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July 2022

Changing Policies: A Trauma-Informed Approach

Pathways to Permanency Project, a Vaya Health initiative created to align the work of the child welfare and behavioral health systems, continues to develop solutions to improve outcomes for child welfare involved youth and families. Child welfare stakeholders utilize monthly workgroup sessions to explore the impact and feasibility required of each potential solution to identified problems. As the project managers, Benchmarks’ staff often hear that a potential solution is to create new...

Partner Spotlight: Cleveland County DSS

In this month’s Partner Spotlight, Benchmarks would like to highlight our partners at Cleveland County DSS. Since 2016, Cleveland County has been working with Benchmarks’ Center for Quality Improvement to implement Partnering for Excellence (PFE), a project that aims to ensure child welfare involved youth are appropriately screened, assessed, and treated for trauma in a timely and effective manner. Recently, Cleveland transitioned to the sustainability phase of the project which means all...

TiCCA Train the Trainer Training

Two major components of implementation work are ensuring fidelity and sustainability. Benchmarks’ Standardized Assessment Protocol (SAP) focuses on fidelity when implementing the use of Trauma-Intensive Comprehensive Clinical Assessments (TiCCAs) through a rigorous training and certification process as well as ongoing continuous quality improvement processes. The project also focuses on the sustainability of TiCCA completion in local communities after Benchmarks is no longer providing...

Engaging Persons with Lived Experience in System Improvement Projects

We are gaining momentum in our Pathways to Permanency Project, a Vaya Health initiative to align the work of the child welfare and behavioral health systems. Workgroup sessions are taking place monthly, stakeholders’ meetings are occurring quarterly and in between we are busy ensuring the work moves ahead so that sustainable change is possible. However, as we have navigated this project it has been overwhelmingly clear that we needed and wanted to include individuals with lived experience in...

Restoring the Nervous System by Healing the Mind-Body Connection

One of the aims of Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE) is to educate communities about the effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); specifically, how these effects impact the youth and families that encounter the child welfare system. Through our work we know that when systems are trauma-informed, it can help shift the perspectives of professionals from “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”, which ultimately informs the way we treat and address...

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