Wisconsin Public Television

Series: Trauma-Informed Care In Wisconsin

Many Wisconsinites have experienced traumas in childhood, but their effects are not universal, nor are their burdens evenly distributed among the state's different communities. Depending on the individual, trauma can have a lifelong impact, affecting behavior, relationships and physical, emotional and mental health. The burden of childhood trauma and the toll it takes on individual lives and public health is attracting more attention by health professionals, educators and caregivers. As a result, public and private organizations around the state are incorporating trauma-informed approaches into their daily work with children and adults. These approaches are part of efforts to transform Wisconsin's human services and justice systems in the hope of providing better outcomes for traumatized individuals and communities.
A Wisconsin pediatrician is recommending closer attention be paid to what appears to be the slightest injuries on very small children.
Trauma-informed care has been a key policy push in the state and has drawn international attention. Norwegian officials toured a Madison school that incorporates trauma-informed care into their curriculum.
While poverty has long been thought of as an economic problem, officials in Milwaukee are starting to examine the issue through the lens of public health, and refocusing on the health and societal outcomes poverty can have.
Years of misconduct and mismanagement are forcing Wisconsin to make some concrete decisions about how juvenile inmates are treated.
More children and families may receive counseling in response to exposure to gun violence and other trauma as a Milwaukee program expands.
In a break from tradition, Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker spoke for a few minutes during Gov. Scott Walker's State of the State address to promote an initiative that provides "trauma-informed care" to children across the state.
Trauma-informed care helps those who work with children consider each individual's background and experiences, which for many include some sort of traumatic experience. Fostering Futures is an initiative to promote the approach in schools and elsewhere.
Wisconsin's first Healthy Infants Court is being created in Milwaukee County in part because of studies that show repeated childhood trauma can lead to problems later in life.