Attachment, Regulation, & Competency (ARC)

A framework for understanding trauma’s impact on child development and relationships designed to support healing and resilience.

At Children’s Home Society of NC, we believe that all children should grow up in a safe, loving, and permanent family. The work of keeping children safe while they heal from past trauma and loss, and move toward permanency, is shared work that requires all of us to be trauma-responsive. Children and youth affected by trauma and loss have needs that can challenge the most experienced caregivers.

The Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Model is a framework that provides tools and resources to provide a more knowledgeable and confident trauma informed approach to children and youth. The name of the model, often referred to as simply ARC, refers to areas of functioning often impacted by traumatic experiences, particularly when that trauma occurs in childhood.

“ARC activities are a fun, creative way for families to connect with the children in their home!”

The ARC Model gives us a shared language for talking about trauma and healing and is chosen over other models for its numerous tools and resources available, including the flexibility to develop new resources as needs arise. It also has a future-oriented focus, not just focusing on past events, but it supports children, adolescents, and caregivers alike to look forward, and engage in the world in a manner that is empowered and confident.


A – Attachment

This is about relationships and how we connect to others. Who do you trust? Who makes you feel safe?


R – Regulation

This is about the way people manage their emotions. How do you feel about feelings? How do you manage your feelings? What kind of coping skills work best for you?


C – Competency

This is about strengths and the things we do well, like problem solving and decision making; it’s also about how we feel about ourselves. What are you good at? What do you believe about yourself?

ARC Reflections: Meet Archie, the Explorer!

Archie will help guide you through all of our training and resources available to you!


A training curriculum for foster parents, kin, and other caregivers of children and teens exposed to complex trauma. Participants learn how trauma may affect youth in their care and develop tools for managing these challenges. An evaluation by Child Trends, a non-profit, nonpartisan research center, showed ARC Reflections to be immediately helpful to foster parents in understanding and supporting the children and teens in their care. Every parent who fosters or adopts through Children’s Home Society has the opportunity to take this training and is expected to complete it after licensure. Upon completion of ARC Reflections, parents have access to a monthly ARC Skills workshop. This workshop provides the opportunity to learn how to apply the information and work through challenges with other parents.

ARC – Ways Toolkit

CHS Specialists have access to a fun toolkit of resources and activities to use when doing home visits. Some of these resources are games and other activities that can serve as conversation-starters for parents and staff to use with children. From pre-placement to post-placement, the ARC Ways Toolkit is designed to reinforce the knowledge and skills gained during ARC Reflections.

ARC Explorer

ARC Explorer is our bi-monthly e-newsletter designed to help parents and staff grow and discover new ways to understand and apply ARC in their work. Every other month this newsletter will arrive in your inbox with brief features that take into account busy schedules and are designed for reading “at a glance.” For those parents interested in a deeper dive, the newsletter contains links for further reading.


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