UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Integrating a Sport-Based Trauma-Sensitive Program in a National Youth-Serving Organization Shaikh, M.; Bean, C.; Bergholz, L.; Rojas, M.; Ali, M.; Forneris, Tanya


There is a pressing need to equip youth-serving community organizations to respond to the unique needs of trauma-exposed children. Early prevention measures can be an effective means of redirecting children to self-regulatory healing, while facilitating their transition toward strength-based thriving. Sport can offer a powerful opportunity to reach these children; however there remains little information on how to effectively develop, deliver, evaluate, and sustain trauma-sensitive sport programs in a community context. The purpose of this paper is to outline a case study of integrating sport-based trauma-sensitive practices with BGC Canada’s national Bounce Back League program. An interdisciplinary partnership of academic, community, and practice experts used a community-based participatory action research approach, paired with a knowledge translational approach, to guide the process of program development. Mixed methods (e.g., surveys, logbooks, interviews, focus groups, online communications) were used to generate ongoing insights of staff’s training experiences, successes and challenges of program implementation, and potential impact of program on club members. Several stages of program development are described, including: (a) collaboratively planning the program; (b) piloting the program to three clubs; (c) adapting the program using pilot insights; (d) expanding the adapted program to ten clubs; and (e) creating opportunities to maintain, sustain, and scale-out practices throughout grant duration and beyond. Lessons learned regarding the leadership team’s experiences in terms of developing, adapting, and integrating trauma-sensitive practices in this community context are shared.

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Attribution 4.0 International