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Murray Introduces Children’s Recovery from Trauma Act

Feb 26 2013

In wake of recent tragedies, bill provides support for children and families affected by trauma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Children’s Recovery from Trauma Act to provide increased support for children and families affected by trauma and all those involved with their care. This bill includes a reauthorization and updates to the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI), which works with children and families who are exposed to a wide range of traumatic experiences including physical and sexual abuse; domestic, school, and community violence; natural disasters,  terrorism, or military family challenges; severe bereavement and loss; and life-threatening injury and illness.   

“As we have unfortunately witnessed too often in recent years, trauma involving children can happen at any time and in all parts of our country. The Children’s Trauma Recovery Act ensures our child trauma centers have the proper tools available to not only serve their day-to-day needs in treating child trauma, but also maintain absolute preparedness in the event of a national tragedy,” said Senator Murray. “By increasing support and raising the bar for the standard of care in our nation’s child trauma systems, we can all work to ease the burden on our children and their families as they face very difficult times.”    

"APA commends Senator Murray on the introduction of the Children's Trauma Recovery Act to reauthorize SAMHSA's National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative," said Norman B. Anderson, PhD., American Psychological Association CEO.  "This critical initiative has significantly raised the standard of care for our nation's children and families who have experienced traumatic stress.  APA urges Congress to promptly enact this important legislation."

NCTSI currently supports a national network of child trauma centers in forty-four states, including seventy-nine university, hospital, and community-based funded centers and ninety affiliate members. In addition to supporting everyday child trauma work, this network also mobilizes in response to national crises such as the shooting in Newtown, CT and Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. 

Specifically, the Children’s Recovery from Trauma Act authorizes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to:

  • Support a national collaborative network of child trauma centers, including: grants for university and hospital child trauma centers which are involved with intervention development and dissemination of evidence-based practices; grants for diverse community-based organizations which are involved with providing services to children and families affected by trauma; and a grant for the NCTSI coordinating center to organize the collaboration, training, and dissemination activities of all funded and Affiliate NCTSI members to maintain the NCTSI network and outreach infrastructure;
  • Include representatives of consumers and families on the NCTSI Advisory Board and as participants at all levels of NCTSI collaborative activities;
  • Support the analysis and reporting of the child outcome and other data collected by the NCTSI coordinating center to establish the effectiveness, implementation, and clinical utility of evidence-based treatment and services;
  • Support the continuum of interprofessional training initiatives in evidence-based and trauma-informed treatments, interventions, and practices offered to providers in all child-serving systems;
  • Support the collaboration of NCTSI, HHS, and other federal agencies in the dissemination of NCTSI evidence-based and trauma-informed interventions, treatments, products, and other resources to all child-serving systems and policymakers.

In addition to APA, the following groups have endorsed the Children's Trauma Recovery Act of 2013: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological Association, Futures Without Violence, National Children's Alliance, National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, Prevent Child Abuse America, Mental Health America and uFOSTERsuccess.

The reauthorization would increase the authorization from $50 million to $100 million annually through FY24.