Recently, the state of California has advocated for children who have experienced trauma at an early age. By meeting with 85 legislators in their state, a group of professionals called the 4CA, who deal with trauma-impacted children, effected positive significant change on behalf of those they serve.
The California Campaign to Combat Childhood Adversity
The 4CA recognizes about 35 million children nationally have been exposed to one or more forms of trauma. Moreover, of these children, many are exposed to domestic violence who are subsequently likely to experience abuse or neglect.
The collaborative meeting resulted in creating significant structural policy changes to their healthcare system, including trauma screening for young children.
Further changes include bills that address areas such as education to “promote collaboration and shared decision-making” across disciplines. The 4CA is supporting three bills in the 17-18 legislative cycle, including one that requires “children [to be] assessed for trauma as part of their routine health screening through Medicaid.”
Awareness of need for trauma-training for teachers and professionals
The group also recognized all teachers and other professionals who work with children need to receive trauma training and are shaping the funding and priority of workforce trauma-training that will equip professionals to be able to recognize trauma and not worsen the problem in the children they serve.
The 4CA has concentrated on early childhood programs in hope their efforts will mitigate the problem of trauma before it has irreparably damaging consequences to the lives of the children and their families.
The 4CA are working state-wide with organizations, a variety of professionals, legislators, and even Medicaid to reshape a culture that is trauma-informed and trauma-responsive.
As Lakeside / LGI consults with cities, counties and states, we are encouraged many of our communities are working diligently to change the nature of their culture to reflect a broader, more comprehensive approach to trauma awareness and recovery.
Our children: the right place to focus and start
We need more states to push forward with a deeper understanding of this issue and to respond with policy changes, legislative prioritization and funding that will enable professionals to help children recover from adverse child experiences before they become life-dominating problems. We are excited about what is happening in California and hope that this will quickly trend all over our country.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside