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Tagged With "Child Welfare"

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SaySo and Karen McLeod Honored at NC Child’s Voices for Children Breakfast

Carla Whaley ·
The 2019 Voices for Children Breakfast was hosted by NC Child earlier this month. Members of the child advocacy community came together to celebrate achievements in their work with families and children and recognize leaders who have made a difference. SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out) was awarded the first-ever Community Voices Award. SaySo is a statewide association of youth aged 14 to 24 who are, or have been, in the North Carolina foster care system. As youth who have first-hand...
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Benchmarks' Partnering for Excellence Save the Date

Jenny Cooper ·
Benchmarks will be hosting the Partnering for Excellence Conference for the third time this year. The conference is instrumental in bringing together professionals and those with lived experience. Through a combination of experiential activities, panels, and keynote speakers, the audience learns about the impact the Partnering for Excellence initiative can have as well as being encouraged to go out and be changemakers. This year promises to be even better than those in the past as the...
Blog Post

Focusing on "Creating Nurturing Systems"

Jenny Cooper ·
In just six weeks, stakeholders from across North Carolina will get together to learn about system integration work with youth involved with child welfare. This is the third annual Benchmarks' Partnering for Excellence (PFE) Conference and this year, we have decided to really focus on "Creating Nurturing Systems". While the daily work of PFE can be hard and challenges us to think of new ways to meet the needs of the family, the annual conference offers us a way to celebrate our successes and...
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From A to R: Lessons at the Child Fatality Prevention Summit

Jenny Cooper ·
Benchmarks' Partnering for Excellence Project Director, Jenny Cooper, had the opportunity to talk about everything from ACEs to Resiliency at North Carolina's Child Fatality Prevention Summit. The Summit was the first of its kind in the state and brought together Community Child Prevention Team and Child Fatality Taskforce Teams from throughout the state. While the morning plenary session spoke of ACEs and the high rates of ACEs in North Carolina, Jenny's presentation took the opportunity to...
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Partnering for Excellence Joins ACEs Connection!

Jasmine Cain ·
Partnering For Excellence is excited to join ACEs Connection! Benchmarks' Partnering for Excellence (PFE) is an initiative in North Carolina which aims to align the Mental/Behavioral Health System and Child Welfare System to create better outcomes for children and families whom have experienced trauma and are now involved with the Department of Social Services. The Partnering for Excellence Model is able to assists these systems and others in collaborating to form trauma-informed...
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PFE Pathway Turns 5!

Jenny Cooper ·
In February, the Rowan Department of Social Services and Cardinal Innovations Healthcare partnership celebrated 5 years of moving children through the PFE Pathway. This Pathway uses a standardized process of screening, assessment, and treatment to help move some of our most vulnerable population, youth involved in child welfare, towards well-being. In the past 5 years, the partnership has worked with more than 1,000 youth and families. By building partnerships throughout the community,...
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PFE Presents at The 32nd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health

Jasmine Cain ·
Earlier this month, Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE) Program Manager, Jasmine Cain and Ollie Harris Behavioral Health Center's Director, Katie Munger presented in collaboration at the 32 nd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health in Tampa, Florida. This collaboration began in an effort to assess the need for trauma-informed behavioral health services for adults in Cleveland County. As a result of Benchmarks’ PFE goal to...
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Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina 2019 Learning and Leadership Summit

Jasmine Cain ·
Last month, Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE) Chief Research and Development Officer, Jenny Cooper, and Project Coordinator, Julia Holcomb, co-presented at the Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) 2019 Learning and Leadership Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina. Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE) is an initiative intended to improve the behavioral health and well-being outcomes for children involved in the child welfare system. It creates a partnership between the...
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Re: PFE Presents at The 32nd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health

Christine Cissy White ·
Jasmine!!! I love reading this and wish I heard you!! How have parents reacted to sharing ACEs? What gelding options are available for 2 and 3 gen approaches. Lots of us debate the use of screening in kids and adults but I love hearing from those doing it and those it’s been done to. Can I share on rider ACEs home page? Cis
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Worth the Effort: Building Resilience in Social Workers

Jenny Cooper ·
Let’s talk ·R·E·S·I·L·I·E·N·C·E! Resilience is an individual’s ability to overcome adversity, and it is influenced by many factors. A person’s resilience is strongly impacted by their environment and support systems within their lives. A supportive environment, relationships, and connections with other trusted and dependable human beings can make a tremendous difference in the lives of children and families who have endured toxic stressful and traumatic situations. We know how important...
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Benchmarks Unveils New Infographic

Jenny Cooper ·
Benchmarks' Partnering for Excellence redesigns the local child welfare/behavioral health system, changing the way DSSs, MCOs, local providers, and the wider community understand trauma and the need for accessible, appropriate mental health services for children, youth and families who have experienced potentially traumatic events. PFE aims to lead communities to an understanding of the importance of trauma-informed and trauma-responsive communities, to create a lasting change in the...
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Bridging the Academic Gap During the Pandemic – Tutoring & Caregiver Resources

Mary Trimpi ·
For most, COVID-19 has completely changed the way people approach their everyday activities, such as attending school. This disruptive turn of events has drastically changed the way education is being delivered, with many school systems switching to a virtual or remote learning platform. For many children and families, these needed yet significant changes have added challenges that many are seeing impact children’s ability to succeed in school. In response to this, our newest Benchmarks’...
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Using Social Determinants of Health to Improve Outcomes for Child Welfare Involved Children and Families

Sharron Roberts ·
Health can be significantly inconsistent between individuals and populations. Variables called the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) assist in understanding the range of factors that affect a person’s overall well-being. SDoH are defined by the World Health Organization as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.” These environments are mostly shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources and have substantial impact on education, occupation, policies,...
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TiCTaC: Trauma-Informed & Trauma Aware Communities

Jamie Tilley ·
Everyone knows about TiCTaCs right? The tiny little breath mint candies that come in the adorable little boxes? They are typically found in the grocery store checkout aisles and gas stations. They’re offered in a variety of colors and flavors! So why are we sitting here talking about candy? This tiny treat is often mentioned during our work with DSS agencies and other community agencies. These fun little candies appear to have very little significance, but they have a much bigger meaning in...
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Social Workers are Essential: Highlighting National Social Work Month

Sharron Roberts ·
The month of March brings an abundance of things to celebrate, including National Social Work Month! The National Association of Social Workers dedicates March as a time to celebrate the incredible social work profession and to educate others on the many contributions made by social workers in our communities. This year’s theme “Social Workers are Essential” calls our attention to the indelible role of the social worker in responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Indeed, for...
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Exploring the Impossible Imperative

Rachel Dodge ·
Every year our Benchmarks Center for Quality Improvement (CQi) team carefully selects books for our team to read as a part of our “book club”. The goal of this book club is to increase our team’s knowledge, expertise, and understanding of the systems and individuals we aim to serve through our work throughout the state. Last week, staff wrapped up the club book “The Impossible Imperative: Navigating the Competing Principles of Child Protection” written by Jill Duerr Berrick. We know when...
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Breaking the Stigma: Notable Names with a Child-Welfare Experience

Kelsey Catherwood ·
May is National Foster Care Month--a month where we are intentional about acknowledging children, families, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members in the community who are involved in Foster Care. An important topic, and one worth discussing, is helping children break the stigma associated with being in Foster Care. Considering all the trauma that can be experienced by children within the child-welfare system, foster children might feel as though...
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Nazareth Child & Family Connection: Empowering Youth and Families

Sharron Roberts ·
Nazareth Child and Family Connection has been a vital member to Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE) partnership since 2012. While they offer amazing services to the children and family involved in the project, Nazareth is also a huge contributor to innovative and best practice in and around their community. Nazareth was founded in 1906 and has since continued to provide an array of services to meet the needs of children and families located in Rowan and Davidson Counties. Their...
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Child Life Specialist Work within Child Welfare

Amanda C Dolinger ·
There are many human services professionals who work within the child welfare system to help improve the lives of those involved in that system. One such professional that assists children and families in some of their most difficult times are Certified Child Life Specialists. Certified Child Life Specialists are professionals who strive to reduce the negative impacts for children and families caused by trauma in different settings. Their training and education come from educational courses,...
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Pandemic Fatigue in the Child Welfare Workforce

Rachel Dodge ·
Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence project works closely with child welfare workers to address trauma in families across the state of North Carolina. We are often inspired by the hard work and dedication we see from our state’s child welfare workers. Their days are centered around supporting those in need, and often helping those who find themselves in crisis. It is demanding work and research shows child welfare work and professionals in social services experience higher rates of stress...
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Holiday Anxiety in Children

Jamie Tilley ·
The holiday season portrays itself as a holly jolly good time starting in November with Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Day. During this time, there are longer school breaks for children, more time off for adults, and planned gatherings. For many, it also provides an opportunity to visit and reconnect with the friends and family you wait all year to see. But, as adults, we know this time can be quite overwhelming. Between traveling, hosting holiday parties, and visiting...
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Opportunities for Healing: Exploring Strategies to Improve Racial Disproportionalities & Disparities in Child Welfare

Jasmine Cain ·
Research shows that due to substantial histories of abuse, neglect, and increased exposure to trauma, youth in foster care have exceptional concerns regarding their mental health needs. “Rates of psychiatric symptoms and disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and reactive attachment disorder, are much higher in children in foster care” (Lohr & Jones, 2016). When we couple this knowledge with data on racial disproportionality and...
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Takeaways from the 2022 Kids: Empowered Communities Driving Change Conference

Sharron Roberts ·
Benchmarks’ staff attended the virtual policy summit hosted by NC Child and the NC Essentials for Childhood Initiative on March 29 th and 30 th . The two-day conference was packed with inspirational messages from child advocates across North Carolina. After a formal opening from NC Child Executive Director, Michelle Hughes, and a moving keynote address with a call to action by Reverend Dr. Starsky Wilson of the Children’s Defense Fund, organizers from across the state came together to host...
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The Impact of Trauma on Physical Health Part II

Jamie Tilley ·
A few weeks ago, we looked at how trauma can impact one’s physical health in the “Impact of Trauma on Physical Health” blog. Today, we will look further into the work that Benchmarks is doing to support multidisciplinary collaboration in order to improve the physical health outcomes for children across the state. Benchmarks develops and implements specific pilot projects across various catchment areas in North Carolina. These pilot projects are designed to encourage multidisciplinary...
Blog Post

Helpful Takeaways From Trauma 101 Training

Rachel Dodge ·
Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE) aims to cultivate trauma-informed communities among child welfare systems across the state of North Carolina. In addition to helping community partners implement a trauma-informed pathway for child welfare involved youth, Benchmarks’ PFE hosts a bi-annual NCTSN Trauma 101 Training for social workers and community members. Pitt and Craven Counties recently wrapped up their fall Trauma 101 Training. The four-day training dives deep into what trauma...
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Engaging Birth Parents in Child Welfare and Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Projects

Sharron Roberts ·
The Pathways to Permanency project, a VAYA Health initiative to align the work of the child welfare and behavioral health systems, is continuing to make progress by engaging participants from each of the six workgroups to create sustainable change. Each workgroup has identified multiple solutions for which they are currently developing implementation plans. It has been salient to the workgroup participants that individuals with lived experience are engaged in this work and have space to...
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The Standardized Assessment Protocol (SAP) Project Welcomes Children’s Homes of Cleveland County

Amanda C Dolinger ·
Children’s Homes of Cleveland County (CHCC) has advocated for youth to receive superb care through their participation in Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE). However, now that the Standardized Assessment Protocol (SAP) is also growing, and more clinicians are needed, they are expanding their commitment to trauma-informed care. Benchmarks’ Standardized Assessment Protocol aims to link children over the age of 4 in foster care and In-Home Family Services to Trauma-intensive...
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