As we work to expand trauma-informed policy and practice throughout Virginia, it is important to recognize the conversations and work already occurring. Below is a current overview of some of the areas where work, discussions, and advocacy opportunities are occurring.
Policy Overview September 2018
- Children’s Cabinet: The Northam administration affirmed their commitment to children by continuing the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and has prioritized Systems of Care and Safety for School Aged Youth within the cabinet. A workgroup consisting of stakeholders from throughout the state has been tasked with making recommendations concerning how Virginia can support a consistent, evidence-based and culturally-competent statewide response to childhood trauma. Stakeholders will develop a definition of trauma-informed care for the state and determining how these definitions can best be operationalized.
- House of Delegates Select Committee on School Safety: In response to the Parkland shootings, the House of Delegates formed this committee to examine school safety in Virginia. A significant focus of this group is mental health and social-emotional supports in school, presenting an exciting opportunity to address trauma-informed schools.
- Family First Prevention Services Act Workgroups: It is stipulated in the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) that prevention services and services for foster care children must be “trauma-informed” to qualify for reimbursement. As Virginia anticipates full implementation of the FFPSA in October 2019, a number of workgroups have been created to assist in preparation.
- Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care: The Vision 21 initiative through the Virginia Department of Social Services is demonstration project focused on linking systems of care for victimized children. Members of this project team have recognized the importance and impact of trauma in victimization and are working towards determining how best to define and increase recognition of trauma across systems.