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National Resource Center for Youth Services: Oklahoma Trauma Informed Care Project


The University of Oklahoma National Resource Center for Youth Services considers the health and safety of our participants, community, and staff are of the utmost importance. With the everchanging conditions with COVID-19 it is difficult to schedule in-person training very far in advance. We will continue to utilize virtual training as a primary delivery method with limited in-person training when it can be offered safely. Please check our website regularly or join our mailing list for updates on our event schedules.

Resources and Supports for COVID-19

Oklahoma Human Services and the Trauma Informed Care Project are here to support you during this particularly challenging period.

We understand that you are all working to put measures in place to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your agencies, homes, and communities. We hope to work together with you to address this challenge and share resources and lessons learned.

Below you will find a few helpful resources we've gathered. If you are willing and able to share your emergency response plans and other helpful resources, we are happy to collect and share them from a central point of contact. You can send any resources or questions you would like to ask to, and we'll share them with all programs.

SPPU Provider Directory

This Oklahoma Provider Directory contains contact information for all group homes (Levels B, C, D+, and E) contracted with DHS's Specialized Placements & Partnerships Unit (SPPU), as well as all Oklahoma shelters, hospitals, residential schools, specialized community homes, and residential programs for youth with intellectual disabilities.

Onsite Programming Discussions

The Trauma Informed Care Project is available to share resources and discuss ideas for onsite programming during this period of limited mobility due to COVID-19.

If you would like to problem-solve any challenges you are facing or explore programming options, you can contact us at or (918) 660-3711.

CDC Guidance

Programming Recommendations by Providers and Partners

Online Educational Resources 


  • Hold talent contests
  • Create exercise stations (jumping jacks, obstacle courses, small trampoline)
  • Conduct mock job interviews with young people
  • Create chalk art
  • Make homemade videos
  • Conduct math competitions
  • Facilitate spelling bees
  • Learn about new animals each day with National Geographic
  • Start a garden
  • Eat meals outside as onsite picnics
  • Hold an all-day slumber party (pajamas, movies, popcorn)

Global Gardens Webinar

There's no better time for young people (and adults!) to learn a life skill like gardening. In addition to the environmental benefits, gardening activities are also profoundly relaxing and peaceful—attributes which could not be more relevant than during a stressful time like now.

This 60-minute webinar features a panel from Global Gardens, which explores the following topics:

  • Gardening & Intention
  • Creative Containers
  • Watering & Weeding
  • Mindfulness in the Garden
  • Question & Answer Session

This is an excellent educational opportunity for both youth and staff, and if you are interested in creating a home garden at your organization, there is no better place to start. Click here to view the webinar.

Online Continuing Education Resources

Our professional development should not pause, even when our movement is limited. One way to continue your professional development is to engage in online learning opportunities. Below are several free online continuing education events that we recommend for you.

Making Sense of the Pandemic: Psychological Impact on Clients and Communities

  • Facilitator: Elizabeth Irias
  • Time: 1 hour

Trauma Basics for Youth Workers

  • Facilitator: Sam Himelstein
  • Time: 2 hours

Teaching Mindfulness to Teens

  • Facilitator: Sam Himelstein
  • Time: 2 hours

Haruv from the Couch (Daily Lectures)

  • Facilitators: Diverse lecturers affiliated with Haruv USA
  • Time: 1 hour each

EmpowerOKC Youth Club

To support continued youth connection and development during this period of social distancing, EmpowerOKC is hosting biweekly opportunities for young people to connect virtually via Zoom. Activities during these meetings will include trivia, art projects, science projects, workouts, dance classes, and talent shows. The Zoom meetings are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Stephanie Williams at

LGBTQ Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Everyone is affected differently by the current health crisis, and it's important to understand the specific and unique ways that members of the LGBTQ community may be impacted. A great resource on this topic comes from The Trevor Project:

Implications of COVID-19 for LGBTQ Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

This white paper explains the particular effects of social distancing, economic strain, and increased anxiety on LGBTQ youth, as well as ways to provide additional supports during this challenging period.

Art at Home

If you need more ideas for arts and crafts, then check out Art at Home, a free resource provided by @mrsvelazquezart. This resource contains 72 art projects and resources divided into six categories:

  1. Art Contests
  2. Museums
  3. Art Games
  4. Digital Art
  5. Art Education
  6. Art at Home

Building Developmental Relationships During Crisis

Take a look at this checklist from the Search Institute: Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis. It suggests several great ways to foster developmental relationships even while housebound.

Educating Young People About COVID-19

Young people also need to know about what's going on, and they need more reliable information than what may be found through social media or hearsay. Here are two engaging videos which explain some of the basics about COVID-19 is and how respiratory infections spread:

  1. The Coronavirus Explained and What You Should Do
  2. How to See Germs Spread

Maintaining Self-Care During a Pandemic

Take Some Time to COLOR!

Coloring is a great way to relax and practice mindfulness. There are many free printables available online. Here are a few links to get you started:

Daily Quarantine Questions (courtesy of Brooke Anderson)

  1. What am I GRATEFUL for today?
  3. What expectations of "normal" am I LETTING GO OF today?
  4. How am I GETTING OUTSIDE today?
  5. How am I MOVING MY BODY today?
  6. What BEAUTY am I creating, cultivating, or inviting today?

For more, read the whole article here.

Coping Calendar
Here are 30 actions you can do to better look after yourself (and each other) during this challenging time, created by Action for Happiness.

Games and Activities Handbook

Countless ideas for engaging activities can be found online, but here are 50 teambuilding activities from our workshop Using Games and Activities to get you started.

Youth Worker Activity Handbook (PDF)

Not enough? Here are a few more options:

Online Exploration

Here are a variety of educational opportunities which can be accessed online:



Outdoor Adventures

Field Trips

Your Local Library

Here are just a few of the ways you can take advantage of your local library, even if you can't visit in person:

  • Download e-books
  • Rent free music and movies
  • Access online databases
  • Have books delivered to your address
  • Learn new languages with Mango

Studying and Skill-Building

Here are four online resources to support your youth in building their knowledge from home:

  • Math Planet (high school math concepts, SAT and ACT prep)
  • TED-Ed (educational lessons from TED)
  • (free typing lessons and games)
  • EdX (free online courses)

Mindfulness and Relaxation

It's easy for tensions to rise when you feel cooped up at home. Here are some resources to help everyone relax and de-stress:

Remember that this will be a time for everyone to practice using their safety plans (including staff!). If you don't have a safety plan, you can use a template like this one (PDF) to create one now.

Places You Can Still Travel To

Unfortunately, you can't leave home — or can you? Here are 10 destinations you can visit no matter where you are (courtesy of Joanne Harris):

  • Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia)
  • Asgard (Magnus Chase)
  • The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh)
  • Middle-Earth (The Lord of the Rings)
  • London Below (Neverwhere)
  • Hogwarts (Harry Potter)
  • Mars (The Martian)
  • Gormenghast (by Mervyn Peake)
  • Lansquenet-sous-Tannes (Chocolat)
  • A Galaxy Far, Far Away (Star Wars)

The University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Center for Youth Services
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