Mini-Grants for Under-funded Areas

Making child-serving systems more trauma-informed, enhancing cultural competence and enhancing family and youth involvement are all key components of the mission of the Network. In 2007 the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress developed a grant-making program for Network members to promote Network activities in these areas.

Through a competitive process, Network members were awarded small grants to develop initiatives in these three areas. Listed below are the proposals that were funded, with links to additional materials and fact sheets where available.

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Making Child-Serving Systems More Trauma-Informed

The goal of creating trauma-informed systems is to strengthen systems' understanding of child trauma, and to help professionals within those systems make informed decisions about necessary next steps.

  • Early Childhood: Early Childhood Mental Health Training
    Anchorage Community Mental Health Services Child Trauma Center, Anchorage, AK

    In collaboration with Dr. Julie Larrieu of Tulane University, the Anchorage Community Mental Health Services Child Trauma Center held an intensive two-day training that brought together various systems working with young children in Alaska: child protection, early intervention, mental health, and visitation supervision.

  • Education System: Spanish Translation / Dubbing of School DVD
    Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD); Los Angeles, CA

    In collaboration with its partners, UCLA and RAND, LAUSD produced Nuestros Hijos y el Trauma: Lo Que Necesitamos Saber, a Spanish version of the DVD Students and Trauma.

  • Healthcare System: Web-based Training Module for Pediatricians
    The Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA and Early Trauma Treatment Network (ETTN)

    The Child Witness to Violence Project and ETTN received funding to develop a multimedia training for pediatricians on trauma in young children. The training's video vignettes will provide a hands-on way to teach skills and provide a springboard for discussion about the practical aspects of identifying and responding to early childhood trauma.

  • Juvenile Justice System: Educational Toolkit about Gang-Involved and At-Risk Youth
    The Mental Health Center of Denver and Prodigal Son Initiative, Inc.; Denver, CO

    This collaboration aimed to increase the awareness of traumatic stress among government agencies and community organizations that work with gang involved youth and youth at risk for gang involvement. Two fact sheets were developed.


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Enhancing Cultural Competence

Cultural identity and cultural references can shape the ways in which children and families identify and interpret the threat of potentially traumatizing events, manifest distress in both physical and psychological ways, and cope with and ultimately overcome traumatic experiences.


  • Community Dialogue and Needs Assessment for Addressing Traumatic Stress among Resettled Refugee Youth in New Hampshire
    Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center; Lebanon, NH

    Partnering with the Wellesley Centers for Women, the Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center conducted a project that engaged African refugee youth, community members, and service providers in identifying the steps needed to create trauma-informed systems of care for African refugee youth living in New Hampshire.

  • Developing Culturally Competent Childhood Traumatic Grief Educational Materials For Children in Military Families
    Allegheny General Hospital, Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents; Pittsburgh, PA

    The Military Family Collaborative, led by the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents, developed materials on childhood traumatic grief specifically tailored to the needs of military families.

  • Manual for LGBTQ Youth: My Identity, My SELF: Addressing the Needs of LGBTQ Youth in Sanctuary® -Informed Residential Treatment
    Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; New York, NY

    The Jewish Board's Center for Trauma Program Innovation developed a three-part curriculum that seeks to improve services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth in residential treatment.

  • Spanish Adaptation of Childhood Traumatic Grief Video
    Child Trauma Research Project, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; Serving Children and Adolescents in Need Inc. (SCAN), Laredo, TX; NCTSN Childhood Traumatic Grief Task Force, and Early Trauma Treatment Network (ETTN)

    This project adapts existing videos on childhood traumatic grief developed by the Network's Childhood Traumatic Grief Task Force. The final product is Vale la Pena Recordar, a video for Spanish-speaking caregivers of children who have experienced a traumatic loss.


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Enhancing Family and Youth Involvement

The NCTSN seeks to build partnerships among youth, families, caregivers, and professionals based on mutual respect, a common commitment to healing, and shared responsibilities for planning, selecting, participating in and evaluating trauma services and supports.


  • Development of a Youth Advisory Group
    The Cullen Center of Toledo Children's Hospital, Toledo, OH

    The Cullen Center initiated a Youth Advisory Group focused on establishing guidelines for a peer-to-peer support program for youth exposed to trauma; formulating a plan for a youth advocacy/public education program; and making recommendations to improve the environment and services at the Cullen Center to better meet the needs of adolescents.

  • Focus Groups to Enhance Family and Youth Engagement
    Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA

    The Chadwick Center used its mini-grant to hold two focus groups—one in Spanish and one in English—with the caregivers of former Chadwick clients in order to gather information on how to improve services to local children and families.

  • Partnering with Youth and Families Committee Face-to-Face Meeting
    NCTSN Partnering with Youth and Families Workgroup

    With the support of its mini-grant, the Partnering with Youth and Families Workgroup was able to conduct a face-to-face meeting bringing together mental health professionals, youth, and family members.

  • Web-based Engagement Tool for African American Families
    Ambit Network, Minneapolis, MN; La Rabida Hospital - Chicago Child Trauma Center, Chicago, IL; and Center for Child and Family Health, Durham, NC

    African-American families comprise a significant proportion of the NCTSN's service population, yet there are few culturally-specific resources to serve this group. Particularly absent are the voices of families themselves. The goal of this project was to develop an online, web-based training tool to increase clinicians' and trauma-informed providers' skills in understanding and engaging urban, traumatized, African-American families.


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