Trauma-Informed Care Consortium 
Central Texas
"Building a Community of Care for Children, Families and Providers"
April 2015
Table of Contents
Child Abuse Prevention Month Resources
Spotlight on SafePlace's Expect Respect Program
Legislation Update
Overview of Travis County Plan for Children's Mental Health
Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
TICC Members

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the following is a list of child abuse prevention resources: 

provides training on child abuse reporting and child abuse prevention for parents and professionals.

Strong Start is a local child abuse prevention program whose services include a therapeutic classroom, parenting classes, and in-home parent coaching.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a list of articles and resources related to child abuse prevention.

Spotlight on 
SafePlace's Expect Respect


Serving Austin schools since 1988, SafePlace's Expect Respect is a comprehensive dating abuse prevention program that works in small groups with students who have experienced violence and abuse, mobilizes youth as leaders in the fight to end dating abuse, and supports schools, parents and community organizations in creating healthy, trauma-informed environments for teens.

Teens who experience abuse in their relationships are at higher risk for developing trauma symptoms, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, poor school performance, alcohol and drug use and other destructive behaviors. Expect Respect fills a critical need for the youth by providing accessible, school-based services and a supportive group setting that promotes healing and skills for healthy relationships.


Expect Respect support groups and counseling are offered in 24 schools in Austin ISD and the program is expanding to Manor ISD in 2015-16. More than 1,000 middle and high school students participate in counseling and support groups every year, and over 7,000 students engage in education and leadership activities. Expect Respect has been recognized as a model program by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.


For more information on program components, resources, training and evaluation check our website ( 

TICC's Trauma-Informed Organization Readiness Survey Results 
Upcoming Trainings
*Please check our website ( for on-going updates and additions to our trainings calendar!

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The Trauma-Informed Care Consortium is funded by:

St. David's Foundation
Lexus of Austin
Cross-Discipline Trauma Conference 2015: Success and Next Steps

The Cross-Discipline Trauma Conference of Central Texas 2015, featuring Drs. Bruce D. Perry, Vincent Felitti, Ginny Sprang, and Erica Miller, was a huge success!  The conference, which drew nearly 500 participants from around the state, brought together professionals including mental health clinicians, medical professionals, school personnel, advocates and law enforcement.  Breakout sessions topics, such as sensory integration and alternative therapies, enhanced attendees' learning experience.  One attendee wrote, "I've been attending child abuse conferences for over 15 years, and this was one of the best!".  Special thanks to St. David's Foundation, Texas Network of Youth Services, Department of State and Health Services and other sponsors as well as the conference planning committee for making the conference a success.

Visit our website in order to attend future meetings and learn about ways to implement trauma-informed care in your organization.

"I appreciate the opportunity to talk with the central Texas community about adverse childhood experiences.  Austin Child Guidance Center is facilitating a community conversation - one that will have profound effects on children and families." - Dr. Vincent Felitti

Thank you to Marisol Acosta, MEd, LPC-S from DSHS for presenting on trauma screenings and assessments at our April TICC meeting! TICC members can access the PowerPoint at

Mark your calendars for our next TICC meeting:
Friday, August 14th at 9 AM 
at Travis County Juvenile Probation on South Congress
Trauma-Informed Care 
in the Legislature
Update on TIC-Related Legislation 

Josette Saxton, MSSW

Senior Policy Associate for Mental Health

Texans Care for Children

Children who have experienced trauma come into contact with many of our state-administered programs and services. Most children are in school and access medical care, and many also receive services from the mental health, child welfare, or juvenile justice systems. It is critically important that our state and community programs and services help mitigate the impact that trauma has on children's development. It is equally as important for our systems to serve youth in a way that does not make things worse.


The 84th Texas Legislature is considering several bills this session that can help our programs, services and systems in becoming more trauma informed. Here are a few bills that have gained some traction to date:

  • SB 125 by Sen. Royce West, along with its companion HB 1852 by Rep. Elliot Naishtat, would require child entering state managing conservatorship to receive a comprehensive assessment, including a trauma screen, within 45 days. This bill has already passed the Senate and received approval from a House committee.  The Senate has also included funding for the Department of Family and Protective Services to implement the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment tool in its version of the state budget.
  • HB 418 by Rep. Gene Wu would give police officers and child protective services workers the authority to act quickly in a situation involving a child who is a victim of human trafficking in order to provide the child with a safe refuge in a secure foster home and specialized services, including victim and family counseling, behavioral health care, treatment and intervention for sexual assault, and other individualized services. This bill is fast on its way to the Senate for their consideration.
Click here for full article.
Overview of County Plan for Children's Mental Health


Kelly Stewart Nichols

Woollard Nichols & Associates


On February 20th, the Travis County Plan for Children's Mental Health, a coordinated five-year-plan to improve the wellness of children and youth, was unveiled at the summit "Healthy Kids, Thriving Community" which was hosted by Austin Travis County Integral Care. The plan contains data and recommendations in four areas - wellness and prevention, effective intervention, coordinated crisis services, and system improvements. The understanding that childhood trauma impacts lifelong health and well-being is an underlying tenet of the plan, and elements of trauma-informed care are embedded in the plan recommendations in the following areas:


Goal: Provide a continuum of intervention services and effective treatment to children and youth exhibiting a range of needs from emerging symptoms to complex mental health needs.

Objective: Ensure the inclusion of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and other mental health risk factors when designing screening tools for children and youth.

Strategy: Create standards for trauma screening tools and support adoption of trauma screening tools by Travis County child-serving agencies and schools.


Goal: Improve outcomes and accountability in the entire Travis County children's mental health system.

Objective: Ensure that the local mental health system (both public and private) is integrated, trauma-informed, evidence-based, adaptable, and responsive to community needs.

Strategy: Ensure that children's mental health agencies and providers as well as other child serving agencies are trauma-informed and have policies in place to avoid re-traumatization.


For more information or to get involved with the ongoing planning process, please contact Cheryl Petty at Austin Travis County Integral Care at

Community Event Highlight
Stand up and Soar for Children's Mental Health:
May 2, 2015 at 11 am

In recognition of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 2, 2015, join Texas System of Care at the Texas State Capitol to show your support for children's mental health! Wear your green shoes to walk one mile to Woolridge Square Park for games, music and speakers. Register at, or email 


Seanna Crosbie

Austin Child Guidance Center



Renee Calder Price

Caring Family Network


Organizational Members


Allies Against Slavery - John Nehme

Any Baby Can - Katie Ryan 

Austin Child Guidance Center - Seanna Crosbie, Stephen Kolar,

Mary Klingensmith, Andrea Ciceri

Austin ISD - Kathy Palomo, Kate Wegler 

Austin ISD Campus Based Counseling Referral Centers

Austin Children's Shelter - Maren Strachan

Austin Oaks Hospital - Angelica Reyes 

Austin PD Victim Services - Robin Foreman

Austin Recovery - Trish Rivera 

Austin State Hospital - Jennifer Swinton

Austin Travis County Integral Care - Melody Palmer-Arizola, Amanda Davidson

Bell/Lampasas County CSCD - Samantha Haynes

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas - Sharlene Eaton-Landis

Care Options For Kids - Kevin Schoenberger

Caring Family Network - Renee Calder Price

Casey Family Programs - Michael Martinez

Cenpatico - Karen Rogers

Center for Child Protection - Barbara Jefferson, Addie Wieland

Communities in Schools of Central Texas - Kris Downing, Sarah McCafferty

Communities for Recovery - Kate Jones & Kanisha Denmon

Community Advancement Network (CAN) - Hannah Brown

CommunitySync/Project HOPES - Suzanne Hershey

Community Yoga Austin - Shawn Kent

Court Appointed Special Advocates - Charron Sumler

Dell Children's Medical Center - Sally Freeman

Department of Family & Protective Services - Sheila Brown

Easter Seals - Jessica Moore

Eanes ISD - Katie Bryant, LCSW

El Buen Samaritano - Donna Shanor

Georgetown Psychological Services, PLLC - Jo Vendl, Psy. D.

Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center - Kifferie Corley

Helping Hand Home - Micki Marquardt

Juvenile Support Network - UT Austin - Wanda Nelson

Kids in a New Groove - Karyn Scott

KIPP Austin Collegiate High School - Vanessa Marie Flores

LifeWorks - Rob Thurlow

NAMI Austin - Karen Ranus

OutYouth - Keisha Martinez

Pflugerville ISD - Vicky Esparza-Gregory

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas - Kristin McDuffie

People's Community Clinic - David Burrows

Refugee Services of Texas - Kay Mailander

Rock Springs - Kelli Wright, Damien Robinson

SafePlace - Linda Herbert, Barbara Ball

Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Services - Gretchen Johnson

Southwest Key Programs - Hillary England

Spirit Reins - Rhonda Smith

Texas CASA - Sarah Crockett, Adrianna Torres-Garcia

Texas Department of State Health Services - Emily Parks

Texas Network of Youth Services - Lara O'Toole

Texas NeuroRehab Center - Meg Haden

Texas System of Care Consortium - Texas Family Voice Network - Candace Aylor

The Settlement Home - Bronwyn Seay

Travis County Collaborative for Children - Katy Bourgeois

Travis County Health & Human Services & Veteran Services - Christina Kuehn & Corie Cormie

Travis County Juvenile Probation - Erin Foley

United Way for Greater Austin - Alison Bentley

UT Child and Family Research Institute - Beth Gerlach

YWCA Greater Austin - Laura Gomez-Horton 


Website Committee

Stephen Kolar - Website Liaison

Mary Klingensmith - Coordinator

Kevin Schoenberger, Laura Gomez-Horton, Trish Rivera


Newsletter Committee

Andrea Ciceri - Newsletter Liaison

Bronwyn Seay, Micki Marquardt, Angelica Reyes, Gretchen Johnson


Strategic Planning Committee

Rhonda Smith - Strategic Planning Committee Liaison

Sheila Brown, Lara O'Toole, Hannah Brown, Amanda Davidson,   Michelle Spikes, Holly Gursslin, Alison Bentley, Marilyn Waters, Rachel Astorga, Candace Aylor


Membership and Marketing Committee

Mary Klingensmith - Marketing Committee Liaison 

Joe Dias, Barbara Jefferson, Kathy Paloma, Kate Amerson, Cristina Guerrero, Julie Guirguis, Jina Sorensen, Donald "Doc" Shuffield, Kathleen Doherty