Maine Behavioral Healthcare

Project BRAID (Building Resilience in Areas Impacted by Domestic Violence) was a four-year, comprehensive program of trauma treatment, workforce capacity building, and cross-sector learning designed to improve system responses to non-abusing parents and their children and youth exposed to domestic violence. In close partnership with community-based mental health organizations and local domestic violence resource centers, Project BRAID aimed to increase personal and professional provider capacity while decreasing trauma symptoms of children and youth exposed to domestic violenceDuring its last two years the project brought together a large cohort of clinicians and domestic violence advocates to strengthen relationships, increase understanding, and sustain changeTarget communities included two communities in Maine: York County and Washington County as well as the Passamaquoddy Tribal Reservations at Pleasant Point and Indian Township. Project BRAID is premised on the belief that when providers and parents thrive, outcomes improve for children. 

Core strategies: 

  • Build workforce capacity to serve children  
  • Increase access to child and family-centered programming, supplies, and physical environments 
  • Strengthen provider resilience  
  • Shift mindsets about serving children  
  • Build lasting professional relationships  

Outcomes and Accomplishments: 

  • Training, consultation, and direct service provided to over 500 individuals related to childhood exposure to domestic violence 
  • Support provided to over 8,000 parents and children impacted by domestic violence through partnering domestic violence resource centers 
  • Emergency assistance provided to 26 families with children impacted by domestic violence 
  • Evidence-based clinical training provided to over 20 community-based clinicians 
  • Evidence-based clinical treatment provided to over 100 children impacted by domestic violence 
  • Family bonding activities facilitated for over 320 families with children impacted by domestic violence 
  • A 24-month Sustainability Learning Collaborative facilitated for 20 mental health clinicians and domestic violence advocates covering the following topics: 
    • Impact of domestic violence on children 
    • Resiliency 
    • Community Partnerships 
    • Evaluation  

Examples of Impact: 

  • Impact on Providers:  
    • “Project BRAID inspired me to reduce hours, lose 50 pounds, and take advice for self-care.” This provider felt newly equipped to “lead”.   
    • Project BRAID “provided the opportunity to build relationships” that will continue after the project in service of improving outcomes for children. 
    • Project BRAID allowed us to tell our “success stories” as clinicians working with children impacted by domestic violence. We tend to only hear about the most difficult cases, or the cases about which clinicians need advice. “It is nice to be heard. [Normally] we don’t get to share what we do with kids.” 
    • Project BRAID provided training that was “very invigorating, informative, and eye-opening at time. Thankful to leave with practical tools and strategies. Happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with other providers.” 
  • Impact on Parents: 
    • “I am enough for my child.” 
    • “Put a different voice in my head. It is a kinder voice.” 
    • “Gave me hope.” 
  • Impact on Domestic Violence Resource Centers: 
    • Updated accessibility policies  
    • Family meals (including delivered meals) 
    • Specific programming for children and parents (including groups) 
    • Redesigned common spaces for children of all abilities at residences 
    • Redesigned rooms in residences to support children and parents 
    • Provision of toys, school supplies, clothing, diapers, baby supplies, and other tangible goods to children and families 
    • Facilitation of family engagement activities and outings for parents and children 
    • Standardized mindfulness and wellness activities for staff and clients  
    • Upgraded privacy and security measures to protect children and families 
    • New or improved outdoor child play spaces 

Project BRAID Partners:  

Project BRAID would not be possible without the participation, expertise, and commitment of the following: 

Maine Behavioral Healthcare (lead agency): https://www.mainehealth.org/Maine-Behavioral-Healthcare  

Caring Unlimited: https://www.caring-unlimited.org  

Next Step Domestic Violence Project: https://www.nextstepdvproject.org  

Aroostook Mental Health Center: https://www.amhc.org  

Passamaquoddy Peaceful Relations Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocacy Center: http://wabanaki.com/wabanaki_new/Peaceful_Relations.html 

Pleasant Point Tribal Health Centerhttp://www.wabanaki.com/wabanaki_new/Health_Center.html 

Indian Township Passamaquoddy Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocacy Centerhttps://www.wabanakiwomenscoalition.org/indian-township-passamaquoddy-domestic-violence-program/ 

 

 

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