The Yale Child Study Center Trauma Section, under the direction of Dr. Steven Marans, has been working to reduce the traumatic impact of violence on children and families since its inception in 1991. The YCSC Trauma Section serves as the laboratory for the Child Development-Community Policing Program (CD-CP) a model collaboration of mental health and law enforcement professionals working to heal the wounds that violence and trauma inflict on children and their families. Due to this pioneering model of collaboration, the Trauma Section was also uniquely qualified to be designated as the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV) from 1999-2011 by the White House and the U. S. Department of Justice. This national designation allowed us to serve as a national resource for professionals, communities and individual families on the devastating effects of violence exposure on children.
Faculty and staff from the Trauma Section continue to be engaged in a wide variety of local and national initiatives that address the impact of violence on children, families and communities. Locally, in New Haven, our Child Development-Community Policing Program continues to provide immediate and follow-up intervention for hundreds of children affected by violence and other potentially traumatic events each year. Our Childhood Violent Trauma Clinic provides these children and families an avenue in which to engage in the treatment needed to overcome the obstacles faced by exposure to violence and trauma. Nationally, faculty continue to provide consultation and training to professionals and communities. Examples of these efforts include:
- Engagement in (1) national meetings and conferences for mental health, law enforcement and other professionals on the effects of violence and trauma and (2) collaborative intervention strategies for children, families and communities affected by violence and disasters.
- Adaptation and implementation of Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) in Child Advocacy Centers (CAC’s) in New York City for abuse children.
- Development of a national Learning Collaborative for clinical sites around the country on the implementation and delivery of the CFTSI intervention.
- Participation, as an original member, in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a network of 70 treatment and research centers from across the U.S., funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Consultation to public officials at the local, state and national levels on a variety of policy issues regarding children’s experience of violence and trauma.
Additional activities have included:
- Working with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on developing strategies for providing behavioral health care for families of U. S. Military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Training and consultation for other communities around the country that are developing collaborative programs based on the CD-CP Program model.
- Consultation to colleagues at various institutions about community response to high profile school shootings.
- Development of materials for parents and professionals about helping children and families affected by catastrophic events such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.