SANTA BARBARA – The Santa Barbara County Network of Care, a partnership of the Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative (PeRC) and Resilient Santa Barbara County, has awarded more than $800,000 in buffering services grants to 19 community organizations addressing toxic stress in children and youth. Children who experience toxic stress, or high levels of adversity, have been shown to experience disruptions in their health and development.
Cottage Health, on behalf of PeRC and Resilient Santa Barbara County, received a grant from the state’s ACEs Aware initiative to support the Santa Barbara County Network of Care. The ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the nation effort led by the California Department of Health Care Services and the Office of the California Surgeon General. ACEs Aware seeks to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in an effort to prevent and address the impact of ACEs and toxic stress. ACEs refers to traumatic events, such as abuse, neglect or household challenges, that are experienced before the age of 18.
Through PeRC, Resilient Santa Barbara County, and the Network of Care, ACEs screenings and referral services are being implemented in pediatric clinics across Santa Barbara County. The Network of Care is an important component of this effort and coordinates community organizations providing resources to families affected by ACEs. Twenty buffering services are being offered across 19 organizations in response to referrals from pediatric clinics screening for ACEs.
Grants were awarded for January 1 through June 30, 2022. The following organizations were selected to provide interventions that prevent, treat, and heal the harmful consequences of toxic stress:
- AHA! - Social-Emotional Learning Programs: In- and after-school programs for teens offer interactive, mentorship-based social-emotional learning opportunities. Trainings are also offered for educators and parents.
- Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) - Parenting Together Classes: Culturally relevant training helps parents understand the impact of traumatic stress, child development, and appropriate expectations for their child’s behavior.
-Lompoc Wellness Project: Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and nutrition education classes are offered to youth and their families.
- Carpinteria Children's Project – Multiple programs offered include Family Strengthening Field Trips, Family Classes, Nurturing Parent Classes, Grandparents’ Group, and Parents as Teachers Home Visitation.
- Children and Family Resource Services - Family Activities and Parenting Classes: Families participate in walking groups and hikes, a family community garden, and family yoga class. Parenting Class is focused on topics around healthy living, such as quality sleep, physical activity, and nutrition.
- Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley - Sports Programs for Youth: Coaches receive trauma-informed training, and scholarships are available for participation in sports leagues.
- Family Service Agency - Nurturing Skills for Families Classes and Parents as Teachers Home Visitation: Online nurturing skills classes help parents establish routines, develop skills to cope with stress, build confidence, enhance identification of feelings, and strengthen family connections. Home visitation assesses the needs of the family, enhances parent-child interactions, and fosters development centered parenting.
- Girls Inc. - STRONG Program: Youth receive nutrition education and participate in a community garden, organized sports and outdoor adventures, and quarterly family nights.
- Harding School Foundation - Friendship Social Support Groups: Students in need of additional social-emotional learning participate in interactive activities focused on self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Parent workshops are also offered.
- Isla Vista Youth Projects - Herramientas Para Padres and Grand Connections: Parents learn about child development, communication skills, and positive discipline, while building supportive relationships with one another. A grand parenting class is also offered for grandparents of children ages 0–5.
- Lompoc Unified School District - Nurturing Skills for Families Classes: Parents establish nurturing routines, develop skills to cope with stress, build confidence, enhance identification of feelings, and strengthen family connections.
- Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization - Nutrition education and Farmers Market incentives are offered for pediatric patients, families, and YMCA Staff and youth.
- People's Self-Help Housing - Camino Scholars Education Program: At-risk youth receive after school tutoring and culturally-relevant mentorship to address academic disparities. Additional mental health workshops are offered for caregivers, parents, and their children.
- Santa Barbara Alternatives to Violence Project - Youth Workshops: High-risk youth ages 12 and up participate in culturally relevant workshops to promote self-awareness and prosocial behavior.
- Santa Barbara Education Foundation - Kind Mind Program: Students engage in restorative circles and one-on-one compassionate listening and mentoring in mindfulness and communication skills. Additional workshops are offered for parents and/or children in English and Spanish.
- Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics - Wellness Navigation: Children and families receive support in connecting to social services, therapy, and parenting education.
- Santa Maria Swim Club - Swimming for Health: Youth scholarships are offered for the swim club with additional support for families.
- Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People - Supportive Relationships at Schools and Support for Parents: Case managers at Santa Ynez Valley High School provide education and linkages to local resources. Positive parenting classes and resource navigation are offered for families in need.
- University of California, Santa Barbara - Hosford Counseling and Psychological Services Clinic: Clinic staff conduct community outreach, care coordination, and virtual presentations to promote positive parent-child relationships, address racial trauma, and build resiliency.
- Wilderness Youth Project - Bridge to Nature Program: Children participate in weekly school day and after-school nature experiences in small group settings to deepen relationships with self, others, and their mentors. Weekly outings include circle time, sharing gratitude, child-centered nature exploration, skill-building games and storytelling.
About Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative pedsresiliency.org
Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative (PeRC) is a community partnership focused on expanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) screening and referral services to all pediatric clinics in Santa Barbara County and linking providers across systems. PeRC is convened by Cottage Health and brings together experts to build healthier families and communities by promoting trauma-informed care, supporting family resilience, and addressing ACEs.
About Resilient Santa Barbara County sbckids.net/rsbc
Resilient Santa Barbara County (RSBC) is a countywide network dedicated to preventing and reducing the impacts of ACEs through education, the exchange of ideas, shared opportunities, and collective work to transform lives through practical and community-centered solutions. Santa Barbara County KIDS Network is a cross-sector, umbrella organization that serves as the hub for RSBC.