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Culturally Responsive, Evidence-Based Strategies for Traumatic Stress (CRESTS)

Placing Culture at the Center of Trauma-Informed Care

Welcome to CRESTS-Achieve

CRESTS-Achieve is a culture-centered, trauma-informed care credentialing program for educators, mental health professionals, and parents. This training program helps adults who work with Black children to counter race-based trauma and continuous traumatic stress. The goal is to transform children's home and school environments to promote academic excellence and socio-emotional well-being.

The Program

The CRESTS-Achieve Program incorporates an understanding of the social-cultural environmental issues that impact children’s development and psychological wellness, specifically race-based trauma, historical trauma, and continuous traumatic stress. Additionally, the program utilizes culture-centered theories and interventions for trauma-informed care.

The CRESTS-Achieve Program includes a baseline assessment of the school’s overall performance, coupled with a 6-month follow-up assessment. Pre- and post-tests are conducted for each participant prior to and following completion of all modules in the training program. The CRESTS Program integrates community involvement and buy-in prior to initializing the program and strongly supports reporting outcomes to community stakeholders at the conclusion of the first 6 months of the program.

The CRESTS-Achieve Program offers 3 training tracks: one for educators and non-instructional staff (17 units), one for parents/caregivers (16-units), and one for clinicians, including school counselors, social workers, and psychologists (22 units), with assessments following completion of each unit. All units are 45-min in duration.

The CRESTS-Achieve Program is founded upon over 50 years of combined experience and expertise in the area of multicultural counseling and psychology, culture-centered clinical research, juvenile justice, and trauma-informed care. The founders have collectively published over 100 publications nationally and internationally related to trauma, health promotion/equity, community empowerment, and academic achievement.

CRESTS-Achieve Program components have been effectively used in clinical practice. The outcomes of prior applications have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals.  Additionally, the founders of the CRESTS program incorporate ongoing evaluation and research activity about the program to further strengthen the validity of the CRESTS program.


An article about parenting practices among low-income parents and guardians of academically successful fifth graders
Expected Outcomes
A young African American boy in a striped shirt reading from a workbook
  • Improved academic performance, including student engagement (involvement in class activities, after-school programs), test scores, grades (GPA), graduate rates, attendance, reduction in suspensions/expulsions, and decrease in behavior referrals.

  • Minimized psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety for students

  • Increased self-esteem, racial identity, self-actualization, and sense of empowerment/agency

Three young African American smile with their heads pressed togther
  • Greater appreciation for within-group diversity, such as skin color, hair texture, SES, gender, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, and ability

  •  Increased knowledge of historical trauma and systemic oppression

  • Increased multicultural and social justice competence for educators, mental professionals, and parents/caregivers.

An African American boy in a blue graduation cap and gown posing with his mother
  • Increased sense of empowerment when interacting with school personnel; more proactive; increased involvement with school practices (PTA, curriculum development); increased self-efficacy (how they view themselves as effective parents in supporting their children); increased advocacy and social action in relation to their children’s educational experiences.

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