Finding and Instilling Hope for Students and Staff: RTIC Trauma-Informed Care School Based Pilots

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From Care Compass Network:

BINGHAMTON, NY April 12, 2021 – Care Compass Network (CCN) and the CCN Regional Trauma-Informed Care (RTIC) team is proud to fund and support two local schools as they implement trauma-informed care approaches, adopt an effective and sensitive trauma screening with follow up care processes, and strengthen the referral pathways for community resources and treatments.

Why Now?

With so many uncertainties, creating and adopting a trauma-sensitive environment that promotes optimal child development is a community priority for CCN and the RTIC team. Challenges or stressful experiences facing our students and families may greatly impact the physical, social, and emotional well-being of our developing youth, as well as the adults caring for them. The time is now to move the Trauma Informed Schools movement forward.

ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)/ traumas experienced have been on the rise. The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this issue not only regionally, but nationally as well. The needs of our students, families, academic staff, and community have intensified during this pandemic as people experience stress and grief due to loss of employment, family stability, relationships, and social and academic support. 

The Science Behind ACEs:

Pre-COVID research showed that 67% reported at least one ACE while 13% reported having four or more ACEs. Multiple studies have shown that those with a higher number of ACEs reported tend to have a higher risk for chronic disease as an adult, are three times more at risk for heart disease or lung cancer, and there is a 20-year difference in life expectancy for those with high ACE scores that are left untreated.

As part of CCN’s commitment to promote a culturally sensitive workforce and improve the health and wellbeing for our community, the Regional Trauma-Informed Care Network Team strongly feels a duty to advance the adoption and operationalization of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) practices and principles across settings. At its core, we believe TIC should be the minimal standard of care to afford the children, families, communities, educators, clinicians, professionals, caregivers, and the most vulnerable in our community to achieve and maintain a higher quality of care, as well as the opportunity to thrive.  

Care Compass Network and the RTIC team will be working closely with The Children’s Home and Whitney Point School District, two of the schools awarded this opportunity, focusing on four key priorities: 1.) training of all staff on Trauma-Informed Care, ACEs, Trauma, and its impact; 2.) Develop an effective and sensitive trauma screening and follow up care process within the school system; 3.) Build a strong referral system; and 4.) Implement a Trauma-Informed Care approach across the continuum that supports staff, children, and families throughout the healing process.

“The Children’s Home is very thankful and excited for this opportunity. This grant has the potential to be life changing for many of our students,” states Kate Carello, LCSW-R, Vice President Strategic Initiatives, The Children’s Home and an RTIC team member.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the TIC School Pilot Award!” shares Patricia A. Follette, Ed.D,   Superintendent, Whitney Point Central School District. “I can’t think of a better time to have this support and focus on implementing Trauma-Informed Care practices. We look forward to getting started on this critical initiative.” Whitney Point School District will work collaboratively with their CCN Contracting lead Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network as they embark on the TIC journey.

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