Cecil County Awarded Three-Year Grant for Young Crime Victim Trauma Initiative
ELKTON, MD. – The rates of substance abuse, violence and poverty affecting some Cecil County families can converge to foster an environment ripe for traumatic experiences for children. While difficult to discuss and even harder to manage, Cecil County children are at the receiving end of one very unpleasant fact: across so many trauma vulnerability indicators, they are faring worse than their peers in the state and nation. Unaddressed, early trauma results in poor health outcomes and barriers to wellness that follow children into their adult lives.
The collaboration among many organizations in Cecil County to begin to help families address trauma resulted in a series of recommendations to County Executive Alan McCarthy. One of those recommendations, was to better understand the lack of trauma therapists or barriers to trauma therapy that exist. These recommendations laid the groundwork for a grant application to the Department of Justice, and resulted in the award of $639,000 over three years to enhance our community’s response to the opioid crisis by offering direct services to our youngest crime victims: children impacted by opioid use and resultant trauma.
The core of this project is the provision of direct trauma therapy services to children, which will be accomplished by contracting with Bodhi in North East, to work with clients referred by the Local Care Team. Therapists will employ any of several evidence-based therapeutic modalities specific to the population in need. It is the project’s intent to remove barriers to accessing these services by working with family advocates and peer recovery specialists to encourage families to participate in the program, and by providing a number of transportation options, as needed, to help meet each family’s needs.
“We see this partnership with the County as an opportunity to address those unmet needs while also building trauma competency throughout the county,” explained Jesse Fairchild, clinical psychotherapist and owner of Bodhi. “The provision of trauma focused clinical interventions is aligned with Bodhi’s mission to provide compassionate, knowledgeable, and efficient services supporting mental health and wellness. The ability to address specific needs of each child, and by extension their family, by removing barriers to treatment improves the likelihood of successful interventions that promote healing. We are excited to be a part of this initiative.”
Cecil County intends to coordinate this project through the Local Management Board’s Local Care Team Coordinator (LCTC), who will serve as the Project Coordinator. The Local Management Board and the Local Care Team are housed in the Department of Community Services.
All referrals into the program will come through the office of the Local Care Team, whose primary role is to provide referrals to community programs and care management facilities for families dealing with significant youth mental and behavioral health issues. This program will also provide a wide variety of outreach efforts.
“This initiative not only addresses the significant shortage of trauma-focused services available in the community, it also seeks to eliminate barriers to treatment and increase access to behavioral health services for those children impacted by the opioid crisis," offered David Trolio, Director of the Department of Community Services.
Over three years, the County will conduct community-level awareness and training activities, convene a Behavioral Health Forum for providers, offer Train-the-Trainer workshops for peer and family advocates and hold semi-annual community forums.
For more information or to access the Local Care Team Coordinator, please contact Amanda Woods, Local Care Team Coordinator, Cecil County Department of Community Services, 410-996-8048 or email@example.com.
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government