Trauma and Healing

Reckoning with Race and COVID-19 in Infant-Family Mental Health

In August 2020, the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg provided support to expand the “Trauma-Informed Infant-Family Mental Health (TI-IFMH) Collaborative” initiative that has strengthened capacities of infant and family-serving agencies throughout Pinellas County in improving their organizations’ trauma-informed family-centered practices. The consultation and reflective supervision provided in this new project expansion is centered more specifically in race-based trauma, and the project is designed to help increase the number of and support for BIPOC practitioners in Pinellas County.  

The aims of this work, led by FSC Assistant Program Director Dr. LaDonna Butler, are to begin expanding the scope of services in Pinellas County and south St. Petersburg so that Black families can receive trauma-informed family-centered supports informed by the differential impact of COVID on Black families, in an era of heightened race-based trauma and reckoning with anti-Black bias. The project expands learning circles of interested partners from the original TI-IFMH network to include a collection of Black and Brown helping professionals – both those who work with families of young children and those whose clienteles involve older children and adults. Reflective supervision processes previously provided to partner agencies on the original FHSP grant are being made available to this new learning circle.  

An important aim of this phase of the work is to identify specific recommendations from Black and Brown professionals. Such recommendations are needed to help formulate best practice guidelines that will cultivate more egalitarian and productive joint dialogues by and between Black and Brown service professionals and the White professionals who have dominated child, adult, and family therapy fields since their inception. If successful, all area professionals serving Black and Brown families would be better positioned to carry out the needed family support work and avoid damaging racial stereotypes and corollary actions. 

Training and Development 

Training and development include a series of live sessions, including guest lecturers with additional specialization in race-based trauma and disaster response. 

Reflective Supervision: Supportive Practice Environments 

Reflective supervision focused on the impact of systemic anti-black racism and COVID-19 will be explored to support the capacity of practitioners to respond to families in crisis. A specific variant of reflective supervision, centered in race-equity and rooted in infant mental health theory and practice, is being offered.

Training and Development Activities

Check here regularly for a list of all upcoming learning circle, reflective supervision, and other training activities. Click here for activities in June

Featured event:
Seven Ways Bias Hurts Babies: Caregiver Strategies to Undo Bias with Marva Lewis, Ph.D., June 12,2021 View flyer


Watch: Why Race Matters
In a reflective supervision session, invited guest Maureen Joseph discusses building practitioner capacity to effectively support families contending with anti-Black racism and the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19.

Learning community 

Monthly learning community activities including readings, consultation, adaptive trauma-informed practice supports, personal and professional practice plans centered in racial equity and COVID-19 are central features of the learning community work.    

Community capacity integration and focus on diversifying workforce 

Important project aims include diversification of the demographics of individuals providing services to families of young children, enhancement of meaningful participation in Infant Mental Health guildwork, and increased representation of individuals informed and eligible for endorsement, shifting the historical trajectory sustaining disparities in practitioners.