LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) was awarded a 3.5 million grant from the from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children & Families.
The grant will be used to train staff, parents and others who work with trauma in children from birth to 5-years-old.
“Young children in Arkansas are experiencing trauma at an alarming rate, and it is critically important that we train early childhood staff and others to help children process and overcome these traumas,” said DCCECE Director Tonya Williams.”
“The early years are a crucial time in childhood development. The more we can to do help these children early in life, the more likely they will have improved outcomes in school and life,” said Williams.
DCCECE receives the first round of funding for the grant in 2019 and will use the money to help streamline the work in Arkansas on “adverse childhood experiences,” which include abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction (alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, mental illness), said the division.
Through the grant, DCCECE will educate people on understanding trauma, including the long-term health outcomes of those who experience long-term toxic stress.
The division says that they will use the grant to engage others working in the agency, collaborating with partners, and examining existing programs to ensure children have the best start in life.