Serving children who have been abused or neglected.
The Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center was established to provide assessments for children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences. The CTAC team also provides professional training and coordinates projects in order to create trauma-informed systems and services.
CTAC was founded in November of 1999 following a $20,000 grant from the Kalamazoo Foundation. Co-founders Ben Atchison, Mark Sloane, Yvette Hyter, Connie Black-Pond and Jim Henry came together with a common vision to operationalize the research on the neurodevelopmental impacts of trauma into a transdisciplinary, comprehensive neurodevelopmental trauma assessment for children in the child welfare system. The professional team included faculty and clinicians in behavioral medicine (Mark Sloane DO), occupational therapy (Ben Atchison, Ph.D.), speech and language pathology, (Yvette Hyter Ph.D.) and Social Work (Connie Black-Pond, MA, LMSW and Jim Henry Ph.D., MSW). Their combined expertise was integrated into an assessment protocol to identify and determine the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure and complex trauma on children’s functioning. Additionally, the co-founders, along with amazing CTAC staff, received seven federal grants totaling over 10 million dollars to train a wide population of professionals and community members in trauma screening, assessment, treatment, and resiliency in local, state and national venues. In 2017, after 17 years of the team working together, Connie Black-Pond retired as clinical director and Ben Atchison retired as Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. Both have had an indelible impact on the children and families served, student interns from the various disciplines, the entire CTAC team and communities all across Michigan and the country.