The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has an internal Strategic Partnership Team that has worked to develop comprehensive partnerships with national organizations on behalf of NCTSN members. Since 2005, this team has worked to identify organizations that share interests, goals and work with the NCTSN and to craft partnership agreements with a selected number of these organizations for the next several years. New organizations will be targeted for partnerships in coming years.
Major goals for NCTSN strategic partnerships are as follows:
- transforming child-serving systems
- enabling sustainability
- improving the awareness, knowledge, skills of professionals
- adaptability to changing conditions
- raising public awareness about child trauma
- influencing policy and funding
- developing and distributing products
- influencing practice through development of protocols and guidelines
- collecting data
- gaining access to special populations of consumers or professionals
- improving cultural competence and family engagement
Organizations selected for NCTSN strategic partnerships for the next several years include:
American Psychological Association (APA)
The American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology across the United States. The organization, whose mission is to advance psychology as a science and profession, consists of approximately 148,000 members, making it the largest association of psychologists worldwide. The APA consists of 53 professional divisions which focus on initiatives related to the topic area of that particular division. Numerous publications and resources are put out and endorsed by the APA. The APA hosts an Annual Convention, attended by roughly 12,000 psychologists and students, with presentations on virtually every topic within the field of psychology. Furthermore, along with the federal Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, APA co-sponsors the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, the only national meeting focusing specifically on issues of child abuse and neglect that apply to practitioners, policy-makers, community organizers and researchers. Of specific relevance to the NCTSN are the following APA Divisions: Division 56-Trauma Psychology, which provides a forum for scientific research, professional and public education, and the exchange of collegial support for professional activities related to traumatic stress; and Division 37-Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, which is concerned with professional and scientific issues relative to services and service structures for children and youth.
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
The mission of The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) is to enhance the ability of professionals to respond to children and families affected by abuse and violence. APSAC focuses on meeting the needs of professionals engaged in all aspects of services for maltreated children and their families. Especially important is the dissemination of state-of-the-art practice in all professional disciplines related to child abuse and neglect. The leadership of the NCTSN and APSAC maintain ongoing contact and the two organizations have collaborated on a variety of initiatives. Together NCTSN and APSAC have made reciprocal announcements regarding upcoming conferences, activities, and products. The NCTSN is involved in APSAC's annual Advanced Training Institute, which offers in-depth training on selected topics, and members of the NCTSN have also participated, on multiple occasions, in APSAC's Annual Colloquium, held nationally to provide research and information for interdisciplinary professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect. Recently, the NCCTS wrote an article on the Network and its activities pending publication in The APSAC Advisor, a valuable quarterly news journals that keeps interdisciplinary professionals informed of the latest developments in policy and practice in the field of child maltreatment. APSAC also sent out information about NCTSN as part of its 2006 membership renewal campaign and has linkages to the NCTSN website.
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
The Child Welfare League of America is an association of over 800 public and private agencies serving abused and neglected children and their families across the country. CWLA is committed to engaging people everywhere in promoting the well-being of children, youth, and their families, and protecting every child from harm. CWLA engages in a wide variety of programs and public awareness activities aimed to strengthen management and operation of local agencies and shape new, more effective approaches to working with children. The CWLA advocates for the advancement of public policy, sets and promotes standards for best practice, and delivers superior membership services, all toward their primary goal of ensuring the safety and well-being of children and families. CWLA serves as a national resource for publications and training pertaining to child welfare. The NCTSN and CWLA have had ongoing contact and continue to identify potential areas for future collaboration, partnerships, and sustainability activities. In 2005, NCTSN members from a number of sites participated in a teleconference training series on child trauma for CWLA members. CWLA also currently promotes NCTSN's Speakers Series among its members. Susan Ko and Chris Siegfried have presented at CWLA's Juvenile Justice Symposium. Members of CWLA have also attended the NCTSN's All-Network Meeting and are active participants in the Foster Care Committee.
National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC)
The National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) at Georgetown University and the NCTSN have established a partnership based on the joint goal of promoting cultural and linguistic competence in service systems across the country, specifically that relate to child traumatic stress. The NCCC provides training, technical assistance, and consultation in order to advance and maintain cultural and linguistic competence in a wide variety of systems. Major emphasis is placed on translating evidence into policy and practice for programs and personnel concerned with mental health care delivery, administration, education, and advocacy. Together, the NCCC and NCTSN will focus on providing technical assistance, training, and consultation to promote cultural and linguistic competence in systems that serve traumatized children and their families. Some of the more specific activities of this partnership will include: joint participation in topical call series' related to cultural competency and child trauma; consultation with NCTSN partners on conducting organizational, cultural, and linguistic self-assessments; and sharing, disseminating, and collaborating on the development of future resources and products. By promoting cultural and linguistic competence, this partnership will help raise the standard of care for traumatized children and their families across the country.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges was established in 1937 by a small group of judges with the goal of improving courts and systems practice and raising awareness of the core issues that touch the lives of the nation's children and families. This organization provides cutting-edge training, wide-ranging technical assistance, and research to help the nation's courts, judges and staff in their important work. Last year, the NCJFCJ conducted more than 200 educational programs for more than 30,000 judges, court administrators, social and mental health workers, police, probation officers, and others working in the juvenile and family courts at its headquarters and throughout the country. The NCJFCJ and the NCTSN have maintained an ongoing collaboration, sharing materials, developing products and resources, and co-sponsoring trainings and initiatives. Recently, the NCJFCJ collaborated with NCTSN to produce a special Winter 2006 issue of the Juvenile and Family Court Journal on child trauma, and another special issue of this journal is due for publication in 2008. NCTSN members have also produced articles for The Judges Page, an electronic newsletter of NCJFCJ and National CASA. Members of the NCJFCJ have attended the NCTSN All-Network Meeting for the past four years and NCTSN members have participated in NCJFCJ's annual conference and conducted focus groups there. This partnership intends to continue focusing on co-sponsoring trainings, initiatives, and products in the future.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The National institute of Mental Health is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Federal government's principal biomedical and behavioral research agency, situated in the Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of NIMH is to reduce the burden of mental illness and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. As an organization, their primary goals are to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on the causes, occurrence, and treatment of mental illness through supporting research and training efforts. The NCTSN is a member of the National Partners of the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program, which is a nationwide initiative of the NIMH with support from NIDA and in cooperation with SAMHSA. The Program enlists national and state organizations in partnerships to help bridge the gap between research and clinical practice by disseminating the latest scientific findings; informing the public about mental disorders, alcoholism, and drug addiction; and reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with these illnesses. As a National Partner, NCCTS joins this 80-member network that includes professional, consumer, advocacy, and service-related organizations with a nationwide membership and/or audience. Through this membership, NCCTS receives and disseminates to the NCTSN a monthly newsletter with timely and comprehensive updates on research findings, funding opportunities, and training and conference information. NCCTS is also invited to join an annual meeting, and has contributed to past meetings with resources, participants, and speakers. The NCCTS also has the opportunity to share resources with the network members of the National Partners, as well as the Outreach Partners (the 51-member network of state level organizations), a related network within the Outreach Partnership Program.
Mental Health America (MHA)
Mental Health America, formerly known as the National Mental Health Association, is the country's leading non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illness through advocacy, education, research and services. MHA programs are intended to educate the public, encourage reform and promote the use of effective local and regional prevention and recovery programs. One of their most relevant public education and awareness campaigns is called the Campaign for America's Mental Health, which includes initiatives like the Children's Mental Health Matters Campaign and Childhood Depression Awareness Day. MHA also engages in a wide variety of advocacy programs and prevention/recovery initiatives. MHA and the NCTSN continue to partner on a number of different projects. In the past, MHA and NCTSN have co-sponsored a teleconference call training for MHA affiliates on juvenile justice and child trauma. NCTSN also arranged some additional training for MHA affiliates on terrorism/disaster response. This partnership is continuing to develop and be refined. MHA affiliate organizations are located throughout the country, and efforts will be made in the coming years to link these chapters with NCTSN members in their communities for purposes of education, public awareness, consumer and family engagement, and advocacy