Nonprofit Insider

HNH Foundation Funds Trauma-informed Care at Families First

Portsmouth –The HNH Foundation recently awarded a grant to Families First Health & Support Center to help address one of the foundation’s current funding priorities: reducing and preventing childhood trauma. Families First will receive a $61,370, two-year grant.

In its funding guidelines, the HNH Foundation explains the devastating effects that childhood trauma can have. “Adverse Childhood Experiences such as childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors are common, and their impact on long-term health and mental health outcomes are well documented,” the guidelines say. “Childhood trauma can affect every aspect of a child’s development and functioning including cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, physical and moral development. The negative impacts of trauma … can include reduced school readiness and performance, behavioral and mental health problems, increased rates of substance abuse, serious health problems, decreased educational attainment and reduced employment status.”

As a community health center and family resource center, Families First has staff to provide medical, dental and behavioral health care, parent education and home visiting for families. However, “providing services is not enough to impact clients’ health and well-being when so many are blocked by their own histories from engaging, learning and changing,” says the agency’s Family Services Director, Georgie Clark. “Parents who experienced trauma as children are vulnerable to passing trauma on to their own children. Our hope is to disrupt the cycle by better meeting the needs of these parents so they can better parent their children, as well as fully benefit from the health and family services we offer.”

In order to better address these needs, Families First plans to embed trauma-informed care throughout all its services. Trauma-informed care requires service providers to understand the impact of trauma on child development and minimize its effects without causing additional trauma and, as explained in the HNH Foundation’s funding guidelines, “infuse trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies.”

Families First plans to use the grant funding to train staff to provide trauma-informed care in all settings; establish policies and procedures for integrating trauma-informed care; choose parent-education curricula geared toward parents with a trauma history; offer parenting classes; and improve outreach to people who are likely to be trauma survivors.

More information about Families First is at 603-422-8208 or

Posted on: January 10, 2017
Topics: Funding Awards

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