September 13, 2017
Contact: Katie Schick, 608-246-5501
First Lady Tonette Walker Hosts First Spouses in Milwaukee to Discuss Trauma-Informed Care
Milwaukee – First Lady Tonette Walker kicked off the First Spouses Convening today in Milwaukee and welcomed First Spouses from across the nation to the two-day conference, which focuses on Trauma-Informed Care.

“Traumatic experiences and toxic stress affect millions of children, families, and adults in the United States,” First Lady Tonette Walker said. “I’m thrilled to welcome First Spouses to Wisconsin and hope they can each bring Trauma-Informed Care principles back to their states and incorporate what they’ve learned at the First Spouses Convening into their existing initiatives and services. I look forward to working with all of the First Spouses with the common goal of becoming a trauma-informed nation.”

The First Spouses Convening, sponsored by Casey Family Programs in partnership with First Lady Tonette Walker, gives the nation’s First Spouses the opportunity to hear from Trauma-Informed Care experts about how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) affect child welfare and impact a child’s developing brain, discuss ways to incorporate Trauma-Informed Care into existing initiatives, and brainstorm next steps moving forward to change outcomes for children and families throughout the United States.

Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America. Its mission is to provide and improve — and ultimately prevent the need for — foster care.

“We are pleased to be supporting this inaugural gathering of First Spouses to explore Trauma-Informed Care and its potential to transform services for our nation’s children and families,” said David Sanders, Casey Family Program’s Executive Vice President for Systems Improvement.

First Lady Tonette Walker continues to promote Trauma-Informed Care, both throughout the nation and in Wisconsin through her Fostering Futures initiative. Fostering Futures, which launched in 2011, utilizes Trauma-Informed Care to transform systems and raise awareness about the importance of better recognizing, understanding, and addressing the effects of trauma and toxic stress on the lives of children and families throughout Wisconsin and the United States.

Thanks to the First Lady’s efforts through Fostering Futures, six Wisconsin agencies, including the Department of Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Workforce Development, Department of Children and Families, Department of Corrections, and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are already implementing Trauma-Informed Care principles within their interactions with each other and in the services they provide.

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