The goal of this three-part series is to emphasize the importance of incorporating a trauma-informed perspective into the design, implementation, and evaluation of school responder models (SRMs). Youth who have been exposed to trauma, those with mental health conditions, and those with substance use disorders are more likely to be subject to exclusionary discipline policies in school. Exclusionary discipline contributes to these youth having higher rates of juvenile court system involvement. The SRM is a school-based, behavioral health response model that seeks to disrupt unnecessary suspension, expulsion, and arrest for students, particularly those with unidentified, unmet, or undermet behavioral health needs. The Implications of Trauma for the Core Components of a School Responder Model tip sheet distinguishes the ways in which a trauma-informed perspective can be integrated into each of the four core components of a school responder model.

The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) originally developed and maintained this resource. The NCYOJ was operated by Policy Research, Inc. and operated from 2001 to 2022 and was formerly known as the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The NCYOJ improved life opportunities for youth through systems and practice improvement initiatives.

This resource should be viewed as a reference document. It has not been updated since its publication. In addition, this document has not been made 508 compliant. If you would like a 508 compliant version of this document, please email

This resource was first shared in 2021.

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