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Family and Children's
Resource Program

Vol. 17, No. 2
May 2012

Project Broadcast
Disseminating Trauma-Informed Practices to Children in the NC Child Welfare System

The NC Division of Social Services (NCDSS) has been awarded grant funding for Project Broadcast: Disseminating Trauma-Informed Practices to Children in the North Carolina Child Welfare System. This project provides the state $640,000 each year for five years (through September 2016). Its aim is to help provide children with services and practices to address the trauma caused by past abuse or neglect before that mistreatment leads to mental health problems or chronic disorders later in the child’s life.

Pending approval from the U.S. Children's Bureau, this project will have three broad areas of focus:

(1) Providing training and professional development for resource parents (i.e., foster, adoptive, kinship) using the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's (NCTSN) Resource Parent Curriculum; child welfare professionals will also use the NCTSN’s Child Welfare Toolkit;

(2) Increasing access to trauma-informed, evidence-based treatments for children and youth by training more clinicians in these interventions:

  • Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS)
  • Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

(3) Creating systemic changes so that the training and interventions offered to the 9 demonstration counties can eventually be expanded to all 100 North Carolina counties.

“This grant opportunity will help to provide tools that increase the capacity of the division and local departments of social services to serve children and families in our child welfare system,” said Sherry Bradsher, director of NCDSS. “Incorporating trauma-informed practices into our child welfare services allows for a more holistic approach to meeting the needs of children.”

In adopting trauma-informed, evidence-based practices, the child welfare system will take steps to adapt its service delivery system to include a better understanding of how trauma affects the lives of the children being served. Trauma-informed programs and services are based on an understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors so that these services and programs can be more supportive and meet the needs of the individual child. Trauma-specific interventions are designed specifically to address the consequences of trauma in the individual and to facilitate healing.

“Children who have been abused or neglected have been in and felt many negative experiences in their lives,” said Bradsher. “We owe it to them and their futures to have a system in place that acknowledges those experiences, understand their traumas, deals with its impact, and prevents future occurrences.”

This grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (grant #90C01058/01). NCDSS is partnering on this project with the Center for Child and Family Health, a leader of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—proven national leaders in developing effective programs and resources in this area.

The proposed goals of Project Broadcast are to:

  • Coordinate system-level changes across the system of care in the nine demonstration counties (Buncombe, Craven, Cumberland, Hoke, Pender, Pitt, Scotland, Union, and Wilson);
  • Develop trauma-informed child welfare workforces and systems across the nine demonstration counties, addressing service needs across the practice continuum from prevention to post-adoption care;
  • Increase local capacity and access to trauma-specific evidence-based mental health treatments for children and youth in the nine demonstration counties; and
  • Plan to incorporate these practices statewide.

For more information, contact Jeanne Preisler with the NC Division of Social Services (; 336/209-5844).