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First Spouses Convene in Wisconsin to Discuss Trauma-Informed Care

We now know that childhood trauma changes the bodies and brains of children, and the way they approach life. Trauma, if left untreated, impacts physical and mental health, social connections, and even lifespan. Understanding what has happened in a person’s past, and helping them see the connection to their current behaviors, emotions, and health can be the first step to empower individuals to move from trauma to resiliency. Trauma-informed care changes the question from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

 With guidance from the USD Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment, and in partnership with The ACE Interface Program, Children’s Home Society (CHS) is launching an initiative to support trauma informed care through resilient communities. Funding for this initiative comes from the Department of Health, the Victims of Crime Act grant, and private donors.  Our goal is to begin a dialogue around the topic of trauma and create a shared language and understanding of effective responses to trauma. The exciting part? To start thinking about a united, yet community-customized approach to the integration of trauma informed care in communities all across South Dakota.  

 Last month, I was honored to be invited by First Lady Linda Daugaard to join her, along with Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon (Department of Health) and Virgena Wieseler (Child Protective Services Division Director) at the First Spouses (governors’ spouses) Convening in Wisconsin.  First Lady Tonette Walker (WI) has been a strong advocate for trauma informed care, working to prevent trauma and address adverse childhood experiences.  Setting out initially to make Wisconsin a trauma-informed state, she has now set her sights on the country.  The First Spouses Convening was an opportunity for First Spouses from across the country to come together around the topic of trauma to share, learn, and be inspired.  Click here to read more about this powerful event.  Upon return a stakeholders meeting was scheduled to  explore how South Dakota can become a trauma informed state.


Written by:

Tanya Fritz, Advocacy and Prevention Director

Children’s Home Society of South Dakota

The Child Advocacy Centers of South Dakota

CACSD is a network of Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first.

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