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Trauma Center for the Young

Trauma can result from such events as natural disasters, the experience of untimely death or loss, abuse, family disruption, depravation, or homelessness. 

Responses can vary from art, music, play and cognitive therapy. During infancy and childhood, a time when humans are most vulnerable to trauma, many adults presume that children are the most resilient and therefore conclude that such therapeutic responses are not necessary. This is certainly not the case.

After engaging so closely with hundreds of children who have experienced trauma, it has become clear that there is need for therapists as well as those who interact closely with traumatized children to be better trained for meeting the needs of these children. This training needs to be based on sound research and the most effective practice of professionals.

Community Initiatives Foundation is collaborating with professionals to determine the viability of establishing a center that offers such training and that supports related research to ensure that all of the programs are based on the most effective practices available.

While this center is still in the hearts and minds of the people who have seen the greatest needs, significant work has been done to define what a place like this would provide. 

Mission Statement

To assist in the healing of children and youth who have experienced trauma and loss.

To facilitate resources, referrals, research and the formulation of best practices for continuing education and mental health services.

Community Initiatives Foundation will serve as a catalyst for bringing mental health care providers, universities, medical centers and philanthropists together in order to:

  • Develop a network that focuses on research related to children and youth who experience trauma.
  • Formulate best practices and standards of care for traumatized children and youth.
  • Consider establishing a center for children and teens, Trauma Center for the Young, to meet the needs of children who experience trauma.
  • Offer educational venues and support for parents, educators, first responders, health care professionals, social services professionals, care givers, mentors, personnel involved in community and faith-based services and others who interface with children and youth who have experienced trauma.
  • Facilitate broad-based community awareness and understanding regarding the impact of trauma on children and youth.
  • Structure these efforts in ways that ensures the greatest sustainability.
  • Name the entity that houses all of these dreams.

Katrina Through The Eyes Of Children provides an initial framework for study and further discussion. It shows the power and depth of art therapy as a method for treating victims of severe trauma. It will create a better understanding of the needs of those affected by disaster and will serve as a model for supporting the survivors in more humane and effective ways in the future.

Katrina Through The Eyes Of Children is a testimony of effectiveness:

  • The exhibit can motivate donors and sponsors to support opportunities for providing direct services to children and youth who have experienced trauma. It will stimulate discussion and commitment to support research in this area. It supports advocacy to ensure that the responsible entities (governmental, insurance, local community) share in the cost of such services.
  • The collected art and the videotaped interviews of children and youth who experienced the trauma of Hurricane Katrina are a powerful testimony of their needs as well as of the positive impact of trained response.
  • The exhibit has the power to allow others to comprehend the needs of such children and youth and to experience the critical need for effective responses to assist the children and youth in healing.
  • The collected art can be a metaphor of possibility of healing for professionals, for care-givers, and for those who have experienced trauma.
  • The exhibit can be the motivation for collaborators to develop venues for responding to children and youth who experience trauma.
  • The exhibit can be available in your area if there is sufficient interest.