The Complex Trauma Treatment Network (CTTN) is a National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Center established in 2009 to develop, adapt and disseminate evidence-based practices for children and adolescents impacted by complex trauma. The CTTN provides intensive training and technical assistance to transform systems of care. Since its inception, the CTTN has served 25 Learning Communities (LCs) comprised of identified state and multi-county child service care across 7 geographic regions. LCs are comprised of identified state and multi-county child service care continua across six geographical regions: Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Southern Gulf Coast, Northeast, Caribbean Basin, and Pacific Southwest. Each LC participates in a needs and readiness assessment, followed by a regional training on complex trauma. Over the last ten years since the CTTN began, our faculty have provided over 4500 hours of training to almost 60,000 multidisciplinary providers: mental health, education, child welfare, law enforcement, juvenile justice, legislators, judges, clergy, DV/IPV and sexual assault advocates, health care and public health, as well as consumers across 45 U.S. states and territories. This initiative directly impacts over 100,000 children and families nationwide.
CTTN Project Goals Include:
-Transform state and multi-county systems of care serving children and families impacted by complex trauma.
-Address complex trauma service gaps in residential treatment centers, juvenile justice detention centers, shelters, and foster care, as well as for youth of color living amidst poverty and urban violence.
-Enhance graduate level social work education to cultivate a sustainable, complex-trauma informed provider workforce across the child services continuum.
-Increase national access to evidence-based practices for complex trauma: Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC), Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS), Trauma Affect Regulation: Guidelines for Education and Treatment (TARGET), Strengthening Family Coping Resources (SFCR), Think Trauma Toolkit and the NCTSN Core Concepts Curriculum.
-Expand regional, national, and virtual and Web-based dissemination of NCTSN and CTTN products and resources.
The CTTN operates through a highly efficient network with the NCTSN network design comprised of two National Coordinating Centers, the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute and Adelphi University, an Evaluation Center, Suffolk University, and three regional training hubs: University of Chicago, (Midwest); Anchorage Community Mental Health Services (Pacific Northwest); and Children’s Hospital of LA (Pacific Southwest). All CTTN sites are active or affiliate NCTSN TSA or CTS centers. CTTN Faculty members include leading scholars, treatment model developers, clinical researchers and senior trainers, practitioners and clinical supervisors in the field of complex trauma stress.
What is Complex Trauma?
The term complex trauma describes the dual problem of children’s exposure to traumatic events and the impact of this exposure on immediate and long-term outcomes. Complex traumatic exposure refers to children’s experiences of multiple traumatic events that occur within the caregiving system – the social environment that is supposed to be the source of safety and stability in a child’s life. Typically, complex trauma exposure refers to the simultaneous or sequential occurrences of child maltreatment—including emotional abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and witnessing domestic violence—that are chronic and begin in early childhood. Moreover, the initial traumatic experiences (e.g., parental neglect and emotional abuse) and the resulting emotional dysregulation, loss of a safe base, loss of direction, and inability to detect or respond to danger cues, often lead to subsequent trauma exposure (e.g., physical and sexual abuse, or community violence).
5 words to describe: system transformation, bridging science to practice, collaboration, perspective-shifting, educating/training