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Need to fund your resilience initiative? Here’s how.

 

Chart is sample page from county-by-county funding allocated as part of ARPA. Information is available by clicking here.

This is the first of several articles on the importance of any resilience-focused entity, including your PACEs Connection community, seeking out the people in your area allocating ARPA funding and asking for money. Organizations do not necessarily have to be 501 C-3 nonprofits to receive funding.

Thanks to federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to states in April 2021, there are several big — as in hundreds of millions of dollars — buckets of money for counties and cities to fund the work of organizations doing pandemic-related resiliency work in their communities.

For the PACEs science movement, this is a pivotal moment of epic opportunity. Funds can be used to conduct trauma-informed training, help reconfigure school and clinic services and spaces to be safer and more supportive, assist caregivers in learning to care for themselves and their loved ones, and support the PACEs science initiatives in communities.

It may sound as though everyone knows the secret to securing the funding, but our anecdotal research shows there is no single path to finding out who is allocating funds or the requirements to obtain funds.

Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 11.30.33 AMJesse Kohler, executive director of the Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), tracks legislation and funding. We’ve asked him to tell us what he has learned about funding availability, the common denominators of groups or communities receiving funding, and the importance of trauma-informed organizations applying for and receiving funding.



1. What makes this such an important time for trauma-informed communities and  organizations to apply for funds?Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 11.32.27 AM

What makes ARPA funding so unique is the flexibility it allows. While there is some funding that is directed for specific purposes, a lot of the resources made available are to be used at the discretion of the entity receiving the funding, whether that be state, local, and tribal governments, qualified child care centers and schools, or one of the other funding streams created through the bill. In addition to its flexibility, there is a lot of funding available through ARPA. Included in the $1.9 trillion bill are more than $350 billion for governments and $122 billion for primary and secondary schools, for example. While some of these entities have plans for how to spend the funds, others may not. There is an opportunity for the trauma-informed/PACEs movement to show how these one-time funds can be leveraged strategically to address critical issues around mental health and community well-being – issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic – and promote better outcomes. With the recent passage of the federal infrastructure package, there is now increased funding for improvements to broadband access and other physical infrastructure. While ARPA funding may have initially been leveraged for those purposes, now is the time to use it to meet the community’s psychosocial and emotional needs.

2. What does the PACEs movement stand to gain from trauma-informed communities or organizations securing ARPA funds?

Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 11.32.48 AMOur society could do a much better job of preventing developmental adversity and reducing the progression of adversity across the lifespan. The pandemic has increased the allostatic load (the cumulative physical burden of chronic stress) almost universally – but we know we can invest in trauma-informed systems and PACES science initiatives that help to alleviate this burden. These investments can help support continued research and expansion of the evidence base showing that money spent in these areas yields positive outcomes and returns.

3. What does the PACEs movement stand to lose if funding goes to organizations that don’t observe trauma-informed policies and practices?

The availability of this much flexible funding is unlikely to come again for generations. We must take advantage of this opportunity to broadly leverage significant funding and direct it where it can make the most difference, now and in the future. In addition to what the PACEs movement stands to lose, we all stand to miss out on an opportunity to effectively intervene and support people recovering from the disastrous impact of the pandemic. We know that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted children, and these funds can help nurture and support improved outcomes for the youngest in our society – outcomes that our movement has been advocating for since it began.

4. How are most organizations finding funding? Is there a common denominator for who is getting funding and for what?

States are all managing the money differently -- directing funds out of the executive branch, creating grant programs, leaving decision-making authority to state legislators, passing responsibilities to counties and municipalities, etc. Those who are awarded funds almost universally have taken the steps to figure out how the money is being managed in their state and have advocated for why some of the funding should go toward supporting trauma-infomed approaches. If you have not already done so, start asking your local, state, and tribal governments, school districts, and others receiving ARPA funding how they are planning to spend those funds and advocate to build the PACEs and trauma-informed movement. More information on how to do so – talking points and supporting documents – can be found at www.traumacampaign.org/arpa.Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 11.33.41 AM

5. What would you say to organizations that receive funding but don’t track or report outcomes?

Receiving funding is great, but not tracking outcomes reduces the likelihood of continued funding in the future. You must be able to show that the money you received resulted in positive outcomes, or you’re unlikely to get additional funding

6. You’ve mentioned additional funding for our member organizations or communities in the coming months and years. What additional funding is coming that could further accelerate the PACEs movement?

In addition to ARPA, we know that opioid settlement funds will go toward prevention and treatment, which could potentially be used for trauma-informed approaches. Additionally, if the Build Back Better plan is passed, there will be an additional $2.5 billion in funding over the next 10 years for community efforts to reduce trauma. And there are several other pieces of legislation that have been introduced that would create funding streams to support various aspects of the movement, such as the Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) from Trauma Act, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) program, and the Services and Trauma-Informed Research of Outcomes in Neighborhoods Grants (STRONG) Support for Children Act, to name a few. There is a huge need for continued advocacy at all levels to leverage available resources and continue to grow support for more moving forward.

7. How can PACEs Connection members play a role in helping secure this funding?

Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 11.36.43 AMWe created the Trauma Campaign to develop a groundswell of advocates across the country and around the world joining together to build the movement around PACEs and trauma science. You can join at www.traumacampaign.org/join-the-campaign. In addition, please share this information with others, and continue to explain why implementing PACEs and trauma science is so important. There is great opportunity here, and your voice and actions make a huge difference!

To see how much funding was allocated to each county in the United States, please click here to see Fiscal Recovery Funds, County Funding.

More information on how to do so – talking points and supporting documents – can be found at www.traumacampaign.org/arpa.

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