News

As awareness of childhood trauma rises, new free therapy program launches for Philly students [whyy.org]

The fire that destroyed her dad’s third-floor apartment is the scariest thing that’s ever happened to 8-year-old Dakota Johnson. It was five-thirty in the morning. Someone on the first floor of the building had fallen asleep smoking. Dakota and her dad, Kenneth Johnson, woke up to the sound of the fire alarm. First it seemed like it might be just a small blaze, but when Johnson opened the door to the apartment, smoke and soot rushed in. Dakota was too scared to crawl out into the hallway, so...

New Philadelphia mural brings childhood trauma into view [WHYY.org]

Children's Crisis Treatment Center, a leader in the Philadelphia ACE Task Force and trauma-informed movement, unveiled a powerful new mural which highlights their approach to providing trauma-informed therapeutic services for children and families. A fanciful and colorful vision now adorns a Philadelphia office building, but its message is intended to bring more awareness to the serious issue of childhood trauma. Mural Arts Philadelphia and the city’s behavioral health department Tuesday...

Philadelphia’s New Top Prosecutor Is Rolling Out Wild, Unprecedented Criminal Justice Reforms [Slate.com]

Philadelphia’s newly minted district attorney, Larry Krasner, was meeting constituents in a packed church in West Philadelphia earlier this month to discuss his plans for the job. The meeting was unique in that it quickly revealed to community members what local civic leaders and officials have already learned about Krasner: He is making good on his promise to revolutionize the job of district attorney and, in the process, offering an extraordinary experiment in criminal justice reform at...

Philadelphia will pilot a trauma-informed facility for arrested youth

The City of Philadelphia will begin testing trauma-informed facilities as an alternative to holding cells for arrested youth. Those facilities, which will be “child-centered” and “service-oriented,” will be funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Mayors Challenge . Philadelphia’s city-led social enterprise incubator FastFWD was funded by way of the Mayors Challenge in 2013 . The 35 finalists for the 2018 challenge have received grants of “up to $100,000” to test public prototypes of their...

End the cycles of trauma and poverty for Philly families | Perspective [philly.com]

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry is shedding light on intergenerational trauma, adding to the growing body of evidence that the impact of trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next. While the research stems from Scandinavia more than 75 years ago, it has critically important implications for Philadelphia, a city challenged by high rates of deep poverty and violence, contributing to trauma exposure among its residents. During World War II, tens of thousands of children...

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro: “Protecting Students Is a Must” [phillymag.com]

On Monday night, Drexel University’s Creese Student Center was the site of the second roundtable discussion in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro ’s ongoing series on college campus safety. Shapiro launched the initiative in August with the broad goal of preventing drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, and tragedies stemming from mental health issues on the campuses of colleges and universities statewide. “When parents take their kids to college and drive off in their minivans, of...

Philadelphia symposium addresses traumatized youth [montgomerynews.com]

CECIL B. MOORE >> Trauma has a way of changing the brain. With much new research on how one gets traumatized, how trauma is passed down from one generation to the next and the consequences for children who experience it, all can seem like gloom and doom. That is where the Our Kids are Not Broken: Empowering the Traumatized Youth event came in. This was a three-hour session held at the Gesu School, 1700 W. Thompson St., Friday, Nov. 3. The focus of the event was to discuss ways to...

City officials target Philadelphia's housing crisis with Knight Foundation grant [phillyvoice.com]

Two of Philadelphia's departments could be easier to navigate soon. The Office of Homeless Services and the Department of Revenue are the first departments selected to participate in the PHL Participatory Design Lab , a concept born from a $338,000 Knight Foundation Cities Challenge grant with the hope of enabling Philadelphians to help design better city services. The 18-month initiative includes a roaming, participatory city design lab that goes to different neighborhoods to garner ideas.

In Camden, Bridging the Skills Gap is more than Tech Training [wired.com]

CALOUA LOWE BOUNDS up the rickety, worn staircase of a three-story, red brick building in Camden, New Jersey on a sunny September morning, the wooden steps creaking under the pressure of her red-sandaled feet. The walls display framed, Photoshopped images: a mockup of Vogue, album covers featuring young men standing shoulder to shoulder with rap legends like Jay-Z. They were designed by the roughly 1,200 youths who, like Lowe, have come here over the years to learn Photoshop, HTML,...

Academic Pediatrics publishes case study on Philadelphia ACE Task Force

On Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, Academic Pediatrics released a special issue highlighting a comprehensive research and policy agenda for addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and promoting well-being. The issue features an article, Developing a Community-Wide Initiative to Address Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress: A Case Study of The Philadelphia ACE Task Force." Authored by the Task Force's three co-chairs, Lee Pachter (lead), Sandra Bloom, and Joel Fein, along with staff...

Pa. attorney general launches college campus safety initiative [phillytrib.com]

Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday announced a new campus safety initiative focused on preventing drug and alcohol abuse, mental health and sexual assault at colleges and universities across Pennsylvania. “All across Pennsylvania, parents are taking their kids to college,” he stated in a release. “When they drive away from campus, of course they should be sad to leave them, but they shouldn’t be worried for their safety. I’m a dad to four young kids, and as Attorney General I’ll be...

Using the trauma narrative to share young people’s Storiez through art [generocity.org]

“Trauma-informed care” is a common theme in impact work. But after therapist Meagan Corrado completed her MSW degree, she looked for programs that could clearly explain how to help people share their “trauma narratives” and found none. So, in 2015, she made one herself . What she came up with is Storiez , an intervention that helps inner-city youth “reflect on their past experiences, positive and negative” and “creatively express them,” she said. The end goal is for the program participants...

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...

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