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Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) (Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute)


What is ARC?

ARC is a framework for intervention with youth and families who have experienced multiple and/or prolonged traumatic stress. ARC identifies three core domains that are frequently impacted among traumatized youth, and which are relevant to future resiliency. Designed to be applied flexibly across child- and family-serving systems, ARC provides a theoretical framework, core principles of intervention, and a guiding structure for providers. ARC is designed for youth from early childhood to adolescence and their caregivers or caregiving systems. ARC is currently in use in more than 300 agencies and/or child-serving systems in the U.S. and abroad, and has been adapted to the range of agencies which provide services to this population.

What does ARC target?

The ARC framework is built around the following core targets of intervention. These targets are addressed in client – and system-specific ways, with an overarching goal of supporting the child, family, and system’s ability to engage thoughtfully in the present moment (Trauma Experience Integration). Across targets, Routines and rituals and Psychoeducation are integrated as cross-cutting elements of intervention.

Attachment: Caregiver Affect, Attunement, Consistent Response

Regulation: Identfication, Modulation, Expression

Competency: Executive Functions, Self Development

A growing research base suggests that ARC leads to reduction in child posttraumatic stress symptoms and general mental health symptoms, as well as increased adaptive and social skills. Caregivers report reduced distress and view their children’s behaviors as less dysfunctional. Systems-level outcomes include reduced use of restraints in programs, and improved permanency rates in foster care.


Behavior Collaboration Early Childhood Elementary Emotional Disability High School Mental Health Middle School Parent/Family Preschool Professional Resources