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Enhancing School Resource Officers’ Effectiveness through Online Professional and Job Embedded Coaching

NCJ Number
Julia Graber; Dorothy Espelage
Date Published
December 2020
38 pages

This is a report on the development and evaluation of a 36-month pilot project that involved the development, testing, and refinement of a training program for school resource officers (SROs) in the delivery of trauma-informed services in a school environment.



Developed and implemented in partnership with the Florida Public Schools, the four online training modules address 1) trauma-informed care, 2) social-emotional learning, 3) restorative problem-solving, and 4) cultural competence. The training module on trauma-informed care focuses on understanding the neurological, biological, and psychological impact of trauma on affected children and adolescents. The module on social-emotional learning addresses the development of students’ self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decisionmaking, and relationship skills. The module on restorative problem-solving pertains to the development of a school culture grounded in community problem-solving and productive restitution as an alternative to punitive and/or retributive-based discipline. The fourth module, which addresses cultural competence, focuses on understanding cultural inequities and the development of strategies for overcoming personal and structural barriers. Each of the four modules presents realistic scenarios with students that could be addressed using module content. After describing the development of the modules, this report presents evaluation results from their use with a sample of SROs. The evaluation found that SROs had greater knowledge and competencies related to using trauma-informed care in their work after completing each module; however, whether the training is applied when working with students has not been assessed. 5 figures, 4 tables, and 44 references