12/13/19: Earlier this fall, ITTIC initiated a partnership with the Bennett Rehabilitation Institute to offer short-term, supportive counseling services to the clinic patients and their families. MSW intern Brittany Raczkiewicz will offer the counseling services focusing on processing major life events and navigating significant changes through May 2020.
12/9/19: Sue Green and Samantha Koury were invited to present at the Erie County Association of School Boards (ECASB) speed boarding event last Thursday. Board members from schools across Erie County attended the event and rotated between five presentations for 20 minutes each. Sue and Samantha presented on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), trauma-informed educational practices and ITTIC's Trauma-Informed Organizational Change Manual.
12/4/19: Samantha Koury attended the 2019 Ending the Epedemic Summit sponsored by the New York Department of Health AIDS Institute yesterday. Samantha co-facilitated a poster presentation on implementing trauma-informed organizational change with a former trauma-informed Champion from GMHC, which described the learning collaborative ITTIC facilitates with the AIDS Institute and the work done at GMHC since the Champion graduated from the collaborative.
11/18/19: Brittany Raczkiewicz, MSW intern at ITTIC, has begun co-facilitating an eight session trauma support group at Vive, a shelter for refugees and aslyum seekers that is a part of Jericho Road Community Health Center. The support group infuses the evidence-based, present and future-focused curriculum of Seeking Safety with therapeutic mandala work, which provides residents with the opportinity to learn essential coping strategies and to identify growth and resilience. The group will run through the third week of December.
11/11/19: Sue Green, Denise Krause and Samantha Koury presented in Montreal, Quebec at the 2019 Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association (SFBTA) conference over the weekend. The workshop presentation, entitled "What" and "How": Training Professionals to be Trauma-Informed by Integrating Solution-Focused Skills, provided an overview of trauma-informed care and it's conceptual overlap with the solution-focused approach, how participants could consider training others using the four levels of learning and invited participants to reflect on how they could or already use solution-focused skills to train on trauma-informed care. The session had approximately 60 participants and was selected to be translated into French.
10/17/19: ITTIC was invited to be the keynote presentation at Michigan State University's (MSU) 2019 Trauma Summit yesterday, hosted by the Trauma Service and Training Network. Over 50 faculty and staff from a variety of university departments, including the School of Social Work and Department of Psychology, came together for the summit, based on their investment in ensuring they are responding to the university community in a way that is trauma-informed. Sue Green and Samantha Koury provided a three-hour presentation on ITTIC's Trauma-Informed Organizational Change Manual with considerations for a university setting. The Trauma Service and Training Network Steering Committee will continue to facilitate regular meetings to plan for and implement action steps to build on MSU's commitment to preventing sexual violence and misconduct in a trauma-informed way.
10/10/19: ITTIC was invited to present at the 2019 New York Department of Health AIDS Institute Criminal Justice Initiative Conference yesterday in Albany, New York. Samantha Koury attended the first day of the conference and provided the presentation on trauma and trauma-informed care. The criminal justice initiative funds 12 community based organizations and prioritizes the provision of linkage and navigation services for persons living with HIV under custody and recently released from DOCCS. As a means of continuing the momentum and success they have had since it began in 2017, the initiative has formally embraced an anti-stigma, culturally responsible and trauma-informed framework.
9/30/19: ITTIC delivered the final wrap-up training for the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)-sponsored trauma-informed care learning collaborative today. In addition to considering their own individual work and their own office, the Champions worked together in order to map out what is needed as a collaborative team in order to bring what they learned to their partners and organizations that they oversee. 21 members of the Champion team graduated and received certificates of completion for their participation in the five-month learning collaborative.
9/6/19: ITTIC has begun a more formal working relationship with the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), a group with representation from across the country working to advocate for trauma-informed policies and programs at the federal, state and local levels. ITTIC has been a participant in CTIPP's monthly conference calls for the past year. However, as of the last few weeks, representatives from ITTIC have become more active in the collaborative advocacy efforts of drafting potential policy language and planning to educate government legislators and representatives.
Please visit the CTIPP website for more information and resources about the movement.
8/20/19: ITTIC was invited to present at the annual Air Force Sexual Assault Response Prevention (SARP) refresher training in Chicago, IL yesterday. Samantha Koury attended the full-day on behalf of ITTIC and provided the presentation, which focused on how Sexual Assault Response Coordinators can be more trauma-informed in their work with survivors and with their workforce of advocates and volunteers.
8/5/19: Tom Nochajski and Samantha Koury presented on behalf of ITTIC alongside other colleagues at the 36th International Congress on Law and Mental Health in Rome, Italy. Their presentations on implementing trauma-informed educational practices and solution-focused trauma-informed care were part of a two-hour panel session entitled "Designing Trauma-Informed Systems" on Friday, July 26th.
7/19/19: ITTIC entered into a three-month contract with the St. Lawrence County Youth Advocate Program earlier this month. This week, ITTIC trainer Kristin Rivera spent two days with their identified Champion team to kick-off their learning of ITTIC's trauma-informed organizational model. Champions will continue to meet with ITTIC each month in-person and virtually for consultation and continued education. Please see our state partnerships page for more information.
7/9/19: Shelley Hitzel, LMSW and Senior Investigator Tom Gibbons NYSP trained recruits in the 71st class at the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy last Tuesday. A total of 16 officers from across Niagara, Genesee and Erie Counties were present at the training. Recruits will begin employment at Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Batavia Police Department, Tonawanda Police Department, Niagara County Sheriff's, Niagara Falls Police Department, North Tonawanda Police and Lockport Police in September.
To date, ITTIC has provided the SAMHSA How Being Trauma Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Response to over 100 recruits. Visit our SAMHSA training page for more information.
6/18/19: ITTIC is now contracted with Rockland County Department of Social Services in order to help them build the foundation for trauma-informed practices in their work. ITTIC will be traveling to Rockland County once per month from June through September 2019 in order to provide training, consultation and coaching to staff. Please see our state partnerships page for more details.
6/7/19: ITTIC met with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)-sponsored trauma-informed care "Champion" team on Monday 6/3/19 to formally kick-off the learning collaborative. The full-day training focused on building the foundation for creating trauma-informed organizational and systems change with 26 identified Champions from various state offices. The learning collaborative will continue through the end of September 2019 via monthly online consultations, homework assignments and a wrap-up training in Albany.
5/27/19: Shelley Hitzel, LMSW and Senior Investigator Tom Gibbons provided trauma-informed education to probation officers from across New York on Wednesday 5/22/19 using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s "How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses" curriculum. Over 20 officers were in attendance from Allegany, Genesee, Steuben, Yates and Chautauqua Counties. The training was provided by ITTIC and sponsored by the Allegany County Probation Department, with funding provided through a grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Please see our SAMHSA collaboration page for more details about the training curriculum.
5/10/19: From May through September 2019, ITTIC will be in contract with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in order to provide a five-month trauma-informed care "Champion" learning collaborative. Up to 30 individuals will be identified to participate and come together as a full team in Albany on 6/3/19. Please see our state partnerships page for more details.
4/25/19: Erin Bascug presented a poster describing outcome data from ITTIC's Trauma-Informed Parenting Education Support Group at the Celebration of Student Academic Excellence today. Erin is a MSW/PhD student at the UB School of Social Work and student affiliate of ITTIC. She was the primary creator of the Trauma-Informed Parenting Education Support Group curriculum while she was an intern at ITTIC last year and continues to supervise the facilitation of groups at the Lighthouse and Madonna House.
4/16/19: Samantha Koury was one of the invited presenters at the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center 2019 Nursing Summit last Friday. This year's summit was focused on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how the nursing profession can respond to the prevalence of trauma and adversity. Samantha presented on how front line nurses, nurse administrators and health care systems as a whole can be trauma-informed in their work. She also joined the other presenters to be part of a discussion panel at the end of the day.
4/8/19: ITTIC delivered the wrap-up training for the Oswego County Trauma-Informed Care Champion Team last Friday. In addition to considering their own individual organizations, the team worked together in order to map out structures for sustainability and next steps for their community's trauma-informed initiative. 18 members of the Champion team graduated and received certificates of completion for their participation in the seven-month learning collaborative.
3/28/19: Yesterday ITTIC facilitated the wrap-up training for the Salamanca Trauma-Informed Care Champion Team. The focus of the half-day was around resilience, post-traumatic growth and action planning moving forward. The Champions shared their sub-committee projects they worked on for the duration of the six-month learning collaborative, focusing on addressing trauma, inviting community stakeholders to the table, messaging to the community and educating other providers. The team of 23 Champions graduated and received certificates of completion.
2/19/19: The purpose of the Trauma-Informed Organizational Change Manual is to help organizations and systems plan for, implement and sustain trauma-informed culture change. This manual is intended for: organizations, systems of care, hospitals, schools and businesses that are considering and/or interested in implementing a trauma-informed approach.
1/25/19: ITTIC trainers delivered a Trauma 101 psychoeducation presentation to all elementary school teachers in the Ken-Ton school district. The presentation included information on trauma and adversity, re-traumatization and an introduction to the values/principles of trauma-informed educational practices. The teachers will receive follow-up consultation and further education that relates to the implementation of trauma-informed educational practices.
12/31/18: Samantha Koury and Research Professor Tom Nochajski attended the 2018 World AIDS Day Ending the Epidemic Summit in Albany, NY. Samantha was presented with the Ken Dunning Trauma-Informed Care Award, a NYS Department of Health Commissioner's Special Recognition Award, for her dedication, contribution and commitment to improving and promoting the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.
12/7/18: The second cohort of the WNY Trauma-Informed Care Champion Team and Advanced Champions from the first cohort graduated today at Hospice Buffalo's Education Center. Both teams had the opportunity to share the work that was done during the collaborative period with each other and leadership who attended the event. The upcoming trauma-informed care resource repository was also showcased, which is scheduled to be released in January 2019. The graduation event closed with an invitation to all Champions to be a part of a vision meeting to plan the future goals of the Trauma Informed Community Initiative of WNY.
11/14/18: ITTIC is collaborating with the Salamanca School District to deliver the champion learning collaborative training model. Twenty five champions from nine agencies/organizations across Cattaraugus County participated in the kick-off training of this initiative. Similar to other learning collaboratives ITTIC has delivered, 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. Champions will participate in monthly coaching/consultation sessions in which they will continue to operationalize SAMHSA's ten implementation domains as well as the five values/principles of trauma-informed care.
11/6/18: ITTIC trainers delivered a Trauma 101 psychoeducation presentation to all middle and high school teachers in the Ken-Ton school district. The presentation included information on trauma and adversity, re-traumatization and an introduction to the values/principles of trauma-informed educational practices. The teachers will receive follow-up consultation and further education that relates to the implementation of trauma-informed educational practices.
10/15/18: As part of the Trauma-Informed Care training initiative, Whitney Mendel is providing coaching/consultation sessions to the Care Management Team at Mount St. Mary's hospital. She will be attending morning huddles to provide support, encouragement and information to staff around Trauma-Informed Care. The work ITTIC is doing at the hospital is highlighted in the October issue of the Connections Newsletter.
10/7/18: Lauren discusses her own history of mental health and how her history has influenced the progression of her career. She explains the work she has done in the mental health field and states that she sees her current role as "a bridge between the mental health community and the general population."
Leah shares her experiences with mental illness, specifically suicide and suicide prevention. Leah is a trainer at the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care; she is passionate about bringing a trauma-informed perspective to youth suicide prevention efforts. She discusses how she has found meaning in her own experiences with intergenerational trauma and mental illness.
9/28/18: ITTIC delivered a seven-hour kick-off training to all champions in the Oswego County learning collaborative. 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. Champions will participate in monthly coaching/consultation sessions in which they will continue to operationalize SAMHSA's ten implementation domains and as well the five values/principles of trauma-informed care.
9/24/18: ITTIC is partnering with the Oswego County Health Department to deliver a seven month learning collaborative in Oswego County, in which 30 Champions from 19 different agencies/organizations across the county are participating. The identified champions have completed an online Trauma 101 course and will be having their seven hour kick-off training on 9/28/18. Champions will receive ongoing coaching/consultation from ITTIC staff over the seven month period—putting the Champions in the position to bring the information and resources back to their own agencies/organizations/systems for planning, implementation and sustainability.
9/7/18: The second cohort of WNY Trauma-Informed Care Champions attended their final wrap-up training at The Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care. From April-September 2018, the 35 champions in this cohort have received training and consultation on trauma/adversity, re-traumatization, advocacy, trauma-informed culture change and SAMHSA's ten implementation domains for trauma-informed care. The champion graduation event for the second cohort will be held on December 7, 2018.
8/31/18: ITTIC's work with Mount St. Mary's Hospital is featured in the August 2018 issue of the Connections Newsletter. The article discusses the framework of trauma-informed care as well as the hospital's efforts to increase staff awareness of trauma/adversity and how to implement trauma-informed care.
8/21/18: From September 2018-February 2019, ITTIC will be partnering with KidsPeace. ITTIC trainers will deliver a Trauma 101 psychoeducation presentation to the staff at KidsPeace which will provide an overview of trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the impacts of trauma/adversity, re-traumatization and introduce Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and the 5 guiding principles. ITTIC trainers will provide follow-up consultation to help staff further operationalize TIC within their roles. ITTIC will also meet with leadership throughout the project period.
8/3/18: From August 2018-July 2019, ITTIC will partner with the Cheektowaga Central School District. Specificially, ITTIC will work with the Mental Health Team and implementation planning teams (administrators, teacher/departmental leaders, PPS teams) to provide training, coaching and consultation around Trauma-Informed Educational Practices, trauma-informed organizational planning, and beginning implementation.
7/27/18: In this podcast, Natasha discusses her experiences of chronic childhood sexual abuse by family members. She explains the experience she had with disclosing the abuse to her teachers in school and the repercussions she faced because of the disclosure. As a result of her own experiences, she highlights the importance of educating adults who interface with children about the signs of childhood abuse and neglect. She also explains how the principles of trauma-informed care influenced her experiences in two different treatment settings.
7/13/18: ITTIC is faciliatating an eight-week trauma support group at a local community agency to assist refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers address the trauma they have experienced. The support group aims to help participants learn safe coping skills in addition to recognizing and managing their experiences of trauma and oppression. The support group combines elements of the evidence-based curriculum Seeking Safety with the creation of mandala art.
7/1/2018: In the month of July, ITTIC is providing an initial Trauma 101 psychoeducation presentation to 120 staff members at Belmont Housing Resources for WNY. During this presentation, staff members will learn about trauma/adversity and its impact, re-traumatization and how to prevent it at both client and staff levels, and how to begin thinking about how the five guiding values/principles of Trauma-Informed Care—safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment—apply to their individual roles. Additionally, all staff members will participate in a two hour follow-up consultation.
6/8/18: Samantha Koury, LMSW and Travis Hales, PhD presented a paper entitled The Results of a Trauma-Informed Intervention on Staff and Clients at the Trauma Talks Conference in Toronto. The presentation focused on the influence of implementing trauma-informed care on organizational, staff, and client outcomes.
PhD student Erin Bascug participated in the poster presentations where she presented preliminary data regarding feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a curriculum that ITTIC developed to determine best practices for conducting client-centered psychoeducational trauma support groups for women in a residential treatment setting with opioid use disorder.
6/1/18: Sue Green and Samantha Koury met with 14 of the WNY Champions from Cohort 1 who are participating in the Advanced Learning Collaborative. The champions each identified a project they will work on that falls within one of the following areas of Trauma-Informed Care: training and implementation, organizations, clinical trauma treatment considerations, and advocacy/policy. During this meeting, the champions worked together in small groups to consider what their next steps are and how they want to move forward on each of their identified projects. The champions will receive individualized coaching and consultation from ITTIC through December 2018 to assist them in completing their projects.
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 delivered 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.