Wisconsin Trauma Project

The Wisconsin Trauma Project is designed to respond to the needs of children, families and their communities. Since 2012, fifty-eight counties and four tribes have participated in one or more components of the project. The project map and accompanying list of project sites show in which component(s) each site has participated.

The project has three components:

  1. Training for caregivers, community members, and child-serving professionals
  2. Training for mental health clinicians in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), a trauma treatment for children ages 3-18
  3. Training and technical assistance in Trauma-informed County/Tribal Organizational Systems Change

Counties and tribes can participate in one, two or all three components. Each component will strengthen local child-serving systems. It is especially powerful when all three are taken on at the same time.

"I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for inviting me to the training. It was amazing...I want to tell you that we now understand for the boys' sake how important it is that we all take part in raising them. They need their biological parents and so we need to do our best to keep them connected, even if that means effort on our part. The boys will need to see that everyone can work together to be healthy so that the boys can grow up as healthy as possible and know that many people can love them all at the same time. And that they can love lots of people all at the same time too...
You have been a part of making this family better in all its parts because you believe in us and continued to give us resources and the chance to continue learning so we could be better foster parents to these kiddos."
-Foster Parent

Why Trauma?

Child trauma can be hard to identify and understand. The symptoms can look like so many other physical and mental health issues.

For children in the child welfare system, untreated trauma can mean living out of the home longer It may also result in more changes in foster or family placements.

A child who has experienced a trauma may develop behaviors making it hard to form positive relationships with others. He or she may also continue the cycle of violence and abuse.

When the "root cause" of the issue is not recognized and treated, families and workers can feel worn out.

Fortunately, trauma-informed caregiving and treatment can help children recover from their difficult childhood experiences. It helps them learn new ways of thinking about themselves and the world around them.

Trauma Workshops

Through activities and videos, information about trauma and its effects on the brains and bodies of children is shared with caregivers, community members and child-serving professionals. This information helps adults build positive relationships with children.

The Trauma-informed Parenting Training content is based on the 16-hour Resource Parent Curriculum from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). The training has been adaptive to be inclusive of all adults in a caregiving or child-serving role.

To find a training in your area, contact: DCFWisconsinTraumaProject@wisconsin.gov

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Training

The Trauma Project provides training in TF-CBT to master’s-level and PhD-level therapists that treat children in the child welfare system.

The TF-CBT Learning Collaborative is a 12-month training including:

  1. 5 in-person training days lead by a TF-CBT national trainer
  2. Consultation calls with a national trainer
  3. Continuing education resources- 2 child trauma webinars and TF-CBT implementation book

Agencies participate in clinical teams comprised of at least one supervisor and a group of clinicians. Supervisors take part in their own track of consultation calls to develop TF-CBT supervisory skills.

Each participant submits monthly data to track clinical and child welfare outcomes.

Clinicians who complete the learning collaborative are eligible for certification as a TF-CBT therapist. Therapists certified in TF-CBT are listed on https://tfcbt.org/.

Frequently Asked Questions about the TF-CBT Learning Collaborative is a source of helpful information for anyone who is planning on, in the process of, or has taken the training.

Wisconsin Trauma and Recovery Database

The Wisconsin Trauma and Recovery Database is used by clinicians who are participating in or whom have completed Learning Collaboratives supported by the Wisconsin Trauma Project in:

  • Trauma Focused Congnitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), or
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)

Information on how to utilize the database

Access Request for the Wisconsin Trauma and Recovery Database (DCF-F-5288-E) is the form to use when requesting access to the database.

Wisconsin Trauma and Recovery Database is a step by step manual covering data entry and reporting processes.

Wisconsin Trauma and Recovery Database Help Guide is a video providing:

  • A tour of the database Desktop
  • Entering data
  • Running reports

Trauma Project Annual Reports

The Wisconsin Trauma Project Annual Report and Updates highlight the accomplishments of participating counties, tribes, clinicians and families. The updates also provide information on trauma-related initiatives throughout the state.

Child Welfare Organizational/Systems Change Training and Technical Support

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is collaborating with Fostering Futures on the third component: adopting trauma-informed practices at the organizational and systems levels.

Fostering Futures is offering training and technical assistance to state and county child welfare agencies on implementing trauma-informed principles in their organization.

The three focus areas are:

  1. Developing a trauma-informed, educated and responsive workforce
  2. Creating safe and secure environments
  3. Ongoing performance improvement and evaluation

Trauma and Recovery Project

The Trauma and Recovery Project is an extension of the Trauma Project funded through a five-year grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). The project promotes accessible, coordinated, and effective trauma-focused treatments for children and families that are in the child welfare system or that are at risk of entering the system in Milwaukee and Racine counties.

DCF provides oversight of the grant, however there are a number of partners contributing to the work of the grant including:

The project reduces health disparities among underserved racial and ethnic minority groups by expanding capacity in three National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)-endorsed treatments:

    1. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)
    2. Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT)
    3. Child-parent psychotherapy (CPP)

Three committees have been formed with membership from the Milwaukee and Racine communities to oversee the work of the project:

  • Executive Committee
  • Performance Assessment and Continuous Enhancement (PACE) Service
  • Service Access and Family Engagement (SAFE)

Wisconsin Hawthorn Project/Trauma Informed Organization Curriculum

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is collaborating with Natural Wisdom Counseling to provide free trauma-informed trainings, resources, and technical assistance to organizations who serve children and families in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Hawthorn Project offers training opportunities and trauma-informed organization curriculum.