Federal Grant to Build on Evidence2Success in Providence

Posted September 29, 2016, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog federalgranttobuilde2s 2016

The Sub­stance Abuse and Men­tal Health Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion (SAMH­SA) recent­ly award­ed a five-year, $1.8 mil­lion grant to the Prov­i­dence Chil­dren & Youth Cab­i­net (CYC) for the Build­ing Trau­ma Sen­si­tive Schools (BTSS) ini­tia­tive. Build­ing on the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Evidence2Success frame­work in Prov­i­dence, BTSS will seek to decrease post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) among mid­dle-school stu­dents in neigh­bor­hoods with ele­vat­ed lev­els of trau­ma. By the end of the grant peri­od, the ini­tia­tive will have served more than 3,000 adolescents.

BTSS will pro­vide a tiered approach of ther­a­peu­tic, evi­dence-based pro­grams, evi­dence-informed youth trau­ma pro­grams and uni­ver­sal trau­ma-sen­si­tive train­ing for schools,” says Rebec­ca Boxx, direc­tor of the CYC — the back­bone orga­ni­za­tion for Evidence2Success in Prov­i­dence. It will be enhanced by involve­ment and guid­ance from neigh­bor­hood lead­ers and res­i­dents who will seek addi­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to address root caus­es of trau­ma with­in their communities.”

Focus­ing on the behav­ioral link between ele­vat­ed lev­els of trau­ma among stu­dents ages 11 to 14 and their chron­ic absences, delin­quen­cy and sus­pen­sions, BTSS will serve the three mid­dle schools in the South Side, West End and Olneyville neigh­bor­hoods, where stu­dents are more like­ly to wit­ness vio­lence or expe­ri­ence oth­er cir­cum­stances that con­tribute to PTSD. These neigh­bor­hoods, accord­ing to the CYC, have the high­est rates of engage­ment with the child wel­fare sys­tem, child­hood pover­ty, parental incar­cer­a­tion and inci­dences of school sus­pen­sions and absen­teeism in the city.”

BTSS, which will be launched in Octo­ber, incor­po­rates core ele­ments of the Evidence2Success frame­work, includ­ing part­ner­ships among pub­lic sys­tems, elect­ed offi­cials and com­mu­ni­ties; the strate­gic use of local data to iden­ti­fy needs and devel­op a con­sen­sus among part­ners on out­comes; and capac­i­ty build­ing to imple­ment evi­dence-based pro­grams — for exam­ple, Cog­ni­tive Behav­ioral Inter­ven­tion for Trau­ma in Schools (CBITS), a school-based pro­gram to reduce symp­toms of PTSD among chil­dren and improve func­tion­ing, atten­dance and grades and one of the evi­dence-based pro­grams orig­i­nal­ly select­ed by E2S stake­hold­ers. CBITS is cur­rent­ly being imple­ment­ed in two mid­dle schools in the South Side and West End neighborhoods.

BTSS will mea­sure progress by track­ing improve­ments on stan­dard­ized assess­ments and on the Youth Expe­ri­ence Sur­vey, a city­wide sur­vey of youth expe­ri­ences in five areas: behav­ior, edu­ca­tion, emo­tion­al well-being, pos­i­tive rela­tion­ships and phys­i­cal health.

The SAMH­SA grant to CYC, a coali­tion of pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions and pub­lic agen­cies work­ing to ensure that all of Providence’s chil­dren have access to an inte­grat­ed sys­tem of edu­ca­tion­al, health and oth­er ser­vices, rep­re­sents an inten­tion­al effort to finance and scale up Evidence2Success in Prov­i­dence. CYC also recent­ly received a $25,000 Com­mu­ni­ty Devel­op­ment Block Grant from the City of Prov­i­dence to reduce trau­mat­ic stress among local mid­dle school students.

Many fed­er­al dis­cre­tionary and foun­da­tion ini­tia­tives pri­or­i­tize col­lab­o­ra­tion as well as evi­dence-based pro­grams,” says Suzanne Barnard, direc­tor of the Casey Foundation’s Evi­dence-Based Prac­tice Group. We are wit­ness­ing a shift in grant mak­ing, both local­ly and nation­al­ly, toward approach­es that address pre­ven­tion and rec­og­nize the inter­re­lat­ed and com­plex chal­lenges child- and fam­i­ly-serv­ing sys­tems are try­ing to address.”

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