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Co-Creating Well-Being/Supporting Children and Families Through Trauma: A Qualitative Exploration of Capacity
Original Program Date :


Co-Creating Well-Being (CCWB): Supporting Children and Families Through Trauma is a five-year, multi-part initiative pioneered by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York (HFWCNY). This regional foundation’s goal is to support human service organizations to foster innovative solutions, through authentic partnership with service recipients and communities, that respond to and heal trauma and toxic stress experienced by young children and their families. A significant corpus of research suggests unaddressed trauma and toxic stress can negatively affect key life outcomes such as perinatal experiences, child development, school readiness, and psychosocial and physical health.

To increase the capacity of service providers across western and central New York, CCWB participants were provided with training and technical support on trauma-informed care (TIC) in the perinatal and early parenting period, human-centered design (HCD) strategies, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles. A central component of the CCWB project was to evaluate its provision of capacity-building training and supportive HCD expertise, as well as the development and provision of trauma responsive programming.

The current presentation presents initial findings from a comprehensive qualitative exploration of the early effects of CCWB, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss key findings from a qualitative study focused on human service providers’ impressions of the early effects of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York’s Co-Creating Well-Being (CCWB) initiative.
  2. Identify potential successes and challenges experienced by human service organizations when pivoting toward a more trauma-informed and human-centered programmatic approach.
  3. Describe the ways COVID-19 and nationwide demand for racial justice shaped the perspectives and work of CCWB participants.

Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge all the authors involved in this research project: Mickey Sperlich, PhD, Assistant Professor; Erin W. Bascug, LMSW, PhD; Candidate; Qi Zhou, MSW, PhD Student; and Megan Bailey, MSW, PhD Student

Research:  Information about the work being done by the Co-Creating Well-Being project can be found on the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York website.

Target Audience: social workers, mental health practitioners, creative arts therapists, marriage and facility therapists, psychologists, addiction professionals, case managers, and other interested individuals.

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We are happy to respond to any concerns or questions you may have. Please contact us at by email at sw-ce@buffalo.edu or by phone at 716-829-5841.

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Mickey Sperlich, Ph.D.
Qi Zhou, MSW

Qi Zhou, MSW, Peking University and BA, Nanjing University is a doctoral student at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Her research area is focusing on cross-sector collaboration in child welfare, with a particular focus on the role of trust in cross-sector partnerships. She has been working as a Graduate Assistant on a National Child Welfare Workforce Institute project, whose purpose is to build child welfare leadership and workforce, for more than 2 years.  

Erin Bascug, LMSW, PhD Candidate

Erin W. Bascug, LMSW, MS, is a doctoral candidate and adjunct faculty member with the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. She has a BA (Psychology) from Drew University, an MS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Delaware, and an MSW from the University at Buffalo. Her research interests include understanding the ripple effects of early childhood trauma and later behavioral and sexual health outcomes in adolescence; youth experiences of sex trading, commercial sexual exploitation, and intimate partner violence; and mixed methods approaches. Ms. Bascug is Co-PI of the University at Buffalo's Co-Creating Well-Being Qualitative Study (CCWBQ), which examined the early effects of the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York's "Co-Creating Well-Being (CCWB): Supporting Children and Families Through Trauma" capacity building and grant-making initiative. Previously, Ms. Bascug served as associate director of the Department of Educational Initiatives and Research at the Council on Social Work Education. She also has experience in the fields of sexual assault prevention and response, domestic violence and human trafficking victim advocacy, and psychological health outreach for military service members.


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