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Sample Legislation: Massachusetts HB 3953

By Whitney Marris, Trauma Therapist and Director of Trauma-Informed Practice & System Transformation

NOTE: The enclosed is sample legislation from CTIPP’s 2022 Trauma-Informed Policy Development Highlights. It is meant to be educational and aspirational for trauma-informed advocacy.

Sample Legislation: Massachusetts House Bill 3953

CTIPP Policy Dimension: Build partnerships and community resilience (42% of trauma-informed bills ITTIC analyzed were aligned with this dimension)

Summary: This measure, which was not enacted this legislative session, contains language promoting individual and collective resilience and community-level healing to mitigate the pair of ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Community Environments.

Notably, the bill is strengths- and resiliency-focused and lifts up the adaptive capacities that trauma often brings about, affirming that “children and adults are resilient and have the innate capacity to express normal responses to traumatic experiences and, especially with appropriate support, can overcome traumatic events and adverse community conditions to lead healthy, fulfilling lives” and further makes acknowledgments aligned with what the science tells us about the potential impacts of developmental adversity along the lifespan, the buffering power of the individual, family, and community resiliency and protective factors, and the importance of looking to structural and systemic solutions to support healing and wellbeing among all.

The measure supports the use of trauma-informed and trauma-responsive actions and interventions to address and prevent adversity at each of these levels, including, among other provisions, developing and administering training and learning collaboratives across various sectors and systems on best and promising practices to advance this vision, with guidelines on the composition of partnerships comprising the collaboratives, how collaborative activities will unfold, what reports detailing findings, implementation outcomes, and further recommended actions each collaborative must produce to receive ongoing funding.

Such efforts would be funded at $250,000 per collaborative with the creation of the Community Healing and Resiliency Trust Fund, administered by the Office of the Child Advocate to fund these community-led healing and resiliency programming and learning initiatives.

Explore CTIPP’s 2022 Trauma-Informed Policy Development Highlights


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