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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Shelby Freeman

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Circumstances that lead to placement in foster care and even the experience of foster care itself can be traumatic to children. These negative events and others, including abuse, neglect, and parental separation/divorce, are considered adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) {American Academy of Pediatrics, n.d.). Approximately 90% of all foster children have experienced one or more ACEs before or during their time in foster care (Dorsey et al., 2011). The emotional and physical impact that AC Es have on children can change the chemistry of their brain, which influences several key areas ofa child's development. Depending on the number and severity of ACEs, children might show signs of developmental trauma in their everyday lives. The high rates of foster children with ACEs puts these children at risk for developmental trauma and the detrimental effects that come with it. (Lyons, 2017).


Throughout this entire process, I have received a great deal of support and assistance for which I am extremely grateful. I would first like to thank my faculty mentors, Dr. Mulvey and Mrs. Bergstrom, for their invaluable expertise and insightful feedback. Specifically, T would like to thank Mrs. Bergstrom for first piquing my interest in this topic area and for always pushing me to think critically and clinically. T would like to thank Dr. Mulvey for helping grow my passion for research and making the entire process more enjoyable. I would also like to thank my parents for their unwavering encouragement during not only this endeavor, but during everything I have accomplished throughout my academic career. Finally, I would like to thank Gabe Black for always being patient and kind while reading my thesis over and over again. I truly could not have made it throughout this process without the guidance and support of any of these individuals .

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