Today’s Guest Blogger is Jennifer S. Parker, PhD, LPC, Director Child Advocacy Studies, Professor Psychology at University of South Carolina Upstate.
The Child Protection Training Center recently launched a Compassionate Schools Spartanburg initiative. Compassionate Schools is a flexible framework originally created in Massachusetts and Washington State. The purpose is to improve educational and behavioral outcomes for students by cultivating a trauma-sensitive learning environment that promotes building skills of resilience. This framework is grounded in research from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The landmark study links childhood adversity to difficulties in learning, behavior and lifelong health. We initially established a steering committee of educators and mental health providers to discuss the feasibility of tailoring this framework to Spartanburg County schools.
Utilizing the original Compassionate School materials, we developed our own flexible community-training model to meet the individual needs of schools in Spartanburg. Instruction includes understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), recognition of maltreatment and significant family issues, skills of resilience, cultural sensitivity, mandated reporting, and understanding healthy boundaries and practices for professionals. We held two summits to train steering committees from each district to serve on implementation teams.
The introduction to Compassionate Schools Spartanburg has been well received and participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. To date, we have trained approximately 400 educators, expanded our steering team and scheduled further trainings.
“I wish I had the opportunity to have this training much earlier in my career. I appreciate all you are doing for our district and the Spartanburg area community”.
“I am highly motivated to begin working in my district to create an action plan, identify ACEs in students, and utilize strategies learned to promote a safe environment at school and success in the student”.
“I am honestly baffled that we have never received this type of training or information before. I am a school counselor, and I didn’t even receive this type of information in my graduate program. I am very excited to take what I’ve learned and apply it to my daily job”.
Want to learn more? Click here below:
For more information, contact The Child Protection Training Center.