Trauma has devastating effects on children’s bodies and even more of a negative impact on their brain development. Traumatic events can include physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, neglect, accidents, natural disasters, war, intrusive and painful medical procedures, and even witnessing violence and domestic violence. Recent research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) shows that experiencing trauma not only impact children’s current physical and psychological health, but these experiences can have a lifelong, negative impact on their health and social behaviors, costing our society billions of dollars in ongoing healthcare and social service interventions. However, trauma focused practices can bring safety and healing to children in the present and promote health in their futures ….. so children may lead their best lives.
Harmony Family Center is committed to providing services to children and families who have been impacted by childhood trauma and education to the community on trauma focused care.
- The ASAP program provides in-home therapeutic services for children who have experienced trauma and their adoptive families.
- The TRANSform program works with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) to serve children in the State’s child welfare system in order to advance child safety, well-being, adoption, and post-adoption outcomes through system-wide trauma-Informed practice.
- The Barn (equine assisted therapy) and PAWS for Kids provides animal assisted therapy, which research has shown to be an effective intervention for children who suffer the effects of trauma.
- FUSE groups offer support and education for families of adopted children who have suffered through trauma.
- Harmony provides PATH training to DCS foster parents and includes education on the impact of trauma on children who are cared for in the child welfare system and ideas for positive interventions in their homes.
Harmony is currently involved in a federally funded research project (QIC-AG) studying the care of adoptive and guardianship services for children in the child welfare system, all of whom have been impacted by trauma. As a part of this project, the ASAP program is using the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), developed by renowned child psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Dr. Bruce D. Perry, and the Child Trauma Academy, to help adoptive families understand the impact of trauma on their children’s brains, bodies, and behaviors and effectively intervene, so that the children and families can be healthy and happy. It is Harmony’s goal, through a three-year certification process, to be a Flagship Program for NMT and become a leader in providing trauma focused services to individuals and families and trauma education to the communities in Tennessee and the Southeast.