In 2018, the King County Best Starts for Kids Initiative invested more than $52 million in more than 220 community partners and 400+ programs to serve children and families. MPHI is conducting the external evaluation for Best Starts for Kids’ Trauma-Informed and Restorative Practices (TIRP) portfolio. TIRP is grounded in the belief that all children and young people can thrive in environments where communities’ cultures are respected and nurtured. Thirty community organizations are supporting innovative approaches to implementing trauma-informed and restorative practices in school environments. To achieve this, schools must actively confront racism and other structures of systemic oppression that perpetuate generational trauma, which in many cases is the source of negative self-image and trauma for children, young people, and families. Best Starts’ Trauma-Informed and Restorative Practices in the School Environment strategy incorporates and expands on the Best Starts for Kids core principles:
• Lead with racial justice
• Seek collaboration and empowerment
• Focus on the whole child
• Develop skills to promote healing
• Heal relationships
• Commitment to equity
The TIRP goal is partnerships will result in reduced use of punitive and exclusionary discipline practices, and in reduced disproportionality in student outcomes, by providing all children with safe, nurturing, environments that support their social, emotional and academic development. TIRP supports community-centered solutions to create the processes and conditions for transformative systemic change. This will further racial justice and strengthen networks that are grounded in the beliefs and values of the communities they represent.