Enotah Circuit hosts Complex Childhood Trauma Summit

On June 27, 2014, judges, child welfare workers, court attorneys, school leaders, and stakeholders met at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega to discuss complex trauma in children known to our state child welfare and juvenile justice system.
Three agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – jointly issued a letter calling for state directors of child welfare, Medicaid, and mental health authorities to strengthen their efforts to address complex trauma. The letter provides useful and actionable information about federal authority and funding streams, strategies for coordinating cross-system efforts, and good practices for integrating evidence-based screening, assessment, and interventions related to complex trauma.

Georgia agencies are responding to the challenge and delivering specific actions in a series of regional complex trauma summits across the state. Judge Jerry Bruce, Enotah Circuit Juvenile Court, hostedthe third of these summits. Opening remarks were delivered by Lei Ellingson, M.P.P., Associate Director, Carter Center Mental Health Program. The keynote speaker, Judge Peggy Walker, Douglas Circuit Juvenile Court and President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, presented on “What is the Science Telling Us to Do for Children Who Have Experienced Complex Trauma?” 
The Complex Childhood Trauma Summit was sponsored by the Carter Center, the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children, Administrative Office of the Courts, Casey Family Programs, Goshen Valley Boys Ranch, and the State Bar of Georgia Child Protection and Advocacy Section.  The first two summits were held in Atlanta and Savannah.

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