Stephen DiDonato was the former Program Manager of the Center for Pediatric Stress Center co-located at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Nemours Children's Health System. Stephen is now an Assistant Professor in the Community & Trauma Counseling Program. Stephen remains involved in NCTSN activities and is focused on increasing the infusion of child trauma curriculum within higher education health science programs.
Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC) is a private nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive, trauma-informed and trauma-specific mental/behavioral health services to children (ages 18 months through 18 years) and families throughout Philadelphia. CCTC’s services are tailored to meet the needs of each child and family; provided in a culturally sensitive environment; and address the effects of abuse, neglect, trauma, and other challenges to healthy childhood development. CCTC offers an array of center-, school-, and community-based programs and services, including a Preschool Partial Hospitalization Program, Acute Partial Hospitalization Program, Trauma Assistance Program, Sexual Trauma Treatment Program, Outpatient Program, Blended Case Management Services, Behavioral Health and Rehabilitation Services, School Therapeutic Services, a School-Based Partnership Program, Parent/Caregiver Services, Family-Based Services, and a Summer Therapeutic Enrichment Program. In 2014, CCTC initiated its expansion of services into Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. CCTC is a Sanctuary-certified agency.
Jessica Gahr provides trauma-informed clinical services as a member of the S.A.F.E. project at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center which provides therapeutic services to children adjudicated of a sexual offense and their families. In addition, she works with Glade Run Lutheran Services in Western Pennsylvania providing trauma-informed, community-based care. Jessica is interested in bridging the gap between science and practice to ensure youth receive evidence-based treatment across settings.
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services
The Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services II (PACTS)has been awarded a 5 year (October 1st 2016 to September 30th 2021) Community Treatment Center (Category III) grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (S.A.M.H.S.A.) through a National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. PACTS: Reaching the Most Vulnerable Youth is a child and adolescent behavioral and physical health system-wide trauma universal screening, education, prevention and intervention program, with a focus on the most vulnerable and underserved youth: young children (2-6 years old); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth; Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC); and intentionally injured youth (IY). We will primarily serve children eligible for Medicaid( which is a large percentage of the population of children in Philadelphia) under the age of 18 as well as transitional youth ages 18-21 in these populations. We have selected 3 trauma-specific evidence-based practices to serve our youth and families: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(TF-CBT); Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention(CFTSI) and the Child and Adult Relationship Enhancement(CARE) group parenting training. We will partner with the following child-service systems: Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Physical Health, School District of Philadelphia, Crisis Response, Faith Based and Grass-roots organizations.
The Matilda Theiss Early Childhood Trauma Treatment Center (ECTTC) at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) provides evidence-based, culturally-sensitive, early childhood trauma services for young children and families in the Pittsburgh area. Currently, the ECTTC is focused on expanding evidence-based practices and filling service gaps to meet the high demand for early childhood trauma services in Western Pennsylvania. Our population of focus is the racial/ethnic minority and/or low-income early childhood population (ages 0-7), in Allegheny County and throughout the surrounding, rural counties of Western Pennsylvania. The ECTTC also places a special emphasis on improving service access for specific underserved groups in our region that are greatly affected by trauma, including: young children and families impacted by intimate partner violence and maternal addiction; those involved in the child welfare system; military families; as well as the region’s increasing immigrant/internationals population. Interventions include: Child Parent Psychotherapy; Parent Child Interaction Therapy; Parent Child Attunement Therapy; and the FOCUS Resiliency Training Program. In addition to Network training partnerships with Category II sites, the ECTTC also partners with county human service departments; local child welfare agencies; legal child advocacy groups; numerous foster care/kinship agencies; local managed care organizations; intimate partner violence programs; maternal substance abuse programs; early intervention; pediatric primary care; and family support programs. Additionally, the ECTTC maintains active local participation in Pennsylvania’s SAMHSA Project LAUNCH grant.
The Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress (CPTS) will continue to address health-related trauma in the lives of children and families. The center's mission is to reduce medical traumatic stress by promoting trauma-informed health care, by integrating practical evidence-based tools into pediatric medical care, and by ensuring that health care providers are knowledgeable and skilled in trauma-informed care for culturally diverse youth and their families. CPTS has developed and evaluated acute and brief family-focused interventions, which can be integrated within pediatric health care. The center’s four current goals are to: 1) engage and provide national expertise to health care providers and health care systems in improving outcomes for children and families with medical trauma; 2) adapt, disseminate, and provide training to mental health providers in trauma-informed assessments and interventions for children and families experiencing medical trauma; 3) ensure that children and families have access to evidence-based resources and interventions that address the impact of medical trauma; and 4) equip other child-serving systems with trauma-informed approaches to address injury, illness, and medical problems in children and families. Activities to achieve these goals include: promoting professional and public awareness of medical trauma via CPTS's active Web presence www.healthcaretoolbox.org (to reach 20,000 providers per year) and via CPTS’s partnership with national health provider organizations; supporting implementation of effective assessment and intervention for medical trauma in more than 100 health care settings; delivering training on and tools for assessment and intervention with medical trauma to more than 9,000 health and mental health providers; and disseminating trauma-focused resources in English and Spanish to children and families experiencing medical trauma.
The AGH Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents provides national expertise in Clinical Interventions for Traumatic Stress Reactions. The Center, which developed Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT), addresses behavioral health disparities with a particular focus on the following adaptations: (1) TF-CBT for traumatized LGBTQ youth; 2) TF-CBT for commercially sexually exploited youth; (3) AF-CBT for children with parental substance abuse; and (4) TF-CBT and AF-CBT for military children with traumatic stress reactions. We are collaborating with several NCTSN Community Treatment and Services Centers, as well as with Persad Center—the 2nd oldest LGBTQ counseling center in the US—and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors—the nation’s premier military bereavement program—to develop resources and products for these populations. We are increasing sustainability by developing TF-CBT and AF-CBT recertification procedures and expanding our Train the Supervisor programs.
Karen Mallah served as project director for the Mental Health Center of Denver's Family Trauma Treatment Program, an NCTSN grantee. Dr. Mallah now works as a behavioral health consultant on the Mercer Government Human Services Consulting team. She remains involved with NCTSN activities focused on expanding evidence-based and culturally competent trauma treatment for diverse youth and families.