ABSTRACT

This chapter begins with an introduction to the first and most important core principle, build mutually respectful and trusting relationships. The three concepts introduced by Barrera and Kramer (2009), respect, reciprocity and responsiveness, are introduced and connected to the central goal of creating healthy, respectful and safe environments for children and adults. The authors provide an overview of the relational leadership skills that are essential to develop to lead trauma-responsive programs and schools. Next, the core principle, Understand stress and trauma, is discussed along with several examples of what it looks like in early childhood environments when leaders have knowledge of the neurobiology of stress and trauma and use that knowledge in their work with children, families and staff. This chapter also includes a discussion of the important need to prevent burnout and vicarious trauma for employees who experience high levels of stress inside and outside the workplace.