Q: What is the ultimate goal of the book Anna, Age Eight and your work in preventing childhood trauma? 

We envision a well-informed and vigilant public and a government response to the epidemic of trauma and maltreatment. We ultimately want to see public health and local governments investing in the prevention of childhood trauma the same way they invest in schools and police departments.

Imagine, for a moment, that your city has a Department of Family and Community Resilience. The Department’s mission is making sure that every community has the resources to be family-friendly and trauma-free. Until a city has that Department, there isn’t one local agency assessing the quality and quantify of vital family services like behavioral health care, medical care, parent support, youth mentors, safe shelter, transport, early childhood learning, family-centered schools), nor identifying and fixing gaps.

Childhood trauma will not be prevented by a few sporadic parent workshops, student lessons or a few posts on social media. The work required is long term, just as providing clean drinking water, safe roads and a well-resourced fire department are long-term commitments by the government.

Our community mobilizing and capacity-building program Resilience Leaders will serve as a “virtual” Department of Family and Community Resiliency until one is created. That’s the future we are committed to.