The CWPTA Understanding Trauma program

In early 2009, the Midwest Trauma Services Network (MTSN) was established with the goal of delivering Trauma Informed Care (TIC) training across Iowa.  The Coalition, through its Iowa Child Welfare Training contract, funds these trainings to all agencies that operate in contract with the Department of Human Services for child welfare services.  This eight (8) year partnership will continue into the next fiscal year.  The program contemplates training facilitators within provider organizations to bring reliable and consistent training around trauma informed care. 

In the next year the following modules have been planned:  Trauma Informed: (1) Level 1- Foundation, (2) Level 2- Self Care, (3) Level 3 KINNECT- Safety, (4) Level 4 KINNECT – Emotion, and (5) Level 5 – Loss.

In Level 1 – Understanding Trauma, participants discuss: (1) the broad spectrum of major contributors to a child’s behavior, (2) the hierarchy of needs, (3) short/long term reasonable outcomes, (4) lifespan consequences of trauma on an individual/community and (5) staff’s role as protectors and educators.   Participants learn how to engage in and explore concrete processes to stabilize attachment, develop safe relationships and effective emotional management. This is an entry level training that creates a common language for participants around the EBP skills taught in Levels 3-6. 

In Level 2 – Self Care, participants learn (1) what can happen to them as they operate in highly stressful environments, (2) how to take care of themselves (3) how to engage in and explore concrete processes to stabilize attachment, and (4) develop safe relationships and effective emotional management. This is an entry level training that creates a common language for participants around the EBP skills taught in Levels 3-6. 

In Level 3 – KINNECT module – Safety (multi-modal), participants explore (1) a child’s view of what is meant by: physically safe, socially safe, safety in flight, fight and freeze, and (2) how one’s self begins with safety. Then, participants learn evidence-based practices to for effective intervention strategies using multi-modal treatment structures.

In Level 4 – KINNECT – Emotional (multi-modal), participants explore emotional identification and expression. Then, participants learn evidence-based practices to for effective intervention strategies using multi-modal treatment structures.

In Level 5 – KINNECT – Loss (multi-modal), participants explore loss and ways individuals may show signs of grief and unresolved grief. Then, participants learn evidence-based practices to for effective intervention strategies using multi-modal treatment structures.

Each module builds to the five (5) empirically-supported early intervention principles and the fundamental of de-escalation.  The structure consists of 6 levels requiring 42 hours of training to become a facilitator for each level.  In the next fiscal year, it is expected that MTSN will be positioned to roll out a Level 6 – KINNECT – Future (mult-modal) module for training and facilitation classes. 

 In the coming fiscal year, the Academy will host: 

  1. Ten (10) Level 1 trainings in the following locations:  Burlington, Clarinda, Ottumwa, Des Moines, and Council Bluffs.  Two (2) of the training sessions will be provided by the Level 1 Facilitator Coach, Billy Claywell.  The remaining eight (8) will be facilitated by the facilitators-in-training in the presence of and with coaching from Claywell. 
  2. Twenty-two (22) Level 2 trainings in the following locations:  Ames, Burlington, Carroll, Clarinda, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Sioux City, and Waterloo.  Two (2) of the training sessions will be provided by the Level 2 Facilitator Coach, Billy Claywell.  The remaining twenty (20) will be facilitated by the facilitators-in-training in the presence of and with coaching from Claywell.
  3. Eight (8) Level 3 trainings in the following locations:  Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo.  Two (2) of the training sessions will be provided by the program architect Frank Grijalva.  The remaining twenty (20) will be facilitated by the facilitators-in-training in the presence of and with coaching from Grijalva. 
  4. Five (5) Level 4 trainings in the following locations:  Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Fort Dodge and Waterloo.  Two (2) of the training sessions will be provided by the program architect Frank Grijalva from MTSN.  The remaining three (3) will be facilitated by the facilitators-in-training in the presence of and with coaching from Grijalva.   
  5. Eleven (11) Level 5 trainings in the following locations:  Ames, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Estherville and Waterloo.  Two (2) of the training sessions will be provided by the program architect Frank Grijalva from MTSN.  The remaining nine (9) will be facilitated by the facilitators-in-training in the presence of and with coaching from Grijalva.

 The Academy will also be preparing for introduction of Level 6 – Future also developed and trained by Frank Grijalva of MTSN.  Levels are developed as facilitators move through offered levels.  To date, there are: 

  1. Twenty-three (23) Level 1 facilitators in sixteen (16) different child welfare provider organizations;
  2. Eleven (11) Level 2 facilitators in seven (7) different child welfare provider organizations;
  3. Six (6) Level 3 facilitators in six (6) different child welfare provider organizations; and
  4. Four (4) Level 4 facilitators in four (4) different child warfare provider organizations.

Overall, in the last 4 (four) years, more than 40 individuals have been trained as facilitators of this curriculum and over one hundred (100) child welfare provider staff have attended at least one training.  In FY 2019, the Coalition endeavors to increase data reporting surrounding this program to track and support the Understanding Trauma Program.  To date, the Coalition has received authorization for nine (9) facilitators to progress onto the next level of facilitation training within the program.

This program also hosts unrestricted trauma resources which can be found here:  https://www.iachild.org/trauma-resources .