R.I. lauded for helping traumatized kids

Posted 4/5/13

PROVIDENCE – Following a nationwide search, Rhode Island has been designated as one of six “supercommunities” for traumatized children. As a result, the state will soon take part in a federally funded project looking to address the role trauma plays in the lives of the state’s children and families.

The announcement was made Thursday by Family Service of Rhode Island and by the R.I. Department of Children, Youth and Families during a reception at the Rhode Island Foundation.

The project, led by San Diego’s Chadwick Center for Children and Families, aims to "transform child welfare organizations so their services recognize the role trauma plays in the lives of children and families in their care," according to a release.

“Abuse, neglect, crime, violence: these are common in the personal histories of the children being served at social services agencies across the state,” said Janice DeFrances, director of the Rhode Island’s DCYF. “This new effort will provide caregivers the knowledge and skills to approach care with this in mind and will help us assess our current practices and develop more responsive systems.”

During the next few months, DCYF and Family Service of RI will work to make social services "trauma informed" by conducting a community assessment of the trauma-informed nature of the state’s current child welfare system, developing an implementation plan, and coordinating the technical assistance and training needed to implement the plan.

Rhode Island's participation represents the only statewide effort. Other areas selected as supercommunities include two counties in California, and one each in Florida, Oklahoma and Minnesota.

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