Our Work

Trauma-Informed Initiatives


Exposure to trauma is a significant public health concern. Most children are exposed to potentially traumatic events, including violence exposure, physical abuse, sexual abuse, accidents, fires, and other life-threatening events. While many children are resilient, others suffer from significant ongoing health and behavioral health problems.

CHDI has made great strides in helping Connecticut build services and supports to address this serious and significant concern. Our goal is to build a comprehensive and effective trauma-informed system of care in Connecticut. Our strategies include workforce development, trauma screening, practice change and access to evidence-based practices, and cross-system collaboration. 

Since 2007, CHDI has collaborated with State and federal agencies, provider organizations, and families to improve access to effective services for children suffering from exposure to trauma. 


Together, we have:

  • Significantly increased the number of children benefitting from evidence-based trauma treatment 
  • Developed a workforce in our state to deliver effective, evidence-based treatments to thousands of children and families each year
  • Developed and implemented trauma-informed policies, systems and practices in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and children’s mental health systems, through funding from the Department of Children and Families and the federal Administration for Children and Families
  • Trained pediatric health providers to identify signs of traumatic stress and connect families to high quality treatment
  • Developed a brief screen for childhood trauma (The Child Trauma Screen) for use by professionals in child-serving systems (e.g. child welfare, health, juvenile justice, mental health, education).
  • Increased public awareness through KidsMentalHealthInfo.com, our website for parents and caregivers
  • We are also in the process of extending trauma-focused services to young children in Connecticut through 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) 

These changes are working. Every year, as a result of receiving effective services, more children are recovering from abuse, community violence, accident, injury and many other forms of trauma.  

Click here for CHDI's report "Advancing Trauma-Informed Systems for Children".

Learn more about our current trauma-related initiatives, which include:

Additional trauma-related initiatives CHDI helped support include:

Jason Lang - Vice President for Mental Health Initiatives

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