The Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative (VCTC)
Vermont has taken significant steps over the last several years to improve trauma-informed services within the community mental health system. The VCTC is a project constructed to support these efforts as well as to improve trauma-informed care in the larger system of care. With the SAMHSA-funded award, the Vermont Department of Mental Health has collaborated with key stakeholders in the children’s mental health system of care, including public and private community mental health providers, to establish the Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative to implement a best practice called the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competencies (ARC) Framework in Vermont’s community mental health system.
The Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative is comprised of 12 community-based mental health treatment centers serving all regions of the state with the Vermont Department of Mental Health at its core. Three to six clinicians at each site form local ARC community treatment and service teams. The clinicians are participating in intensive training and consultation with the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Center in Massachusetts on the ARC Framework. The VCTC treatment services target children ages 3-18 and their families, who have experienced complex trauma. Moreover, the project will develop a train-the-trainers series for mental health providers and community partners to provide trauma trainings to community partners. At the end of the three year grant, there will be a culturally sensitive, trauma-informed interagency referral network structure in place to ensure Vermonters who have experienced complex trauma will have access to quality, effective trauma-informed services.
What is Complex Trauma?
Complex trauma is defined as chronic or multiple exposure to developmentally adverse victimization, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic and community violence, and impaired care-giving due to substance abuse or mental illness. Numerous articles about complex trauma can be found on the NCTSN and Trauma Center websites.