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Rio Grande, NM

Authors Hope to Establish Childhood Trauma Institute

One in eight children experience ill-treatment. Of those, over half that are reported to law enforcement are screened out. Of those that are investigated, between 20 to 40 percent are actually substantiated, said Dr. Katherine Courtney, co-author of "Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment."

The question posed by Courtney is, "Why do we focus on the aftermath and not the root cause?" The Hernandez Community Center on Nov. 14 hosted 56 of Rio Arriba County’s health care and family services professionals in what will be the first of many think tank discussions centered around the development of the Anna Age 8 Institute.

Northern New Mexico College President Dr. Rick Bailey said the group will meet on the College’s Española campus in the future.

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Valencia County, NM

Imagine a future in which every child thrives

Another day, another child abused, neglected or killed. Another question of how can this keep happening?

Through our book, Anna Age, Eight: The data driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment, we sought to explain why terrible things keep happening to our children. There is good news amid the horrific headlines. We know exactly which vital services can prevent maltreatment. What we need to do differently is make sure that these services exist and connect to vulnerable families.

Let's take a journey into a fictional world in which struggling families can get on a path to thriving — in five steps....

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Valencia County, NM

Community engagement needed to help children

“You have to question the status quo,” Cappello said. “The status quo is this: you’re in the middle of an epidemic of child trauma. Everything that we’re doing is supporting an epidemic of child trauma that is not getting better. So, we can’t go on as usual.”...

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Santa Fe, NM

We can do better for New Mexico children

We are at a critical moment in New Mexico. We have a vital question in front of us. Are we tired of seeing dead children in our headlines? It’s a yes or no question. Avoiding it is a form of denial that continues to doom our children to a life of trauma. Until we directly and strategically address the root causes underlying every horror we see, we are going to have to admit that we must be OK with seeing children dying...

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State of New Mexico

Las Cruces-Area Group To Launch Data-Driven Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Project

An eight-year-old girl named Anna has sparked a movement to end childhood trauma in New Mexico. Anna is a fictional character based on a real case within the Protective Services Division of the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department and it's her story in the book, Anna, Age Eight, that is guiding urgent community work focused on ending childhood trauma and maltreatment...

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Las Cruces, NM

Las Cruces group to use data on ACEs to fight childhood trauma

Las Cruces City Councilor Kasandra Gandara has one big request for her partners in a new effort to tackle childhood trauma in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County: Ask every person they serve or interact with how many Adverse Childhood Experiences they've had. Gandara and a group of behavioral health providers, educators, community activists and health professionals hope to use that data to create a systemic approach to reducing childhood trauma, with the aim of combating child abuse in the community and improving children’s health, education and lives. Gandara was inspired for the project by the book "Anna, Age Eight: The Data-Driven Prevention of Childhood Trauma and Maltreatment," which was based on the work of Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello at the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department's Protective Service Division...

I was eager to read Anna, Age Eight, having collaborated with the authors on their Data Leaders for Child Welfare program earlier. The book has become a catalyst for important community forums on the root causes of family trauma and how to engage the city in data-driven prevention. Each chapter offers practical ways for addressing long-standing challenges. I especially liked reading their ideas for designing a new version of Child Protective Services called " Child Welfare 2.0," and creating a citywide system of trauma-informed behavioral health care to heal families. For elected officials, the business community and the public, Anna, Age Eight will provide a framework for using data, technology and community empowerment, to create a city where all children are nurtured and all families have the support they need to thrive.

Kasandra Gandara, City of Las Cruces Council member, New Mexico

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Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico must overhaul child welfare system

With incredible sadness we read about the latest child maltreatment case involving child prostitution — as it was predictable and preventable ("N.M. expands teacher training to battle abuse," May 12). While New Mexicans were again asking, "Why does this keep happening?" as former Children, Youth and Families Department employees were saying, "This doesn’t have to happen again," we offer three vital observations...

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Albuquerque, NM

CYFD needs new approach

RE: “Abuse tracking system a ‘dinosaur,’ legislators told” (July 18). We reacted with a knowing nod, mixed with deep frustration, reading about the dinosaur child abuse tracking system of CYFD. We are intimately aware of the system’s shortcomings, having worked in the CYFD Research, Assessment and Data Bureau – the unit for analyzing the data that was meant to inform all field work and central office. Not only was the data system referred to by staff as “held together by duct tape and Band-Aids,” but it is a deeply flawed system that could at any moment crash and lose vital information impacting our state’s most vulnerable children and families....

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Owensboro, KY

Resilience Leaders is the Key to Preventing ACEs

Owensboro, KY Mayor presents the key to city to Dominic Cappello for his work on ACEs prevention in their community.

In July 2018, the Mayor of Owensboro, Kentucky, Tom Watson, presented the key to the city to Dominic Cappello as a gesture of thanks for his work to reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in their community. Owensboro values their children's wellbeing and plans for a safer, healthier future free of ACEs.

Dominic Cappello is the co-author of Anna, Age Eight: The Data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment.

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Owensboro, KY

New nonprofit to present childhood trauma forum

"CASA's mission is narrow," said Rosemary Conder, CASA executive director. "The organization's staff and volunteers are court appointed special advocates for children. However, the new organization opens doors to provide other types of assistance to children and their families," she said. Care for Children is a separate entity with its own board of directors. As its first event, Care for Children will host a forum at Owensboro's Hampton Inn in August. The meeting has a two-fold purpose. First, it will introduce some local residents to the Resilience Project, which highlights childhood trauma and its lifelong negative effects on health and well-being. Author and co-founder of Safety+Success Communities Dominic Cappello will be the guest speaker...

Anna, Age Eight was inspiring. It's now our city's blueprint for ensuring all our children are safe from adverse childhood experiences and family trauma. It provides a step-by-step process for strengthening services shown to empower children and parents. Literally hundreds of our community members have read the book and we've started a movement guided by data, collaboration and a shared vision of what the authors describe as Family-Friendly City-version 2.0.

Rosemary Conder, Executive Director, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Ohio Valley, Inc, Kentucky


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If you missed Dominic and Katherine on the radio discussing Child Welfare 2.0 and Anna Age Eight, you can listen to these important conversations online: Show 1, Show 2.

For more information about the ACEs Resilience Leaders course or the book Anna, Age Eight, contact us.