A recent $3,600 grant by the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation generated $800,000 in federal grant funding for the City of Manchester to provide services to children exposed to traumatic events.
The foundation funded a grant writer for the city to apply for funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to continue and expand its Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT).
The team is comprised of the Manchester Police Department, YWCA and the Manchester Community Health Center and it provides coordinated services for children exposed to traumatic events like domestic violence, drug overdoses and other crimes police respond to in which children are present.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded $150,000 over three years to seed the ACERT effort.
Lara Quiroga, director of strategic initiatives for children at Manchester Community Health Center, who is one of the initiators of ACERT, told the NH Union Leader that some of the new funding will go to train other first responders, such as firefighters and EMTs, to help children they encounter connect with services. The money will also pay for additional shifts for ACERT teams, she said.
Preventing and reducing childhood trauma is one of the five funding priorities of the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation.
“Responding effectively to the impact and results of childhood trauma within the context of larger systems such as families, caregivers, childserving agencies and the community as a whole can result in better outcomes for children” said foundation Program Director Patti Baum. “This is why we are interested in approaches like ACERT that are inclusive of children and their parents, caregivers, and the organizations that support them.”