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April 2024

Children’s Mental Health Awareness

As a member agency for providers that address both child abuse and neglect as well as children’s mental health issues, Benchmarks is always elevating these issues and their impacts on the community. These two issues are the focus of annual national awareness month activities during the months of April and May. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, which recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. May is Mental Health...

Plans afoot to bring stability to PACEs Connection

To all of you, who, like me, love this website and want to see it and its communities flourish as we work to prevent and heal trauma; build resiliency: please know there is a move afoot by a small group of strategic partners to find a suitable host for PACEs Connection. More will be announced in the coming days. In the meantime, friends, we are figuring out email addresses and other communications logistics and opportunities. PEACE! Carey Sipp, former director of strategic partnerships ...

Ensuring Long-Term Community Change

As Benchmarks concludes its role in the Pathways to Permanency project, the focus turns to ensuring the project’s continued success and impact. Through a robust consultation process, Benchmarks has developed resources to empower Vaya and its stakeholders to carry forward the project's mission and deliverables effectively. At the heart of this conclusion lies a triad of tools: an overarching project report, sustainability guide for staff, and sustainability considerations for leadership.

Empowering Communities: A Journey to Trauma-Informed Care in Alexander County

In late 2023, recognizing the prevalence of trauma among the youth in their care, Alexander County leadership took proactive steps to address this pressing issue. Collaborating with Benchmarks, they embarked on a journey to equip their Department of Social Services (DSS) staff and foster parents with the tools and knowledge necessary to support these vulnerable individuals effectively. Understanding the profound impact of unaddressed trauma on young lives, Alexander County DSS sought to...

The Benefits of Root Cause Analysis in Project Management

In project management work, implementation processes are pivotal to impacting how an organization onboards new work as well as its ability to effectively implement an overall project. Challenges and setbacks are an inevitable part of any project implementation work. Underlying issues that cause the challenges and setbacks may not be immediately apparent to project managers, however, there are tools available for them to use to address underlying causes to problems. Root Cause Analysis (RCA)...

New Beginnings

It is that time of year again. Spring has sprung! After the long months of gazing out the window at dull surroundings, dealing with cold temperatures, and sunsetting before our workday ends, we are finally into a bright and glorious season. Spring is upon us, and now we get to look forward to longer days, warmer weather, and everything around us coming back to life. This fresh new beginning can be the perfect opportunity for professional growth as well. As human services professionals, we’re...

The Healing Power of Nature

As the days get longer and warmer, people can’t wait to get out and enjoy nature after the colder, darker winter. But why does being in nature make us feel good? First, spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Studies have found that exposure to natural environments leads to a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and a lowering of blood pressure and heart rate. This physiological response is often accompanied by a sense of calm and well-being,...

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