Trauma Informed Community Networks (TICNs)

The Covid-19 public health crisis highlighted health and economic disparities throughout Virginia and beyond. We know that even before the pandemic and large increase in inflation, one unexpected expense could cause a critical crisis for vulnerable families. This is particularly true for those who have experienced trauma caused by family violence.

The FACT Board of Trustees understands the interconnection of poverty and trauma and how it is more important than ever to support families in whatever way possible. That is why they established the FACT Emergency Fund in 2020. FACT recognizes that there has been substantial financial support provided by the federal government to states and localities to meet some of these needs, however those funds are restricted to specific issues like housing and food.

The FACT Emergency Fund previously allowed established Trauma Informed Community Networks (TICNs)* to apply for small financial awards to be distributed to families for the many financial crises that don’t qualify for government support. These funds have been critical to our communities across Virginia. They go towards many of the unexpected expenses families who live paycheck to paycheck face, that have increased during this public health crisis. We know that having to choose between covering the cost of a car or critical home repair, or paying a fee and expenses so your child can participate in an afterschool activity, can place a significant level of stress on families who are already struggling to survive. These funds can help to increase the resiliency for some of these families in Virginia.

Due to funding made available to TICNs through the American Rescue Plan Act through the Virginia Department of Social Services, FACT has shifted this project towards domestic violence programs, homelessness intervention programs, and Court Service Units. This expansion will allow more families across Virginia to receive this crucial funds. We are incredibly thankful for the TICNs who helped to shape the Emergency Funds Project into a vital program for Virginians. Below are some examples of ways that TICNs were able to help families through this program.

“One client who was assisted with these funds had a car payment that she needed assistance with. She was working a part-time job and had a new baby. She needed to get back and forth to her job and to the babysitter. Her husband was paying her car payment and he was arrested for domestic violence. Her husband knew by not paying her car payment, her car would be repossessed, and she would lose the only source of income that she had and would have to go back to him for support. By paying her car note, it allowed this client to continue her independence and be able to continue with her employment to be able to take care of herself and her young child.”

– Resilience Alexandria: Inform. Support. Elevate. (RAISE)

“The typical utility and rent payments kept families together and safely housed during one of the most severe housing crisis than we have seen. Reimbursement for elusive specialty baby formula during the formula shortage had staff and board members searching store from the Northern Neck to Eastern North Carolina relieved many an anxious mother and filled babies bellies. Gift cards for emergency food for a homeless family, gas gift cards for parents to get back and forth to CHKD to be with their ill child and simply paying the rent on a mailbox to ensure that SSI checks were received all had a tremendous impact of families.

Funds from this mini grant also allowed a mother to access medical care for her children. Ms. G , mother of three children under age 7 was unable to take her children to the pediatrician due an outstanding bill that the family incurred during a lapse in coverage. The pediatric practice refused serve even though the family was covered by Medicaid until the bill was paid. The family lives in a very rural area and this is the only practice within 50 miles. Dependent on relatives to take her to her appointments, Ms. G could not switch providers. Paying off $236.00 allowed her to access care for her children.”

Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Community Network

Existing Trauma-Informed Networks in Virginia

Curious to find your closest TICN? Find an up to date list for Virginia here.

FACT’s Framework for Building and Maintaining a Trauma-Informed Community Network

Throughout Virginia, there are more than twenty communities coming together across sectors to address health, safety, and equity. Many of these efforts are organizing as trauma-informed community networks (TICNs) – defined by Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities as a “group of residents and organizations or entities representing diverse perspectives across neighborhoods and sectors in a geographically-defined community that are leveraging the science of adverse childhood experiences and trauma to build relationships, convene regularly, and advance a common agenda around resilience.”  This document outlines key elements to guide cross-sector coordination and collaboration to build and maintain TICNs.

This framework will inform grant funding decisions and technical assistance provided by FACT, but is also intended to serve as a suggested model for emerging and existing TICNs as this movement evolves across the Commonwealth.

Download the Framework here.

Download talking points about the importance of Trauma Informed Community Networks, Building a Resilient Virginia here 

Download the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) Logic Model Example here

*Greater Richmond SCAN identified Trauma Informed Care Networks:

Revised 07/2023