WMU News

Children's Trauma Center wins $1.6 million federal grant

Oct. 21, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's Children's Trauma Assessment Center has received a $1.6 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration to help abused children both inside and outside the classroom.

The grant, which will be paid over four years, will be used to develop best practice models for traumatized children within school classrooms to optimize their opportunity for academic and school success in the Kalamazoo Public and the St. Joseph County school systems. The grant also will be used to establish training throughout the state for physicians, attorneys, judges and a number of others who come into contact with traumatized children. In addition, the funding will be used to develop an instrument to measure the ability of traumatized children to communicate their feelings through language, which is vital to increasing their chances of recovery.

With the grant's help, the center will now be part of a national network of trauma assessment centers for children and will be the only such center in Michigan.

"Receiving this grant will significantly benefit Michigan's most vulnerable children, those who have been traumatized by maltreatment and other harmful events, as well as those prenatally exposed to alcohol," says Dr. James Henry, center director and WMU associate professor of social work. "It will provide a myriad of ways to further support these children's healing and recovery in a multitude of environments throughout Michigan."

CTAC began at WMU's College of Health and Human Services in 2000 and is operated by a transdisciplinary team of experts including Henry, Dr. Mark Sloane, a pediatrician; Connie Black

Pond, CTAC clinical director, Dr. Yvette Hyter, WMU assistant professor of speech pathology; Dr. Ben Atchison, WMU associate professor of occupational therapy; and researcher Dr. Ineke Way, WMU assistant professor of social work.

CTAC primarily serves abused and neglected children in Southwest Michigan as well as other parts of the state. Since its inception, it has assessed more than 875 children.

For more information, call CTAC at (269) 387-7073.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
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