Why Trauma-Informed Care Is Creating Hope for Kids in Wisconsin


By Will Cushman

In 2012, Waupaca County’s health and human services department was hemorrhaging employees, particularly within its child protection and juvenile justice programs. “There was just a lot of turnover,” said Chuck Price, who took over as director of the department around that time. “We needed a culture of change.” Price and his colleague, deputy director Shannon Kelly, recalled a culture that seemed to place a higher value on bureaucratic outcomes than on fostering positive human connections. Such a mindset was not unique to Waupaca County, they added. Rather, it reflected a distinctly harsh form of human services that, in their view, had been baked into public agencies nationwide over decades.

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