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Trauma Informed Care A-Team Trauma Informed Care A-Team

Trauma Informed Care A-Team



We will coordinate a culture of care that empowers all.


School District U-46 Facts (School Report Card 2015-2016)

  • 58% of about 40,000 students are low income
  • 13% are students with disabilities
  • 2% of students are homeless (for the past 3 years) or about 800 students
  • 9% of students move in or out of the District annually (mobility)
  • 9% of students are chronically truant
  • 2% of students dropped out

U-46 student information (Edvantage Early Warning by Household)

  • 446 students have a high-risk count of 8 or higher
  • The number of students living in the households of those 446 students is 2,046
  • 8.8% of middle and high school students (1,592) failed two or more classes and were absent 5 or more days of school in 2015-2016.

What is Trauma Informed Care?

Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being (SAMSHA 2016).

Children from all races and socioeconomic backgrounds experience and are impacted by trauma.  

The Center for Disease Control reports the result of the childhood experience of trauma increase the risk for:

  • Poor academic achievement
  • Depression
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Illicit drug use
  • Poor work performance
  • Suicide attempts
  • Early initiation of sexual activity
  • Adolescent pregnancy

Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a profound impact on a child’s ability to learn. The key to ensuring that all students can thrive academically is identifying and supporting students who have experienced multiple ‘adverse childhood experiences’ or ACEs.

“Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect…ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s lifespan, including those associated with substance misuse” (source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/SAMSHA). 

ACEs include physical, sexual and emotional abuse, physical and emotional neglect, mother experiencing violence, observing substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce and incarceration of a household member.  Addressing the needs of children and families with multiple ACEs is termed ‘trauma-informed care’ (For added perspective on the impact of trauma on social, emotional and academic development watch the documentary ‘Paper Tigers’). 

District U-46 conservatively estimates that 30% of its students experience the trauma of multiple ACEs.  To ensure academic, social and emotional success for children and families experiencing trauma, faculty members must simultaneously minimize their own compassion fatigue while identifying and supporting children and families experiencing ACEs. 

The Trauma Informed Care A-Team will coordinate a pilot school site-based "Resiliency Team" training on ACEs to four (4) U-46 schools which will initially be sponsored by the Illinois Education Association in June 2017 through a 3-day train-the-trainer workshop designed to move Resiliency Team members from understanding ACEs theory to implementing best practices at their school. The training will assist each school in building a Resiliency Team (RT) to provide a nurturing and safe learning experience and a flexible approach to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. The Resiliency Teams will be composed of self-selected faculty members (eventually adding community organizations) who will become their school’s experts in trauma-informed care.  

Once the pilot Resiliency Teams have been trained and have identified service gaps, they will collaborate with the Alignment Collaborative for Education’s Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) A-Team to design an Invitation to Participate ™. This ITP™ will seek services from throughout the U-46 community to fill the gaps that schools experience as teachers manage compassion, fatigue and support children and families.  Subsequent ITP™ to:

1) Identify community organization members who want to serve on Resiliency Teams

2) Identify organizations who wish to provide future ACEs training

3) Organizations who wish to provide services to school site Resiliency Teams.  

The TIC A-Team will design a sustainable system, including implementation and assessment plans, which can be scaled so that more teachers and staff have access to the resources needed to positively impact children and families impacted by multiple adverse childhood experiences.  This is the purpose of piloting Resiliency Teams – to figure out how best to create a culture of coordinated care that empowers all to succeed! 

John Heiderscheidt, Chair, School District U-46

Kristine Argue, Co-Chair, Illinois Education Association

Mary Abbott, School District U-46

Jeanne Ang, Advocate Sherman Hospital

Barbara Bettis, School District U-46

Michael Cohen, Hanover Township Youth & Family Services

Bill Decker

Deb Dempsey, Kane Co. ROE

Sue Ellen Foley, Streamwood Behavioral Health Systems

Melissa Lane, Gail Borden Public Library

Jason Lowe, Fox Valley Christian Action

Bernie May, Family Service Association of Greater Elgin

Cherie Murphy, ACE/United Way

Jennifer McGowen, Streamwood Behavioral Health Systems

Jane Mursewick, School District U-46

Dianha Ortega-Ehreth, Youth Leadership Academy

Tammy Reicha, School District U-46

Doreen Roberts, School District U-46

Maggie Schroeder, School District U-46

Kiesha William, School District U-46