Sign in to Keybank Login online

CASCAID (Complex ACEs, Complex Aid) Research Group

Finding flow for individuals with adverse childhood experiences

University of Michigan School of Nursing CASCAID logoThe CASCAID (Complex ACEs, Complex Aid) Research Group is comprised of key University of Michigan School of Nursing faculty and students committed to addressing the adverse impacts of trauma experienced by individuals (adverse childhood experiences, or ACE) by creating and studying complex interventions, in other words, complex aid. Complex ACEs are adverse childhood experiences that add up to traumatic and toxic stress that can derail development and impinge on health across the lifespan. Read more about the research group.

Access the TIC Grade tool for your clients/patients to evaluate the trauma-informed care they receive.

Access TIC Grade Tool

Who We Are




  • Lay groundwork for participatory research with high-ACE individuals.
  • Change the paradigm from “high-risk” to “high-ACE” youth.
  • Engage with youth, professionals and the state-of-the-science to decrease the impact of trauma on the body.


  • Move nursing toward trauma-informed care.
  • Influence traumatic stress research to focus on healthy embodiment and self-regulated wellbeing.

Current Initiatives

Folder with star iconTrauma-informed curriculum                                                                                                 

Working with students, faculty, and a Student Advisory Board at the University of Michigan School of Nursing to develop a trauma-informed curriculum (Funding through CRLT; PI: Beth Kuzma). Project complete, but content is now integrated into the University of Michigan School of Nursing curriculum.

Offering graduate and undergraduate students in Nursing, Social Work, and Education an inter-professional mini-certificate focused on trauma-informed practice with children and adolescents.

Leading cross-sector education on trauma via a new Health Science course for Fall 2020: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Trauma (HS495 & HS695).  This course will provide a full range of views on trauma and its bio-psycho-social sequelae for diverse populations.  The goal is to lay a strong foundation for professionals across fields to respond to the needs of trauma-exposed people. Contact Dr. Julia Seng to learn more.

Calculator and pencilMeasuring trauma-informed care                                                                                           

Developing and piloting a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Grade to allow patients to evaluate if the clinical care they received was trauma-informed (Funded through the U-M School of Nursing; PIs: Cindy Darling-Fisher & Nicole Boucher).

Access the TIC Grade tool for your clients/patients to evaluate the trauma-informed care they receive.


Group of three animated peopleCommunity-engaged interventions

Developing a trauma-informed care for musicians and creating an evaluation framework for a trauma-informed music intervention for youth who have experienced trauma (Funded through MICHR CUPS; PIs: Michelle Munro-Kramer, Michelle Pardee, & Mike Ball).

Assisting the Coalition on Temporary Shelter/Creating Opportunities To Succeed (COTS, Detroit) in accessing organizational Laurtraining and interventions that support their trauma-informed mission, including implementing the Chicago Parent Program for their clients. (Funded through Hillman Foundation; PI: Deborah Gross, JHU; consultants Laura Gultekin, & COTS).     

Cloud with check mark icon in centerTrauma-informed trainings

Offering trainings on trauma-informed care and trauma-informed organizations to local community organizations. If you are interested in a training, please complete a short survey to let us know your needs and see below for more details.

Level I: Trauma 101 - One hour to one and half hour training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), basic brain biology, and breaking the cycle of trauma. Includes interactive activities and group work. FREE. Led by Dr. Nicole Boucher.

Level II: Trauma-Informed Organizations - Two to three hour training tailored to focus on brain biology, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and helping your organization to become trauma-informed to meet the needs of clients and staff. Includes interactive activities and case studies tailored to your organization. Includes a $500 consultation fee for organizations with less than 50 people or a $1,000 consultation fee for organizations with 50+ people to help the trainers tailor the presentation to your needs. Led by doctorally-prepared nursing clinicians and researchers who focus on trauma.

We are currently developing a series of trainings with the Center for Next Century Nursing (CNCN) that will be available to faculty, students and Michigan Medicine staff, focusing on developing a trauma-informed and resilient nursing work force. Trainings will offer a range of badges demonstrating mastery of content as well as CEs for nurses.

Sign up for training

Recent Publications

  • Sinko, L., Beck, D., & Seng, J. (2020). Developing the TIC Grade: A Youth Self-Report Measure of Perceptions of Trauma-Informed Care. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 1078390320970652.

  • Boucher, N., Darling-Fisher, C. S., Sinko, L., Beck, D., Granner, J., & Seng, J. (2020). Psychometric evaluation of the TIC Grade, a self-report measure to assess youth perceptions of the quality of trauma-informed care they received. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 1078390320953896.

  • Kuzma, E. K., Morgan, A., & Pardee, M. (under review). Trauma informed care for the perinatal and neonatal nurse. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.

  • Cannon, L. M., Coolidge, E., LeGierse, J., Moskowitz, Y., Buckley, C., Chapin, C., Warren, M., & Kuzma, E. K. (2020). Trauma-informed education: Creating and pilot testing a nursing curriculum on trauma-informed care. Nursing Outlook, 85, 104256. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104256

  • Li, Y., Cannon, L. M., Coolidge, E., Darling-Fisher, C. S., Pardee, M., & Kuzma, E. K. (2019). Current state of trauma-informed education in the health sciences. Journal of Nursing Education. 58(2), 93-101. doi:10.3928/01484834-20190122-06

  • Gultekin, L., Kusunoki, Y., Abramoski, K., Cannon, L.M., Kahn, A.G., Sinko, L., & Seng, J.S. (2019). The Eco-Social Trauma Intervention Model. Public Health Nursing, 36(5) 709-715. doi:10.1111/phn.12619

  • Seng, J. S. & CAsCAid Group. (2018). From fight or flight, freeze or faint, to “flow”: Identifying a concept to express a positive embodied outcome of trauma recovery. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. doi:10.1177/1078390318778890

  • Pardee, M., Kuzma, E., Dahlem, G., Boucher, N., & Darling-Fisher, C. (2017). Current state of screening high-ACE youth and emerging adults in primary care. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(12), 716-724. doi:10.1002/23/27-6924.12531

  • Rosemberg, M.A. S., Gultekin, L., & Pardee, M. (2017). High-ACE low wage workers: Occupational health nursing research and praxis through a trauma-informed lens. Workplace Health & Safety, 66(5), 233-240. doi: 10.1177/2165079917736070