The Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS) will increase the number of youth served who have experienced trauma and who receive evidence-based interventions for their symptoms. Objectives include: 1) increasing screening for traumatic stress symptoms in child-serving programs such as pediatric emergency departments, primary care clinics, juvenile court, and child welfare sites; 2) providing trauma-informed clinical assessments at child and adolescent behavioral health programs; 3) developing a coordinated network of service providers for expeditious referral of children and families; 4) offering early posttraumatic intervention using the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) to help prevent the development of PTSD; and 5) providing TF-CBT for children and adolescents who have full or partial PTSD with co-morbid disorders and difficulties. The center will increase the number of youth and families served each year, totaling 2,118 during the lifetime of the project.
The Early Childhood Mental Health and Trauma Treatment Center (ECMH-TTC) at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) will provide services to children aged 0–7 who have experienced trauma, as well as to their parents and/or families. Using evidence-based practices—including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)—ECMH-TTC will offer mental health services through center- and community-based programs in a low socioeconomic status (SES), urban, minority population. By the end of the grant period, ECMH-TTC will increase the percentage of children participating in PCIT or CPP through mobile service by 100 percent, increase access to evidence-based treatment for center-based children by 50 percent, and increase outpatient services by 100 percent. In total, at least 170 children will receive CPP or PCIT.
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 Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents will provide national expertise in Clinical Interventions for Traumatic Stress Reactions and Traumatic Grief. The center—which developed Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)—will adapt both interventions for foster children with severe behavioral traumatic stress reactions, will develop a culturally adapted AF-CBT implementation manual, and will provide culturally adapted TF-CBT and AF-CBT training and consultation to therapists who treat military children. In addition, the center will: 1) address behavioral health disparities for children in foster care, LGBTQ youth, and military children with traumatic stress reactions or traumatic grief; 2) collaborate with Persad Center (the nation's second-oldest LGBTQ provider organization) to develop toolkits for child and adolescent mental health providers; 3) adapt TF-CBT treatment materials; 4) provide LGBTQ-competent TF-CBT training to therapists; and 5) develop a Clinical Interventions for Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Grief Partnership composed of national experts, highly experienced service providers, and consumers. This group will create and evaluate strategies of national impact to establish a sustainable workforce of therapists who can provide affordable, high-quality TF-CBT and AF-CBT for children across the United States.
Karen Mallah was 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.