CTAC offers training to area schools

Western Michigan University's Southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) has recently partnered with area school districts to create trauma-informed schools.

The mission of the Children's Trauma Assessment Center is to promote compassionate understanding and support for children and families who have experienced trauma.  CTAC works to change the conversation about kids from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what’s happened to you?”  They do this by conducting comprehensive assessments to understand the impact of complex trauma and fetal alcohol exposure for children 0-17 years old and by providing training for organizations and child-serving systems, such as school districts and individual school buildings, so that they become more trauma-informed.

Research shows that complex trauma and toxic stress impact developing brains, which makes it more challenging for children to manage their emotions, regulate their behaviors and succeed in learning environments. School staff and other community service providers can make a positive impact by learning how trauma impacts the brain. CTAC training staff offers new strategies for educators to help students become more resilient to trauma.

CTAC staff members, Amy Mack, LMSW and Frank Vidimos, LLMSW, have partnered with Ingham County Intermediate School District to train interested schools about traumatic stress and its effects, and how staff can create practices and policies to support children impacted by it. A four-part training series is currently underway at Mattawan Middle School. Topics covered include resiliency, trauma-informed classroom and school-wide practices, and secondary traumatic stress and mindfulness.

This training, and others like it, is available to other schools that are interested. In addition, CTAC offers individual and group training and group presentations in child trauma and other related topics. To view a complete list of available training programs, please visit the CTAC website. Any organizations interested in training collaboration should call CTAC’s main office at (269) 387-7073.