CBITS & Bounce Back
HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH SCHOOLS
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) is a school-based group intervention (for grades 5-12) that has been shown to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and psychosocial dysfunction in children who have experienced trauma. Bounce Back is an adaptation of the CBITS model for elementary school students (grades K-5).
Schools are increasingly viewed as a critical setting for the delivery of health and behavioral health services. In fact, the majority of children with emotional or behavioral health needs do not receive services; among those who do, approximately 75% receive services through their schools. The linkages between trauma exposure, physical health, behavioral health and academic functioning underscore the importance of integrating trauma-informed care within educational settings.
- Children exposed to violence, for example, exhibit lower reading achievement, higher rates of school absence, lower grade point averages, lower graduation rates and are suspended from school more than twice as often as other students.
- Youth with histories of trauma can have difficulties regulating emotions and behavior and can be impulsive or disruptive in school settings when experiencing reminders of past trauma.
Expansion in Connecticut:
CHDI is working with DCF, CBITS and Bounce Back trainers, and local provider agencies, school systems, and school-based health centers to disseminate CBITS and Bounce Back across Connecticut. Training and groups began being offered in 2015. Outcomes reported include:
- Over 2,800 children have received either CBITS or BB (data available from 2015 through December 2020).
- Since the initiative began in 2015, 30 school districts and 16 community-based settings have offered CBITS an/or Bounce Back to their students (through December 2020)
- Student traumatic stress symptom scores (PTS) decreased significantly with CBITS and Bounce Back. The average score prior to treatment was well above the threshold for a likely PTSD diagnosis. Upon completion of treatment, the average scores were below that threshold.
- Prior to COVID-19, CBITS and Bounce Back groups reported an 89% completion rate, much higher than traditional outpatient clinic treatment (data available from 2015 through June 30, 2019).
- Children that participated in CBITS and Bounce Back groups report very high (91%) satisfaction (data available from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020).
Search the most current list of CBITS/Bounce Back providers using the CT Evidence-Based Practices Directory.
DCF plans to continue expanding CBITS and Bounce Back with the goal of eventually attaining statewide coverage. Connecticut providers, schools, school-based health centers, or others interested in participating in the Connecticut CBITS initiative can get more information in the CBITS application & welcome packet or the CT CBITS Initiative pamphlet
For more information about CBITS, contact Diana Perry.