Berkeley-Dorchester Head Start
Head Start is a federally funded comprehensive program that provides early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Head Start program’s services and resources are designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children’s physical and emotional well-being, and establish a learning environment. The Head Start approach to school readiness enhances language and literacy, cognition, perceptual, motor, and physical development, social and emotional development, and approaches to learning to support children’s learning. The Head Start approach to school readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children’s learning and schools are ready for children. MVTS is proud to be the mental health consultant for Berkeley-Dorchester Head Start, providing consultation to staff, clinical assessment and therapeutic support services for children and families, parenting supports, parent-child groups, and training for staff on a variety of topics, including trauma’s impact on children and children’s behavior, how to create a trauma-sensitive learning environment, and recognizing and preventing vicarious trauma in staff.
Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI)
We are proud to call CTI our partner since our inception in 2010! CTI was founded in 1965 by a group of local leaders seeking to increase community economic opportunities and self-sufficiency. With the hard work and dedication of our staff supported by our dynamic Board of Directors and Executive Management and Senior Leadership teams, Community Teamwork continues to fulfill this purpose by providing direct services, collaborating with other public and private entities and by applying comprehensive strategies that help to address the complex issues of poverty. MVTS is proud to be CTI’s partner since our inception in 2010, providing consultation to staff in their early learning programs (Head Start, Early Head Start, and Family Child Care) and afterschool programs, clinical assessment and therapeutic support services for children and families, socialization skills groups, and training for staff on various subjects, including how to create trauma-sensitive learning environments, trauma’s impact on children, how to respond to young children’s sexualized behaviors, and recognizing and preventing vicarious trauma in staff.
Department of Children and Families (DCF)
A division of the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Children and Families (formerly the Department of Social Services) strives to protect children from abuse and neglect and, in partnership with families and communities, ensures that children are able to grow and thrive in a safe and nurturing environment. MVTS staff collaborate with DCF staff regarding the needs of children and families, and the specific therapeutic services they are receiving. DCF staff are always an important part of the therapeutic team and are involved in case collaboration and planning sessions with caregivers, as appropriate. MVTS had a contract to service all DCF offices, state-wide, providing trauma evaluations and trauma evaluation consultations.
Greater Lowell Health Alliance (GLHA)/Mental Health Task Force
The Greater Lowell Health Alliance of the Community Health Network Area 10 is comprised of healthcare providers, business leaders, educators, civic and community leaders with a common goal to help the Greater Lowell community identify and address its health and wellness priorities. Their mission is to sustain a strategic alliance of community organizations that improves the overall health and wellness of those living in the Greater Lowell Region. The group meets monthly and sponsors various events focused on educating the community on issues regarding mental health, awareness of issues impacting the timely provision of mental health services within the Greater Lowell community, and the need to develop trauma-sensitive work environments to recruit, retain, and sustain human service professionals doing this important work.
Lowell Community Health Center (LCHC)
Lowell Community Health Center’s mission is to provide caring, quality and culturally competent health services to the people of Greater Lowell, regardless of their financial status; to reduce health disparities and enhance the health of the Greater Lowell community; and to empower each individual to maximize their overall well being. MVTS has worked with the physicians, counselors, advocates, and staff of LCHC since our inception in 2010, providing consultation and counseling for children, adults, and families impacted by trauma, collaboration with Metta Health Center staff, and training for professionals through LCHC’s Community Health Education Center.
Lowell Public Schools
Lowell Public Schools is comprised of 24 elementary, middle, and high schools in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts. MVTS has partnered with LPS since 2015, providing consultation to schools regarding how to create and sustain trauma-sensitive learning environments, parent educational groups for refugees and other parents impacted by trauma, children’s socialization groups, and training for staff regarding trauma, its impact on students and their families, implementing strategies to support students who have experienced trauma, and ways to identify and prevent vicarious trauma in staff. In 2019, MVTS began its partnership with LPS through the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) grant, providing classroom and program observations, consultation to staff and administrators, training for preschool professionals, and clinical services to young children and their families.
New England Center for Healthy Minds
New England Center for Healthy Minds (formerly New England Center for Mental Health) is a premier psychiatric group of exceptional people providing extraordinary care. They are a unique, highly qualified and experienced mental health team dedicated to providing outstanding care for patients of all ages. Their collaborative approach focuses on promoting the understanding of mental illness and removal of the stigma associated with mental health. Their center strives to bridge the gaps in the current mental health system by facilitating easy access to quality care to children, adolescents, and families dealing with emotional and behavioral disorders. MVTS has partnered with New England Center for Mental Health since 2012, collaborating and consulting on cases, and working with their prescribers for medication evaluations and ongoing services for both child and adult consumers.
The Greater Lowell Trauma Advisory Group
This group’s mission was to create a trauma-sensitive community, to support and empower professionals, providers, schools, and clinicians who serve children and families impacted by trauma. Members of the group, mental health specialists, social workers, directors, child behavior specialists, nurses, child protective workers, crisis intervention specialists, case managers, advocates, and administrators, collaborated, supported, and educated one another on the impact of trauma. The group also discussed trauma intervention strategies for our clients and our patients, and ways to prevent vicarious trauma.
The Trauma Of…Roundtable Series took place from 2011 until 2014 and was sponsored by the Greater Lowell Trauma Advisory Group. To each roundtable, we invited community providers and consumers who were experts on the topic being presented. Participants who attended the event were able to share in the conversation and ask questions, in order to gain knowledge and share their experiences.
The goals of the roundtable were to:
1.) Provide a forum where information and resources can be shared regarding various types of trauma and their impact on specific populations,
2.) Talk about the challenges we face as both providers and consumers in order to identify gaps in service delivery, and
3) Collaborate and share the burden of the difficult work we do in order to possibly change the way we work with this population and continue to move forward despite all the challenges.
Notes that were taken during the event were used to create summary sheets, which captured information learned during the conversations. These sheets were then distributed throughout the community and also made available on the GLTAG webpage. See below for more information:
The Trauma Of…
Foster care immigration and refugees