Bridgewater, NJ – The Bridgewater Police Department will be the first law enforcement agency in Somerset County to participate in the Trauma Informed Care training program, which is run by the Resilient Youth Somerset (RYS). When dealing with a traumatic call for service that involves an individual or family in crisis, our officers recognize that many people need support that goes well beyond the actual event. This program is yet another tool we can use to help our citizens.
Resilient Youth Somerset (RYS) is partnering with mental health providers, youth service providers, school districts, the court system and law enforcement to bring focus to Trauma Informed Care to Somerset County, NJ. Research shows that one in four children in America has experienced some type of trauma through Adverse Childhood Experiences (known as ACEs.) Understanding the impacts of that trauma on child development is a crucial part of getting help for children in crisis and breaking intergenerational cycles of abuse and neglect.
Trauma Informed Care is an organizational structure, community mindfulness and treatment framework that understands, recognizes, and responds to the effects of all types of trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Trauma Informed Care emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
Recently, in an effort to bring this cutting edge research to the community’s first responders, Diane Lefebvre of Resilient Youth Somerset and Tracey Heisler of CASA SHaW presented the facts to 45 Bridgewater police officers on the physiological changes that occur to children’s developing brains as a result of repeated exposure to trauma. Because of these changes, traumatized children and youth can respond quite differently to stressful situations than non-traumatized children and youth. Understanding these differences and the reasons for them are important for law enforcement officers to know when responding to calls for assistance.
To introduce the concept of Trauma Informed Care to the community, RSY has schedule three upcoming presentations of the award winning documentary, “Paper Tigers: One High School’s Unlikely Success Story.” It is the story of how Lincoln High School (Walla Walla, Washington) became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates and the number of students going on to post-secondary education.
The film is scheduled to be shown free of charge on Wednesday, February 7th, 6:00-9:00pm at Raritan Valley Community College, Thursday, March 8th. 5:00-8:00 pm at Bound Brook High School and, Friday, March 16th 12:30 – 3:00 pm at Stepping Stone School.
Registration is available at Eventbrite.
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Bridgewater Police Learn About Trauma Informed Care
Diane Lefebvre and Tracy Heisler present Trauma Informed Care training to the Bridgewater Police Department at a recent roll Call Training session at police headquarters.