Check out this inspiring series of short films from MARC communities about their local ACE and resilience networks!
The bad news was that children in Montana were not thriving.
The good news was that the Helena Independent Record was writing about it.
A five-part newspaper series in October 2015 began, “For a myriad of reasons that experts say remain unclear, a state known for its mountains and fly fishing is one of the worst in the nation for youth.”
The articles examined statewide statistics on child health, explained the ACE study, profiled a 24-year-old woman who moved to Montana to escape childhood trauma and quoted Todd Garrison, executive director of ChildWise Institute, backbone of the Elevate Montana network.
Donald F. Schwarz, vice president for program at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, invited people to stand: Who among the attendees at the 2017 Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) National Summit—more than 170 scholars, educators, social service providers, policy-makers and activists—felt passionate about storm water management?
Few rose from their seats.
Schwarz then connected the dots: communities with poor storm water management—which tend to have lower incomes and higher minority populations—also have homes with more mold, which leads to higher rates of illness and hospitalizations, along with stress-related symptoms…all of which make it harder for a 5th-grader in one of those households to succeed at math.
From October 2016 through May 2017, we were privileged to travel to all fourteen MARC communities. During our whirlwind visits, we asked MARC leaders to show us concrete examples of how their networks were building community resilience—no small feat, given the often-intangible nature of our work. They rose to the occasion.
These fourteen stories, captured so beautifully by Anndee Hochman, represent only a handful of the conversations we had and the places we visited. Together, they reveal the breadth, diversity and creativity present in these communities. We hope that, like us, you will be moved and inspired by them and that you’ll glimpse your own community, neighbors and possibilities in these portraits.
HFP Contributes to Academic Journal Outlining Opportunities to Help Children Exposed to Childhood Trauma Thrive
Special issue of Academic Pediatrics provides comprehensive research and policy agenda for addressing epidemic of adverse childhood experiences and promoting well-being.
What would a trauma-informed policy on staff absenteeism look like? How about a trauma-informed procedure for clocking in and clocking out? Would that be different for a hospital than, say, for a public school?
Questions like those—how trauma-informed theory translates to on-the-ground practice—were on the table during a recent learning collaborative session in Kansas City.
The collaborative, a project of the Resilient KC network, began in September 2016 to help teams from a range of organizations—in education, public health, mental health and business—share experiences, ask questions and build relationships in the growing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience movement. “The learning collaborative is a stepping-stone to becoming trauma-informed,” says Jasmin Williams, coordinator of Resilient KC.
Seventeen hundred miles to the west, in the Columbia River Gorge, a similar learning collaborative has been meeting since 2012. There, the learning group grew from various agencies’ efforts to learn about and adopt the Sanctuary Model. “It served as a place to share what was working and what was hard,” says Claire Ranit, MARC project manager for the Resilience Network of the Gorge (formerly Creating Resiliency in the Columbia River Gorge).
Philadelphia, PA – On July 13, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and co-sponsor Danny K. Davis (D-IL) introduced House Resolution 443 (H.Res. 443), a bi-partisan effort in the House of Representatives “recognizing the importance and effectiveness of trauma-informed care.”
The resolution lists 12 examples where trauma-informed care has been “promoted and established in communities across the United States.” Of note, over half of these communities are leaders in the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) program.
“What happened to you?” isn’t just a question for therapists to ask their troubled clients. It’s a question that should inform the work of physicians, nurses, lawyers, educators, social workers and public health advocates from the time they are learning their professions to each real-world encounter.
That’s the hope of the Philadelphia ACE Task Force (PATF), whose workforce development group released a toolkit to help faculty across a range of disciplines weave content on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience into new or existing graduate curricula.
The release of the online toolkit coincided with an October 2016 event that brought together local faculty and administrators in higher education, along with funders and leaders of government and private non-profit agencies, to learn why the next generation of the work force must examine all they do through a trauma-informed lens.
In an all-day workshop that Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) advisor Laura Porter was leading with community organizers and parents, she told the story of a woman from the Congo who had to leave her homeland. Before the woman left, she had a dream about living in the United States.
The woman said she imagined opening her door, letting her children run free, hearing them laugh and play. She envisioned people asking one another, “How are you?” without any compulsion to evade by answering, “Fine. I’m fine.” And, she added, “I could go with my children to the store and not have to be afraid that they would be arrested for being black.”
Porter was struck by the woman’s words—a vision of safety and belonging that is rarely voiced out loud. “As we’re engaging people, that dream is just under the surface,” says Porter. “When we touch on that, we touch on something very powerful: the core values…that go beyond political strife or individual experience. We can touch an aspirational world.”
Research has shown that people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) are at significantly more risk of ACEs and other forms of abuse and neglect than is the general population. This toolkit, by Steven Marcal, Psy.D., and Shawn Trifoso, LMSW, addresses a number of areas designed to support people with IDD who may have experienced trauma.