The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has received a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime at the Department of Justice. VDSS’ goal is to use this program to ensure that every child entering any of Virginia’s child-serving systems is assessed for victimization, provided comprehensive and coordinated services to fully address their needs.
With this program, our focus will be to assess and remove barriers such as governmental jurisdictions, funding sources, vastly differentiating program areas, and the lack of cross-systems knowledge,” explained VDSS Commissioner Margaret Schultze. “Our priority is to continue to improve our practices to appropriately address the needs of child and youth victims and their families.
The work will seek to identify children who have been exposed to violence and experienced trauma and provide a systems of care that is not fragmented or re-traumatizing for the individual. They are working on a screening mechanism to help identify those individuals who may need trauma informed care and support. This screening tool would be provided for professionals along with extensive training and support.
A major goal: to bring together all of the relevant systems and professionals to provide early identification, intervention, and treatment for child and youth victims and their families and caregivers.
Press release for more details: Press Release Template_Commissioner Approved2014
Interestingly, Virginia and Montana are the two states that received the funding for this project. There is a 15 month planning phase and a five-year implementation phase.
Trauma informed care has been an area of study for me as a professional and within my place of employment. I have found these resources helpful. Click on the highlighted resource to go to the website. Therapists and a support group are listed after the websites.
- Lisa Ferentz The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc Lisa has resources, a great blog, and offers training. She also provides information and training on Post-Traumatic Growth.
- The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Be sure to take the ACE calculator under the tab “ACE calculator”.
- ACEs Connection Network You can read articles and network with other professionals. You can sign up for their email, newsletters.
- SAMHSA has a free workbook on trauma informed approaches and specific interventions, as well as a great website for other mental health resources.
- The Trauma Informed Care Project has a section for success stories and a great PowerPoint to gain knowledge on trauma and trauma informed care.
- A moving life story, “Healing Neen” After surviving a childhood of abuse and neglect, Tonier “Neen” Cain lived on the streets for two nightmarish decades, where she endured unrelenting violence, hunger and despair while racking up 66 criminal convictions related to her addiction. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, treatment for her lifetime of trauma offered her a way out… and up. Her story illustrates the consequences that untreated trauma has on individuals and society at-large, including mental health problems, addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Today, she is a nationally renowned speaker and educator on the devastation of trauma and the hope of recovery. Tonier “Neen” Cain’s website: http://healingneen.com/
- Also, a great book to understand the impact of trauma on the developing brain of a child is Teaching with Poverty In Mind by Eric Jensen.
If you are local, I would like to share some resources that will help support your clients, or if you are in need of resources due to trauma.
Trauma Informed Care Therapists
- Kathleen Sproul and Melody Padroza with Dominion Behavioral Healthcare, 794-4482, near Chesterfield Towne Center
- Dr. Jane Kudlas, with Commonwealth Counseling, 423-1550, on Midlothian off 288
- Lisa Brown, with Oxbridge Counseling, 276-5761, on Hull St.
- Vicki Ipsen, in practice for herself, 893-4266, on Midlothian Turnpike
- Dawn Terry, with Chesterfield Family Guidance, 743-0960, off Rt. !0 near Irongate Shopping Center
There is a great support group available:
The group is for women (18 and older) who have been sexually abused. The book the group uses is “Shelter from the Storm” by Cynthia Kubetin and James Mallory, MD. This is a workbook and needs to be done in a group format with a facilitator, not alone. For more information, please contact the facilitator, Sandy, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The facilitator of this support group recommends this book:
“On The Threshhold of Hope” by Diane Mandt Langberg is a good read if you are ready to seek help.