By Jen Curt, CTIPP’s Director of Government Affairs
In 2022, CTIPP improved federal policy through calls to action, education, policy blog posts, new reports, and direct advocacy in partnership with over 4,000 trauma-informed advocates across the country. Thanks to increased capacity from hiring its first Director of Government Affairs, CTIPP secured major wins and continued to steward the trauma-informed movement through Congress and federal agencies.
CTIPP-Endorsed Bills Outperformed. Only 18 percent of all Congressional legislation made it past introduction and was considered in Committee or on the House or Senate floor. Only 1.4 percent of bills introduced in the 117th Congressional session become law. CTIPP-backed legislation overperformed in the 117th Congress. Fifty-six percent of CTIPP-endorsed bills passed Committee and/or a chamber of Congress. Twenty-two percent became law.
Intentionally Building Bipartisan Support. Most of the legislation CTIPP endorsed was introduced in a bipartisan manner. CTIPP continues to prove that the vision from a trauma-informed society receives support from all political parties – which is helpful and often essential to moving it forward – if trauma-informed advocates are intentional about communicating, educating, and building Champion policymakers from all political parties. Two-thirds of CTIPP-endorsed legislation was introduced bipartisanly, with sponsors and original cosponsors from both Democrat and Republican parties.
Selection of CTIPP-Endorsed Legislation
Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act (H.R. 8876)
Sponsors: Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-7), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2), and others
Actions: Became law through the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Legislation
Summary: Reauthorizes the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and increases its annual funding to $800 million in 2027 for services that aid new parents and their children from before birth through kindergarten with in-home support that has been proven to improve maternal and child health, family safety and stability, child development, and school readiness.
CTIPP Action: Tell Congress To Re-Authorize the MIECHV program
Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act (H.R. 5703/S. 3677)
Sponsors: Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV-01), Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI-03), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH)
Actions: Became law through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023
Summary: Expand eligibility for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) so that communities that receive an emergency declaration for a disaster such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or mass violence event can access financial reimbursement to set up community-driven resources to support traumatized individuals like peer support groups, educational events on the symptoms of trauma, and emergency support phone lines run by local residents.
IMPACT Human Trafficking Act (S. 4611)
Sponsors: Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH-14), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-01)
Actions: Passed Senate Committee
Summary: Would make permanent and expand the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Victim Assistance Program that helps provide trauma-informed support to individuals impacted by human trafficking. It also makes permanent a program that educates HSI employees on recognizing the second-hand trauma they are exposed to through their work to support victims and investigate these crimes.
Improving Data Collection for Adverse Childhood Experiences Act (S. 4332)
Sponsors: Senator Angus King (I-ME) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Actions: Introduced in the Senate
Summary: Would authorize $7 million annually over five years for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build upon previous research on the ties between childhood trauma and poor health conditions in adulthood by using a diverse nationally representative sample of participants, focusing on intensity and frequency of ACEs, studying the impact of historical trauma, and other factors.
CTIPP Action: CTIPP Community Advocacy Network Call, June 2022 (20:04)
RISE from Trauma Act (S. 2086)
Sponsors: Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and others
Actions: Introduced in the Senate, passed the House in the Build Back Better Act.
Summary: This would expand the trauma-informed workforce in schools, health care settings, social services, first responders, and the justice system and increase community resources to address the impact of trauma. Specifically, the bill includes a new grant program to fund community-based coalitions that coordinate stakeholders across sectors and deliver targeted local services to address trauma.
Trauma-Informed Schools Act (H.R. 8494/S. 4614)
Sponsors: Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)
Actions: Introduced in the House and Senate
Summary: This would make key federal funding sources available for teacher professional development and after-school programs that support implementing trauma-informed care in school settings. The bill also defines “trauma-informed practices” for the first time in federal education law, ensuring that such practices are evidence-based and help all students.
CTIPP Action: Educate Your Congressperson on Trauma-Informed Schools
Federal programs that support trauma-informed transformation are continuing to emerge through new legislation and agency actions, and they need continued and increased funding to grow their impact. CTIPP fought for and won increases for critical trauma-informed funding streams.
Selection of CTIPP-Supported Funding Increases
School-Based Trauma Support: Created in 2018 through the SUPPORT Act, Project AWARE’s Section 7134 grants support trauma-informed care in school settings. Section 7134 received $28 million in funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and $12 million from the FY23 appropriations legislation. This total of $40 million greatly increased from $7 million in FY22.
Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care: The Task Force must identify, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding best practices concerning children and youth, and their families as appropriate, who are at risk of experiencing trauma and ways in which Federal agencies can better coordinate to improve the Federal response to families impacted by substance use disorders and other forms of trauma. After securing $1 million in first-time funding for the Task Force in FY22, the Task Force’s allocation doubled with $2 million in funding for FY23.
Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) Research: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) ACEs research studies and promotes education on the impact of ACEs on individuals, communities, and society. Funding for ACEs research at the CDC increased by nearly 30 percent from $7 million in FY22 to $9 million in FY23.
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program: The MIECHV program facilitates collaboration and partnership at the federal, state, and community levels to improve the health of at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs. Through the FY23 appropriations legislation, the MIECHV’s annual funding secured a rise in funding over the next five years and will reach $800 million by 2027.
MADE TRAUMA-INFORMED POLICY ACCESSIBLE
Washington, D.C. Updates. With seven Washington, D.C. updates, CTIPP educated advocates on priority actions in the U.S. government's legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The D.C. update blog posts received 2,418 views. The updates included summaries of new legislation, the latest federal agency action, a call to action for advocates, and more.
CTIPP Community Advocacy Network (CAN) Calls. Each of the 12 monthly CTIPP CAN calls this year began with a policy update on what is happening in the federal government regarding addressing trauma. Additionally, from March to December, five Congressional staff members and one employee from the Department of Health and Human Services joined calls to update the network on relevant policy work.
Trauma-Informed Schools Report. In August, CTIPP launched its first policy brief report, which focused on achieving trauma-informed schools. Featuring a foreword from Former Principal Jim Sporleder and spotlights on the John T. White Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex Area schools in Hawaii, the report provided an introduction for policymakers into what it takes for a school to become trauma-informed. The report's goal was for policymakers to recognize that trauma-informed schools require a school-wide transformation and to give real-world examples that make this content easy to digest.
Following the report's release, it was sent to 545 Congressional staff and viewed by more than 50 U.S. House and Senate staff. Further, CTIPP met with the U.S. Department of Education (picture below) to brief them on the report and discuss the next steps for leveraging federal funds to implement trauma-informed policies and practices in schools across the country.
Trauma-Informed Government Grants Report. Securing new, dedicated funding is a priority for CTIPP. Yet, some federal funding already exists for state and local trauma-informed programs and initiatives. To connect the CTIPP network with existing grants, CTIPP created its first government grants report and analyzed data on federal funding streams for trauma, ACEs, and prevention throughout October 2022. The findings were shared widely and received positive feedback about the usefulness of this data for advocacy and application purposes.
Earmarks. In 2021, Congress brought back earmarks – known as Community Project Funding or Congressionally Directed Spending. In 2022, CTIPP helped six community-based organizations apply for dedicated funding to support local projects by creating a detailed application guide and educational programming and providing one-on-one technical assistance.
As CTIPP takes time to reflect on the success of 2022, our plans to move policy in 2023 are already in full swing. In January 2023, CTIPP will launch its Take On Trauma campaign to build momentum among advocates, Congressmembers, and national advocacy groups for 2023 to be the year Congress finally takes on trauma.
CTIPP’s Take On Trauma Call to Action for advocates is live. Already, 485 advocates have signed their names to a letter to their Members of Congress, and 356 have left custom comments about why addressing trauma is important to them. Join in at ctipp.org/action.