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INKSTER, MICH. (Dec. 4, 2017) –Starfish Family Services has received a $76,000 grant from the Dresner Foundation in support of launching Phase II of Starfish Family Services’ Building Resilient Communities (BRC) initiative. Starfish launched BRC in response to one of our most serious public health threats- childhood trauma, which can harm social-emotional development and eventually physical health.
Studies show 1 in 4 children experience trauma by preschool, but key adults in a child’s life can be trained to be a buffer against traumatic experiences. Thus, Phase I of BRC consisted of, embedding trained trauma therapists into preschool classrooms, screening all Starfish preschoolers for trauma, and implementing a ten-month Trauma Smart© training program for the first wave of 140 staff persons. Developed by experts at Crittenton Children’s Center, Trauma Smart©, is an evidence-based intervention model, recognized, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, to be effective in helping children and the adults who care for them effectively address the negative impact of violence and trauma.
Starfish is very excited about Phase II of the initiative which will include: Trauma Smart training for an additional 45 staff, clients, and parents, and the translation of program materials into Spanish and Arabic for parent groups who are more comfortable learning in their native language. In addition, “train the trainer” education will enable Starfish to sustain the Trauma Smart© program internally in future years.
“Starfish is so grateful that the philanthropic community continues to support this work,” said Ann Kalass, CEO of Starfish Family Services. “The Dresner Foundation with its mission to support organizations that empower children and their families make them a natural fit for this initiative. Initial results of the Building Resilient Communities work have made such a positive impact on the families we serve. Our teachers feel more supported and engaged, our children display fewer incidents of disruptive behavior, and we are excited to offer some of the same training to the parents of our children so that these important learnings can also be utilized in the home.”
To learn more about Starfish’s Building Resilient Communities Initiative, please visit: https://www.starfishfamilyservices.org/what-we-do/brc/