The West Pasco Chamber Young Professionals Group presented the Pasco Kids First Trauma Treatment Team’s Clinical Director Kelly Plouffe with a $500 grant to purchase the psychometric evaluation tools for testing trauma symptoms at the end of the year banquet at Catches Restaurant.

Pasco Kids First is the only comprehensive provider of child abuse and trauma services in Pasco and Hernando counties that utilizes clinicians that have expertise in trauma and are utilizing certified modalities to resolve trauma.  Services that are offered are Individual and Child Trauma Therapy for victims of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse and other types of traumatic events such as witnessing significant domestic violence, murders, suicides and disasters.  “We offer Individual Non-Offending Parent Treatment for parents of abused children and some who have suffered their own trauma whether as an adult or a child,” states Plouffe.

The therapy team utilizes only evidenced based treatment modalities that have been researched to be the most effective for the population and problem served.  Modalities utilized are Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, Abuse-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and trauma focused play therapy to assist in acknowledging and understanding the trauma, its impact on children and adults as well as reduction of the potential for re-victimization in the future.

As a specialized service, all the children served at Pasco Kids First are being treated for trauma. Providing this specialized service, and only working with children who have endured trauma, each therapist is able to build their individual expertise with the different types of trauma treated. Every type of trauma has its own specific dynamics; the dynamics of trauma from sexual abuse will differ from those of witnessing domestic violence or surviving a natural disaster or experiencing traumatic grief. Therefore, generalized training in trauma treatment is an important first step but does not encompass all that is required in order to be qualified to provide this very specialized service.

Each therapist at Pasco Kids First is required to maintain at least 8 hours of continuing education per year specifically in the areas of child abuse and treating trauma in children. The therapists at Pasco Kids First not only maintain this training standard but also typically complete 20-40 hours of training every year pertinent to the treatment provided through our program.

Another crucial factor in providing the level of expertise in treating trauma is the ability to utilize psychometric testing for trauma symptoms.  Therapists perform their own clinical interview however the testing assists the therapist in making the most accurate clinical decisions that an interview alone may not yield.  Pasco Kids First strives to keep up with the research on the best and most updated psychometric testing.  One such measure that would be invaluable is the Trauma Symptom Inventory-2.  The grant from the Young Professionals group will purchase these test booklets for the clients as well as computer scoring for accuracy which is for unlimited use of the testing.  This tool alone could impact over 100 clients in one year; 500 over 5 years.

Pictured left to right: YPG Board Members Julie Rogers, Jennifer Taylor, Kelly Plouffe, Pasco Kids First Trauma Treatment Team Clinical Director