The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children will adapt two evidence-based interventions to serve young children in deployed military families and traumatized adolescents in juvenile justice and residential treatment settings. Both groups include children at risk for or displaying trauma-related problems—such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and/or behavior problems—due to extended parental deployments; and adolescents with complex trauma histories including child maltreatment, and family or community violence. Called A Continuum of Trauma Care: Adapting Evidence-based Practices to Promote Resiliency from Military Families through Juvenile Justice Settings, the program will adapt Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Trauma- and Grief-Focused Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCT-A) for Juvenile Justice Settings (JJSs) and Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs). For each group, the center will provide training protocols and resources, implementation strategies, train-the-trainer toolkits, and a web-based training. Beginning with pilot sites in Ohio (JJS/RTC) and at Fort Hood and Tripler Army Medical Center (military families), scores of children, adolescents, and families will be served in the first year, expanding to directly serving hundreds in years two and three.
A Regional Center of Excellence (COE) for the Treatment and Study of Adverse Childhood Events will train medical and mental health providers of child services to treat traumatized children in their communities in a nine-county region of northeast Ohio. Using trauma-informed and trauma-focused care, the training will prepare communities to screen, assess, and treat traumatized children. Screening for adverse childhood events (ACE) will also be implemented at targeted points of entry into Akron Children's Hospital’s continuum of care. Children who have been exposed to ACEs will be referred for trauma-focused care in their own communities. This therapeutic web is expected to reach a total of 95,900 children/professionals in the region during the grant period through training, screening, assessment, and/or treatment.
Jacquelyn holds the position of Trauma Team Leader at Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health in Canton, Ohio. She provides direct clinical assessment and service to children and families who have experienced complex trauma, weekly consultation with the Child and Adolescent Trauma Team (CATT), ongoing policy development, and community presentations on a variety of trauma-related topics. Jacquelyn serves on the Stark County Child Abuse Task Force, the Children's Advocacy Center Multidisciplinary Team, and the Victim's Rights Coalition. She was previously involved at the Cullen Center of Toledo Children's Hospital for two years during her graduate training in clinical child psychology. She specializes in traumatic stress in early childhood and in children with developmental delays.
Marla Himmeger initially participated in NCTSN activities through the Cullen Center in Toledo, Ohio. Prior to retirement in 2012, she was involved in organizing Ohio's Childhood Trauma Task Force and continues to participate in several local, state and NCTSN activities.
Kristine Buffington was project director of the Cullen Center in Toledo, Ohio. She is now working with Valko and Associates. She remains active on the NCTSN Juvenile Delinquency Committee and is active on the Ohio Department of Mental Health Child Trauma Task Force.
The Children Who Witness Violence Program, Mental Health Services for Homeless Persons
The Children Who Witness Violence Program’s Violent Loss Response Team (VLRT) is a program of Frontline Service, Inc. that provides a crisis response and intensive case management services for children and families affected by homicide in the City of Cleveland.
VLRT is a partnership between the Cleveland Division of Police, MHS, and the Cuyahoga County Victim Witness Program. VLRT staff members provide comprehensive practical and emotional supportive services to family members of homicide victims. They work with families providing onsite crisis intervention and grief counseling, followed by intensive case management services that includes assistance food, shelter, and transportation; help with making funeral arrangements; applying for Victims of Crime Compensation; assistance with estate issues; applying for and accessing death benefits and life insurance; and helping to facilitating custody filings for children, if necessary. If families need ongoing care, VLRT provides mental health assessments and therapeutic services.
The Homicide Unit of the Cleveland Police Department makes referrals to VLRT by contacting the Frontline Service 24-hour crisis hotline. Staff provides a rapid response, usually within 24 hours, to engage the family in services. VLRT also works with the Witness Victim Center to help families navigate the criminal justice system and understand their legal rights. VLRT is available to the community 24/7.
The program’s original funding came from the Office of Victims of Crime of the U.S. Department of Justice in 2009, which enabled MHS and its partners to develop and deliver a best-practice model for families of homicide victims.
VLRT’s model has demonstrated success in addressing the immediate and emergent needs of families affected by traumatic loss. The community’s response has been overwhelmingly favorable, including requests to replicate the program.
The Police Assisted Referral Program was initiated on January 1, 2010. The project was designed to provide first responders with access to a trauma-informed mental health intervention that would address the domestic violence victims they encounter when responding to calls in public housing. CMHAPD makes referrals to the Crisis Hotline and information is relayed to clinical staff. At that time the PAR staff are notified of a new referral, and outreach attempts begin immediately. Some of the child services may include crisis intervention, trauma-informed diagnostic assessments, referrals and linkage to services, along with domestic violence advocacy and support services for the victim.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital, located in Columbus, Ohio, provides trauma treatment services through a range of interventions in a variety of locations. Both the Behavioral Health Division and the Center for Family Safety and Healing offer the trauma treatment services described below.
Behavioral Health (BH)
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) is offered at five locations across the city involving over 15 therapists. Likewise, Parent Child Interaction Training is provided by over 12 therapists in various locations, including in the family home. The most intensive intervention is a model of care that blends TFCBT and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. It is designed to treat youths suffering from serious emotional dysregulation and histories of complex trauma. Other trauma interventions provided by BH services include Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The contact person for BH is Shari Uncapher, MSW, who can be reached at Shari.Uncapher@nationwidechildrens.org or phone 614-722-2281.
The Center for Family Safety and Healing (TCFSH)
The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) completed training in 2013 and has fully integrated the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) into their treatment as usual care for identified families who have completed a CAC assessment. TCFSH has also implemented a small adult services program for victims of family violence that includes domestic violence advocacy, legal services, and adult trauma treatment, and hopes to consult with other NCTSN sites that are implementing both child and adult trauma services. The contact person for TCFSH is Nancy Cunningham, PsyD, who can be reached at Nancy.Cunningham@nationwidechildrens.org or phone: 614-722-6257.
The Cullen Center for Children, Adolescents, and Families provides field-tested and evidence-based multisensory, trauma-focused therapies to help traumatized youth and their families reduce trauma symptoms, maximize their daily functioning, and restore their abilities to develop and enjoy healthy interpersonal relationships. Serving northwest Ohio, the Center offers clinic-based services for youth and families exposed to any type of trauma including child abuse, community violence, traumatic loss, serious illness and injuries, and witnessing domestic violence. The Cullen Center works with children birth to age 18 and includes their families and caregivers. The Center works closely with the Lucas County juvenile courts as well as child protective services to provide trauma-informed assessment and therapy. The Cullen Center also provides trauma-informed consultation to the pediatric inpatient units of Toledo Children’s Hospital.
The Cullen Center continues its trauma-informed training of community professionals and agencies started during the grant funding period. Training and support are provided to other professionals and community members so that youth and families exposed to trauma can access evidence-based, trauma-focused services.