GREEN BAY – First Lady Tonette Walker met with Representative Mike Gallagher and the Brown County Child Abuse & Neglect Initiative today at the Boys and Girls Club in Green Bay to discuss the importance, effectiveness, and need for trauma-informed care. They also discussed House Resolution 443 (H. Res. 443), the first trauma-specific bill initiated in the House with bipartisan support. H. Res. 443 was introduced earlier this summer, on July 13.
“The effect trauma has on the lives of our children and families is significant and trauma-informed care works to change outcomes by changing the way we think about and respond to toxic stress,” First Lady Tonette Walker said. “That’s why House Resolution 443 is so important – it brings national attention to this very important issue and encourages agencies at the state and federal level to incorporate trauma-informed care principles into their existing programs. I’m incredibly grateful to Representative Mike Gallagher for his support of trauma-informed care and for being a strong voice nationally for children and families. It was great to meet with him today and discuss our next steps moving forward.”
H. Res. 443 recommends designating September as “National Trauma Awareness Month,” as well as a “National Trauma-Informed Awareness Day” within the month of September. This recommendation promotes national recognition of trauma-informed care and raises awareness about the nature and impact of trauma, the importance of prevention, the impact Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have on brain development, and the numerous benefits of trauma-informed care. It further encourages the use of trauma-informed care within existing federal government programs and agencies.
“I’m encouraged by the level of support my resolution on trauma-informed care has received, and I will continue advocating the vital role it plays in improving health outcomes for people across Wisconsin,” Representative Mike Gallagher said. “I’m proud to be a part of the larger effort, led by First Lady Tonette Walker, to push for wider use of trauma-informed care in order to help children, families, and adults overcome trauma and lead healthy lives.”
The First Lady will continue to work together with Representative Gallagher and Representative Davis of Illinois to bring H. Res. 443 to the floor as well as put together a federal trauma-informed caucus to bring further awareness on the importance of trauma-informed care and spur further action throughout the nation.
First Lady Tonette Walker also continues to promote trauma-informed care in Wisconsin through her Fostering Futures initiative. Fostering Futures, which launched in 2011, utilizes trauma-informed care to transform systems and raises awareness about the importance of better recognizing, understanding, and addressing the effects of trauma and toxic stress on the lives of children and families throughout Wisconsin and the nation.
Thanks to the First Lady’s efforts through Fostering Futures, six Wisconsin agencies, including the Department of Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Workforce Development, Department of Children and Families, Department of Corrections, and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are already implementing trauma-informed care principles within their interactions with each other as well as in the services they provide.