AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the awarding of a three-year, $536,000 grant to SafePlace of Travis County to support the development of a comprehensive training curriculum and toolkit to increase the awareness and provision of trauma-informed care for children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (IDD). Additionally, the grant will support statewide trainings using the curriculum developed. The goal of this project is to promote awareness of the impact of trauma on children with IDD, build Texas expertise on trauma-informed care for children with IDD and improve mental health treatment for children with IDD who have experienced trauma.
Individuals with IDD experience abuse, neglect, institutionalization, restraint and seclusion, abandonment, bullying and other forms of maltreatment at higher rates than the general population. “Trauma-informed care” refers to the ability of care providers to recognize the impact of past trauma on a child’s development and behavior, and appreciate the significance of trauma histories for the populations they serve. Failure to recognize the role of trauma in the challenging behavior exhibited by some children with IDD, and incorporate trauma-informed practices into their treatment, can actually exacerbate past trauma or cause new trauma compromising their ability to meet their potential.
SafePlace will be contracting with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to develop, test, edit and publish the training curriculum/toolkit. A second phase of the project will consist of SafePlace planning and coordinating multiple statewide trainings across Texas using the newly developed curriculum.
“We are excited to have this extraordinary opportunity to work with the Hogg Foundation, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Texas Council of Community Centers to promote trauma-informed care for children with disabilities in Texas,” said Julia Spann, executive director of SafePlace. “This project will help increase Texas’ awareness of the impact of trauma on children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and build and strengthen Texas’ capacity to provide trauma-informed care while improving the level of treatment that children with disabilities receive. This is essential work, and we are thrilled to have such a strong partner in the Hogg Foundation.”
“There is an urgent need for care professionals who recognize the mental health needs of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with one of those needs being therapeutic interventions that address traumatic events and circumstances,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation. “For that reason, what SafePlace is doing could be a game-changer for the state of Texas.”
This grant program is one part of the foundation’s strategic focus on promoting trauma-informed understandings that will lead to more effective and humane interventions. The foundation is particularly interested in reducing the use of seclusion and restraint across a variety of treatment settings, including residential treatment centers, state hospitals, juvenile detention centers and schools.
The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by supporting mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.