News

One year after Parkland, Philly students, teachers say more counselors needed to deal with trauma from gun violence [whyy.org]

Thursday marks one year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which set off a wave of activism across the country, as students and youth called for more gun control and safer schools. Young people in Philadelphia and other urban areas seized the opportunity to bring long-awaited attention to gun violence and trauma that impacts them on a regular basis. But some activists, students, and teachers say one year later, not much has changed in the way of...

NKCDC is incorporating trauma-informed practices into its community development work [generocity.org]

New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) has spent the last few years hearing community residents’ needs from Lehigh to Allegheny avenues via meetings and door-to-door surveys, and letting that input shape its work. Last month, the Kresge Foundation awarded NKCDC a two-year, $150,000 grant to take its community development work to the next level. The funding is part of Advancing Health Equity through Housing , a new Kresge Health Program initiative that addresses harmful ways...

Philadelphia devotes $4.4 million to 'holistic' anti-violence programs [witf.org]

(Philadelphia) -- Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Thursday that the city would dedicate more than $4 million to "interrupting" violence on neighborhood streets. Flanked by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, members of City Council and anti-violence advocates, Kenny introduced a set of new programs that will focus on gun violence as a public health problem. He said the city would seek to promote a more data-driven and "holistic" approach to stanching the city's rising homicide rate.

Wagner Middle School makes a difference in students’ lives [phillytrib.com]

The best leaders lead by example. At the Gen. Louis Wagner Middle School at 1701 Chelten Ave., students are able to come into their own, succeed in the classroom, and prepare for their future because of the leadership roles and innovative thinking of the administration and teachers at their school. “Some of our goals this school year was continuing to improve our attendance and providing trauma informed training for everyone,” said principal Maya Johnstone. “Last year, we improved our...

Can Changing How We Talk About Childhood Toxic Stress Influence Policy? [drexelnow.edu]

How do you get people to support public policies that help children thrive? Do you emphasize the possible health consequences of child abuse, or do you emphasize the financial consequences for society as a whole? If you focus on consequences, does this messaging have the unintended consequence of creating prejudices towards vulnerable children and their families? When it comes to informing and persuading, how we deliver a message matters as much as the message itself. With a $500,000 grant...

North Philly to Oxford [philly.com]

On a sunny afternoon in early September, so hot the public schools dismissed early, Hazim Hardeman strolled into the neighborhood where he grew up, wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with “North Philly” in large red letters across the front. It was here, in the Raymond Rosen housing development, that Hazim fell in love with sports, music, clothing. Here, where he spent hours each day on the basketball court, indulging boyish dreams of stardom, and nights at his best friend’s house nearby.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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