In March 2010, the Chadwick Center for Children and Families and the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC) at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to establish the Chadwick Trauma-Informed Systems Project (CTISP) as a Category II Center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).  This grant created the Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice Toolkit which consists of 5 documents designed to help child welfare systems become more trauma-informed.  Click here to be able to download the whole toolkit or any of the separate pieces.

In October 2012, the Chadwick Center and CASRC once again received funding from SAMHSA (Grant # 1U79SM061266) to establish the Chadwick Trauma-Informed Systems Dissemination and Implementation Project (CTISP-DI) and continue as a Category II Center within the NCTSN.

Building on the work completed through CTISP (funded from 2010-2013), CTISP-DI staff is working strategically with five Supercommunities across the country who will serve as communities of excellence and will lead the transformation of public child welfare (CW) agencies into trauma-informed systems within their respective jurisdictions. These Supercommunites are:

  1. Custer County, Oklahoma
  2. Orange County, California
  3. State of Rhode Island
  4. Southeastern Minnesota (including Dodge, Olmsted, Waseca and Winona Counties)
  5. Volusia County, Florida

Starting in fall of 2012, CTISP-DI staff worked specifically with each Supercommunity to identify and spread trauma-informed child welfare practices across its region through a community assessment process that occurred throughout the first year and a half of the grant. Through that process, trauma-informed goals were formed for each community. Starting in 2014, CTISP-DI staff worked with the communities to help them achieve these goals and facilitate change. The goals for each community and their work towards these goals can be found in the most recent Supercommunity Update on their Supercommunity page (accessible by clicking on the community name above).

In early 2015, with the goal of creating new trauma-informed child welfare products, three cross-Supercommunity workgroups formed to work on the following trauma-informed topics: Birth Parents, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Cross-System Collaboration. The Birth Parent Workgroup is working on adapting content from Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents (RPC) into a new curriculum focused on those who were parenting the children when they entered the child welfare system. The Secondary Traumatic Stress Workgroup is working on developing a set of guidelines for child welfare systems on creating organizational policies and programs to address secondary traumatic stress. The Cross-System Collaboration Workgroup met monthly for 6 months and had several rich discussions on this complex topic. Updates on these groups can be found in the CTISP-DI newsletters. Once completed, the products from the Birth Parent and Secondary Traumatic Stress Workgroups will be available through this website. The ultimate aim of all of this work is to change the wider community child welfare system into a multidimensional, evidence-based, and trauma-informed system that is better able to meet the unique needs of children and families involved in the child welfare system.

The work of CTISP-DI is guided by the Essential Elements of a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System and the following definition of a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System that was developed by the CTISP National Advisory Committee in 2011:

A trauma-informed child welfare system is one in which all parties involved recognize and respond to the varying impact of traumatic stress on children, caregivers, families, and those who have contact with the system. Programs and organizations within the system infuse this knowledge, awareness, and skills into their organizational cultures, policies, and practices. They act in collaboration, using the best available science, to facilitate and support resiliency and recovery.

For more information, please contact:

Cambria Walsh

CTISP-DI Project Manager


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