It’s almost the end of July which means we are gearing up for school here in Franklin County, MO. Walmart is stocked with all the school supplies you could ever dream of and both kids and parents are anxiously awaiting that start date. Admittedly, many kids are less excited than their parents!
Well, with the start of the new school year Franklin County Cares will be beginning a 3-Year Trauma-Informed Schools Training and Consulting Program in two Franklin County Schools; South Point Elementary in Washington, MO and Lonedell R-14 in Lonedell, MO. To say we are excited about this new way to help kids and families in our county is an understatement, but why does being a trauma-informed school matter? Why are we focusing our efforts in schools?
If you follow us on Facebook you know what ACE’s are and how they affect every aspect of adult and child health, but just a refresher let’s take a look at the following figure.
From this info-graphic we can see that adverse childhood experiences are not only common but the more ACE’s one person has the higher their risk for long-term health problems. Childhood trauma doesn’t just affect children in the moment but has a long-lasting impact that we see throughout a lifespan.
Now, obviously efforts to prevent more ACE’s from occurring are important. Prevention is always the ideal, but the fact of the matter is that there are millions of children and adults that have already experienced traumatic events.
The great news is that healing from trauma is possible and that is where we come in. While Franklin County Cares goals include becoming a trauma-informed community, we feel that focusing on helping our schools become trauma-informed is a great way to help children in a place where they spend most of their day.
Throughout the country schools have seen huge reductions in troubling behaviors of students just by implementing trauma-informed practices. Through our program we expect to see improved test scores, increase in teacher satisfaction, better teacher retention, reduction of absences, bullying, and drop-outs and an overall better school climate.
The great thing about becoming trauma-informed in our schools is that we will not only be helping our children that have experienced trauma, but we will be building resilience in the children that have been fortunate enough not to have experience traumatic events.
Focusing our efforts on some of the most vulnerable people in Franklin County, our children, through this trauma-informed schools program really does fall in line with our motto "Strengthening One To Strengthen All."
Please look for upcoming community training opportunities and news about our trauma informed school program.