Building a Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Community
Through a two-year United Way grant, Community Children’s Center has launched a project called “Building a Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Community.” For the past three years, CCC has been a leader in the Douglas County Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative, which has raised over $100,000 to implement trauma-informed services in the county’s four largest preschools, which are Head Start, Lawrence Public Schools Early Childhood Program at Kennedy Elementary, Hilltop Child Development Center and Positive Bright Start. We have partnered with Crittenton Children’s Center, part of St. Luke’s Health System in KC, to train and coach over 100 early childhood professionals in the evidence-based Trauma Smart model. In the last school year, these professionals served 646 young children and their families, and our evaluation showed a significantly positive changes in how staff work with children who have experienced trauma.
Our United Way project will expand this success to agencies serving young children and families who are most likely to have experienced trauma. The project offers a leadership education series, consultation and a parent education component called Smart Connections. Our vision is for the early childhood community to become truly trauma-informed (a 3 to 5 year process) and to contribute to our entire community to become trauma-informed.