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Concept Note: CTIPP CAN

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The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) coordinates and advances the trauma-informed movement through education, activism, and advocacy. Founded in 2015, CTIPP’s mission is to create a healthy, just, resilient, and trauma-informed society where all individuals, families, and communities have the social, political, cultural, economic, and spiritual opportunities and support necessary to thrive.

CTIPP operates three flagship initiatives that exist independently but complement each other: Community Advocacy Network (CTIPP CAN), PressOn, and Ideas Lab. Here, we are pleased to provide an overview of CTIPP CAN—our national grassroots network of trauma-informed community members, leaders, and practitioners that works tirelessly to promote and assist trauma-informed advocacy efforts at all levels. 

Community Need and Overview of Initiative

A majority of our nation's population suffers from trauma. Prolonged exposure can create negative impacts throughout the lifespan which, if not addressed, can ripple across families, communities, and systems. The effects of trauma run rampant on an individual and societal level, impacting every system and placing a burden on our nation’s under-resourced services. The cost of trauma in the United States is estimated at a minimum of $14 trillion per year in lost productivity and associated healthcare costs, and at least 650,000 lives annually.

As solutions to our nation’s greatest issues are being developed across all levels, it is increasingly important for people with diverse lived experiences of trauma to have input into how systems are being shaped to improve outcomes moving forward. In the spirit of “nothing about us without us”, CTIPP CAN works to educate and mobilize advocates to inform the identification of problems and co-creation of solutions, as well as the continued oversight of enforcement and iterative improvement of policies and practices introduced and enacted to create such a difference.

It is CTIPP’s vision to develop a network of advocates and activists through CTIPP CAN in every legislative district across the country to promote solutions to issues that are relevant in their districts, and uplift local examples of solutions that policymakers can elevate in their own work. 

CTIPP’s approach to advocacy and activism is grounded in an empowerment model centered on bringing together people and groups working on addressing issues related to trauma and adversity, and combining collective efforts to achieve even more powerful results.

Training and building a national network of advocates modeling trauma-informed approaches is a vision informed by successful transformational efforts in the past, such as the Civil Rights Movement. Such infrastructure is necessary in building sustained change that reaches all levels of society. CTIPP’s nonpartisan positionality and trust within the movement place us in the perfect position to serve as the coordinating entity for advocates.

CTIPP CAN: A National Grassroots Network of the Trauma-Informed

CTIPP aims to address the mounting need for coordination and alignment across sectors and systems at large by serving as the focal point for connection, resource-sharing, learning, and collaboration within the movement. Through CTIPP CAN, our associated series of monthly teleconference calls and grassroots mobilization efforts, CTIPP works to provide increasingly critical time and space for members of the trauma-informed movement to collectively educate, activate, and advocate together. Examples of CTIPP CAN supporting trauma-informed efforts across various levels of government and within the network include:

  • In October 2021, after funding became available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), CTIPP created tools and held multiple webinars to mobilize its network, ensuring advocates around trauma-informed care were aware of, mobilizing to direct, and applying for these generally flexible funds as they became available. One organization in our network, the Potts Family Foundation in Oklahoma, responded to the information we provided by successfully applying for $9 million to support Oklahoma communities looking to implement trauma-informed projects related to early childhood education. The Potts Family Foundation is currently using these funds to create a grant program for communities throughout the state to implement trauma-informed early childcare services. There are many examples of similar success.

  • Our April 2021 CTIPP CAN call highlighted the emerging statewide trauma-informed efforts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In the audience for that call was a staff member for First Lady of Louisiana Donna Edwards, who took what she learned during the call back to the First Lady. After reaching out to CTIPP’s Executive Director, Jesse Kohler, for more information and context, the First Lady helped launch Whole Health Louisiana to make Louisiana a trauma-informed state, for which Jesse serves as an advisor.

  • In Winter 2023, we responded to feedback from our network by changing the format of our CTIPP CAN calls to focus less on highlighting the work of others in the field and more on networking, connection, and overviews of toolkits that support action from activists and advocates in their own communities. CTIPP CAN calls have since grown to provide diverse forms of additional support. Recent topics of CTIPP CAN calls include CTIPP’s free toolkit for promoting trauma-informed workplaces (April 2023) and a discussion of integrating NEAR Science into trauma-informed efforts, complemented with an update from the U.S. Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care (October 2023).

As the trauma-informed movement continues to grow, there is greater opportunity to train advocates focused on various elements of the trauma-informed movement. As the vision for work across multiple dimensions of society continues to grow and solidify, we recognize a strong network is necessary to help transform society. 

Growing the CTIPP CAN Initiative

Through CTIPP CAN, we aspire to be the hub for a national movement. Our organizational advocacy efforts currently focus predominantly on federal level work, but our network has advocates working across all levels. We know as we scale we can impact more directly advocacy at the local, tribal, state, federal, and someday international levels.

We envision expanding CTIPP CAN calls beyond a single monthly meeting, as no one time works well for advocates in so many different time zones. We also aspire for CTIPP to evolve into an intermediary organization that does government affairs work, continues to provide technical assistance to the trauma-informed movement, and funds trauma-informed work done by coalitions across the country.

With the trauma-informed movement on the precipice of explosive growth, CTIPP needs capacity to meet growing demand to support advocacy efforts. To scale and sustain our work, we need philanthropic partners who can increase our capacity exponentially, as we have reached the limit of what we can achieve with current resources. To fully realize our vision for CTIPP and CTIPP CAN, we are seeking to raise at least $2 million in 2024 to create sustainability for multiple full-time staff members to support our national work.

As we raise more funding, we envision making grants to our network coalitions to directly support work in communities, while also learning from grassroots innovations and supporting mobilization of groups around promising policies and practices. Building our capacity will put CTIPP in position to address a full range of work—community relations, advocacy support and government affairs, research, communications, grant development, and beyond—enabling us to build and bolster this critical movement at all levels.

Join the Movement

Your support of CTIPP, whether for general operating needs, our CTIPP CAN initiative, or one of our other two primary initiatives, will allow us to amplify a burgeoning movement; a movement poised to make transformative, collective, and sustainable change across the country at local, regional, state, and federal levels.

For more information about CTIPP or ways in which we can partner together, please reach out at


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