Trauma Informed Model Comes to Kyrygzstan

David and I have the privilege over the next three weeks to bring trauma informed training to social workers and orphanage caregivers.  Last week we started with our first group of caregivers from SOS Children's Village in Bishkek.  It felt like a great start to us, but we also know this is a major paradigm shift for them.

This is the first group we have the opportunity to be with.

Today we leave for an orphanage about six hours from where we live in Tokmok.  The caregivers there have had NO training at all to care for traumatized children.  Again, we see this as an incredible responsibility and privilege.

Much of what we are presenting is the work of Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross that the Child Institute of Development in Fort Worth.  The trust-based relational principles are changing lives.  Known as TBRI, this model offers hope of healing for children who come, as in Dr. Purvis's words, hard places.

DVD Series to be Featured This Friday on CBN

We were just informed late last week, that the DVD series, Adoption/Foster Care Rx: Solutions for Wounded Families will be featured on The 700 Club on Friday.  Our hope and prayer for this series is that it will strengthen the journey for adoptive families, who followed the call to care for children with a traumatic history, will be equipped for the journey.

                             To see a promo of the video, please click on the picture above.

This would be a great series to use in support groups or other adoption/foster care training opportunities.

Trauma Consortium Meets in Columbus

One of the most exciting days in recent months for me was the gathering of 12 county representatives in Columbus. We met on July 18th to brainstorm ideas on how to better build our trauma-informed assessment, preparation and support model.  If you would like more information for your county or agency, please email me at

Our goal is to narrow the gap between a prospective foster/adoptive expectations and the reality of their experience. It can be done and is being done and we say thank you to all the counties who are participating....

Adoption Foster RX: Solutions for Wounded Familes

It began with a phone call 18 months ago from Terry Meeuwsen, co - host of The 700 Club.  "I have just finished reading a book called Wounded Children, Healing Homes and would like to talk with you and your husband about an idea," she said.  We met in Virigina Beach in January of 2011 and what resulted was a video teaching series for adoptive and foster families. 

This 7 session DVD, which features Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. Wendy Flowers, Michael and Amy Monroe along with David and me, can be used as a support group study or for individual families struggling with parenting children with a history of trauma.  To get more information about this DVD project, click on the link below the picture. 

We are so excited about this God given opportunity and trust the teaching series will support foster and adoptive families and their children.

Circle of Support Circles the World

May we introduce our friend, Heather Bench and her tremendous idea

                                      Circle of Support for Adoptive/Foster Families

By Heather Bench, Executive Director at New Family Tree and Adoptive Parent

                When my husband and I ventured into the process of adopting our daughter we were asked in our home study, “Who will be your support once you receive placement?”  Our answer came quickly and without much thought, “Of course, our family, our friends, and small group will all support us.”  And, thus, having this answer readily available we went on to the next question.

                 It was only after our second adoption that we began to realize how important real, authentic support is to a family and with that, how important certain qualities are in a family’s circle of support.  While most of the information I have put together is common sense, if we, as parents, are not intentional in our prayers, our thinking and our requests about what we need, we will not have a true safety net for our family.  Conversely, if our family, church, friends and employers are unaware of the need for intentional support, families still will be unsupported and outside the circle. They will feel isolated and alone.

                 I sat down to put my thoughts on paper with the belief that it would be shared via a DVD project.  God has taken it into a new direction and I must give him all the credit for these five qualities of a Circle of Support that can be used as a teaching tool. As this tool is discussed and built upon by many, I pray that it will offer the foundation for healthy, healing families in today’s difficult world.

From Jayne

We have taken Heather's idea and develped it into a tool that can be used by families as they are just beginning the jounrey.  Pass it on and let us know what you think.  We have shared this tool in Belaurs, Tennessee, Mississippi, California and in many areas around Ohio.  The parents and workers who have used it are very excited about it.  

If you would like the word document for this tool, please email at  

Meet the MSW Interns/Researchers for Our Ohio Project

Last Monday (January 24th) I met an incredible group of young woman who form the research team for our pilot study.  They are MSW students dedicated to making a difference for children and families.  I thought it would be fun to let my Ohio friends meet them as well.

                             Sascha Johnston, Heather Farrell, Alyson Prahlow, Katie Dalo Haley Stasinos

They are in the process of developing support tools for workers and families, running those tools through evaluators and developing research instruments. We are all looking for an answer to this question: How can we better prepare foster and adoptive parents for their jounrey caring for children with a history of trauma?
Thank you students! Can't wait to see what you develop!

Meet the Ohio Team

Over the several months, a number of folks will be working together on the Bulter County Trauma Informed Assessment, Preparation and Support Pilot.

Here who we are:


Project Coordinator: Jayne Schooler

Jeff Center, Executive Director, Butler County Children Services
Donna W. Lang MSW, LSW, Director of Placement Services, Butler County Children Services
Deborah A. Camara, M.Ed. Foster Care/Utilization Management Butler County Children’s Services
Mary Vierling, LSW, Adoption Supervisor, Butler County Children Services
Mary Vicario, Clinical Therapist, Trauma Specialist, St. Aloysius Orphanage

Bev Spevik, Pre-service Trainer

OCWTP and Insitute for Human Services

Darren Varnado, SW Ohio Regional Training Center Director

Betsy Smalley, Adoption and Foster Care Training Manager
Kelley Gruber, Training Coordinator, Institute for Human Services

Pam Ross, MBA, IHS Administrative Coordinator   

Butler County Children Services (Ohio) Launches Pilot Study on Trauma-Informed Assessment and Preparation of Adoptive Families

With great excitement a group of passionate social workers, trainers and therapists met at Butler County Children Services in Hamilton, Ohio on January 17th to launch the first of its kind – a two year pilot study project on trauma informed preparation of adoptive and foster families.

Partnering with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Institute for Human Services, evaluators from the University of Cincinnati and MSW interns from Wheelock College, the goals of this project are to examine just how foster and adoptive parents are assessed and prepared. A major question that will be explored is how to narrow the gap between the expectations of foster/adoptive parents and the reality of their experience in caring for a child with a history of trauma. We hope our findings will:

1. Assess foster parent retention and reasons for leaving the program (did inadequate training play a role in their leaving the program)

2. Assess the role of trauma informed assessment and preparation as it relates to foster/adoptive parent satisfaction

3. Assess placement stability of children – are they moving less because parents are more trauma-informed

4. To create an evidence-based trauma-informed preparation, pre-service and support model that can be used not only in Ohio, but throughout the US and also in the work of the Institute for Human Services overseas.

A full description of this project can be found under the trauma informed tab.

For more information about this pilot project:
Contact project coordinator – Jayne Schooler, or 937-689-0985