Our Work

Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative (ECTC)



The Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative (ECTC) is a 5-year, $2 million grant awarded to CHDI in 2016 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to extend trauma-focused services to young children in Connecticut.

Children are exposed to trauma, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, chronic neglect, serious accident or illness, loss of a caregiver, and other forms of trauma at alarming rates. Traumatic stress compromises a young child’s growth and brain development. If left untreated, it is associated with poorer lifelong outcomes including chronic health and mental health problems, impaired academic performance, and involvement with juvenile justice and adult criminal justice systems.

The Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative will also be part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a federal network of 81 SAMHSA funded members and over a hundred affiliates working to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States.

Goals: The Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative goals are to:

  1. Improve knowledge among Connecticut’s early childhood workforce about violence, abuse, and other forms of trauma, including how to identify young children and their families who may be experiencing traumatic stress
  2. Improve capacity to deliver community-based, trauma-focused services to children birth to age seven who are exposed to violence, abuse, and other forms of trauma

Partners: The Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative partnership includes:

  • CHDI
  • Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
  • Connecticut Department of Children and Families
  • The Consultation Center at Yale University (Evaluator)
  • Evidence-based practice treatment developers and trainers
  • Community-Based Providers:
      • Bridges, A Community Support System
      • Community Child Guidance Clinic, Inc.
      • Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut
      • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, The Center for Youth & Families
      • Community Health Resources
      • Family and Children's Aid
      • United Community & Family Services
      • The Village for Families and Children
      • Wellmore Behavioral Health
      • Yale Child Study Center, Yale University

Activities: The Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative plans to:

  1. Train early childhood systems staff and service providers about childhood trauma, how to identify young children and families who may benefit from services, and how to make referrals for trauma-focused evidence-based interventions (2017-2021)
  2. Disseminate the Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) model in eight outpatient community agencies to serve children under seven years old (2017-2019)
  3. Disseminate the Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) model in four outpatient clinics in community-based agencies (2019-2021)
  4. Implement TARGET in two-to-three outpatient community agencies to serve caregivers of young children (2017-2021)
  5. Support sustainability and expansion of the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) model at 3 outpatient community agencies (2017-2021) 

Trauma-Informed Care in Connecticut:

For the past 10 years, CHDI has partnered with state agencies and community-based mental health providers to disseminate and sustain children’s behavioral health evidence-based practices and has helped Connecticut develop a robust system of trauma-informed care and services for school-aged children. This grant will expand upon that work by developing a system of  trauma-informed care and treatment options for children under the age of seven.


Download a fact sheet on the ECTC. 

Jason Lang - Vice President for Mental Health Initiatives
Kellie Randall - Director of Quality Improvement
Tiffany Franceschetti - Senior Project Coordinator