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Major grant helping All Children’s Hospital, All-Star Children’s to develop child abuse care facility

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Sarasota-based foundation is giving a major boost for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the All-Star Children’s Foundation in a joint program to treat abused children.

A $1 million, four-year grant, from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, will move All-Star Children’s Foundation closer to its goal of offering the latest treatment for childhood trauma based on the latest neural research.

The money will be used to set up a director of pediatric psychological trauma and intervention at Johns Hopkins in St. Petersburg and train trauma-certified licensed therapists at All Star’s Sarasota facility.

In April, the Barancik Foundation board of directors approved more than $3.4 million in grants and initiatives — including the All-Star endowment — for over $6 million in 2017.

The All-Star program will develop therapeutic interventions for abused children, with a goal of setting the standard for building resiliency skills and healing childhood trauma.

“Adverse childhood experiences are a major public health threat,” said All-Star co-founder Graci McGillicuddy. “According to latest brain research, untreated early childhood trauma can have a lifetime impact. The good news is that early treatment gives traumatized children a chance to grow up into well-adjusted, high-functioning adults.”

Long-term plans include a comprehensive center to offer a safe and trusting physical environment and staff, as well as treatment programs.

All-Star is developing a “Campus of Caring,” which incorporates a trauma center with clinical services for abused children aged 0-18. Siblings will be kept together, and parents and other caregivers will have a range of innovative services based on the latest medical research. The Barancik grant will allow top staff from Johns Hopkins All Children’s to care for children in Sarasota County.

Set for completion next year, the campus will also be home base for All Star’s community outreach program, an outpatient service for children and families in the area’s child welfare system and their families.

“We’ll be giving traumatized children the help they need,” McGillicuddy said in a statement. “But we’ll also be producing research on the most effective care for these children while training the next generation of clinicians.”

The grant will set All Star apart from other foster care treatment programs in Florida. Child trauma interventions will be available from both All-Star’s Sarasota County campus and its other regional outreach programs.

“This vital grant will allow our team to work in collaboration with the experts and researchers at Johns Hopkins,” McGillicuddy added. “We’ll join forces to design a program to heal childhood trauma employing the latest research in brain science and neuroplasticity.”

Barancik Foundation’s president and CEO Teri Hansen said: “This program will set the gold standard in healing childhood trauma and developing children’s resiliency. We’ll be able to treat children and teens who would not have been helped otherwise. And that’s what really matters.”

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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