5/1/18: The Ken-Ton School District highlighted its partnership with ITTIC in the May 2018 issue of the School Gram. Ken-Ton is one of the first school districts in the Western New York area to implement trauma-informed educational practices. ITTIC is currently providing training and consultation to each of the nine school-based champion teams. ITTIC delivered Trauma 101 trainings to champion team members on 3/28/18, 4/18/18, and the next training is scheduled on 5/24/18. ITTIC will begin training all levels of district staff at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
4/23/18: Shelley Hitzel and Cpt. Elliott, Niagara County Sheriff's Office, delivered the SAMHSA training entitled, “How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses” to the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy recruit class. The current recruit class is comprised of seven individuals who will be employed at various law enforcement agencies once they complete the academy. These agencies include: Niagara County Sheriff's Office, Niagara Falls Police Department and the Town of Tonawanda Police Department. To date, Cpt. Elliott and Shelley have delievered this training to four recruit classes, with over 50 law enforcement officers receiving this training.
4/23/18-4/25/18: Sue Green, Samantha Koury, and Suzanne Bissonette traveled to Sarasota, Florida for a Trauma-Informed Care training with All Star Children's Foundation. The ITTIC team met with the founders and leadership team on 4/24/18 to discuss the importance of trauma-informed care in the development of their "Campus of Hope & Healing." On 4/25/18, the ITTIC team delivered a full day training for the Board of Directors, founders, and community partners of All Star, which included information about trauma and adversity, adverse childhood experiences, how trauma impacts brain development, re-traumatization, and the 5 guiding values/principles of trauma-informed care.
4/13/18: ITTIC delivered a closing training for the AIDS Institute's third cohort of 26 champions in Albany, NY. This training marked the end of the 6-month learning collaborative entitled "Building Agency Capacity for Trauma-Informed Care." During the training, the champions were trained in how to foster resilence, posttraumatic growth and vicarious resilience. Champions also discussed next steps and action planning, which is important to consider when thinking about how each of the champions will bring the skills and knowledge they learned from the collaborative back to their agencies and organizations. Each champion also received a certificate of completion.
3/28/18: The first training session of Trauma 101 for principals, key staff, and champions in the Ken-Ton School District was held on March 28, 2018. Forty individuals in the district were trained in trauma and its impact, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), re-traumatization and an introduction to Trauma-Informed Educational Practices. This training is the foundation for the work that will be done during the 3-year training initiative. The next Trauma 101 training session will be delivered on 4/18/18.
Leadership support is crucial for creating and sustaining the organizational change process. Below is a message that Mr. Bovino, Superintendent of the Ken-Ton School District, sent to all faculty and staff in the district:
Here in Ken-Ton, we have always prided ourselves on being at the forefront of educational innovation. This is most recently evident in our Ken-Ton Forward Strategic Planning process. A major component of that process is a focus on the social-emotional wellness of students.
Part of our forward-thinking efforts in this area is the development of Ken-Ton as a "Trauma-Informed District." You may have heard reference to this process in a few different ways recently. In collaboration with UB’s Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care we are undertaking a 3-year process to train all Ken-Ton staff in Trauma-Informed Educational Practices.
This training will begin shortly with a small group of staff and will expand to the others over a three-year period of time. This initial training will be in the Basics of Trauma-Informed Educational Practices. This will be a purposeful and differentiated process that will result in many staff being trained so Ken-Ton becomes a district that embraces a Trauma-Informed approach.
During the past year I have attended a number of meetings and conferences with educators and fellow superintendents. I can tell you that the mental health crisis in this state is real. A recent survey responded to by NYS superintendents indicated that mental health issues is a top concern. The survey also indicated it was an area where superintendents would like to commit to additional funding.
This month I attended a two-day conference on mental health for educators. The conference was both informative and alarming when one understands the issues we are facing. Two districts presented on how they have attempted to deal with mental health issues. One critical component for both districts was a thorough understanding of Trauma-Informed Care along with development of programs and training so that the entire staff can operate as a trauma-sensitive district. You may ask, what is defined as trauma? I have provided a link to a a fifteen-minute Ted Talk by Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris. I recommend that you view it as she will explain trauma and the impact it has on child’s social, emotional and physical development and overall quality of life.
In the video you will hear about ACE. I learned a great deal about this study that has been in place now for a number of years: Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE. According to the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the ACE study found that:
The study uses a survey instrument to determine if a child has suffered one or more ACEs. I have attached several images that explain what the ACE survey measures and the adverse impact one or more ACEs has on a child. We have seen the increase of mental health issues in our own district. Referrals to the Family Support Center are at an all-time high. Another important aspect of the mental health condition of our students is the stress that it places on our staff. The problem is real and it impacts all of us.
As you begin to see and hear about Trauma-Informed Educational Practices I encourage you to participate. This might mean completing a survey to help in decision-making and program design, it might mean focusing on this topic in a faculty meeting or special training opportunity. The questions you are asked and the professional development you will be provided will allow for our staff to become independent practitioners of Trauma Informed Educational Practices as our colleagues at UB transition out of the schools by the end of our 3-year plan.
Trauma-Informed Educational Practices will look differently to our many kinds of staff with various skills and experiences. But in each case, I ask you to support this initiative with your honest participation. We need to work together to prepare ourselves to meet the needs of our community. Thank you for taking the time to review these materials.
3/23/18: ITTIC has been deliberately working with Mount St. Mary's Hospital (part of the collaboration with Catholic Health) to integrate Trauma-Informed Care into different parts the hospital. As part of this initiative, Whitney Mendel attended this month's Spirit Day at Mount St. Mary's Hospital. While working with staff to hand out soft pretzels as a self-care treat, Whitney also highlighted the overlap of the values/principles of Trauma-Informed Care with Catholic Health's values.
3/15/18: The kick-off training for the WNY Trauma-Informed Care Champion Team (second cohort) was held. Champions were trained in trauma/adversity, re-traumatization, steps to creating trauma-informed systems of care, the role of a Champion, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s ten implementation domains.
3/12/18: While Dr. Mandy Davis was in Buffalo for ITTIC's WNY Trauma-Informed Care Champion collaborative meeting, she recorded a podcast with Josie Diebold. She is featured in Episode 235 of the inSocialWork Podcast Series. Click the link below to hear Dr. Davis discuss challenges and barriers to promoting and sustaining trauma-informed policies and practices.
2/7/18: Eighteen law enforcement officials (Lieutenants, Detectives, Investigators and Patrol Officers), from eight local police departments participated in the most recent SAMHSA training entitled, “How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses.” Previous trainings included only a few officials, so we're pleased the number increased.
1/24/18: Dr. Mandy Davis, the Director of Trauma Informed Oregon, presented to the WNY Trauma-Informed Care Champion Team, the TICI Legislative Committee, and to the community about the work being done through Trauma Informed Oregon. She also gave feedback to the Champions and the Legislative Committee in regards to the policy resolution they created.