December/January 2015Vol. 15, No. 11Site Visit: Waterbury (CT) Educational Stability Initiative
In fiscal year 2011, the Children's Bureau awarded 10 grants to promote collaboration between child welfare and education systems in order to increase educational stability for children ages 10 to 17 involved with child welfare. The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) received one of these grants to implement the Waterbury Educational Stability Initiative, which provided training on trauma-informed child welfare practice and child traumatic stress to education and child welfare stakeholders, including child welfare professionals, school counselors, parent liaisons, and foster parents. The project also tried to bridge the gap between the schools and law enforcement by training the school resource officers, who are municipal police officers assigned to the schools. The following were the goals of the training:
- Educate child welfare professionals, parent liaisons, and foster parents about the effect of trauma on children's development and behavior
- Educate child welfare professionals, parent liaisons, and foster parents about when and how to intervene directly in a trauma-sensitive manner and through strategic referrals
- Ensure that all children in the child welfare system have access to timely, high quality, and effective trauma-focused interventions and a case-planning process that support resilience in long-term healing and recovery
- Help stakeholders understand trauma and how it may present itself in the children at school
The DCF Training Academy provided the training using the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit, which was developed by the National Child Trauma Stress Network. The training materials provided information about case management and intervention perspectives related to trauma-informed best practices. The training covered topics such as how children respond to trauma, safety and resiliency factors, and how to assist trauma-affected children.
For more information on this project, contact Ann-Marie DeGraffenreidt, Director of Program Development, State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families, at Ann-Marie.DeGraffenreidt@ct.gov. The full site visit report will soon be available on the website for Child Welfare Information Gateway at https://www.childwelfare.gov/management/funding/funding_sources/edcollaborations.cfm.
The Waterbury Educational Stability Initiative is funded by the Children's Bureau (90CO1071). This article is part of a series highlighting successful Children's Bureau grant-funded projects around the country, emerging from Children's Bureau site visits.