Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Heather Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jillian Skelton, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Brian Roland, Ph.D.


This action research study examined the experiences of 12 teachers in a residential facility school in southern Colorado regarding the implementation of a trauma-informed care model. The analysis of the data provided evidence that the teachers’ experiences during the study transformed their perceptions concerning trauma-informed care. The study was guided by Herr and Anderson’s (2015) Action Research Cycle involving four phases: Develop, Act, Observe, Reflect. Participants were actively engaged in a focus group during the study. The focus group was guided by Schmuck’s (2006) Steps of Responsive Action Research. Using this cyclical action research approach, participants learned about trauma-informed care and contributed to the actions that took place in the study. They determined strategies through which to implement the trauma-informed care model. Participants experienced shifts in their perceptions and realized the viability of the trauma-informed care model in the residential facility school environment. Through the action research process, teachers participated in the development of shared interventions and improved their awareness of improvements and changes resulting from the process. They also identified challenges and concerns of using trauma-informed care in a residential facility school. This study demonstrated that the action research process is a viable option for increasing knowledge and understanding and that trauma-informed care is an essential component of assisting staff in working with traumatized youth.

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