Philadelphia Group Blogs

Philly should reduce reliance on institutional placements for youth [philly.com]

October marked the second anniversary of the tragic death of 17-year-old David Hess, who was killed during an assault by staff in his bedroom at the now-closed Wordsworth residential treatment facility. Two years later, we continue to uncover examples of abuse, isolation, and substandard education in facilities that are supposed to provide treatment and supervision to youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Rather than provide trauma-informed care, institutional...

Call for Submissions: Third Annual Philadelphia Trauma Training Conference

The 3rd Annual Philadelphia Trauma Training Conference: Promoting Equitable Access to High Quality Services for Vulnerable Children and Families , will be held on Thomas Jefferson University's East Falls Philadelphia Campus July 29 th -August 1st, 2019 . This unique training conference will provide an intensive, collaborative, and engaging experience to providers, educators, and leaders across health, education, and social service disciplines, as well as to community members invested in...

Speak Out For Safe Schools! The Talk to Your State Senator Statewide Video Contest

School Violence - In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, the topic has gained more and more attention. Although members of the national media tend to focus on gun violence, the percent of school children who are affected by school shootings remains very small; not a great comfort to those who experience such a tragic event. Instead, it is far more likely for students to be affected in their day-to-day lives by other threats or acts of hostility that make them feel unsafe.

Philadelphia just won $1 million to create a trauma-informed Hub for Juvenile Justice Services [generocity.org]

On Tuesday, the City of Philadelphia was awarded a $1 million grant to create a 24/7 trauma-informed facility that will be an entry point into the criminal justice system for children who are arrested. The city was one of five winners out of 35 finalists in the yearlong Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge . The location and an official timeline for the opening of the facility — named the Hub for Juvenile Justice Services — are still being determined, said Julie Wertheimer, the...

Reports: Stationing police in Philly schools costly, causes trauma for students of color [The Philadelphia Tribune]

The Advancement Project and the Alliance for Educational Justice want police out of schools, according to their new report . The advocacy groups believe school police officers create a hostile environment for Black and Brown students and contribute to the trauma many experience outside of school. Philadelphia was among the cities featured in the report, but the idea of removing school police for some city parents is just unthinkable. Terri Seward, whose daughter attends Bartram High School...

Turning chores into classrooms: New grocery store experiment hopes to inspire learning (whyy.org)

If you’re grocery shopping in Philadelphia over the next year you might run into a cherubic cartoon character named A.J. Though his wide smile and trendy haircut impart a sense of whimsy, A.J. has a serious task. He wants to transform your daily supermarket trip into a learning laboratory. A.J. is the face of “Talk It Up,” a pilot project aimed at inspiring interaction among parents and kids. At strategically placed sites across 10 grocery stores in Philadelphia, A.J. appears on small,...

Hughes leads meeting on trauma in schools [PhillyTrib.com]

By Stacy M. Brown | September 7, 2018 State Sen. Vincent Hughes issued a passionate plea to experts at Temple University to help serve and protect victims of trauma in grade schools in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth. “Too many kids are walking into too many toxic schools, too many toxic situations — from domestic abuse to gun violence — to get an education in [an atmosphere] that’s toxic for educators to work in,” said Hughes (D-7) during a recent hearing at the university with...

With new proposal, trauma-informed care could become standard in Pa. schools [WHYY.org]

If a pair of powerful Pennsylvania state senators get their way, a burgeoning approach to managing student behavior could become a mandate. State Sens. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, and Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, announced a proposal last week to create a “trauma-informed system of education.” The central plank of their proposal is a requirement that all teachers, school board members, and school employees “with direct contact with students” receive trauma-informed training. The details don’t...

11th Street Health Center Welcomes New Director [drexel.edu]

Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) has appointed Roberta Waite, EdD, as the new executive director of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center . She will also continue her role as assistant dean of academic and community integration. A nurse specializing in psychiatry for more than 25 years, Waite has held clinical, academic, research and administrative roles throughout her career. No stranger to Drexel or the Center, Waite is...

'No one sugar-coated anything:' Philly teachers undergo intense training to improve empathy and inclusion [philly.com]

Kaila DeFrancesco is 23, a brand-new educator about to begin her career as a health and physical education teacher at a North Philadelphia elementary school. She’s bright and eager, and in college had exactly zero formal classroom training in recognizing and responding to students affected by trauma — a subject that will surely have an impact on how effective she can be as a teacher. So when DeFrancesco, who will begin teaching at Meade Elementary this month, sat through a session on that...

Philly offers affordable housing to help parents regain custody of kids in foster care [whyy.org]

In Philadelphia, not having a safe, stable place to live prevents parents whose children have been placed in foster care from regaining custody 40 percent of the time — 10 percent higher than the national average — according to a recent study by the city. That’s why Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services and Office of Homeless Services have partnered on a new program that gives priority for affordable housing to people whose kids are in the custody of child welfare. The program is aimed...

Philadelphia needs to respond to black people's trauma from police shootings | Editorial [philly.com]

Last Tuesday, a police officer in a Pittsburgh suburb shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose . The black teenager was unarmed and cell phone footage footage shows that he was fleeing the police officer when he was shot. The devastating effects of this incident will ripple far beyond Allegheny County and according to a new study, it will be felt widely. In the study , researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, and Harvard examined the mental health effect on black...

In Philadelphia and around the country, overdoses at public libraries are a daunting reality [philly.com]

Even in the digital era, libraries are high-traffic zones, hosting more than 1.5 billion visits annually. On any given day in Philadelphia, the Free Library welcomes a stream of visitors, who arrive early in the morning to use the computers, congregate after school for homework help, and join a rich range of programs, from story time, to job fairs, to classes for English language learners at the Culinary Literacy Center. Here and across the country, public libraries offer vitally important...

Intergenerational associations of parent adverse childhood experiences and child health outcomes [ Pediatrics]

To what extent do parents' adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect ACEs and health status among their children? Linking data of 350 parents and their children from the 2012 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey (HHS) and the Philadelphia ACE Survey, researchers found statistically significant correlations between parents' ACE scores and their children's health status. "Our results suggest that the full scope of health effects of ACEs is not limited to the exposed individual.

The stress of poverty is a serious disease for Philly kids [philly.com]

“Casserian engeri?” (“And how are the children?”) — Traditional Masai greeting The most serious, non-infectious disease in childhood, and the most common, is poverty. Despite economic gains in the last few years, children remain the poorest age group in America with nearly one in five living in poverty. That’s 13.2 million children. A recent study by the Children’s Defense Fund illustrated an even bleaker picture, with three million children living in families surviving on $2 a day per...

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