Dr. Margaret Blaustein, one of the country’s foremost experts in treating children and caregivers exposed to complex trauma, came to Cape Cod in January to train HAC staff members and other local service providers.
Her training is part of a grant to HAC from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation. The $373,000 grant will fund a three-year pilot program to train Angel House staff in trauma-informed care, which focuses on children’s resiliency to heal from chronic early trauma.
Among those undergoing training were staff members at Angel House, a HAC-operated family shelter in Hyannis for homeless women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and their children. Employees at two other HAC family shelters – Carriage House in North Falmouth and the Village at Cataumet – also participated.
Dr. Blaustein is the co-developer of the ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency) framework for intervention with youth and families who have experienced multiple and/or prolonged traumatic stress. ARC provides a theoretical framework, core principles of intervention and a guiding structure for providers working with these children and their caregivers. The Tower Foundation grant calls for a trauma-care leadership team to lead the comprehensive, three-year training program at Angel House.
A practicing clinical psychologist, Dr. Blaustein is the director of training and education at the Trauma Center/Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Mass. She is the co-author of “Treating Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents.”
Angel House is piloting this model and will collaborate with other agencies to improve services and resources for parents and children. Other local agencies that sent staff for training included Cape Cod Children’s Place, Cape Cod Hospital, the Mass. Department of Children and Families, the Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Cape Cod WIC (Women, Infants and Children), the Institute of Health and Recovery, and Vinfen. HAC thanks Terry Duenas and his staff at the Cape Cod Community Center for their guidance and expertise in conducting and filming this training.
The Tower Foundation grant also allows for the expansion of services for the Angel House children through a Therapeutic Playspace facility and additional qualified staff. Advanced therapeutic training for Angel House staff, taught by Dr. Blaustein, will continue over a three-year period. The grant’s goal is to create a complete systems change that will improve the therapy, training and care given to Angel House’s children and mothers and provide effective services essential to their safety, progress and survival.
“This exceptional training was a meaningful beginning of three years’ worth of trainings and oversight for the staff to successfully implement the ARC framework,” said Nancy Davison, HAC vice president of operations.