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Caitlin O'Brien | Monday, April 30, 2018 - 10:39am

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The fire that destroyed her dad’s third-floor apartment is the scariest thing that’s ever happened to 8-year-old Dakota Johnson. It was five-thirty in the morning. Someone on the first floor of the building had fallen asleep smoking. Dakota and her dad, Kenneth Johnson, woke up to the sound of the fire alarm. First it seemed like it might be just a small blaze, but when Johnson opened the door to the apartment, smoke and soot rushed in. Dakota was too scared to crawl out into the hallway, so...
Caitlin O'Brien | Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 1:13pm

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Children's Crisis Treatment Center, a leader in the Philadelphia ACE Task Force and trauma-informed movement, unveiled a powerful new mural which highlights their approach to providing trauma-informed therapeutic services for children and families. A fanciful and colorful vision now adorns a Philadelphia office building, but its message is intended to bring more awareness to the serious issue of childhood trauma. Mural Arts Philadelphia and the city’s behavioral health department Tuesday...
Caitlin O'Brien | Friday, April 6, 2018 - 10:43am

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Philadelphia’s newly minted district attorney, Larry Krasner, was meeting constituents in a packed church in West Philadelphia earlier this month to discuss his plans for the job. The meeting was unique in that it quickly revealed to community members what local civic leaders and officials have already learned about Krasner: He is making good on his promise to revolutionize the job of district attorney and, in the process, offering an extraordinary experiment in criminal justice reform at...
Caitlin O'Brien | Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 3:43pm

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The City of Philadelphia will begin testing trauma-informed facilities as an alternative to holding cells for arrested youth. Those facilities, which will be “child-centered” and “service-oriented,” will be funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Mayors Challenge . Philadelphia’s city-led social enterprise incubator FastFWD was funded by way of the Mayors Challenge in 2013 . The 35 finalists for the 2018 challenge have received grants of “up to $100,000” to test public prototypes of their...
Jeanne Felter | Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - 10:57am

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A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry is shedding light on intergenerational trauma, adding to the growing body of evidence that the impact of trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next. While the research stems from Scandinavia more than 75 years ago, it has critically important implications for Philadelphia, a city challenged by high rates of deep poverty and violence, contributing to trauma exposure among its residents. During World War II, tens of thousands of children...
Caitlin O'Brien | Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 9:55am

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On Monday night, Drexel University’s Creese Student Center was the site of the second roundtable discussion in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro ’s ongoing series on college campus safety. Shapiro launched the initiative in August with the broad goal of preventing drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, and tragedies stemming from mental health issues on the campuses of colleges and universities statewide. “When parents take their kids to college and drive off in their minivans, of...
Caitlin O'Brien | Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 9:50am

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CECIL B. MOORE >> Trauma has a way of changing the brain. With much new research on how one gets traumatized, how trauma is passed down from one generation to the next and the consequences for children who experience it, all can seem like gloom and doom. That is where the Our Kids are Not Broken: Empowering the Traumatized Youth event came in. This was a three-hour session held at the Gesu School, 1700 W. Thompson St., Friday, Nov. 3. The focus of the event was to discuss ways to...
Caitlin O'Brien | Friday, November 10, 2017 - 10:52am

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Two of Philadelphia's departments could be easier to navigate soon. The Office of Homeless Services and the Department of Revenue are the first departments selected to participate in the PHL Participatory Design Lab , a concept born from a $338,000 Knight Foundation Cities Challenge grant with the hope of enabling Philadelphians to help design better city services. The 18-month initiative includes a roaming, participatory city design lab that goes to different neighborhoods to garner ideas.
Caitlin O'Brien | Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 1:56pm

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CALOUA LOWE BOUNDS up the rickety, worn staircase of a three-story, red brick building in Camden, New Jersey on a sunny September morning, the wooden steps creaking under the pressure of her red-sandaled feet. The walls display framed, Photoshopped images: a mockup of Vogue, album covers featuring young men standing shoulder to shoulder with rap legends like Jay-Z. They were designed by the roughly 1,200 youths who, like Lowe, have come here over the years to learn Photoshop, HTML,...
Caitlin O'Brien | Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 11:25am
On Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, Academic Pediatrics released a special issue highlighting a comprehensive research and policy agenda for addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and promoting well-being. The issue features an article, Developing a Community-Wide Initiative to Address Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress: A Case Study of The Philadelphia ACE Task Force." Authored by the Task Force's three co-chairs, Lee Pachter (lead), Sandra Bloom, and Joel Fein, along with staff...

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