minutes each. You can pause and resume at any time!
If you choose to participate in these education modules, whether you watch just one or all four, please take a minute to answer a short survey. The link can be found on the main module page, or if you are following along on the PowerPoint, it can be found on the "Thanks" page. Your input as parents is invaluable in guiding the development of my capstone project. Your feedback will play a significant role in enhancing this education program. Thank you for your active participation!