Transforming Baltimore into a Trauma Responsive City
According to data from The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 56% of Baltimore’s children have experienced one or more major traumatic events. Left unaddressed, each of these “adverse childhood experiences,” can have a devastating impact on health outcomes and lead to an increased risk of addiction, incarceration and other risky behaviors. Baltimore’s children are growing up in an epidemic of violence, yet within city agencies, the response has reliably prioritized policing at the expense of prevention.
Recognizing the need to transform Baltimore into a “healing city” that prevents violence by treating its root causes, Councilman Zeke Cohen is collaborating with a cross-sector coalition on the Baltimore City Trauma Responsive Care Act. This law authorizes a Taskforce comprised of government and non-government actors (mental health practitioners, educators, youth, etc.) to identify goals and metrics to reduce childhood trauma across Baltimore. It equips all city agencies with the training, tools and resources to effectively identify and respond to trauma. The law also directs city agencies to rewrite their policies and procedures in consultation with the Health Department with an eye toward reducing harm and promoting healing.
On November 21, we’ll engage in a consultative session with Councilman Cohen, Tisha Edwards, Bryonna Harris, Karen Webber, and Dr. Michael Sinclair to discuss how we make a systemic shift to prevent and address trauma city-wide and engage in collective healing at a personal and community level.
Our intended outcomes are that participants will:
- have an increased awareness/understanding of trauma-informed public policies at the local and national level including Baltimore City’s Trauma Responsive Care Act;
- give feedback and make recommendations to Councilman Cohen about the Baltimore City’s Trauma Responsive Care Act;
- meet and build a relationship with other parties interested in trauma-responsive services;
- understand the roles of philanthropy, the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success and other key city agencies, and possible actions to take;
- deepen collaboration by sharing information, agreeing on aligned actions, and considering partnerships to spur collective change in our cultural approach and response to trauma.
This program is for Maryland Philanthropy Network members and invited guests only.
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