In Virginia, 20 percent of children experience two or more adverse childhood experiences. However, the pandemic as a trauma layered with economic trauma and social injustices creates complex traumas that families and children are facing today. In addition, childhood trauma contributes to toxic stress that negatively impacts social, emotional, and physical health, even into adulthood. We recognize that trauma and adversity disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. As a result, our systems must realize, recognize, respond to, and resist re-traumatization. However, they must also address the root cause of trauma in order to prevent it in the first place.
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Virginia Helping Everyone Access Linked Services (HEALS)
The budget committees preserved the funding in the Governor’s initial proposal for Virginia HEALS, $517,553 in FY22 to provide general fund support to the Virginia Helping Everyone Access Services (HEALS) program, which concentrates its efforts on early identification and intervention to lessen the impact of trauma in children, including COVID-19 related challenges.
Restores Funding for ACEs Interface Initiative
The Senate restored $143,000 in funding for ACEs Interface. It supports a full-time Central Office position to provide oversight over 100 ACE Interface Master Trainers across the Virginia, plan and develop additional ACE Interface Master Trainer Cohorts in their region, and plan and facilitate monthly learning community meetings for each training cohort, etc. These funds were included in the budget passed in March during the 2020 Session, but subsequently unallotted in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and eliminated in the Chapter 56 budget adopted in the 2020 Special Session.
Review of Sheriff Office Service Levels to Support Mental Health Awareness Response and Community Understanding Services (MARCUS) Alert; Language Only
The Senate included language to direct the Compensation Board to review the plan that will be developed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, which outlines law enforcement agencies’ role and engagement in the development of the MARCUS Alert system established by House Bill 5043 and Senate Bill 5038 from the 2020 Special Session. The plan would survey the anticipated cost of the implementation.
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