Grant for Collaborative National Center for Safe Supportive Schools Awarded to the Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

January 05, 2021

The Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, in collaboration with the National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (NCSMH; Maryland) and the NCTSN Center for Trauma Care in Schools (CTCS; Massachusetts), recently launched a five-year initiative to improve the implementation of trauma-informed policies and practices to support mental health and wellness in school communities. These efforts include bolstering school mental health systems nationwide through the establishment of the National Center for Safe Supportive Schools (NCS3). The NCS3 is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and is being funded through a five-year, $3 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). NCS3 is one of six organizations nationwide to be awarded a SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Category II grant in 2020.

Colleen Cicchetti, PhD, Executive Director of CCR and Co-Principal Investigator of the NCS3 Site, shared, “This national collaboration is a wonderful opportunity for the innovative work that has been done in Chicago and Illinois to build trauma-informed multi-tiered systems of supports in schools to be elevated to the national level; as well as to ensure that we continue to build a sustainable model across our region that benefits from emerging best practices to meet needs of our diverse schools and communities.” 

The grant will allow NCS3 to address existing gaps in the widespread implementation of trauma-informed schools (TIS). The NCS3 aims to

  • Build state and school district capacity to deliver multi-tiered, trauma-informed policies and programming, including universal, targeted and intensive supports within K-12 comprehensive school mental health systems nationwide;
  • Support training and implementation of school-based trauma interventions that attend to social determinants of health and injustices and engage and support student populations that are marginalized, including youth of color and newcomer (refugee and immigrant) youth;
  • Integrate TIS into pre-service educator and mental health provider preparation.

Tali Raviv, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator of the CCR NCS3 Site noted, “The NCS3 project gives us a much-needed opportunity to better support the mental health of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and newcomer youth in schools by ensuring that our approaches build on the strengths of their communities and address damaging social and structural influences on health and learning.”

The Center for Childhood Resilience (CCR), housed at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, is dedicated to promoting access to high-quality mental health services for children and adolescents across Illinois and nationwide. Founded in 2004, CCR builds skills of adults in schools and youth-serving agencies to foster resiliency in the face of adversity. Using innovative, sustainable, culturally attuned, evidence-based strategies, CCR engages schools, school districts and other youth-serving organizations to implement a public health approach to address the impact of trauma and promote mental health and wellness. CCR evaluates emerging best practices and collaborates with policy makers and communities to promote systems change to reduce health disparities and promote mental health and wellness where kids live, learn and play! For more information on Center for Childhood Resilience, visit