About Safe First Steps
Safe First Steps is a part of the University of Illinois Chicago's Urban Youth Trauma Center (UYTC), a SAMHSA funded program designed to promote and disseminate comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated care for families affected by trauma and community violence.
Safe First Steps was created by clinical child psychologist, Dr. Lynda Gibson to support children experiencing chronic community violence and trauma exposure. By partnering with schools and other child-focused agencies, we aim to share information with child providers, school staff, and families about the areas of child development that are impacted by trauma, and the strategies that can be implemented to reduce re-traumatization and promote recovery.
The Safe First Steps training and consultation program explores strategies for building a trauma-informed school or agency, how to reduce secondary traumatic stress among early childhood providers and school staff, and strategies for increasing collaboration with other service providers and support for families. It is expected that participation in the Safe First Steps Training and Consultation Program will result in (1) an increase in trauma knowledge and awareness; (2) increased implementation of trauma-informed practices; (3) increased collaboration with other child service systems among training participants; (4) the use of positive self-care strategies to decrease occurrences of job-related secondary traumatic stress; and (5) increased support for children and families dealing with trauma exposure.
What services and support are included in the Safe First Steps program?
Partnership with the Safe First Steps program can include the following:
- Agency trauma-informed practices needs assessment
- Trauma-focused training and consultation for staff
- Parent workshops focused on trauma recovery, positive parenting, and family wellness