The Federal Budget is a Statement of Our Country’s Values. Thanks to You, it’s Beginning to Look More Trauma-Informed

By Jen Curt, CTIPP’s Director of Government Affairs

Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) reflects on progress made in the recently passed Fiscal Year 2022 budget and the fight ahead in FY23.

Congress passes appropriations legislation annually to fund the federal government, including federal agencies and their programs for businesses and local governments. Each year, funding levels are subject to change: while new programs begin and others grow, some shrink or are cut altogether. 

CTIPP is working toward a society that values healing, resilience, and trauma-informed practices. To achieve this, we must fight for a budget that lifts families out of poverty and reduces inequity, provides high-quality learning and programming to children, makes our healthcare system more equitable and affordable, and integrates trauma-informed practices wherever possible, among other reforms. 

Victories in Fiscal Year 2022

Last year, CTIPP, together with partners in the Child Trauma and ACEs Policy Working Group, fought for and secured several critical funding wins for our movement, including:

  • $1 million in first-time funding for an Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care to grow its work developing best practices for supporting children, youth, and their families who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing trauma and helping federal Agencies better coordinate their federal response to trauma.
  • $7 million for school-and-community organization partnerships to support students’ access to trauma support. We secured significant funding to increase student access to evidence-based, culturally relevant trauma support services, and mental health care in educational settings through established partnerships between schools and community organizations.
  • $7 million for ACEs research through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Injury Center to continue studying the impact of ACEs on individuals and communities and best practices to educate about, prevent, and address them.
  • $8 million for the Department of Justice’s Children Exposed to Violence Initiative to prevent, support, and reach children exposed to violence and help organizations better support them.

What We’re Working Toward in FY23

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the long unmet need for trauma-informed practices and a trauma-aware society. Study after study reveals that acute and sustained traumatic experiences for children, individuals, and families are increasing while financial hardship and isolation make resilience and recovery more challenging. So, we are requesting increased funding this year for each of last year’s priorities.

CTIPP is also working on a new initiative to increase the number of school-based mental health professionals in schools and utilization of trauma-informed practices. School-based mental health professionals can play a vital role in supporting students’ holistic well-being and readying the entire school to support healing and resilience. 

However, the shortage of school-based mental health professionals in our country undermines the availability of services to support students and families, particularly in rural, underserved, under-resourced, and other hard-to-staff school districts. Integrating trauma-informed practices and services in schools has helped students and staff successfully address issues such as bullying, self-esteem, and suicide while enhancing protective factors for students in need. 

Please join our effort to secure $1 billion for trauma-informed schools by signing our letter to the Appropriations Committee here