The Strength Builders Child and Adolescent Trauma Center of Youth Health Service, Inc. was developed in 2005 to serve children and adolescents aged two to 18 and their families who have experienced complex trauma in a three-county area of rural Appalachia. Since its inception, these services have expanded to incorporate a large rural area covering five counties in North Central West Virginia, to include young adults through age 24 years who have experienced intimate partner violence, and to expand trauma treatment and services in school settings in addition to traditional outpatient clinics. The program works collaboratively with a wide variety of child-serving agencies in this region to maximize the treatment opportunities for children and youth and their families who have experienced trauma. The philosophy of this program can be inferred from its title. Strength Builders recognizes that all children, teens, families, and communities have strengths that can be built upon as they move from trauma to recovery.
M. Carolina Velasco-Hodgson is a bilingual clinician with over 10 years of experience. She attended psychology school in Chile, and after obtaining a Fulbright Scholarship, she completed her MSW in the US. She was a Social Work Intern at Child Witness to Violence Project and collaborates with the NCTSN Translation Review Committee since 2010 (Caring for kids, Trinka and Juan, and after disasters’ fact sheets) and also collaborates with other members of the NCTSN network (PTSD in Infancy and Early childhood interview: PIE). Carolina currently has a private practice and is a professor in two Universities in Chile. She remains involved in Network activities focusing in early childhood trauma and on product development for Spanish speaking families living in the US.
Gene is a retired from Northwestern University, where, at the Center for Child Trauma Assessment and Service Planning (CCTASP) had a Category II grant that focused on the CANS assessment tool. Presently Gene serves as the Director of Research for the ChildTrauma Academy and consults with the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice on their MacArthur, Models for Change curriculum. Gene remains involved with NCTSN activities focused on public sector child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice issues.
Susan Vosburgh is the Director of the National Resource Center on ADHD at CHADD. She is a Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years’ experience as a therapist, clinical supervisor, administrator, and educator. She graduated from the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) at Catholic University and has received post-graduate training in child and family therapy and the administration of social service agencies. She has been on the faculty of Georgetown University’s Department of Psychiatry and NCSSS and has served as a mental health consultant and trainer to schools, churches, the courts and government agencies. Susan has provided therapeutic services to diverse populations of all ages, directed a bilingual therapeutic preschool, a child and adolescent hospital outpatient clinic, a school mental health program and a trauma and bereavement mental health agency. She is bilingual, bicultural in English and Spanish.
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.
Thomas Donovan is a trainer of Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) and Psychological First Aid (PFA). Thomas formerly served at Chaddock, a former category 3 site, as the Associate Director of Clinical Services. Currently he is the owner of New Life Counseling in Quincy, IL and Assistant Pastor at Columbus Road Baptist Church.
Funda Yilmaz previously worked as a children’s counselor for the Family Sunshine Center in Montgomery, Alabama. Here she gained extensive experience providing services to individuals of all ages, with diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and varying degrees of traumatic stress and comorbidities.
With the developmental understanding of traumatic stress granted by this clinical experience, Funda was able to write and illustrate My Big Book of Answers, a fully illustrated self-help workbook for three-to-nine-year-old survivors of violence. This workbook translates complex scientific information about traumatic stress into a language that even three-year-olds can understand and discuss with their adults. The workbook also assists therapists to effectively and efficiently discuss difficult topics with young kids such parental substance abuse, child maltreatment, illness, and death.
Funda currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia and provides training, consulting, grant writing, and psychotherapy services. She is interested in application of the fine arts as a delivery modality for traumatic stress relief interventions in primary care and behavioral health services, in school communities, through the juvenile justice system, and in the child welfare services. Funda is an active member of NCTSN’s Complex Trauma, Child Traumatic Grief and Justice Consortium collaborative workgroups.
Funda is also a professional artist working through the media of painting, sculpture, and dance.
Dr. Corwin serves as Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is board certified in Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. He has worked as a lecturer, consultant, evaluator and/or expert witness addressing child abuse cases throughout the United States and other countries including Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Israel, South Korea, Japan and Thailand. Dr. Corwin is a founder of the California and American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (CAPSAC & APSAC), the Ray E. Helfer Society, and the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA). As liaison from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, he chaired the transition of the AMA’s National Advisory Council on Violence and Abuse into the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse between 2009 and 2011. Dr. Corwin has ongoing interests in the evaluation, mitigation and prevention of the adverse health impacts associated with exposure to violence and abuse across the lifespan and currently serves as the President of the Academy on Violence and Abuse which is dedicated to increasing the education of health professionals about and research on the health impacts of violence and abuse. In 2012, he was re-elected to the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and serves currently as the Secretary for the Society. Jon Conte, APSAC’s first President referred to Dr. Corwin as the "Father of APSAC" at APSAC's its 25th Anniversary celebration. In early 2012, the AVA released a DVD entitled the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Dr. Corwin served as the DVD’s Executive Producer. Dr. Corwin continues teaching, networking, program development, professional society leadership, clinical and forensic consultation.
Currently an active NCTSN individual affiliate member, Laura Templet received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Kansas. In 1995, she was awarded a social work fellowship from the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences. Throughout her career, she has worked in a variety of settings in the field. She was the director of family support services and mental health for foster and adoption in Kansas, and a founding member of the Kansas Association for Infant Mental Health. Since moving to Colorado in 2001, her clinical work has focused on trauma treatment whether residential treatment, outpatient, or in community centers. Ms. Templet has also been a foster-adopt parent for 10 years, which resulted in the addition of two more children to her family.
Carla Smith Stover has been a faculty member at the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center and began her involvement with the NCTSN while there. She is now on the faculty at the University of South Florida Department of Mental Health Law and Policy. Dr. Stover continues her involvement with the NCTSN as a master trainer in the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention and as a Co-Chair for the Family Systems Affinity Group.