Home » Blog » November PATHH Newsletter

November PATHH Newsletter

Click each link to jump to a specific section of the newsletter.

Happy Friday the 13th! Here’s to hoping you’ve been lucky thus far, no black cats crossing paths.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first iteration of the PATHH Collaborative Newsletter. The PATHH Collaboration began in 2010 with the goal of forming a community of agencies and mental health clinicians dedicated to improving access and quality of services for child survivors of sexual abuse and their families. Over the years, we’ve work to create a space for clinicians to share knowledge, connect and find support, We hope this newsletter serves as an extension of the PATHH Learning Community and another space to share, learn and celebrate together.

Our next PATHH training will be on November 20, 9:30am-1:00pm CST. If you are a clinician at a PATHH agency and would like to join our Learning Community, please register here.

Upcoming Trainings and Clinician Resources

Upcoming PATHH Trainings

  • November 20, 9:30am-1:00pm
    Dr. Jon Ebert, Psy. D: Components for Enhancing Clinician Engagement and Reducing Trauma (CE-CERT). Go here to register.
  • December 18, 9:30am-1:00pm 
    Dr. Jon Ebert, Psy. D: Clinical Applications of the ARC Model. We will be using ARC Treatment Book 2nd Edition: Blaustein, M. & Kinniburgh, K. (2018).  Treating traumatic stress in children and adolescents: How to foster resilience through attachment, self-regulation, and competency, Second Edition.  New York: Guilford Press.
  • January 22, 9:30am-1:00pm
    Topic TBD

Other Resources
To request a training on the Crime Victim Compensation Program (discussed below) for your agency, contact the Attorney General’s Office via AVN Coordinator/Outreach Specialist Kimberly Murray at kmurray@atg.state.il.us.

Family Resources

The ChicagoCAC Hope and Healing Group offers children ages 8-12 and caregivers information on healing from the crisis of sexual abuse and hope to heal as a family. Families can choose the dates that work best and drop-in at any time. These groups are held weekly on Zoom, Wednesdays 6:00–7:30pm. Call Courtney Bunn at (312) 492-3675 for more information.

Upcoming Hope and Healing Group Topics:
November 4 – Common Reactions to Stress or Trauma
November 11 – Feelings Identification
November 18 – Relaxation and Problem Solving
November 25 – Positive Behavior Management
December 2 – Coping and Stress Management
December 9 – Preparing for the Future

ChicagoCAC also offers the Caregiver Support Group, a weekly-drop in support group for non-offending caregivers of children who have experienced sexual abuse. This group is held weekly on Zoom, Thursdays from 5:00-6:00. Call Portia Patillo at (312) 492-3705 for more information.

Advocacy News: Illinois Crime Victim’s Compensation Program and Title IX Changes

This month’s edition of the PATHH Newsletter includes two important advocacy issues we’d like to bring more awareness to for the clients we see. 

Crime Victim Compensation Program

The Crime Victim Compensation Program, offered nationally through State Attorney Generals, helps individuals and families who have reported a violent crime to law enforcement and need financial assistance related to the effects of that crime. Under CVCP, clients can apply for financial assistance with: medical, hospital, dental, counseling and transportation expenses, loss of earnings, accessibility, tuition loss, relocation costs, crime scene cleanup, replacement costs, replacement service loss, funeral and burial expenses, loss of support, and dependent replacement service loss. Our clients can greatly benefit from this program, but it can be difficult to navigate and understand how to apply, the exceptions to this program, and when those funds are provided. For more in-depth information read on here:

In general, to receive the benefit in Illinois, the client must be a victim of a crime that happened in Illinois, have reported the crime/filed for an Order of Protection, cooperated with the police/courts/CVCP, file the claim within 2 years of the crime, and not be involved in illegal activity that caused the crime to happen—though some differences apply when the victim is a minor. This program largely covers all of the crimes our families have survived, such as: sexual assault, sexual abuse, human trafficking, being the parent/sibling of a survivor, witness to violence, kidnapping, domestic violence, and more. Thankfully, the time frame in which one needs to report to the police does not start until parents become aware of the incident, especially considering many children do not report right away. A parent must apply for funds within 2 years after becoming aware of the crime. It is important to note, these funds provide reimbursement and not upfront funding, with a maximum of $27,000 regardless of having and/or using insurance benefits or not. Families that are undocumented can apply for CVCP funds.

For additional FAQs, you can check out these resources from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s website, including:

  • An instructional video in English and in Spanish for applying for CVCP
  • Written instructions in English, Spanish, and Polish
  • Crime Victim Compensation FAQs in English, Spanish, and Polish
  • Crime Victim Compensation FAQs asked by Domestic Violence Survivors in English, Spanish, and Polish
  • Crime Victim Compensation FAQs asked by Sexual Assault Survivors in English, Spanish, and Polish
  • Crime Victim Compensation FAQs asked by Relatives of Deceased Victims in English, Spanish, and Polish

If there are any questions when completing the application, you can contact the Attorney General’s office at CVA@atg.state.il.us and 1-800-228-3368 for assistance.

Title IX 2020 Changes

Title IX is a federal law that protects students from discrimination on the basis of sex in school programs and activities for schools receiving federal financial assistance. For many years, this law has protected students and provided reasonable accommodations for those who have experienced discrimination or gender based violence and reported it to their school. Unfortunately, many of these protections were weakened under the current federal administration and went into effect August 14, 2020, just in time for a new school year of remote learning to begin in many places across the country—including Chicago Public Schools. These new and weaker policies may be harmful to student survivors so they are essential to understand. For more information, please reach out to Julia Strehlow at jstrehlow@chicagocac.org or the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation at caase.org.

Some of the new changes included:

  • Accommodations cannot favor the survivor over the respondent (this is the word the law uses for the student alleged to have caused the harm).
  • The definition of harassment/abuse is at a higher threshold now. It states that the conduct must be “so severe, pervasive, AND objectively offensive” that it impacts the survivors equal access to educational programming or activities. Schools now have the option to have this higher threshold for proof which makes it less likely that some claims will result in accommodations for the survivor.
  • Schools now must dismiss complaints that did not occur on school property or during school activities. Previously it was common practice to investigate any complaints, on or off school property.
  • Schools were previously encouraged to “start by believing” and now will be required to “assume no harassment occurred” as they proceed with an investigation.
  • Schools previously were prohibited from using mediation. Now, schools have the option to use mediation to resolve any complaint of student-on-student sexual harassment. This is important because it affects even K-12 students and live mediation for survivors can be a triggering and traumatizing experience, possibly discouraging survivors from pursuing claims in the first place if they know they must face the respondent.
  • Previously, schools were allowed to continue to investigate a complaint even after the survivor was no longer a student there; however, now schools are prohibited from continuing these types of investigations. This includes alum that report after graduation or students who have transferred.
  • Schools are now allowed to dismiss complaints, even during a pending investigation or hearing, if the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed there.

For more on this changes, you can review this fact sheet from the National Women’s Law Center.

Agency Highlight: Lurie Children’s Hospital

This month’s PATHH agency highlight is the Trauma Treatment Service (TTS) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago! TTS has been a long time PATHH partner and has just had their first patient in the new Forensic Assessment for Immigrant Relief (FAIR) Clinic. For assistance making external referrals for services, please contact Resource Coordinator Monica Pacheco at 312-227-0859. For Clinical assistance or referrals, please contact Clinical Coordinator Megan Lerner, LCSW at 312-227-8323. For families that need assistance, please give them 800-KIDS-DOC as a contact number.

TTS is a multidisciplinary team that works to provide comprehensive, evidence-based, holistic interventions to patients and families who have experienced violence and trauma. This can include, but is not limited to, people who have been direct victims of (or witnessed) homicide, gun violence, interpersonal and domestic violence, sexual violence, robbery, or assault, as well as medical trauma, or accidents. TTS supports children and adolescents (ages 0-18) who have mental health challenges following an exposure to one or more traumatic events. While the child or adolescent is their primary client, parents and caregivers are directly involved in all of the treatment. They serve families insured by most Medicaid plans as well as those with private insurance. TTS provides individual, group and family therapy, resource connection and coordination as well as medication management on an outpatient basis. TTS also works directly with the intensive services offered in the department including Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and the Inpatient Unit (IPU). Families can be served at any one of our three locations and have access to a Child Life Specialist to help in the clinical and if necessary medical setting. The team has providers and trainees who are qualified to utilize the following evidence based modalities for treatment.

TTS has been a long time PATHH partner. They have enjoyed the on-going learning and collaboration of services. Due to the ongoing pandemic, TTS is working through a hybrid model of care and providing telemedicine through a platform called Starleaf. Depending on the family’s need and/or preference, some services can be in person, such as the IOP and PHP as long as the children do not demonstrate aggression to others. They are currently seeing more families than prior to the pandemic, and is still up for determination as to why.

The team has both a Resource Coordinator who can work with providers and families to make referrals externally to various services such as food, housing or other mental health providers. Her name is Monica Pacheco and she can be reached at 312-227-0859.

For any clinical questions or to make a specific referral for a family, providers can call the Clinical Coordinator Megan Lerner, LCSW at 312-227-8323. Please do not give this number directly to families. After a provider connects with this worker she can work with you to best reach out to the family.

Any who is interested in services at Lurie Children’s Hospital, specifically on the Trauma Treatment Service can call 800-KIDS-DOC and ask to be seen by TTS in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

TTS just had their first patient in the Forensic Assessment for Immigrant Relief (FAIR) Clinic. The FAIR Clinic is a staff-run clinic dedicated to providing forensic medical and psychological evaluations free of charge to child and adolescent survivors of torture, persecution, or other human rights abuses who are seeking asylum in the United States. The FAIR Clinic is the only one of its kind in Illinois to specialize in pediatric populations.

September/October Training Highlights

September: Part 3 of the Trauma-Informed Care with Racially Segregated Communities Series by Worsham El, LCSW, CFTP, from Lotus Trauma Care, LLC

The September PATHH Training was a continuation of the series on historical trauma. Historical trauma involves colonial injury, collective experience, cumulative effects, and finally cross-generational impact of injury. In this session participants focused on how advocacy can promote the integrity of physical, social, moral, and mental/psychological safety. We also considered the Polyvagal Theory of the human stress response system. This session helped to prepare participants to offer clients trauma-informed care including historical trauma contexts. The group discussed how we can provide psycho-education and behavioral management skills to prepare clients for threats as well as the importance to notice our own stress responses when working with clients. Finally, participants worked in groups to examine case study examples.

Suggested Readings:

  • Polyvagal Theory: Porges S. W. (2009). The polyvagal theory: new insights into adaptive reactions of the autonomic nervous system. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 76 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), S86–S90. https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.76.s2.17
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Menakem, R. (2017). My grandmother’s hands. Central Recovery Press.
  • Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: Leary, Joy DeGruy. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome : America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. Milwaukie, Oregon: Uptone Press, 2005.
  • White Fragility: DiAngelo, Robin J. White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018.
  • Sandra Bloom’s Sanctuary Model: http://www.sanctuaryweb.com/TheSanctuaryModel.aspx 

October: Treating ADHD/ADD in Children and Adolescents: Solutions for Parents and Clinicians by Gene Carroccia, Psy. D.

This training was a part 2 of Dr. Carroccia’s book of the same title. Dr. Carroccia focused largely on how ADHD is not necessarily a psychological disorder, but a neurobiological disorder that impacts brain functioning rather than an affective or mood condition.

ADHD is a condition with deficiencies in dopamine, norepinephrine, and other networks of brain structures that may be imbalanced causing over- and under-activation and development of various brain structures. Many symptoms for ADHD can be summed up by these impacts: motivation, performance, boredom, organization, frustration, self-control, time, poor self-awareness, and social functioning. He highlighted the importance of evaluating clients with trauma for ADHD symptoms, and vice versa, as these can impact each other exponentially as well as utilizing cultural inclusive and relevant questions for evaluation.

Dr. Carroccia focused on the importance of acceptance when trying to effectively treat ADHD. Some parents may be grieving around issues concerning ADHD that keeps them from acceptance. Clinicians can encourage parents to take on a disability perspective by accepting problems and limitations while also focusing on what they can do to help improve symptoms of ADHD. Often, parents may feel out of control when their child has been diagnosed with ADHD. When parents focus on what they can control, such as their own attitudes and behaviors, it becomes much easier to accept and manage the things they do not have control over.

Parents are encourage to use effective behavior management methods and can seek assistance with these through ADHD coaching or with parent behavioral management training. These methods use consequences and rewards to encourage desired behavior, creates predictable expectations and routines, and provides consistent and calm consequences. A common method is the “NAC,” to Notice, Accept, and Cope. Dr. Carroccia encourages parents to “stop talking, stop getting emotional” and utilize healthy detachment when feeling dysregulated. The best way to address this dysregulation is to help prevent it in the first place through increased self-care and addressing parental stresses. After caregivers feel in control, they can work on addressing common issues with ADHD, such as sleep problems, sleep hygiene, staying on top of homework, teaching and using emotional management skills, increasing communication with school staff, advocating for IEPs and 504 plans, and more. He encourages parents to inform teachers early on in the school year about their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Medications can help, but there are also approaches such as changes in diet, using more time outside and away from screens, increased physical activity, and monitored neurofeedback. Overall, Dr. Carrocia pushes for self-care, behavior management methods, and natural treatments combined with medication as needed.

Data Updates: Impact of COVID-19 on ChicagoCAC Services

For this iteration of the PATHH newsletter, we wanted to show specifically how we’ve been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Below you’ll see figure 1 outlining services for 2020 since March when the pandemic began, figure 2 showing how Allegations and FA services have been affected comparing to 2019, and figure 3 showing how referrals to CWL and how linkage to PATHH was affected comparing to 2019.

If you have any upcoming trainings, group information, outside referral information, or the Agency Spotlight that you would like us to have/share, please send it to kberggren@chicagocac.org. We’re excited for this newsletter and appreciate any feedback to make the future newsletters better!

Scroll to Top
Leave Site