Valor Place – Affordable Veterans Housing

A shortage of affordable housing often leads to homelessness for Minnesota veterans. According to Wilder Research, 46% of veterans name the shortage as the primary barrier to finding a stable place to live – and they need your help.

Introducing Valor Place … and the Need

The Plymouth Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) is building a twin home in Plymouth called Valor Place, designed to provide stable, affordable, rental housing for U.S. military veterans. Owned and managed by HRA, the two units will be available to vets and their families who meet income and other eligibility requirements. Learn more about the Valor Place project at

Proposed rendering of Valor Place development in Plymouth

To make Valor Place possible, the HRA has teamed up with Charles Cudd Co., Outreach Development Corporation, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans – and we would welcome the opportunity to add your business to our list of partners. 

Help Make a House a Home – by Nov. 1

We are seeking in-kind donations to furnish the twin home. Once complete, each unit will be about 1,800 square feet and feature three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full kitchen, a two-car garage and more. Furniture, household goods, and the like will give veterans an established place to call home without purchasing or finding furniture to fit their new spaces. A list of needed furniture and furnishings is attached.

With a targeted completion date of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, we need your help to furnish the homes by Nov. 1.

Ways to Give

  • Donate furniture, furnishings, and household items: Please contact me to arrange pick up or delivery of items.
  • Donate online: Make an online tax-deductible donation using the City of Plymouth’s secure online payment portal at
  • Donate by mail: Make your check payable to Outreach Development Corporation (indicate “Valor Place” on the memo line) and mail to: 

Outreach Development Corporation – Valor Place

1605 County Road 101 N., Plymouth, MN 55447

All donations, whether in-kind or financial, are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

On behalf of our team and our military vets, thank you for your support.

Dean Sherman

Vice President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon – 612.743.7591

2020 VA Loan Benefits

2020 VA Loan Benefits

2020 has been a confusing year, to say the least. However, some positives have come out of it too. Especially regarding VA home loans, which at the beginning of the year had some significant changes take place.

These changes came after the Bluewater Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on June 25th, 2019. This new law brought about changes to VA benefits so that they covered Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to a dangerous chemical referred to as Agent Orange, while on deployment. VA home loans were also changed by the new law as they removed loan limits for first-time borrowers removed, and funding fees changed.

VA Home Loan Changes

The signing of the new law saw the removal of loan limits for first-time borrowers, which allows them to shop for homes in areas that were previously too expensive. However, because these loans are provided by qualified lenders and not the VA itself, each lender has to make sure that the borrower can afford their monthly payments.

As a result, lenders have the freedom to set up their own loan limits, which are not administered by the VA, but rather by the applicant’s ability to make payments on time. Currently, VA Home Loan Centers has a loan limit of $5,000,000 for first-time borrowers who are qualified.

This removal of loan limits does not cover borrowers with more than one existing VA loan. Hence, they are still subject to the loan limit set up by their county. As a result of this new law, county limits across the country were also raised from an average of $484,350 to $510,400. Although some counties have even higher loan limits based on the cost of living.

In addition to these changes for first-time borrowers and second-time borrowers, the new law also brought changes to other groups of people. Native American veterans, for example, are no longer required to limit themselves when purchasing or buying a home on Federal Trust Land.

The new law also brought changes to the VA funding fee, which is a one-time payment that is paid by the borrower to lower the cost of a loan for tax-payers. The changes that took place increased the funding fee that is funded by active duty service members from 0.15% to 0.30%. At the same time, it lowered the funding fee for members of the National Guard and military reserves.

Active Duty personnel who have been awarded the Purple Heart due to their heroism can have their funding fee payment waived. The only requirement is that Purple Heart recipients close on their property while still in active duty. Moreover, the program did not affect disabled veterans who were already exempt from having to pay for the funding fee.

All of these changes to the funding fee are temporary and are set to last until 2022.

VA Home Loans

VA home loans are government-guaranteed loans that are designed to assist veterans, active-duty service members, and eligible spouses become homeowners. Created by an act of congress in 1944 to help veterans returning home from World War 2, buy a home. VA home loans have since helped about 22 million American Veterans but the home of their dreams.

Several eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for the VA home loan, these include military service, property, income, and credit score If an applicant meets all of these requirements, they will be able to purchase a home with some of the best benefits available. These benefits include:

  • Zero money down payments.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • No pre-payment penalties.
  • Lower interest rates.
  • No mortgage premiums.

In addition to these great benefits, VA loans also offer the option of having your home loan either be a 15 or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.


The changes that were implemented at the beginning of 2020 have made an already excellent home loan program even better. By signing this program into law, the government reinforced the notion that they really care about our men and women in the military.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-sponsored brokerage focused on VA Home Loans. With over 22 years of experience working in real estate, Phil and his team of trained agents can help you find the loan that is right for you. To apply for a VA loan, please visit

Plymouth realtor & military benefits

This was the realtor I was referred to by USAA, vetted by their realtor service.
She & her husband are a team, the best. I’m so grateful to them.

After I fired probably the worst crooked realtor on the planet (all during my hubby’s MN ARNG training absence), they got my house sold.

PBYR Receives Donation From J.H. Larson Company

In December , 2019 PBYR received a donation from  J.H. Larson Company employees to assist and serve Veterans and Service Members.  We greatly appreciate their support and partnering!

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon


J.H. Larson Company is a family owned, independent distributor of Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC and DataComm products with eight locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. J.H. Larson remains dedicated to its employees, customers, and vendors and is positioned to move into the future as a family owned and operated business.



The Hamel VFW is hosting a “Dinner & Dance Night” this Saturday, April 20th. Food 5-8:00 with music by The Arcades from 7-10:30. Stop in for dinner and enjoy fun night. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again. It’s been way too long!  Please call for reservations if you have a large group.

Jim Heimerl (651) 261-3111

PBYR makes $5000 donation to VFW

The Heinzen-Ditter VFW is remodeling their restrooms to make them ADA compliant and to deal with the age, mobility problems and disabilities experienced by elderly Veterans.

PBYR will assist the VFW with monetary support for this project. If anyone with construction experience that would like to further donate some time and expertise  to assist the VFW with this project,  please coordinate directly with Bernie Stein.

Bernie  and I have reviewed costs and material. All were expertly put together as Bernie has significant experience with managing engineering projects.  Bernie is a West Point grad and currently serves as the VFW’s quartermaster.   This project includes 3 restrooms: men, women and family — all meeting ADA guidelines.

Home Depot has contributed $3000 to date and it is unknown whether they will contribute more.  Some of the estimated  costs may be increased or reduced due to Home Depot’s military discount applies to some items and not others.  I reviewed  the paperwork and plans and believe this project is a go from all perspectives.  The following is the plan :

PBYR makes an immediate $5000.00 donation to the VFW. PBYR will review the additional amount needed for the project as construction progresses with Bernie and give another donation after clarification of final costs and Home Depot’s total grant contribution and discount.

PBYR will present a Plaque to be displayed at the VFW after all construction is completed. Gary will coordinate with Sun Sailor as needed as they  want a picture of PBYR presenting  the  plaque.

This project meets the mission of PBYR and  will help Veterans for many years.  PBYR would not have been able to help without the yearly support and trust of the Plymouth Lions!!  Hug a Lion if you see one!!

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

PROTOLABS selects Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon for a donation

I am pleased to announce that PBYR was selected by Protolabs for their quarterly project to support a local community non-profit. They heard about the PBYR mission and very much liked our website.

**KUDOS to John Swol for steadily helping behind the scenes to make our website interesting.  The yearly increase in traffic to the PBYR website from 2012 to the present speaks to his efforts!!  PBYR is very lucky to have John’s help and support.  He also helps PBYR even when he is engaged in competitive sun tanning competitions in Florida!!

Protolabs will be doing a raffle and I will be the PBYR representative in attendance so the raffle will not be construed as violating gambling laws as we are a 501c3 organization. The date of the raffle is February 13, 2019 from 11 AM-1 PM at their office in Maple Plain.

** PBYR extends appreciation and sincere thanks to Protolabs for their support and trust!!!

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D., LP
 President, PBYR Board

April – Month of Military Child (MOMC)

Please see attached and below the information for April Month of the Military Child Activities.

Come celebrate the Month of the Military Child on Friday, April 12th at the Mall of America. Activities include:

  • Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
  • face painting
  • character appearances
  • photo booth,
  • air brush tattoos
  • YMCA Youth activities and more

Beginning Monday, March 18th Registration will open for the Nickelodeon Universe Wristbands and Build A Bears tickets.

Additionally, many activities will be available and advertised during the month of April.  See the attached flyers for:

  • Family Programs Art contest
  • Photo Contest
  • Register to receive a letter from the Governor.

2019 momc art contest.pdf


Laura Groeneweg
MN National Guard Contractor
Lead Child and Youth Program Coordinator
O: 651.268.8695
M: 651.242.6938

2018 Veterans Day offers, discounts

U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Carly A. Costello/Released has compiled a list of free or reduced goods and services offered to service members, veterans and their families by businesses and organizations in honor of Veterans Day. The list will continue to be updated as it gets closer to Nov. 11.

The following discounts have been confirmed by, through either press releases or direct communication with the company.

Most businesses require proof of military service, which can include a VA health identification card, military ID, DD-214 or veterans service organization card (e.g., The American Legion, VFW, DAV, AMVETS, MOAA, FRA, etc.). In some cases businesses will accept a picture of the veteran in uniform.

Note: Not all franchise locations participate in their national chain’s Veterans Day programs, so contact your nearest establishment to make sure they are participating.

Also, visit to see what benefits and opportunities are available to veterans in your state.


2018 Veterans Day Restaurant Specials


54th Street Grill — Veterans and active-duty military get a free entree up to $12 on Nov. 11.

Applebee’s — Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal from a limited menu on Nov. 11.

Arooga’s — Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal from a fixed menu on Nov. 12.

Bar Louie — On Nov. 11, veterans and military personnel get a free burger or flatbread up to a $15 value.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse — For the month of November, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and Dr Pepper are contributing 11,000 Pizookies® to the restaurant’s ‘Buy a Hero a Pizookie’ program. Current or retired military simply claim a Pizookie® at Nov. 1-30, while supplies last. Once claimed, the offer is emailed and valid for 72 hours. Guests who would like to honor these heroes can contribute $1 or more on their restaurant bill to the program. With a contribution of $1 of more, guests will receive a bounce-back coupon for a FREE Pizookie® with any food purchase of $9.95 valid through 12/31/2018. And on Sunday, Nov. 11, all military members who dine in-restaurant receive a complimentary entree up to $12.95, plus a free Dr Pepper beverage, by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse location nationwide.

Buffalo Wild Wings — Veterans and active-duty military personnel receive one small order of wings and a side of fries for free on Nov. 11.

CentraArchy Restaurants — Veterans and active-duty servicemembers get a free entree on Nov. 11.

Chevys Fresh Mex — On Nov. 11, veterans and current servicemembers will be served a free meal from a select menu from 3 p.m. until closing.

Chop House — On Nov. 11-12, veterans get 50 percent off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree.

Connors Steak & Seafood — On Nov. 11-12, veterans get 50 percent off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree.

Cotton Patch Cafe — Veterans and active-duty military get a free chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken on Nov. 11.

Cracker Barrel — Veterans get a complimentary slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake or a Crafted Coffee on Nov. 11.

Eat’n Park — All active and former military personnel will receive a 10 percent discount for the entire month of November.

El Torito — On Nov. 11, veterans and current servicemembers will be served a free meal from a select menu from 3 p.m. until closing.

Famous Dave’s — On Nov. 11-12, former and current military personnel will receive a free 2 Meat Salute.

Friendly’s — Veterans and active military get a free breakfast, lunch or dinner from a limited menu on Nov. 11.

Golden Corral — Golden Corral Restaurants’ Military Appreciation Night free dinner will be available on Nov. 12 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Military retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard and reserves are all welcome.

Green Mill Restaurant and Bar — Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal on Nov. 11.

Grub Burger Bar — Active, inactive and retired military personnel get a complimentary entree on Nov. 11 at all locations.

Hoss’s Steak and Sea House — Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal from the soup, salad and dessert bar on Nov. 12.

Hy-Vee — Veterans and active-duty military members get a free breakfast buffet on Nov. 11.

K&W Cafeterias — Veterans and active duty get a free meal on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. until closing.

Kings Family Restaurant — Veterans and active military members get a free meal from a select menu on Nov. 12.

Logan’s Roadhouse — On Nov. 11 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., veterans and military personnel receive a free meal from the American Roadhouse Meals menu.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants — Veterans and Gold Star honorees (parents and spouse) can enjoy a free entree from a special menu on Nov. 11.

On the Border — Veterans receive a free Create Your Own Combo entree (Choose 2) on Nov. 11.

Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant — Veterans and active-duty servicemembers will receive a 25 percent discount on their bill on Nov. 11.

Primanti Bros. — Veterans and active-duty military get a free sandwich all day on Nov. 11.

Rock and Brews — Veterans and active military personnel receive a complimentary pulled pork sandwich or salad on Nov. 12.

Ruby Tuesday — Veterans, active-duty and reserve servicemembers get a free appetizer on Nov. 11.

Sagebrush Steakhouse — Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal from a select menu on Nov. 11.

Shane’s Rib Shack — Active-duty military and veterans get a free sandwich combo Nov. 8-10 at participating locations.

Texas Corral — Veterans and active servicemembers get a free entree from a special menu along with an iced tea, lemonade or coffee on Nov. 11.

TooJay’s — Veterans and active-duty military get a free entree from a special menu on Nov. 11.

Twin Peaks – Active-duty and veterans get a free meal from a select menu on Nov. 12.

Wienerschnitzel — Veterans and active-duty military receive a free Chili Dog, small fries and a 20 oz. drink on Nov. 11.

Wild Wing Cafe — Veterans eat for free all day from select items on Nov. 11 at participating locations.

2018 Veterans Day Travel and Recreation Discounts


9/11 Memorial and Museum — Veterans will receive free museum admission, as well as half-price museum tickets for up to two family members, Nov. 7-11.

Aquarium of the Pacific — Veterans and military personnel get free admission on Nov. 11.

B&Bs for Vets — Complimentary rooms at inns will be offered to veterans on or around Nov. 11.

Birmingham Zoo — Veterans, active and retired military and their dependents will receive free admission on Nov. 11-12.

Boston Bruins — In conjunction with Military Appreciation Night on Nov. 5, all military will receive a 20 percent off discount at the ProShop and all GameDay ProShop locations.

Boston Duck Tours — Veterans and active military ride free Nov. 12-16. Dependents ride for $10 per person (plus 5 percent CCF surcharge).

Colonial Williamsburg — Military families can receive a free admission ticket during Veterans Day weekend.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden — Veterans get free admission on Nov. 11.

Harley-Davidson Museum — The Harley-Davidson Museum is offering free admission to active military, veterans and their families November 9-11 in honor of Veterans Day.

Killington Resort – Active-duty, retired and honorably discharged members of the military ski for free on Nov. 11.

Knott’s Berry Farm – Active-duty military and veterans receive free admission for themselves and 1 guest Nov. 1 – 15 and Nov. 26 – December 21. Additional discounted tickets may be purchased at the ticket booth.

LEGOLAND Florida – November 1-30, all veterans and active-duty military can receive free admission. Veterans also can purchase theme park tickets for up to six guests at a 50 percent discount on the same dates.

Montpelier — Veterans get free House tours Nov. 9-11. Veterans also receive a 10 percent discount on any purchase at the Museum Shop.

Monticello — Veterans get complimentary admission for Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12.

Mount Vernon — All active-duty, former or retired military personnel are admitted for free on Nov. 11.

National Parks — On Nov. 11, veterans will have access to over 100 national parks that require entrance fees for free.

National WWI Museum and Memorial — Admission is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel Nov. 9-11.

New Mexico Museum of Space History — Veterans get free admission on Nov. 11.

Newseum — Veterans and active-duty members of the military plus one guest get free admission on Nov. 10-11.

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium — On November 10-12, active-duty service members and veterans receive free admission. Immediate family members will receive half off general admission.

Pro Football Hall of Fame — Throughout the month of November, all veterans and active military plus one guest get free museum admission and parking.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden — All military veterans who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, will receive free admission on Nov. 11.

Super 8 by Wyndham — From Oct. 16-Dec. 11, 2018, any current or retired military personnel, veterans and their families who book and stay at participating Super 8 hotels in the United States and Canada can take advantage of Super 8’s 20-percent-off military discount. Additionally, guests who book using this offer through a Wyndham direct booking channel will be automatically enrolled into Wyndham Rewards and eligible for 500 bonus points. Learn more at

Westgate Resorts — Westgate Resorts are honoring our U.S. military personnel and their families by giving away free vacations. On Nov. 9, they will open up registration for the event that will be held in May 2019.

Woodland Park Zoo — Active, retired and veteran military personnel and their spouses get free admission on Nov. 11.

World of Coca-Cola — Active-duty, reserves and retirees get free admission year-round, and from Nov. 1-11, members of the armed forces may also purchase up to four half-price general admission tickets for their friends and family.

2018 Veterans Day Retail Offerings


Brides Across America — Brides Across America holds a wedding gown giveaway for military in partnership with bridal salons across the country in November. Qualifying brides register to attend the event at a participating bridal salon by completing the registration form and paying a $40 fee. Attend the event and select one of the designated gowns on display. Visit the Brides Across America website for more details.

Enterprise Car Sales — Active-duty military members, veterans and their dependents get a Firestone Prepaid Maintenance Package with any used-vehicle purchase during the month of November.

Grace for Vets — Car washes from around the world that join this program offer free car washes to veterans and service members on Nov. 11.

Great Clips – On November 11, veterans and current military members can visit a Great Clips salon to receive either a free haircut or a free-haircut card to use at a later date. Non-military customers can purchase a service on Veterans Day and get a free-haircut card to give to a veteran you know. Haircuts are redeemable until Dec. 31.

Home Depot — Home Depot offers a 10 percent discount to all veterans on Nov. 11. Home Depot offers the 10 percent discount year-round to active-duty and retirees.

Rack Room Shoes — Military personnel and their dependents get a 10 percent discount off an entire purchase on Nov. 11.

Sears Garage Services — From Nov. 9-12, anyone with a valid military ID can save 10 percent off any product or service.

Sport Clips — Participating locations are offering veterans and active-duty servicemembers free haircuts on Nov. 11.

Tractor Supply — This Veterans Day, customers with a valid military ID or proof of service, and their dependents, will receive 15 percent off their entire purchase. This discount will be offered on Saturday, Nov. 11, and will be available at all of Tractor Supply’s more than 1,725 locations nationwide.

FAC Newsletter- October 

Happy October! This month’s newsletter focuses on employment resources. As with every issue, there are so many resources to choose from and so many programs available that it is difficult to decide what to put in! If ever we can help with additional information or questions, please do not hesitate to let us know. Each case is always a little different!

I want to thank you all for everything that you are doing for our military families, whether you are a volunteer, provider, or in our military family serving. Thank you for all you do!

Have a wonderful day! I have also attached a copy of our quick glance FAC sheet, so if you need us you will have our contact information handy!

FAC Newsletter- October 2018.pdf


Yolonda Von Itter
Family Assistance Specialist Contractor
Strategic Resources, Inc.
…Creating Powerful Solutions
An International Company
ISO 9001:2015 Certified
CMMI Maturity Level 3 Rated
MN National Guard Readiness Center
1536 Ben Franklin Dr
Arden Hills, MN 55112
Office: 651-282-4055

March FAC Newsletter

Deployment Support

This month’s focus in the March FAC Newsletter is on deployment as we have units that have left, are leaving, and are preparing to leave. Please distribute as you deem appropriate, and if you have any questions or if I can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

2018 FAC Newsletter- March.pdf

Have a wonderful day.


Yolonda Von Itter
Military Family Assistance Specialist
Skyline Contractor
MN National Guard Readiness Center
1536 Ben Franklin Dr
Arden Hills, MN 55112
Office: 651-282-4055

Military OneSource March Dynamic Group Discussions

One source connecting you to your best MilLife


Thursday, March 8, 2018, 8-9 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 2-3 p.m. ET

Facilitated by: John Mack, MSW

Military OneSource is pleased to offer dynamic group discussions where you can see, text and chat with licensed counselors and a small group of other service members and their families online.

Getting ready for a PCS or other move? Join our relocation expert and others just like you to discuss ways to manage the stress of relocating and learn practical tips to help you get ready for your move.

March 2018 DGD Moving Again.pdf


Michael J. Meier | Minnesota Military OneSource State Consultant
Contractor | Office: 612-751-4290
Visit or call: 800-342-9647

Supporting Military Children with Traumatic Grief

Child Traumatic Grief Series
Supporting Military Children with Traumatic Grief

Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 9:00 am PT/ 12:00 pm ET

Presenters: Judith Cohen, MD, Allegheny Health Network; Robin Goodman, PhD ATR-BC, A Caring Hand, The Billy Esposito Bereavement Center; Zaneta Gilano, LMSW, CT, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS); Carole, family member

During both peace and conflict, children with parents in the military face unique military related stressors. Military children may develop childhood traumatic grief following the death of a caregiver from combat or non-combat situations. This presentation will provide an overview of issues specific to military culture and family life, describe two models for treating military children with traumatic grief, and will highlight a military consumer voice.

Developmental Trauma Disorder: Identifying Critical Moments and Healing Complex Trauma Series 
Guiding Youth through Loss and Betrayal

Date/Time: Thursday, February 15 at 1:00 PM ET/ 10:00 AM PT

Mark your calendars for the next Developmental Trauma Disorder Training Webinar coming in February. And in case you missed it, watch the first two clinical training webinars here:

NCTSN watchicon



New Resources for Military Families: 
Sesame Street for Military Families

Sesame Street for Military Families has released new content! Visit the link below to find interactive games, videos, and printable activities for military families to do with their preschool children. Topics include staying healthy together, creating fun and meaningful birthday traditions, encouraging children’s self-expression, making changes more comfortable, and so much more!



New Guide for Parents and Caregivers:
Talking to Your Child About a Suicide Death

The death of a loved one is the most difficult life event that many children ever experience. A death due to suicide can be especially hard to face. Parents and caregivers may feel overwhelmed as they try to decide what to tell their children about a suicide death while struggling with their own grief over how the person died. This new guide includes tips for caregivers in preparing to tell their children about a suicide death and helping children to grieve in healthy ways.

Talking to Your Child About a Suicide Death


Upcoming Webinar:
Human Trafficking and the Opioid Crisis

During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) will host a 90-minute webinar that highlights emerging trends, case studies, and research on human trafficking and substance use with a specific focus on the opioid crisis. Presenters Elizabeth Hopper (Project Director of REACH, the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute), Audrey Morrissey (Associate Director of My Life My Choice), and Ginny Sprang (Professor, College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky) will discuss (1) the role of substance use for individuals at risk of, currently experiencing, or recovering from trafficking; (2) trauma-informed approaches from provider, client-based, and research perspectives to understand contributing factors to vulnerability; and (3) promising practices and treatment options that address the underlying issues that put victims and survivors at risk.

Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

Register here


New Resource:

Network members Virginia Strand and Ginny Sprang have edited a comprehensive referenceTrauma Responsive Child Welfare Systems (Springer 2018), which offers a framework for introducing and sustaining trauma-responsive services and culture in child welfare systems. Organized around concepts of safety, permanency, and well-being, chapters describe innovations in child protection, violence prevention, foster care, and adoption services to reduce immediate effects of trauma on children and improve long-term development and maturation. Foundations and interventions for practice include collaborations with families and community entities, cultural competency, trauma-responsive assessment and treatment, promoting trauma-informed parenting and, when appropriate, working toward reunification of families. The book’s chapters on agency culture address staffing, supervisory, and training issues; planning and implementation; and developing a competent, committed, and sturdy workforce.

Topics covered include the following: (1) trauma-informed family engagement with resistant clients; (2) introducing evidence-based trauma treatment in preventive services; (3) working with resource parents for trauma-informed foster care; (4) use of implementation science principles in program development for sustainability; (5) trauma-informed and secondary traumatic stress-informed organizational readiness assessments; and (6) caseworker training for trauma practice and building worker resiliency.

For more information


New Article:

R. Rodriguez-Rey, J. Alonso-Tapia, N. Kassam-Adams, and H. Garrido-Hernansaiz are authors of the article The Factor Structure of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory in Parents of Critically Ill Children, published in 2016 in the Spanish journal Psicothema (Volume 28, Issue 4) and available in English and Spanish at the link below. The study analyzed the factor structure of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) in a sample of parents whose children had survived a critical hospitalization, in order to consider the structural validity of the PTGI scores for this population and to report our understanding of posttraumatic growth (PTG) as a construct. PTG was conceptualized as consisting of changes in three broad dimensions: self, interpersonal relationships, and philosophy of life. Authors studied 143 parents who completed the PTGI six months after their child’s discharge from pediatric intensive care. The PTGI scores’ factor structure was studied through confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) of different models supported in prior research, followed by an exploratory principal component analysis (PCA). While prior models tested through CFA did not provide an acceptable fit for the data, through exploratory PCA, three components emerged that explained 73.41% of the variance: personal growth, interpersonal growth, and transpersonal growth. Subsequent CFAs on this three-factor model showed that a bifactor model had the best fit. Authors concluded that the three dimensions initially theorized appear to be robust, which supports the structural validity of its scores.



New Article:

C. D. Santiago, A. K. Fuller, J. M. Lennon, and S. H. Kataoka had their article Parent Perspectives from Participating in A Family Component For CBITS: Acceptability of A Culturally Informed School-Based Program published in 2016 inPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy (Volume 8, Issue 3). They explored parents’ responses to a family component developed as an addition to the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS). The family component was developed to improve engagement and participation in CBITS and to support parents’ skill-building. To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of the family component from the perspective of parents who participated, qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 low-income, Latino parents (80% female; 80% immigrants; average age = 38.07). Researchers found that parents (1) agreed that there was a need for programs like CBITS; (2) expressed a firm belief in the importance of parental involvement with their children and schools; and (3) reported a high level of satisfaction with the family component, indicating that it was beneficial to them, culturally relevant, and that they would recommend it to others. Parents noted some logistical barriers to participation and areas for improvement. Overall, the results of the study indicate that CBITS + Family is an appropriate, acceptable, and feasible intervention for Latino families. Supplemental data from children whose parents participated in the program provided further support for the value of the family component. Authors also discussed clinical implications for implementing culturally sensitive, school-based interventions.



New Article:

Michelle Sherman, Jenna Gress Smith, Kristy Straits-Troster, Jessica Larsen, and Abigail Gewirtz are the authors of Veterans’ Perceptions of the Impact of PTSD on Their Parenting and Children published in Psychological Services (Volume 13, Issue 4) in 2016. Although considerable research has examined the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on couples and partners, relatively little is known about how it can affect parenting, children, and the parent-child relationship. While adverse effects of parental PTSD on child functioning have been documented, the processes by which these outcomes occur are unknown. Additionally, parents’ perspectives on how their PTSD affects parenting and children have yet to be studied. This 3-site, mixed methods exploratory study included 19 veteran parents who had a diagnosis of PTSD. Participants were recruited from Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Veterans participated in focus groups or individual interviews and completed questionnaires, responding to questions about the effects of PTSD on their functioning as parents. Two sets of themes emerged from the qualitative inquiry: (1) Veterans reported parenting difficulties that were associated with three PTSD symptom clusters, including avoidance, alterations in arousal and reactivity, and negative alterations of cognitions and mood; and (2) Veterans described both emotional (e.g., hurt, confusion, frustration, fear) and behavioral (e.g., withdrawal, mimicking parents’ behavior) reactions in their children. Veterans also shared numerous ways in which their children provided practical and emotional support. Authors offer implications of these findings for future research, program development, and clinical care, including a free online parenting resource for veterans with PTSD based on this research.

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