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Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia

2019 Virginia Summit on Childhood Trauma & Resilience

Voices for Virginia’s Children hosted the first-of-its-kind Virginia Summit on Childhood Trauma and Resilience.  Voices worked with partners  Greater Richmond SCANthe Family and Children’s Trust Fund (FACT), Families Forward.  The Summit was a key milestone in the Campaign for a Trauma-informed Virginia and focused on both policy changes and practices to prevent adverse childhood experiences and promote resilience.

Here is a video of the keynote by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder of the Center for Youth Wellness and author of The Deepest Well. Dr. Burke Harris is also the Surgeon General of California.

We are grateful to the Virginia Health Care Foundation for the recording of Dr. Burke Harris’s keynote address.

To provide context to Virginia’s efforts to improve trauma-informed policy and practice, members of the Governor’s administration and the General Assembly shared their perspectives on the policy panel. They include: Daniel Carey, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Del. Jeff Bourne, and Del. Chris Peace.

Below is the video, with an introduction by First Lady Pamela Northam.

About the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia

Research shows us how to counteract adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by designing our systems to better serve our children. We know that 19% of children in Virginia have experienced two or more ACEs. These ACEs can shape the course of children’s health and development over a lifetime. Responsive relationships and strong communities can buffer the effects of ACEs. Our systems, programs, services, and staff  should become trauma-informed to recognize children who have experienced trauma and to help foster resiliency.

Initiatives are taking shape at the state and local level to help organizations and communities become more trauma-informed. At the same time, Virginia’s elected officials are engaged in important conversations on how to improve the safety and climate of schools, transform our behavioral health system, shift child welfare towards prevention, and expand early learning opportunities. In order to promote resiliency, Voices believes our laws and funding decisions should support trauma-informed systems and communities.

Goals of the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia

The goal of the campaign is to influence state policymakers to adopt trauma-informed approaches by increasing investments in prevention of trauma and adopting trauma-informed and evidence-based practices across state agencies that impact children and families. To this campaign Voices brings our knowledge in early childhood education, child welfare, and mental health, as well as our expertise in advocating with state policymakers.

We strive to connect local partners, stakeholder groups, advocates, state agency leaders, and elected officials in order to create and advance a unified state policy agenda for trauma-informed policy and practiceOver the last two years, Voices has championed trauma-informed policy at the state level, including the first resolution introducing the concepts of trauma-informed care and making recommendations to look across state agencies to create a definition of trauma-informed care.

Join Us for a Trauma-Informed Virginia

This is a critical moment to raise awareness of trauma-informed policy and practice in Virginia, and Voices’ policy team will continue to provide policy analysis expertise, backed by data, to further advance state policy. Please help us raise awareness by joining our Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia.

You can help by by sharing your story about trauma-informed community initiatives, resiliency, and/or the impact of adverse childhood experiences. Please also stay updated by subscribing to our advocacy updates and action opportunities!