Trauma-Informed Care Consortium of Central Texas

"Building a Community of Care  for Children, Families and Providers"

  February 2019 Newsletter
Table of Contents
Featured TICC Member Article- Teen Dating Violence
Featured Article- Supporting LGBT Survivors of Dating Violence
Next TICC Meeting
TICC Members
Spotlight on 
SAFE Alliance

The SAFE Alliance is a merger of Austin Children's Shelter and SafePlace, both long-standing and respected human service agencies in Austin serving the survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence.

Their mission is to Stop Abuse For Everyone, and their vision is a just and safe community free from violence and abuse.
An asset to the Austin community and TICC, the SAFE Alliance has programs in housing, healing, and support services as well as programs in prevention and community services. 

For a complete list of their programs and more information, visit:

Free Community Resource: 
STAR Health's 
"Think Trauma"

by Mary Armstrong, 
Senior Manager, 
STAR Health Foster Care Training
Superior Healthplan

Our five senses play an important role in how memories are structured. The warm sun on our skin on a beach holiday, the fragrant flowers we smell in a botanical garden; our senses are constantly forming and reforming connections attached to memories. Positive experiences build upon each other, and so feelings and thoughts form into beliefs about relationships, dreams, desires and possibilities. Collectively, these experiences impact our attachments and our resiliency, which in turn help us weather and persevere through strife or loss. 
When traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect and/or abandonment take place, the Texas Department of Child Protective Services works to get kids to safety and equips families to develop healthy family road maps. It is a tall order, but it is happening every day. Community partnerships, such as those built between Trauma Informed Care Consortium (TICC) members, are integral in this process.  Healing happens as a result of strategies and support systems that embolden clients to no relish new experiences and make sense of the past rather than feeling stuck. This includes developing healthy cognitions and attachments, and so forming new memories. 
The National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network ( ) has made the "Think Trauma" curriculum available through their learning center, and this curriculum does just what it says. It makes us "think" about trauma. The facilitator's manual states, "A trauma-informed youth- and family-service system is one in which all parties involved recognize and respond to the impact of traumatic stress on those who have contact with the system including youth, caregivers, and service providers. Programs and agencies within such a system infuse and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies. They act in collaboration with all those who are involved with the child, using the best available science, to facilitate and support the recovery and resiliency of the youth and family."    
When we think about trauma, we help children get well and stay well. Tuning into responses that reinforce healthy self-esteem, confidence and competence encourages youth to learn and experience they are unique, they are special, they are cared for and they are loved.  When we "think" about the memories being formed while care and treatment are taking place we set youth up for success.
Because trauma-informed care is an integrated experience, staff benefit also from improved self-care and better workplace memories. STAR Health's Professional Development Series now includes "Think Trauma" and is available for free at .
In future newsletters, we will provide information on "Road 2 Recovery," which the NCTSN developed to encourage trauma-informed care practices in treatment for youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Until then, sunshine, warm breezes and good memories. 
Marrow, M., Benamati, J., Decker, K., Griffin, D., and Lott, D. A. (2012). Think trauma: A training for staff in juvenile justice residential settings. Los Angeles, CA, and Durham, NC: National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. Facilitators manual; page 27.  

Upcoming Trainings
*Please check our website ( for on-going updates and additions to our trainings calendar!


Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) in Round Rock, Feb. 20, Feb 21. For information click here.

Stewards of Children: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in Austin, Feb. 22. For information click here.


Travis County Collaborative for Children Peer Support and Coaching in Austin, March 8, For information contact  brandirwinters@
Add TICC to Your 
List Serve
Please notify 
of any upcoming trainings 
your agency is holding in 
order to get them added 
to the website and newsletter!  
The Trauma-Informed Care Consortium is funded by:

St. David's Foundation
February is 
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Featured TICC Member Article
Teen Dating Violence

by Barri Rosenbluth, MSSW
Senior Director of the Expect Respect Program, SAFE Alliance

Teen dating violence---three words that go together 
more often than they should. In fact, February is 
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and 
Prevention Month. In Austin and across the U.S. young 
people are learning how to recognize and prevent 
dating violence in their own relationships and among
their friends. 
Like domestic violence, dating violence typically
involves a pattern of hurtful and controlling behaviors 
including physical abuse-hurting a partner by hitting, 
kicking, or using other kinds of physical force; sexual 
abuse-forcing a partner to have sex or sharing sexual 
images without consent; stalking-a pattern of unwanted 
attention that causes fear; and psychological abuse- 
verbal and non-verbal behavior intended to harm or 
control another person.

According to the CDC [i] , 69% of high school students dated in the past 12 months. Of these, over 9% of girls experienced physical abuse and nearly 11% experienced sexual abuse from a dating partner. Among boys, 6.5% reported experiencing physical abuse and nearly 3% reported sexual abuse from a dating partner. Sexual minority and questioning youth experienced higher rates of dating abuse than heterosexual peers. The risks for survivors include long term health and mental health consequences as well as increased risk for further victimization in college. [ii] Without intervention, young people who abuse others are at increased risk for committing more serious offenses over time.

Teens in abusive relationships are unlikely to consider themselves victims or perpetrators. Many of these behaviors are considered to be a normal part of a relationship, particularly for teens who have witnessed or experienced violence at home. Even among teens with healthy role models dating or having intimate relationships can be challenging and fraught with difficult emotions. The new roles of boyfriend or girlfriend are not well-defined and media portrayals of romance are not always the best guide. It's not hard to understand how desperate feelings of longing or extreme jealousy can erupt into violence or cause a young person to become possessive and controlling.

During this month and every month, talk with your teens about what makes a relationship healthy. Ask for their ideas and opinions. Listen to understand what they expect in a dating relationship, and what kind of partner they want to be. Notice how they interact with siblings and friends-these early relationships are the building blocks for future dating relationships-reinforce kindness, fairness and respect. Be the ultimate role model-treat them and other family members the way you want them to treat others and how you want them to be treated by their dating partner.

SAFE's Expect Respect Program provides school-based support groups, youth leadership and educational theatre programs, as well as training for teachers and parents in the Austin area. Our team of 14 counselors and educators reach over 15,000 people each year. In February we launched Consent Isn't Cheesy, a campaign to promote consent, not only for sex, but as the basis for all aspects of a healthy relationship. 

For more info on dating violence prevention and related resources see or visit our website at

[ii] Smith PH, White JW, Holland LJ. A longitudinal perspective on dating violence among adolescent and college-age women. American Journal of Public Health 2003; 93(7):1104-1109.
TICC Article
Supporting LGBT Survivors 
of Dating Violence
By Amanda Mills, LMSW
 Clinical Case Manager, 
Foundation Communities
Survivors of dating violence face many challenges to getting support and staying safe. Violence from a partner can affect academic and professional performance, self-esteem, and social relationships. Dating violence is not just a personal difficulty but also a public health issue that affects the wellbeing of families and communities. Unfortunately, LGBT+ individuals are disproportionately affected by dating violence and often experience additional barriers to getting help. The LGBT+ power and control wheel illustrates some of the unique challenges LGBT+ survivors face in maintaining their safety and wellbeing.

Along with physical and sexual violence, intimidation, and other forms of control, an abusive person in an LGBT+ relationship may threaten to "out" their partner or cut them off from their peer support or their community. These threats may put the survivor at risk of homelessness or family estrangement, especially if the survivor is also a teen or young adult. They may blame the abuse on their partner's gender identity or sexuality or use homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic language to hurt and isolate the survivor in person or online. Additionally, sources of support such as doctors, mental health professionals, shelter staff, or police officers may not be culturally responsive to LGBT+ issues. 

Experiencing dating violence like this can result in trauma and negative mental health outcomes. Survivors may experience panic attacks, substance use issues, depression, anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Moreover, survivors may feel isolated or struggle with meeting their basic needs for shelter, food, and clothing. However, there are factors that increase resiliency in LGBT+ survivors of abuse. These include having access to a social support network and being affirmed in their identities.

Organizations can help promote the safety and wellbeing of LGBT+ survivors of all ages by creating and posting non-discrimination policies, designating safe spaces for LGBT+ people to receive support and using visuals to mark these spacesĀ­, and providing staff training on supporting survivors of all sexualities and gender identities. Providers who work with LGBT+ youth can make it a point to discuss dating abuse and intimate partner violence with the individuals they serve, and work to spread awareness of student organizations and community resources that provide support to dating abuse survivors.

Additionally, services like counseling, case management, legal advocacy, and financial aid are also useful for LGBT+ survivors of dating abuse both during and after the abusive relationship. Creating a safety plan and identifying strategies for self-regulation may enhance a survivor's sense of security and wellbeing as well. No matter what stage a survivor is at in their process, it is always important to acknowledge their expertise in their situation and partner with them in choosing next steps towards safety. With this approach, service providers can empower LGBT+ survivors and avoid re-traumatizing them as they seek support. 

For more information on dating abuse, check out the following resources:
TICC Announcements

Please join TICC for our next quarterly meeting:

May 8 2019
Location: Lifeworks
Lunch will be provided

Please check for updates!
TICC listserv members will receive an RSVP link in the coming months. 

TICC  Members 
Seanna Crosbie
Austin Child Guidance Center
Renee Calder Encinias
Organizational Members
A World For Children - Keri Cooper, Megan Light
Any Baby Can - Jenny Baldwin
Armstrong Community Music School - Liz Cass, Sarah Beth Gooding
Asian Family Support Services of Austin - Evan Rathjen
Austin Achieve Public Schools - Kali Fagnant, Ashcon Habibi
Austin Child Guidance Center - Seanna Crosbie, Stephen Kolar, Andrea Ciceri, Chloe Picot-Jacobs
Austin Discovery School- Ellen Barg-Walkow Wilder, Kelly McRee
Austin ISD - Kathy Palomo, Kimberly Bird
Austin Oaks Hospital - Meg Haden, Angelica Reyes
Austin Shelter for Women and Children - Stacy Schwarz, Marisela Padilla
Austin Voices for Education and Youth - Julie Weeks, Louise Hanks
Behavioral Health Center of Nueces County - Victoria Huerta Rodriguez
Bell/Lampasas County CSCD - Katie Martin
Cardea Services- Lori Pelliccia, Vanessa Sarria
Care Options For Kids - Kevin Worwood
CASA of Travis Co.  - Catherine Jones, Elizabeth Throop
Casey Family Programs - Sarah Rees
Center for Child Protection - Nadia Castilla, Hannah Moore
Center for Survivors of Torture- Russ Adams, Sally Daguer
Child Inc.- Adriana Vasquez, Mary Dunlap
Communities in Schools of Central Texas - Kelly Smith, Kris Downing
Community Advancement Network (CAN) - Jelina Tunstill, Carlos Soto
CommunitySync- Suzanne Hershey
Dell Children's CARE Program- Heather Van Diest
Depelchin Children's Center - Aaron Oeser
Department of Family & Protective Services - Lisa Osborn
Eanes ISD and Westlake High School - Katie Bryant
East Austin College Prep- Sulamita Mora, Aleah Ruiz
Easter Seals Central Texas - Jennifer Ells, Liz Gonzalez
Education Service Center, Region 13- Darcy Schiller, Monica Kurtz
El Buen Samaritano - Patrick Harris, Debbie Del Valle
Family Service Association - Ron Flores
Foundation Communities- Tiffany Nicely-Williams, Amanda Mills
Georgetown Independent School District- Jennifer Ashman-Porter, Laura Roberton
Georgetown Psychological Services, PLLC - Amanda Johnson
Greater San Marcos Youth Council - Julia Ramsay New, Nena Meadows
Helping Hand Home - Micki Marquardt, Charalotte Crary
Integral Care - Bridget Speer, Melissa Acosta
Kids in a New Groove - Laura Wood, Sarah Wauters
KIPP Austin Collegiate High School - Natalie Riggins
LifeWorks - Rob Thurlow, Camille Clark
Literacy Coalition of Central Texas- Adam Benden, Ashlee Kraus
Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project- Glenaan O'Neil, Seve Kale
Mission Capital - Stephanie Shaw
NAMI Austin - Karen Ranus, Jessica Miller
Out Youth - Sarah Kapostasy, Summer Hough
Parent Representative - Andrea Melendez
Pathways Youth and Family Services - Keri Cooper
People's Community Clinic - Celina F. Nance, Leslee Perez
Pflugerville ISD - Vicky Esparza-Gregory
Phoenix House - Meredith Mullens, Sara Mounzer
Refugee Services of Texas - Erica Schmidt-Portnoy, Joanna Mendez
Round Rock ISD- Marcie McEachin, Annwen Stewart
SAFE Alliance - Liz Garbutt
Sage Recovery & Wellness Center - Angela Bowers
Samaritan Center - Gretchen Johnson Rees
Seedling Foundation - Falba Turner
Seton Healthcare Family - Angela Nguyen, Valerie Rosen
Southwest Key Programs - Johanna Cresswell Baez, Gladys Sanchez
Spirit Reins - Rhonda Smith
STARRY - Renee Cameron, Heather Riley
Superior Healthplan- Karen Rogers, Lorraine Martinez
Texas Association of Community Health Centers- Roxana Cruz, Aimee Rachel
Texas CASA - Sarah Crockett
Texas Family Voice Network - Barbara Granger
Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing - Shannon Mann-Butler, Beth Gerlach
Texas Network of Youth Services - Lara O'Toole, Christine Gendron
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid- Terry Secrest
The Austin Stone Counseling Center - Jason Kovacs, Andrew Dealy
The Christi Center- Erin Spalding
The Settlement Home - Jessica McKay, Michelle Spikes
Travis County Collaborative for Children - Katy Sauer, Stephanie Shaw
Travis County Health & Human Services & Veteran Services - Corie Cormie, Christinia Kuehn
United Way for Greater Austin - Shalyn Bravens, Thomas Trinh
University of Texas - University Charter School - Nicole Whetstone, Melissa Chavez
Upbring - Alissa Perez, Amy Knop-Narbutis
Williamson County Juvenile Services - Lynn Kessel, Amanda Brunson
Workforce Solutions Child Care Services- Michelle Crawford, Susan Helfeld
YWCA Greater Austin - Laura Gomez-Horton, Maya Amos
Newsletter Committee
Chloe Picot-Jacobs - Newsletter Liaison
Amanda Mills
Erin Spalding
Membership and Marketing Committee
Valerie Rosen and Joanna Mendez - Committee Liaisons
Sara Gideon, Valerie Fruge
Trauma Screening Committee
Andrea Ciceri - Committee Liaison
Micki Marquardt, Abigail Sharp, Jenny Baldwin, Camille Clark, Beth Gerlach, Dyann Avila, Lynn Kessel, Robyn Moyer, Vicky Esparza-Garza, Donna Shanor, Michelle Crawford, Susan Helfeld, Brenda Cazares
Website Committee
Stephen Kolar - Website Liaison
Candace Aylor