The Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care: Partnerships
ITTIC has developed strategic partnerships with various community organizations. Together, we work to promote the implementation of trauma-informed care across various disciplines in Western New York.
Organizations affiliated with the ITTIC:
American Red Cross
Co-Directors of ITTIC are working in conjunction with the American Red Cross to deliver the intervention "Seeking Safety," an evidence-based treatment designed to help individuals attain safety from trauma and addiction. The Seeking Safety project is part of the HIV/AIDS Services Department Women’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Initiative Program at the American Red Cross.
ITTIC constructed an evaluation tool to measure the effectiveness of Seeking Safety. Specific variables of interest include the interventions impact on improving health decisions (i.e. going to the doctor more often), lessening the effects of trauma, reducing sexual or drug-using behaviors, and increasing the use of positive coping mechanisms.
The collaboration between ITTIC and the American Red Cross is planned to be continuous. A future goal is to provide MSW students with the opportunity to engage in capacity building as they receive training in the delivery of the intervention.
Catholic Charities and Gateway-Longview, Inc.
Catholic Charities and Gateway-Longview, Inc. are providing training and consultation to agency staff. Each organization has participated in training and monthly consultation/mentor groups over a one-year period of time.
ITTIC is pleased to contract with Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES (CABOCES) in providing training and consultation to staff in trauma and trauma-informed care. CABOCES partners with its 22 component school districts to meet the educational needs of students of all ages in the region. Through a half-day training in trauma and trauma-informed care and two follow-up consultations, over 30 staff within CABOCES were trained in how to understand trauma and its effects on students and how to begin to think about making their work more trauma-informed.
Center for Veterans and Veteran Family Services
ITTIC is partnering with Daemen College’s Center for Veterans and Veteran Family Services and Advisory Board member Patrick Welch to address the need for community awareness and education related to military affairs. Sam Divencenzo will be partnering with Dr. Welch to educate community members and professionals about various aspects of military trauma, including the effect of military deployment on children.
ITTIC and Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Inc. (Crisis Services) have partnered together to develop and implement an agency-wide survey for volunteers, staff, management, and board members, focused on the principles of trauma-informed care. The results of the survey will provide Crisis Services with an overview of their "present" status in relation to trauma-informed care. The evaluation will also provide the organization an opportunity to identify next steps they might take to implement a trauma focus into their organization’s policies and practices.
Community Health Foundation
In 2009, a handful of Community Health Foundation fellows and other community leaders, including ITTIC representatives, met in an effort to start a cross-sector discussion regarding trauma and its impact on health in Western New York. With a generous grant from the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, the committee organized the "Trauma: A Public Health Crisis in Western New York" conference that took place in March of 2010. ITTIC Co-Director, Sue Green, and Katie Grimm of the University at Buffalo Medical School were Principal Investigators of a pilot study that investigated how trauma impacts service delivery in Western New York. Results from the study were presented at the conference (view PowerPoint presentation).
Since the conference, the steering committee has met on regular basis to develop and implement a large but strategic and targeted outreach, information, and training initiative. In May of 2011, the committee arranged for the Trauma Learning Center, a nationally-recognized trauma training organization, to provide an on-site, two-day training to Specialized Service Team (SST) members from the Buffalo Public Schools. The committee continues to work toward its goal of leading and assisting individuals, organizations, and communities through a mobilization of resources in education, prevention, and response to the multi-dimensional aspects of trauma.
The DREAM Program
The DREAM Program, spearheaded in 2004 by the Community Concentration of the UB School of Social Work, is a volunteer-based program dedicated to the Development of lasting Relationships in the community through Empowerment, Advocacy, and Motivation. DREAM embodies the core principles of trauma-informed care, as each relationship established through this program is built on a foundation of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment. Currently, DREAM volunteers serve individuals at the G.I.R.L.S. Sports Foundation (GSF); the Lutheran Church Home (LCH); and Vive, Inc.; all located in the City of Buffalo.
New Directions Youth and Family Services
ITTIC is pleased to announce a partnership with New Directions Youth and Family Services. The partnership will focus on equipping New Directions with an agency assessment, focusing particularly on Trauma-Informed Care and how it relates to staffing and agency culture. Merging the concepts of Trauma-Informed Care and Normative Culture, the ITTIC will develop an agency-specific survey, and will facilitate cross-sectional focus groups that will include employees at all levels of employment, as well as the Board of Directors. The assessment conducted and presented by the ITTIC will highlight the strengths of New Directions, as well as provide ideas for how the agency might adopt additional principles and practices of Trauma-Informed Care to strengthen their organization. The goal of the partnership is to provide New Directions a useful assessment of the strengths and needs of the organization and to assist in embedding a trauma focus in the culture of the organization.
Our Lady of Hope Parish
ITTIC has launched a refugee youth project, collaborating with Our Lady of Hope Parish on Buffalo’s west side. The group, initiated by Sister Susan Bowles, McKenzie Mattison, Kelly Reuter, and Carina Brown, is focused on giving voice to the concerns of refugee youth. The group is also aimed at creating a trauma-informed space for youth to discuss issues and trauma they have faced, as well as ongoing and current struggles. The group is anchored in the principles of trauma-informed care and incorporates the Positive Youth Development model.
ITTIC and Vive, Inc. are collaborating on a refugee resource group focused on addressing the trauma of refugee women. The group combines elements of the evidence-based curriculum, Seeking Safety, with creating mandala art. Focused on learning safe coping skills, the group is geared toward assisting women with recognizing and managing their experiences of trauma and oppression. This group is currently led by Sister Beth Niederpruem, Danielle Maurice, and Katie McClain-Meeder. July Munzi has been instrumental in providing guidance in art therapy and the use of mandalas.