First lady Tracey Quillen Carney announced the launch of a new, growing statewide partnership for trauma-informed care to help elevate stories of the work of leaders in trauma-informed practices and approaches across the state called Trauma Informed Delaware at a May 1 kickoff event for Trauma Awareness Month in Delaware.

The goal of the statewide public-private-nonprofit coalition is to coordinate a sustainable system that advances resilience through community-based awareness, trauma prevention and early intervention.

“Trauma-informed care is a prerequisite to any effective strength-based strategy,” said Carney. “Progress starts when a critical mass of people learn and listen when we recognize — down to our bone marrow — that these are our children, our veterans, our neighbors and that we are all in this building-the-future business together. Thank you to all of the people who have been leading trauma-informed work for many years, and to everyone who will be participating in Trauma Awareness Month events.”

Trauma Informed Delaware — traumainformedde.org — will support streamlined requests for trainings, host collaborative convening opportunities, promote partners and events from across the state and offer those supports and other forms of assistance through promotion of and advocacy for access to quality behavioral and integrated health care; strength-based services for youth and adults; and education for providers and the community.

The kickoff event was coordinated by Gov. John Carney’s Family Services Cabinet Council, which was charged with promoting Trauma Awareness Month as part of the governor’s Executive Order 24. The council also created an online calendar to share information with state employees, community partners and members of the public on educational and professional development opportunities related to adverse childhood experiences and building resilience.

During the daylong symposium at Delaware State University, the first lady also announced the Compassionate Champion Award winners and presented a proclamation from Gov. Carney.

The honorees are Stephanie Sklodowski, from Christiana Care and Christiana School; District's Newark High School Wellness Center; Wilmington University College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Psychology Department; Renée Beaman, director of the Division of State Service Centers in the DHSS; Division of State Services Centers in DHSS; Georgetown Police Department; Shue-Medill Middle School; Smyrna School District; Mount Pleasant Elementary School; Wendy Turner from Brandywine School District; Ryan Palmer, from Caesar Rodney School District; and the Collaborative Partnership to promote trauma-informed care approaches, including United Way of Delaware, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and the Wilmington Community Advisory Council.

The symposium featured an interactive panel moderated by DHSS Secretary Walker and breakout sessions on the neuroscience of stress, navigating trauma with boys of color, mindfulness and a screening of the film, “Broken Places.” Keynote speakers Heather Forbes, licensed clinical social worker and author of “Help for Billy,” talked about understanding challenging and difficult behaviors, and Abdul-Malik Muhammad, a trauma-informed care leader in Delaware, addressed the collective power to heal.

The event was sponsored by the Delaware State Education Association, made possible through a grant from National Education Association, and co-sponsored by Trauma Matters Delaware, Nemours, Wilmington University and Delaware State University.