Foster care refers to the system within a state that cares for minor children when it has been deemed by the court and a child protection agency that the minor’s parents are unable to properly care for them. Many of these children have been abused or neglected – all forms of trauma. Often for children, entering the foster care system further traumatizes them. Brothers and sisters may be separated, compounding the trauma even more. Research and science tell us that unresolved childhood trauma is the leading cause of many mental, emotional and physical diseases that can last a lifetime. The only way to change the unacceptable outcomes seen in children of today’s foster care system is to heal early childhood trauma – the very heart of our project and collaboration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. What distinguishes the All Star Children’s Foundation’s programs and services is a comprehensive focus on trauma.
Brain Science Research. What we know:
- Childhood trauma negatively alters brain development.
- Brain plasticity allows for healing if properly treated.
- Positive results have been achieved with trauma-informed therapies and care.
- Loving and nurturing relationships are critical for social and emotional development.
To accomplish its mission of creating a safe place for children to heal from childhood trauma, All Star will offer the following programs:
Trauma Treatment Outpatient Program
All Star’s clinical services will be provided by licensed mental health therapists with a minimum of a Master’s Degree in counseling who have extensive experience working with children. They will hold a certification in at least one form of trauma-focused therapy training such as: Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency Therapy or Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. All Star’s clinicians will work with children at the outpatient clinic and will have mobile teams to deliver care in the home setting. A pediatric psychiatrist will be on contract to provide psychiatric assessments and treatment as needed.
Foster Family Home Program
The campus will include 6 single family, licensed foster homes. Each home will be licensed for up to 5 children and will be comprised of two foster parents and a nanny. Foster parents will be licensed according to state requirements and will be required to complete training on the foundation of trauma, recognizing and responding to trauma in children and trauma-informed parenting. Each child residing on campus will receive trauma-informed clinical therapy from an All Star therapist.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Research Program
All Star Children’s Foundation has collaborated with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for the study of outcomes in treating trauma in children using the latest in evidenced-based trauma therapy. Children receiving services from All Star, will be subject to this study once all legal releases are obtained. The team of scientists will develop the measurement tools, collect the data and conduct research on the effectiveness and efficacy of the trauma treatment based on age, development and individual symptoms. The goal is to establish the most effective means of treating trauma in children in the child welfare system and to ultimately change the trajectory of their current poor outcomes.
The campus will include other activities to promote children’s overall well-being of the mind and body (art, music, and pet therapies are examples). There are times when traditional therapy is not the best or only method to use when trying to heal emotional pain. We are mindful that children absorb and process information individually and in their own time.