December 2, 2019
From Amy Yillik, EdD, Erin Taylor, NCSP, and Amber McGill, LCSW
Central Oregon school districts, in partnership with Better Together, received a $1.5 million grant from the Central Oregon Health Council to develop and strengthen trauma-informed cultures across education systems in Central Oregon.
During the three year grant cycle (July 2019 – June 2022), Central Oregon school districts aim to create a Culture of Care to recognize and respond to how childhood and historical trauma impact our students, classrooms, and schools. At the center of the Culture of Care Initiative is a commitment to supporting staff to recognize the symptoms of trauma and equip them with the knowledge and skills to respond with care through professional learning and coaching.
Culture of Care Coaches provide tiered-supports based upon implementation levels and results of a needs assessment within 4 identified school cultures: Leadership, Staff, Classroom and Prevention/Intervention. At the systems level, we are addressing educational philosophies and policies, as well as mental models about trauma, behavior, and mental health to create a trauma-informed education system.
Our participation at the Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) 2019 conference was incredibly helpful as we embark on our work in Central Oregon. We were able to learn from other districts and organizations that are taking the lead in Oregon: capitalizing on their successes and navigating their challenges during the implementation process. Our biggest takeaways from the sessions include learning from a variety of sectors in our state (health, mental health, justice; schools) that are doing great work in the field of Trauma; networking with a variety of individuals from other school districts for consultation; participating in and adopting strategies from the Wellness Room; and sessions such as Does Your Medicine Wheel Have a Flat?, Nothing About Me Without Me Is For Me, Implementing Trauma Informed Care: Where to Begin, and Trauma Informed Efforts in Education, Panel. We acquired great strategies for our platform, while being validated that our Culture of Care work is moving in the right direction. We are looking forward to TIO 2020!