Addressing Childhood Trauma: Public Policies to Improve Coordination, Prevention, and Response


Nov. 30 2016, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

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COST: free

VENUE: 188 Russell Senate Office Building

ADDRESS: 2 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

When children experience serious traumatic events, such as witnessing violence or living in a household where there is substance misuse, they can suffer.  Decades of research has established the link between a child’s exposure to trauma, its effect on neurological and behavioral development, and long-term health and societal outcomes, such as mental health disorders and high school graduation. A child’s response to trauma or toxic stress may manifest as difficulty paying attention or regulating emotions, and can be misunderstood by adults resulting in school suspensions or escalation of conflicts. As children who have experienced trauma get older, they can pass these disruptions to their children, impacting communities more broadly.

Too few individuals who experience trauma are identified and supported with the right care, and too few communities have the tools to recognize and address trauma. This briefing will provide an overview of public policy initiatives that coordinate stakeholders and build capacity to prevent trauma, build resilience, and implement trauma-informed approaches for children, families, and communities.


Welcome and Introductions from Senators Heitkamp and Durbin

Panel Presentation

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  • Moderator: Wendy Ellis, DrPH, MPH

Project Director, Building Community Resilience

George Washington University

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  • Colleen Cicchetti, PhD

Executive Director, Center for Childhood Resilience

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

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  • Christina Bethel, PhD

Director, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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  • Joe Barnhart, JD

Quality Assurance and Multi Systems Manager
Crawford County Human Services (Meadville, PA)

Questions and Answers


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