In the final weeks of the 114th Congress, Senators Heitkamp, Durbin, and Franken introduced The Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act (S. 3519)—a wide ranging bill that proposes new strategies to expand trauma-informed best practices and models, train clinicians, law enforcement officials, teachers and health care providers in trauma-informed approaches, and improve the understanding of trauma’s impact and prevalence.
Despite the lack of fanfare around the bill’s introduction, the legislation may prove to be a significant step forward in the path to infuse the science of adverse childhood experiences and trauma into federal policymaking. A variety of organizations and individuals provided thoughts and ideas about what should be included in the bill and their response has been enthusiastic. The timing of a 115th Congress version of the bill is uncertain but sponsors are working to build broad, bipartisan support.
A series of three briefings, sponsored by Senator Heitkamp and organized by the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), were held during 2016 to educate policymakers and their staff about ACEs and trauma and how this knowledge is being used to improve services and programs at the state and local levels.
Here is a link the bill text (also attached). A fact sheet and section-by-section summary of S. 3519 are attached.