March 22, 2018, 2:45 p.m.

Southmountain staff strengthens its' service with superior training

One of the goals of Southmountain Children and Family Services is to provide evidence-based treatment for children and families to help them heal from the trauma caused by abuse, neglect, family/community violence, or other traumatic loss. It is important that the treatment we provide is “evidence-based”, meaning that research has been done to demonstrate that the treatment will produce the desired outcome. In order to accomplish this, the staff from the Center of Excellence, the Children’s Advocacy Centers and the Foster Community must receive on-going training in treatment models so we can provide best practices treatment for children and families.

Many of our staff are currently participating in training in evidence-based treatment models. Two staff from Southmountain Estates recently began the intensive Training in Adoption Competency (TAC) provided through the Catawba County Department of Social Services. TAC is a post-Master’s curriculum designed by national adoption experts whereby TAC students master 18 areas of knowledge, values and skills that are critical to providing adoption-competent mental health services.

In March, two newly hired therapists began their training in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT). All children served at the Children’s Advocacy Centers and the Foster Community who experienced a traumatic event are offered a comprehensive trauma assessment to determine if a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis or trauma symptoms are present. If the trauma assessment yields evidence of significant trauma symptoms or a PTSD diagnosis, then the child is offered TF-CBT. TF-CBT is considered the “gold standard” in evidence-based treatment for children who have experienced a traumatic event. TF-CBT uses a psychoeducational model and the Clinician guides the victim through the therapy process. Also in March, the Family Advocates assigned to each of our Children’s Advocacy Centers participated in a week long Victim Advocacy Academy.

In addition, Southmountain administrators provide training for other professionals in the foster care and mental health fields. Dr. Holli Sink, Clinical Director and Program Administrator of Southmountain Children's Advocacy Centers and Center of Excellence in Evidence-Based Treatment worked with Duke University/Center for Child and Family Health as a faculty member to train a new cohort of trainers in the Resource Parenting Curriculum. This three day face-to-face training was held in Raleigh, earlier this month.