Project Self-Sufficiency program supports trauma survivors, promotes prevention

NEWTON. The program aims to help educate parents and guardians on the effect trauma has on children.

Newton /
| 08 Sep 2022 | 01:33

Project Self-Sufficiency invites the public to attend a discussion series designed to give a better understanding of adverse childhood experiences and trauma. The program is part of an ongoing series called, “Connections Matter,” designed to spur conversation about issues surrounding “Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs).”

In addition to adverse childhood experiences, the discussion will explore “how caring connections can serve as a primary buffer in the negative effects of trauma,” per Project Self Sufficiency, which recommends this type of training for parents and providers raising and teaching school-aged children.

During the ongoing workshop series, trauma experts and guest speakers address the impact of adverse childhood experiences on social, emotional, and cognitive development, and offer tips and strategies for building resiliency. Adverse childhood experiences are widely recognized as falling into three distinct categories: abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Examples of negative behavior said to result from adverse childhood experiences include smoking, alcoholism, drug use, absenteeism, and lack of physical activity. These behaviors can cause physical and mental health problems, from diabetes to suicidal thoughts.

According to a study by Kaiser Permanente San Diego and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 67% of the population has experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.

The Connections Matter curriculum is a program funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and led by Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey. This virtual session will be held in both English and Spanish. The English-language session will be held Wednesday, September 21, at 2 p.m.; the version in Spanish will be held on Thursday, September 29, at 2 p.m. Both free workshops will be offered to the public via Zoom; interested participants are invited to call 973-940-3500 to register and receive log-in details.

Project Self-Sufficiency aims to bring together professionals, providers, and parents who are “committed to increasing awareness of the impact of childhood trauma on juvenile development, future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.”

“Our goal is to help make our community a place in which every child can thrive by providing education and training on adverse childhood experiences and assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments,” added Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon.

For more information about Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500. Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street, Newton.