Head Starts, community-based organizations and school districts implementing trauma-informed programs to help parents mitigate negative effects of trauma on children
SAN MATEO, CA, May 14, 2020 – Ready4K, an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text messages, has developed and launched a trauma-informed family support program in English and Spanish for Head Starts, school districts and community, state and national education organizations to help their families mitigate the negative effects of trauma on children. Approximately half of all children in the U.S. have had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) which can result in lifelong negative impacts. ACEs can include such things as witnessing or being a victim of a violent crime, incarceration of a parent, homelessness, divorce or a parent’s addiction.
Ready4K Trauma-Informed is an extension of the core Ready4K family support model, which delivers weekly text messages to families with research-based, standards-aligned activities on how to promote whole child development by building on existing family routines.
The Ready4K Trauma-Informed program is a carefully-crafted set of text messages focused on strengthening families’ five protective factors, which are characteristics or strengths that act to mitigate risks and buffer the effects of trauma: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development and the social and emotional competence of children.
On Mondays, parents and caregivers receive “FACT” messages designed to help close information gaps and motivate parents with respect to the topic of the week by highlighting its importance in easy-to-understand terms. On Wednesdays, families receive “TIP” texts, which include recommendations for activities that parents and caregivers can do with their children by building on existing family routines, like bath time, putting dishes away and doing the laundry. On Fridays, families receive “GROWTH” messages for reinforcement and encouragement through a parent-child activity that builds on the Wednesday tip message.
In addition, Ready4K Trauma-Informed guides partners through a community asset mapping process to create and deliver a second set of text messages that link families to concrete resources in the community, such as substance misuse recovery, violence treatment, food, housing, job training and mental health services. The program also includes a number of visual supports designed to reinforce the primary message of the week as well as increase its accessibility and positive emotion.
Ready4K Trauma-Informed incorporates best practices identified by leading organizations in the field, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA defines a trauma-informed approach as one that realizes the widespread impact of trauma and pathways to recovery, recognizes trauma signs and symptoms, responds by integrating trauma awareness into all facets of the system and resists re-traumatization of impacted individuals by decreasing unnecessary triggers.
Ready4K Trauma-Informed is based on the widespread impact of trauma and incorporates multiple years worth of insights from work with community organizations on the front lines of supporting families with children experiencing trauma in diverse rural and urban settings across the country. The program is also created with insight from mental health experts and agencies, community health workers, parents and education providers.
“Our trauma-informed curriculum is designed to help school districts, Head Starts and community-based organizations support parents by giving them the tools and insight they need to buffer the effects of trauma on their children and successfully navigate challenges and adversity,” said Ben York, Ph.D, founder and CEO of Ready4K. “We are working with education providers to help them enhance their services that strengthen families, decrease parental stress and support development and learning in the home.”
Ready4K programs are provided by ParentPowered PBC to parents through Head Starts, school districts and community, state and national education organizations. Ready4K Trauma-Informed is aligned to state and national learning standards and supports the Quality Improvement requirement of the Head Start Act. ParentPowered, founded in 2016, is a public benefit company headquartered in San Mateo, California. More information is available at http://www.Ready4K.com and on social media: IG: @Ready_4K, Twitter: @Ready4K, FB: @Ready4K.