*Click the green hyperlinks for more information!
Thank you to all who found their way to our Zoom call. There were a couple bumps in the road (e.g. me not checking to see if folks were waiting to be added to the call - yikes) and lessons learned. The Sonoma County ACEs Connection meeting invite/agenda can be found here.
The afternoon of Wednesday July 22, 2020 nine people representing a variety of organizations such as: a community advocacy group, a community champion, an advisory board member, a trauma-informed education advocate, social services champion, perinatal substance use treatment providers, and a behavioral health provider came together to brainstorm how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma are impacting us, our families, those we serve, and our community as a whole.
By coming together we had the opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge, and to explore possible opportunities around our shared interest in ACEs science.
Given all that is happening around Covid-19, we also recognitionized the impact of systemic racism impacting individuals, families, organizations, communities and others - we also contextualized the local impact of Covid-19 by recalling past trauma that impacted our community - wildfires, evacuations, and more.
After welcoming each person, we made time for folks to informally share (whatever they felt they wanted to share). Through these conversations we deepened our understanding of the importance of this work and the many ways ACEs, trauma, resilience and more are woven into the fabric of our shared community.
Formal and informal local gatherings are occurring where people come together seeking ways to integrate the knowledge of ACEs science into our local efforts.
We reflected on local efforts to bring, love and peace to children and families are modified to meet the challenge of Covid Local efforts - Peace Town - Elizabeth Peace Town and Virtual Summer Concerts
Peacetown is a virtual place where lovers of peace gather as a community to incubate and promote peaceful coexistence, kindness, love and joy. As we join in this community and come to understand the Principles of Peace, we create a community that lives and breathes Peace. You become a citizen of Peacetown when you declare yourself to be one by signing up in the form below. We will keep you inspired and fill your heart and mind with beauty, love and joy. We would be glad to welcome your heart, mind and soul to our community.
We learned that Drug Abuse Alternatives Center integrates ACEs screening into their perinatal program. However, Covid is impacting the services, while the intake appointments are done in person, now counseling services are primarily virtual which is not optimal for women overcoming substance use disorders. With growing social isolation, there are concerns that relapse rates will increase. However, the services have not stopped due to Covid-19, in fact they continue to provide court mandated urine drug screening, and other related services.
The DAAC Perinatal Program offers intensive outpatient services for pregnant and parenting women who have alcohol or other drug problems. A safe and nurturing environment supports a woman’s recovery with individual and group counseling sessions. Transportation is provided to and from treatment with co-op childcare, a nutritious snack and sessions covering topics centered around pregnancy and parenting and also include denial management, relapse prevention, coping skills, nutritional education, life skills, and developmental screening for participating children.
We also learned that the Santa Rosa Community Advisory Board (CAB) is actively seeking ways to continue to support vulnerable populations, within the context of Covid-19, and social isolation. The CAB connects City government and residents so the public can have a voice in decisions that impact their lives and build a stronger community.
At least one local federally qualified health center is taking the lead in transforming their family medicine focused clinical setting into a trauma informed space for both patients and staff. This is ongoing work, that is more complex and nuanced than previously understood.
Shifting to virtual or tele-health social service support for at-risk families is difficult for many reasons. Access to a phone that is not limited by data plans, or have limited minutes, or is not equipped to support video calls - are all significant barriers. Beyond technology, having someone in the home who can provide the technical support needed to transition to telehealth is a need that is difficult to address. It is particularly challenging to support those (parents, caregivers, others) who are seeking mental health services. Often a video call can be experienced as threatening. Ideally folks could meet in-person, in a safer place, such as a park, however, that is not currently an option. Together they are doing their best to navigate this new “normal”.
For youth who have or are nearing aging out of the foster care system, Covid-19 has brought significant difficulties. Finding a safe place to shelter, resources to eat, be safe, and a support system that cares for them is challenging. Throughout this important work, VOICES continues to provide support for young people while also focusing on staff. To address staff and client burnout, they shifted from a focus on self-care to a focus on building resilience.
VOICES Sonoma provides young people aging out of foster care with family-like support, acceptance, and accountability as they set their own goals and pursue them across VOICES’ youth-led core programs: Health and Wellness, Career and Education, and ILP-Independent Living Program. Many of the young people VOICES serves have suffered child abuse and neglect, and continue to experience trauma. VOICES’ approach to supporting youth is two-fold: with the youth at the center of the process, VOICES works with them on trauma-informed goal setting, and supports them as they learn to manage their trauma triggers so the triggers do not result in behaviors that get in the way of their goals, and so they are healthy and happy youth—ready to take on the world.
With a strong focus on trauma-informed care, VOICES Sonoma maintains a Youth Engagement Model that empowers transition-age foster youth to design and implement programming themselves—cultivating leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Folks from across the county are finding ways to gather, and identify opportunities for shared work to address ACEs prevention, treatment, and more. Some feel that Covid-19 is compressing efforts as the work feels more urgent, both for staff and for those they serve.
Key thoughts shared during our meeting:
We are seeing escalating rates of suicide and domestic violence and are trying to identify partners or strategies to offer more outdoor activities, art, and more as an opportunity for social connections.
Participating in the SCAC meetings lead to opportunities to partner with other organizations with similar missions.
EBT used to double food stamp value if spent at a Farmers Market either CPI or downtown Santa Rosa and now we are cut off from the farmers markets. One dreamy idea is to explore if the county owned ranches, or if we could engage local farmers, instead of farmers markets? Is there a way to continue to provide this benefit during social distancing?
Communities are experiencing a mental health crisis, especially kids who no longer have their school as a buffer. We also need to recognize the critical role teachers play in the lives of children. Without these supports there is so much tension.
We also reflected on new funding flowing into our county as a whole, energizing organizations, and individuals - and pondered a future Sonoma County that fully integrated an understanding of ACEs science, trauma, healing and resilience building for all.
ACEs Aware Initiative Grantees
The ACEs Aware Initiative is a California statewide effort lead by the state Surgeon General designed to have healthcare providers screen for childhood trauma. Locally the following organizations were selected for this important work.
- Dovetail Learning
- Center for Innovation and Resources
- Hanna Institute/Hanna Boys Center
- Redwood Community Health Coalition
- Santa Rosa Community Health
Additionally, The UCSF Center to Advance Trauma Informed Healthcare and other key partners, the California ACES Learning and Quality Improvement Collaborative (CALQIC) announced their new grantees:
- Marin Community Clinic
- Petaluma Health Center
- Santa Rosa Community Health Center
- Sonoma County Indian Health Center
See www.acesconnection.com/calendar to find more events!
The Art & Science of Resilience, Yoga & Mindfulness for Working with Trauma **Donation based
Dynamic Mindfulness Training
Safety, Health, and Back-to-School Plans in a Pandemic with School Nurse, Robin Cogan
Healing the Nation: The Future of Mental Health in California
Health and Wellness Town Hall: How ACEs Impact the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other Communities of Color
The Resilience Champion Certificate (August Cohort)
Investing in Community Resilience Series - Trauma-Informed Practice: Moving From Knowledge to Action (Learning Circle)
Driving Out Stress: Overcoming Compassion Fatigue With Professional Resiliency LIVE WEBINAR
Historical Trauma Specialist Certification- Level 1
*2020 North State ACEs VIRTUAL Summit -for folks in Northern CA who are working to address ACEs
All Children Thrive Contact Karen if you have a local policy issue or idea! All-Children Thrive-California is building new teams of people and places working together to improve child well-being. We are uniting city officials and community members, who know their cities best, to co-design solutions in ACT-CA’s focus areas. By bringing new people together and all of them having an equal voice, we can heal the traumas of the past and transform our future.
Office of Child Abuse and Prevention (OCAP) 2020-2025 strategic plan with many opportunities to integrated ACEs!
Child Trends released the July 2020 Maternal Child Health report State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 data confirm that there are clear racial/ethnic disparities on a number of indicators among infants, toddlers, and their mothers. These findings highlight the importance of disaggregating outcome data for discerning the true state of babies.
It seems many positive factors are contributing to our important work during these difficult times!
Please join our next virtual community meeting on August 26th (the 4th Wed of each month) from 3:30 to 5:00. For details go to Sonoma County ACEs Connection!