ACS and Mount Sinai to collaborate on new children's trauma institute

October 10, 2007

The Mount Sinai Medical Center and New York City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) have received a $2.4 million federal grant to establish the ACS-Mount Sinai Children's Trauma Institute.

The new Trauma Institute, funded by a federal grant, will be staffed by Mount Sinai and integrated into ACS programs. It is the first effort of its kind in the country to focus specifically on developing and adapting interventions to prevent and treat child trauma occurring within child welfare settings. Mount Sinai and ACS will also work through the Institute to disseminate effective child trauma interventions for child protective service settings nationwide.

"Children in child welfare systems have an extraordinary prevalence of traumatic stress disorders, and yet historically have had very poor access to mental health services," said Dr. Claude Chemtob, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Principal Investigator for the ACS-Mount Sinai Children's Trauma Institute. "This Institute is going to help abused kids by shining a spotlight on trauma of children within the child welfare system nationally."

"Children's Services sees this as an unprecedented and unique opportunity to both address and reduce the trauma our children and families experience, thereby achieving one of our agency's main goals: to ensure that every child we come into contact with gets the help he or she needs to be healthy and achieve his or her full potential," said ACS Commissioner John B. Mattingly.

The ACS-Mount Sinai Children's Trauma Institute will adapt, evaluate, and disseminate innovative and evidence-based techniques for dealing with trauma for children and families receiving foster care and child abuse prevention services. Interventions developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) will be adapted to foster care and preventive services pilot projects to measure improvements to outcomes in mental health and child welfare, as well as cost benefits to the child welfare system.

"We are strongly committed to working with our foster care and preventive providers to develop interventions that help the most developmentally-vulnerable children and families that we serve, including young children and those transitioning to adulthood," said ACS Assistant Commissioner for Clinical Policy Erika Tullberg, who will oversee the operations of the Trauma Institute within Children's Services. "Our approach is to use a "trauma lens" to examine and improve day-to-day child welfare practice, creating evidenced-based approaches that can be used throughout the city and country, rather than just adding on another layer of services."

Since the new Children's Trauma Institute is located within ACS, it will ultimately give Children's Services the ability to make expert strategies available at every point within the child welfare system, and demonstrate that mental health treatment goals can be aligned with child welfare goals to improve child well-being.

A center piece of MSSM's focus in the CTI will be on developing models for preventing child abuse with very young children through collaborating with primary care pediatricians, and with congregate care systems such as early Head Start.

ACS and Mount Sinai received the $2.4 million grant through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), which is part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under the United States Department for Health and Human Services.

Earlier collaborative activities between ACS and MSSM under the CTI umbrella included the development a fast-response team to assist children and families, as well as programming to reduce secondary traumatization for Child Protective Services workers. These activities received support from the UJA Federation, New Yorkers for Children, and the Annie Casey Foundation.
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About ACS

The New York City Administration for Children's Services protects and ensures the safety and well being of New York City's children and strengthens families. Formed in 1996, the agency oversees the City's programs of child protection, foster care, preventive services, adoption, child support enforcement, child care and Head Start.

About The Child and Family Resilience Program at Mount Sinai

The Child and Family Resilience Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine is a unit of the Child and Adolescent Division of the Department of Psychiatry. Directed by Claude M. Chemtob, the Program seeks to develop ways to help children and families cope effectively with serious adversities. Activities are wide ranging and include prevention of the effects of serious medical illness on families, parental bereavement, terrorism and disaster recovery, and impact of maternal PTSD on very young children. The Program is committed to collaboration with community agencies to adapt and implement trauma-informed programs.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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