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ARC, Our Trauma Informed Care Model

We are very happy to have joined this initiative. Barb Pasinella and I (Tanya Starker) are the group managers from Northeast Parent & Child Society (an affiiliate of Norther Rivers Family of Services). In 2012, our agency was trained in a trauma informed care model called Attachment, Self- Regulation, and Competency (ARC) that has been a truly worthwhile endeavor for the children and caregivers that we serve as well as for our staff. Please see the attached for a description of the ARC model from the co- founders, Kristine Kinniburgh and Margaret Blaustein. 

We also wanted to share the below two success stories from our work with the ARC model:

David*, a fifteen year old boy, and his mother, Julie*, were referred for in-home therapy to address David’s escalating behavioral issues, aggression, and intermittent suicidal ideation. Both mother and son have experienced traumatic events. Julie grew up in a very violent home and spent several years in foster care. She also had a series of abusive relationships, which David was also exposed to as a young child.

Anna*, an ARC clinician, met with the family regularly and implemented various ARC interventions. At first, the work focused on helping the David identify his feelings, where he felt them in his body, and his triggers (Identification).  They also developed a toolbox with him, as well as coping skill cards, to help him identify ways to manage his emotions (Modulation).  Anna helped Julie understand how her own trauma could be impacting her parenting, as well as triggering her son’s negative behaviors (Psychoeducation & Caregiver Attunement).  Anna also assisted Julie in developing structure in the household (Routines and Rituals).  As a result, the family began having consistent times for homework, chores, dinner and bedtime.  Not only did this help manage her son’s behaviors, but it also allowed them to spend quality time together as a family.  Due to significant progress, the family was discharged from the program successfully, and David’s concerning behaviors diminished.

Karen*, a single mother of three, began treatment with an ARC provider. The family had recently experienced many stressful life events, domestic violence, and overall lack of basic resources. Karen, who has been chronically depressed, was also having many medical issues that affected her mood and her ability to provide care for her children. At the start of services she did not have a primary doctor, a medication provider, mental health counseling and could not discuss certain topics without becoming overwhelmed with emotion.

 Sandra*, an ARC clinician, focused on several ARC building blocks including Caregiver Affect Management, Self Development and Identity and Affect Identification. She utilized activities that included helping the mother have an individual identity separate from that of a domestic violence victim.  Sandra also assisted the Karen in identifying her feelings which assisted in her having greater control over her emotions.  At the close of services she had a primary doctor, a medication provider, mental health counseling and had utilized skills to cope with her over whelming emotion that allowed her to function daily.

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Hi Jane,

I hope I am posting this comment in the correct area. It's great to meet a fellow ARC interventionist! Regarding your question, I think we have some areas of improvement with regard to highlighting the ACES with our clients and staff. We have a trauma informed committee that hopes to have our own section/ page on our new agency intranet in the spring. We were just planning topic areas last week for this page, and one of those was specifically focused on the ACES.

Warm regards,

Tanya

Hi, Tanya: Thanks for posting this! Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Wa, also used the ARC model in transforming itself to become a trauma-informed/resilience-building school.

Do you educate clients about ACEs science?

Cheers, Jane

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