Founded in 2005, the Women’s Philanthropy Network is a group of women dedicated to ensuring positive change in the Shreveport-Bossier community. Members pool their annual dues in order to make a high-impact gift to local organizations that focus on education. This year, the membership voted to award $73,165 to Volunteers for Youth Justice (VYJ).
The funding will be used to implement a Trauma Responsive School Resource Center at University Elementary School. The center, managed by VYJ, will provide a comprehensive set of interventions that allow children to be identified and referred to resources before a crisis occurs. School staff will receive support and education that will result in a school culture that understands the causes of behavior issues and will also be trained and equipped to respond to these issue in an effective and sensitive manner. The Trauma Response Team has five components:
- A full-time Truancy Officer will work closely with families and school staff to address issues leading to poor school attendance. In addition to chronic attendance issues, the families often have other social service needs (food, clothing, mental health issues) that the Truancy Officer can help them address.
- A FINS (Family in Need of Services) Officer will be assigned in an on-call capacity and handle more serious cases of ungovernable and runaway behavior.
- The local Shreveport group of TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) practitioners will help design a trauma response plan for University faculty and staff and a volunteer TBRI advocate will be assigned to the school. Advocates have the expertise for this work and their assistance will free-up school personnel to return to their daily tasks.
- The current Mentoring and Leadership program run by VYJ will establish a site/chapter at University for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
- A Conflict Resolution (CR) program will be established at University. Conflict Resolution is a specific curriculum that addresses fighting and youth conflict.
In addition to their grantmaking program, Women’s Philanthropy Network also hosts educational programming to keep members informed of community programs and needs. Since inception, the Women’s Philanthropy Network has granted over $1.2 million to educational initiatives in our community. Learn more about the WPN and become a member at cfnla.org/wpn.