Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

TWO RIVERS – Governor Scott Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker as a part of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Awareness Month visited with faculty and staff today at Two Rivers High School and Joseph Koenig Elementary School. Both schools apply the principles of TIC to ensure the needs of their students are met in the classroom. First Lady Tonette Walker is working to incorporate TIC statewide through her work with Fostering Futures.

“We want to make sure all Wisconsin children, no matter their background, have the opportunity to succeed,” said Governor Walker. “By utilizing Trauma-Informed Care in our schools, we can help teachers, administrators, and staff be better prepared to recognize and respond to students who have experienced traumatic stress. Thanks to Tonette’s leadership, Wisconsin is leading the way and we are well on our way to becoming the first fully trauma-informed state in the nation.”

TIC shifts perspectives from blaming people for their problems to using the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to guide support and the creation of new policies and practices. By building an understanding of how the past impacts the present, connections are made that progress towards healing and recovery. Being trauma-informed means recognizing the impact of traumatic stress and changing the way we see, interpret, and interact with people.

“Adverse Childhood Experiences can change a child’s brain chemistry making it more difficult for children to learn—this is why it is critical that Wisconsin schools utilize TIC in the classroom,” said First Lady Walker. “By encouraging sensitivity and open communication, teachers and administrators can better understand the underlying issues affecting student behaviors. Everyone, from teachers, to coaches, to the bus driver, to after-school program directors has a role to play in bringing about positive change.”

First Lady Tonette Walker has been working to promote TIC for years both in Wisconsin and across the country. The First Lady has been instrumental in encouraging the U.S. Congress to recognize TIC. In the last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 443 which does just that. During the 2017 State of the State Address, the First Lady spoke about TIC. The First Lady’s initiative, Fostering Futures, utilizes TIC to transform systems and helps organizations better recognize, understand, and address the effects of trauma on the lives of children and families.

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