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.
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: http://grscan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/VA-TICNs-list.pdf