Today, legislation authored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to provide increased support for children and families affected by trauma, passed through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee as part of a larger package addressing mental health awareness and improvement. Sen. Murray's Children's Recovery from Trauma Act includes a reauthorization and updates to the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI), which works with children and families who are exposed to a wide range of traumatic experiences including physical and sexual abuse; domestic, school, and community violence; natural disasters, terrorism, or military family challenges; severe bereavement and loss; and life-threatening injury and illness.
"As we have unfortunately witnessed too often in recent years, trauma involving children can happen at any time and in all parts of our country. The Children's Trauma Recovery Act ensures the providers have the proper tools available to not only serve their day-to-day needs in treating child trauma, but also maintain absolute preparedness in the event of a national tragedy. Additionally, this bill supports the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative in its mission to raise the standard of care and increase access to evidence-based and trauma-informed practices in all child-serving systems." said Senator Murray. "I applaud Chairman Harkin's hard work in putting this comprehensive package together, so we can all work to ease the burden on our children and their families as they face very difficult times."
NCTSI currently supports a national network of child trauma centers in forty-four states, including seventy-nine university, hospital, and community-based funded centers and ninety affiliate members. In addition to supporting everyday child trauma work, this network also mobilizes in response to national crises such as the shooting in Newtown, CT and Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.
Specifically, the Children's Recovery from Trauma Act authorizes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to:
*Support a national collaborative network of child trauma centers, including: grants for university and hospital child trauma centers which are involved with intervention development and dissemination of evidence-based practices; grants for diverse community-based organizations which are involved with providing services to children and families affected by trauma; and a grant for the NCTSI coordinating center to organize the collaboration, training, and dissemination activities of all funded and Affiliate NCTSI members to maintain the NCTSI network and outreach infrastructure;
*Support the analysis and reporting of the child outcome and other data collected by the NCTSI coordinating center to establish the effectiveness, implementation, and clinical utility of evidence-based treatment and services;
*Support the continuum of interprofessional training initiatives in evidence-based and trauma-informed treatments, interventions, and practices offered to providers in all child-serving systems;
*Support the collaboration of NCTSI, HHS, and other federal agencies in the dissemination of NCTSI evidence-based and trauma-informed interventions, treatments, products, and other resources to all child-serving systems and policymakers.
The following groups have endorsed the Children's Recovery from Trauma Act of 2013: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological Association, Futures Without Violence, National Children's Alliance, National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, Prevent Child Abuse America, Mental Health America, uFOSTERsuccess, American Art Therapy Association, American Association on Health and Disability, American Dance Therapy Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association, American Orthopsychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, School Social Work Association of America, and The Trevor Project.