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Advances in neuroscience have enabled health providers and child welfare advocates to better understand the harmful impact of abuse, neglect and exposure to violence on children. However, there remains a substantial gap between knowledge and action. The Multiplying Connections project, led by the Health Federation of Philadelphia, is attempting to close this gap by training service providers about trauma and its impact on child development. The Steering Committee of this cross-system initiative developed a set of competencies that the workforce must have in order to deliver trauma-informed services, but there were gaps in available training opportunities for providers and advocates.
Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Sophia Hwang worked with Multiplying Connections to identify best practices and gaps in training opportunities that promote trauma-informed practice. Specifically, she mapped 26 individual courses offered to hundreds of children’s services professionals in Philadelphia. For each course, she developed an in-depth analysis of the existing trauma content with specific recommendations for how to increase and improve the content to more fully address trauma competencies. Sophia’s work helped to raise the visibility of Multiplying Connections and its core competencies both locally and nationally.