Activity

Trauma Informed Policy Change in New Jersey [www.njtvonline.org]

New legislation in New Jersey will now require police officers to get sexual assault training every 3 years. Efforts to enact this legislation were spearheaded by the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) and based on applying a trauma informed lens to sexual assault. In an interview about the legislation, Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of NJCASA explains: Sexual assault is highly traumatic thing that happens to people. It’s actually recognized as the second most...

New committee takes multi-pronged approach at tackling gun violence [phillytrib.com]

By all accounts, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson enjoys his job. But there is one aspect of it that he would love to be able to eliminate. “At least three times a month I have to speak at a funeral, console a mom of some young man who was murdered in the streets for some violence on social media or some disrespectful comment made to another young man,” he said. “I’m tired of that.” In yet another effort to quell the gun violence that plagues Philadelphia, Johnson, City Managing Director Michael...

Explaining behavior: Professionals seek to address students' trauma [thenotebook.org]

The biological mother of "Jailyn" had turned her over to her cousins when she was several months old and they became her custodial parents. That is, until the custodial father fatally shot the mother while the girl was in the house. Now living in foster care, she has angry outbursts in the classroom that include screaming at her teacher and kicking objects. When she hears a loud noise, she thinks it’s a gun. Her 6th-grade teacher says she is slow to complete schoolwork, appears disorganized,...

Fighting the trauma that afflicts too many Philly children [philly.com]

Warm weather often brings a rise in crime and violence to Philadelphia, just as students and families head outdoors to enjoy a brief respite from the rigor of the school year and winter’s cold. The dichotomy of this phenomenon is upsetting, yet unsurprising. The reality is that so many children in our city do not reach their potential. It is undoubtedly a struggle to grow up in a city with the highest poverty rate of the nation’s 10 largest cities, persistent violent crime, and poor...

Focusing awareness, understanding on helping traumatized kids heal [NewsWorks.org]

The goal is a lofty one — to transform the city of Philadelphia. Organizers of Greater Philadelphia Trauma Training Conference are going about it one professional at a time. The event, which wraps up Friday at Thomas Jefferson University, is intended to help those in different professional fields become more aware of how to work with children who've experienced trauma. The 450 or professionals who attended Thursday's session represented the juvenile justice world, health care and education,...

New strategy may place more social workers in schools by September [thenotebook.org]

More than 20 additional social workers could be assigned to District schools this fall under proposals being discussed by District officials, Community Behavioral Health, the Department of Human Services, and Mayor Kenney's administration. The discussions have been strongly encouraged by several City Council members and by the newest School Reform Commission member, Estelle Richman. Under the program, the social workers would become part of school staff, helping educators recognize the...

A pediatrician's view: What will proposed GOP cuts do to Philly's most vulnerable? [Philly.com]

It’s a rainy weekday morning in North Philadelphia, and once again, as I have been doing for the last 15 years, I sign on to our electronic health-records database and prepare for the 26 young patients, ages 1 month to 20 years, on my schedule. It’s a few days after the White House’s 2018 budget proposal, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” was released last month. [For more of this story, written by Daniel R. Taylor, go to ...

The opioid epidemic is so bad that librarians are learning how to treat overdoses [CNN.com]

Philadelphia (CNN) A crowd hovered over the man lying on the grass as his skin turned purple. Chera Kowalski crouched next to his limp body, a small syringe in her gloved hand. Squeeze. The antidote filled the man's nostril. The purple faded. Then it came back. Kowalski's heart raced. "We only gave him one, and he needs another!" she called to a security guard in McPherson Square Park, a tranquil patch of green in one of this city's roughest neighborhoods. "He's dying," said a bystander,...

Philadelphia school offers program on teaching traumatized children

Cheyney University, the Pennsylvania's state-owned historically black university is launching a new program this summer to train teachers on the ins and outs of helping traumatized children to learn. The certificate program “Trauma-informed Education,” or TIES will be offered at Cheyney's Center City campus in Philadelphia. Its launch comes as Cheyney, which boasts an identity as the nation's oldest historically black post-secondary education institution, struggles to climb out of a downward...

Mental health services for immigrants and refugees in Philly must be reworked [Generocity.org]

If the past several months of discussion and action around supporting immigrants and refugees in Philly has shown us anything, it’s that the city wants to help in as many ways as possible. Whether that’s by providing collective legal counsel or helping newly arrived immigrant professionals transition to familiar careers , socially minded groups and individuals are certainly doing their part to help these populations. Yet it can’t be understated that many immigrants and refugees, especially...

Op-ed: Philly schools must prioritize trauma-informed learning [NewsWorks.org]

Powerful and surprisingly prevalent horrors are blocking access to education and ravaging children’s lives. Sadly, they remain the elephant in the classroom: adverse childhood experiences . Adverse childhood experiences include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, including bullying; physical and emotional neglect; a missing parent, due to separation, divorce, incarceration, or death; witnessing household substance abuse, violence, or mental illness; and witnessing environmental violence.

Clergy embrace trauma informed training in Greater Philadelphia region

An exceptional all-day “Trauma-Informed Training for Clergy” event was held in Philadelphia in May 2017, organized by JSR Educational Enrichment Strategies, Inc. Founder and President Doris Smith-Ribner, Retired PA State Appeals Court Judge. Judge Smith-Ribner recognized the need for this training particularly for those on the front lines of dealing with the impacts of trauma and its prevalence within Philadelphia—the Clergy. Here is her report from that meeting. Highly-regarded trauma...

Philadelphia App Links Youth to Resources and Services [ChronicleofSocialChange.org]

For youth exiting the foster care system, finding a way to access supports and services can be hard. There are many organizations and agencies that offer service to transition-age youth, but knowing where to look for resources like crisis mental health services, computer access, mentoring opportunities and food banks can be a struggle. Many youth are facing unstable and stressful living situations, barriers that make locating help nearby a challenge. In Philadelphia, advocates hope that a...

Register Today! Building Community Resilience Advocacy Event

There is still time to register for the Children's Crisis Treatment Center Annual Advocacy event on June 7th from 8:30 - 12:00 noon at WHYY . This year's event, titled: Building Resilient Communities to Address Child Adversity will feature Wendy Ellis, DrPH (c), MPH , who directs the Building Resilience Communities Initiative and has advocated for the "Pair of ACEs" perspective. Panelist will include Philadelphia ACE Task Force co-chairs, Joel Fein, MD and Sandra Bloom, MD, along with Kansas...

Some Philadelphia Neighborhoods Are Walking a Line Between Boom and Bust [NextCity.org]

Meet Diane Richardson, achiever of the American dream. A Penn State graduate and the owner of a business that helps homeless veterans, Richardson followed a common trajectory for a child of the civil rights-era black middle class: She grew up in working-class neighborhoods alongside mostly black neighbors, and attended college, which was followed by a few years of working and saving while living with her parents. Then marriage and the search for a home of her own. Like her parents, she...

Philadelphia ACE Task Force Co-Hosts Screening of CAREgivers Film for Philadelphia City Council

In partnership with Councilwoman Helen Gym, Councilman Al Taubenberger, and documentary filmmakers Vic Compher and Rodney Whittenberg, the Philadelphia ACE Task Force co-hosted a screening of Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain. and briefing about Secondary Traumatic Stress for Philadelphia City Council on Friday, April 21 st . Councilmembers, their staffers, and other community leaders attended the screening and briefing. The audience was struck by the depiction...

Seed, Soil & Light: A Young Revolutionary's Journey (dailygood.org)

Three to four houses had recently burned down in Tommy Joshua’s North Philadelphia neighborhood. In an empty lot behind his home, Tommy came to figure out the origins. The youth of the neighborhood used that space to hop around on the furniture, play with the debris, and kick the wood. From an early age, Tommy questioned the suffering in the world. His earliest memories are of the broken school system, dysfunctional families, and homelessness. He turned to his mother for answers and she...

On The Table Community Conversations Coming to Philadelphia - May 23, 2017

On the Table Philly is a forum designed to engage area residents in an open dialogue, foster new relationships and inspire solutions to strengthen communities. On May 23, 2017, Philadelphia area residents will gather in small groups across the region to share a meal and discuss the opportunities and issues we face in our region. These conversations can inspire new ways we can work together to make our communities stronger and more dynamic. The Philadelphia Foundation and the John S. and...

ACTION NEEDED: Expanding Access to School Breakfast in Philadelphia

As the nation’s poorest big city, it is common knowledge that tens of thousands of students struggle with food insecurity. The federal Community Eligibility Program makes it easy to provide every student in Philadelphia with free breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, too many of Philadelphia’s students attend schools that don’t prioritize increasing access to these meals. Students who eat school breakfast perform better in school than children who don't, yet: Only 39.6% of public school...

Teaching Empathy

Health Federation of Philadelphia

Death, rapes, and broken bones at Philly's only residential treatment center for troubled youth [Philly.com]

Shortly after David Hess died in a struggle with staffers at Wordsworth last fall, the state shuttered the West Philadelphia facility , decrying it as “an immediate and serious danger” to the children who lived there. The death of Hess, 17 – ruled a homicide – was yet another violent chapter in a hidden history of abuse at the city’s only residential treatment center for troubled young people. In the last decade, at least 49 sex crimes have been reported at Wordsworth, including 12 rapes and...

What's technology got to do with it?

On Saturday 4/29, Michael O'Bryan, activist, artist, Youth Arts Program Manager at the Village of Arts of Humanities and PATF member will explore the role that technology can play in addressing the impact of trauma and physiological stress on individuals and communities. The event will also inquire about the opportunities for technology to aid organizations and people interested in cultivating human well-being. Mike will be giving a short presentation on the current science of how...

Philadelphia ACE Task Force ACEs Messaging Group Meeting

The ACEs Messaging Group met on Tuesday, April 11 th . Representatives from each of the three subgroups focusing on messaging to youth, older adults, and parents of young children were in attendance. The group began with a review of the Philadelphia Block Captains Rally where members from the Older Adults and Parents of Young Children Messaging Groups presented their messaging work. Members interviewed roughly 80 block captains about several messaging options and reported that the block...

Relax, heal, learn (thenotebook.org)

Pam Bunyon faced the 4th graders, some splayed in chairs but most arrayed on the rug before her. On the whiteboard, she showed them the outline of a human head. Next to it were some big words for the 9- and 10-year-olds: Cortex . Amygdala . Brain stem . Bunyon, the counselor at Powel Elementary School, was using science to help students understand their impulses and give them strategies to deal with them. “So we don’t flip out,” as she and the class put it. Bunyon took classes on anger,...

Philadelphia ACE Task Force members educate Baltimore funders about trauma-informed practice

On Monday, March 27th my fellow Philadelphia ACE Task Force member, Suzanne O'Connor, and I visited the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers to educate them about using a trauma-informed approach in their grantmaking. It was a phenomenal opportunity to speak with dedicated and passionate advocates for trauma-informed care in a neighboring city. We hope that this will open the door for our two cities to share best practices and lessons learned about the growing trauma-informed movement!

Trauma Resilience Model Training Coming to Philadelphia!

Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) Training is a program designed to teach skills to clinicians working with children and adults with traumatic stress reactions. TRM is a mind-body approach and focuses on the biological basis of trauma and the automatic, defensive ways that the human body responds when faced with perceived threats to self and others, including the responses of “tend and befriend”, fight, flight and freeze. TRM explores the concept of resiliency and how to restore balance to the...

This former Philadelphia cop had an incredibly simple plan to keep kids out of prison. Don’t arrest them. (washingtonpost.com)

Kevin Bethel didn’t become a police officer to lock up children. But it was under his watch as deputy police commissioner that Philadelphia’s school to-prison pipeline was in full effect. Now retired, Bethel is on a mission to keep children out of prison, with a police-led school diversion program that is showing impressive results. “My issue became, what is the trauma of me taking a 10-year-old child, for example, the minimum age for us, putting him in handcuffs, and taking him out of the...

Penn study finds teen trauma raises depression risk in menopause [phillyvoice.com]

Women who experience multiple traumatic events and chronic stress during their teenage years face a higher risk of depression during menopause than those who don't—even without a history of depression, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. In a study conducted by the Perelman School of Medicine, the first of its kind to focus on the role of childhood adversity in the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) during menopause, researchers concluded that hormonal changes...

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