At the end of 2021, Hands Across The Water received a generous grant of $50,000 from the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, an organization with a nearly 50-year history of assisting with the improvement of the quality, scope and delivery of mental health services in Michigan. This grant will allow our staff to improve quality of care for HATW clients in all its programs, many of whom suffer from complex developmental trauma caused by abuse, neglect, deprivation, or abandonment. Trauma-informed care is critical to creating relationships of trust with these clients and building an environment where they can thrive. HATW will use these funds to send its behavioral health team through Trust-Based Relational Intervention® training with the Karen Purvis Institute of Child Development, a program which has been proven to reduce behavioral challenges and trauma symptoms in children whose caregivers have been trained using TBRI® techniques. Once the behavioral health staff are trained, they will be able to train the rest of HATW’s staff in this practice, which has application at every level of our services.
While many of HATW’s staff are already trained in a variety of techniques for addressing trauma in youth, TBRI® training will give staff across multiple departments and disciplines a common ground and consistent language and techniques for approaching trauma with both young people and their caregivers and deepens the commitment to providing safe and loving homes for every child.