[2009 - 2012 and 2002 - 2005]
Parsons Child and Family Center’s (PCFC) HEROES Project (Healing with Emotional Resilience, Opportunities, and Enduring Supports) will engage New York state, county, and community based practitioners to develop and implement integrated services with trauma-informed and resiliency-focused strategies that are matched to the resources, risks, and cultural heritage of children and families referred to residential treatment, foster family, and home-based child welfare as well as affiliated mental health programs. The HEROES Project will fill critical gaps that often lead to fragmented and ineffective services including: (1) lack of a shared understanding of traumatic stress, including how to best respond and build protective factors; (2) lack of professional capacity to provide trauma informed services for children and families, especially for those in child welfare programs whose needs are complex and often do not meet the specific criteria for time-limited and trauma-focused interventions; and (3) lack of a service system structure that will train, implement, and sustain evidence-based interventions.
The primary goal of this resiliency-focused initiative will be to foster enduring emotionally supportive relationships which protect children from abuse and neglect and help children resume healthy growth and skill development. The second priority will be to increase and maintain the number of child welfare practitioners in the region utilizing trauma-informed and resiliency-focused interventions. The HEROES Project will foster skills and procedures that mitigate against the consequences of vicarious trauma related to working with children and family members who suffer from traumatic life experiences.
To accomplish these goals, the HEROES Project will: (1) engage, educate, and influence regional and state-wide child welfare service systems in trauma-informed and evidence supported strategies for building resiliency in children, families, and providers, (2) engage, educate, and influence children, parents, resource parents, case managers, practitioners, and family courts about the impact of traumatic stress as well as the importance of building protective factors for children; (3) train and support practitioners and supervisors in the individualized application of evidence-supported strategies with families, (4) evaluate implementation, fidelity, and outcomes, and (5) assist youths, parents, practitioners, program supervisors, local leaders and other stakeholders to partner in the mission of adapting and thereby sustaining the use of trauma-informed and resiliency-focused services. Objectives include systems incorporation of the HEROES trauma-informed and resiliency-focused framework into assessments, service planning, child protective services, home-based family counseling, foster family care, residential treatment, an increase in self-regulation, cognitive, and social skills, and reduction of traumatic stress symptoms.