CATEGORY: GOVERNMENT PROJECTS: STATE
Josh Green, Governor of Hawaiʻi
Source: KITV News
Read time: 1.3 minutes
Governor Josh Green signed Executive Order 24-01 on 2/20/24 to make Hawaiʻi a "trauma-informed state." This makes at least the seventh state to promote trauma-informed approaches across all state departments following Alaska, California, Delaware, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Who Did This?
Green, a Democrat, worked as a family practice and emergency room physician before becoming Lieutenant Governor of Hawaiʻi in 2018 and Governor in 2022.
During the COVID pandemic, Green stated that protestors against the vaccine were “people who don’t believe in science.” He said he was a lightning rod for protestors because he was outspoken in support for the vaccine and he was “a voice of reason on behalf of science.”
The executive order claims that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) studies have shown that ACEs cause problems with a person’s “health, opportunities, and stability throughout their lifetime.” By implementing a variety of so-called trauma-informed approaches, this will lead to better self-care, wellness, and resilience for state employees and communities.
In 2021, a Trauma-Informed Care Task Force was created in Hawaiʻi. In 2022, the Office of Wellness and Resilience was created. Tia Hartsock, who holds a masters in social work, was appointed the first Director of the Office in December 2022. These efforts led to the governor’s Executive Order 24-01. All executive state departments now fall under the purview of the Office of Wellness and Resilience. They must move towards becoming trauma-informed with activities and goals that are to be determined.
Each department must identify a Trauma-Informed Care Liaison. Additional activities may include administering surveys to employees about stress and health, trainings to educate staff on how ACEs causes health problems, teaching self-care to staff, and recommending new laws and policies for citizens.
There were few details in the executive order, but it did include one rather specific mandate: All state departments must use “trauma-responsive language that supports reducing the impacts of adverse events without re-traumatization in requests for proposals and in-service contracts with providers.”
It is unlikely that any meaningful outcomes will be achieved because the premise of ACEs as a causal agent of health problems has never been proven. Since Dr. Vincent Felitti’s initial 1998 ACE study, one hundred percent of the ACE studies have been cross-sectional studies, which have zero power to make causal conclusions. The relationship between adversity and health problems is far more complex than the simplistic ACE narrative. Also, there is no good evidence that implementation of a trauma-informed culture prevents ACEs, reduces stress, or improves meaningful outcomes.
Why Did This Happen?
Despite the lack of research evidence, these trauma-informed projects provide a strong sense for its supporters of doing something for the ills of societies. The advantages for politicians include that this provides another avenue for expansion of bureaucracy and for the administrative state to rule by science, and they get to decide what the science is.
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CATEGORY: GOVERNMENT PROJECTS: STATE
From left: Sen. Kimberly Lightford, Gov J.B. Pritzker, and Rep. Carol Ammons
Source: Mike Miletich, WAND
Read time: 1.9 minutes
The Illinois state legislature passed a law mandating the creation of a Child Adversity Index survey, training for teachers and school board members on trauma-informed practices, and a committee that will determine how data collection is rolled out.
The new law took effect January 1, 2024.
Who Did This?
The Illinois state legislature, led by the House sponsor, Carol Ammons (D), and Senate sponsor, Kimberly Lightford (D). Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) signed it into law.
The new mandates are based on the theory that exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) causes a host of medical illnesses and mental problems, including permanent changes to the brain, commission of crimes, poverty, poor learning, and a huge range of other disadvantages.
Activists believe that collecting data on ACEs and implementing trauma-informed practices will somehow either prevent ACEs or remediate the impact of ACEs.
The new Illinois law, Public Act 103-0413, essentially did six things.
(1) The Department of Education must create a Children’s Adversity Index for children 3 through 18 years of age by May 31, 2025.
(2) Days allowed for teacher training, called teacher institutes, must include instruction on trauma-informed practices and include this law’s definitions of trauma and trauma-responsive learning environments starting with the 2024-2025 school year.
(3) All school board members, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, must receive four hours training on trauma-informed practices, which may include the concept of implicit bias.
(4) In-service trainings that are required for teachers must now include trauma-informed practices, and may include the concept of implicit bias.
(5) Licensure for teachers will require demonstrated proficiency in ACEs, trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and creating trauma-responsive learning environments or communities by October 1, 2024.
(6) The Whole Child Task Force was charged with an array of tasks to codify how the child adversity index data will be collected and reported, and other related reforms needed to shift resources and procedures.
The research evidence does not support the premise of the ACE theory. Since Dr. Vincent Felitti’s initial 1998 ACE study, one hundred percent of the ACE studies that have been cited by activists are cross-sectional studies, which have zero power to make causal conclusions. It is almost certain that these efforts at data collection and training educators will not improve children’s well-being.
Why Is This Happening?
Activists have been relentlessly pushing the ACEs agenda for years, and are finally succeeding at passing state-wide laws. California was the first. The activism is based on the moral foundation of progressive liberals that care for the disadvantaged trumps other moral concerns (such as tradition, loyalty, patriotism, and liberty) and that human nature is almost completely molded by life experiences instead of genetics.
The task force shall reconvene by March 2027 to review progress. It is probably a foregone conclusion that these data collections and trainings are a prelude to the inevitable recommendation for expansion of new government social welfare entitlement programs to address ACEs.
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CATEGORY: GOVERNMENT PROJECTS: CITY/COUNTY
Eunice Lumsden, Professor of Child Advocacy, University of Northampton. Consultant on project.
Source: Alex Pope, BBC News
Read time: 1.5 minutes
A United Kingdom national government fund has awarded £195,111 (US $248,378) to a Northampton charity to treat trauma in children in order to prevent them from going into care or committing crimes. The project will run through April 2025.
Who is Doing This?
The National Lottery Community Fund is a government fund that raises money from lottery players. It is the largest community funder in the UK.
The recipient, Crysalys Foundation, will partner with the University of Northampton, including Professor Eunice Lumsden, and several other local programs.
The project seems based on the theory that trauma experiences can cause individuals to commit criminal acts. Under the postmodern trauma-informed model in which trauma can cause every type of dysfunction and disadvantage in life, treating trauma should therefore prevent crime.
There are no good data, however, to support that theory. Many studies have shown associations between trauma and criminal behavior but they are of weak quality, being cross-sectional in nature. Cross-sectional data could also support the more likely theory that genetic reasons account for some children to both more frequently commit criminal acts and experience trauma. Criminal behavior does not happen at random. Parents who commit crimes do so for largely genetic reasons (i.e., sociopathic traits, lack of empathy), and they pass their genes on to children who are then more likely to commit crimes. These parents are also more likely to raise children in settings where trauma exposures are more likely. Crime and trauma exposure co-occur, but neither causes the other. It is almost guaranteed that providing resources for trauma care will have no impact on children’s future criminal behavior.
According to a BBC report, “up to 25 young people and their families will be offered free interventions that will include one-to-one support, group work, mentoring, life skills and professional therapy.” The tiny sample size is underpowered to find any reliable causal effects.
Why Is This Happening?
The National Lottery Community Fund supports a range of projects to build healthier communities and individuals. The Crysalys Foundation is focused on providing resources to care for psychological trauma victims.
Details of the project are not yet available on the Community Fund website. We’ll keep checking and hope to report on the methods in the future. We‘ll be most interested in how the outcome of committing crimes is measured, and how the project is able to determine the cause of crimes.
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