Learn More About the Family First Act in Montana

Reserve your seat today – Oct. 28 – Helena 
Implementing the Family First Act in Montana will affect many stakeholders, including former and current foster youth, foster families, child welfare providers, tribal governments, local lawmakers, state officials and other community partners. The State anticipates the Act will be fully operational by October 2021 or earlier.
Click here for more information: FF Meeting Invite

The Impact of Sexual Trauma Conference – ChildWise Institute – Sept. 19 & 20, 2019


Join us and hear an inspirational message from Erin Merryn,  the force behind Erin’s Law, which requires public schools to teach children personal body safety on the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Erin’s media appearances include Oprah (three times), CNN (four times), the Today show, Good Morning America, TLC, Nightline, FOX, MSNBC, Katie Couric, Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew.

Attendees will be able to meet Erin at the conclusion of the conference.



This important event COULD NOT occur without the strong support of our generous community and statewide partners!



Reserve your seat today!

Be Child Wise Workshop – May 11, 2019 – Whitefish, MT

We all want to be effective and positive parents raising healthy and happy children. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

The Be Child Wise workshop helps parents identify why their child’s behavior can sometimes stir up their emotions and how they can make effective changes within their families.

Be Child Wise compiles the wisdom and insight of Intermountain’s thoroughly tested and nationally recognized therapeutic approach with emotionally distressed children and families. Thirty-five years in the making, this book provides specific interventions based on an understanding of child and relational development so that what is harmed by relationship can be healed by relationship.

Presented by: Elizabeth Kohlstaedt, Ph.D. & Kate Cremer-Vogel, MS, LCPC

For more information contact Kati Bono: kati@childwise.org / (406) 457-4812

Toxic Stress Crisis Poised to Take Center Stage on National Health Agenda

Toxic stress leader tapped for historic post in Newsom administration as national advocacy group ramps up for aggressive screening effort

San Francisco, CA — The toxic health crisis, one of the most underreported and serious health conditions in the United States affecting as many as 35 million children, is moving under a giant spotlight this week, with historic new leadership on the issue and ambitious new advocacy efforts.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment today of toxic stress leader Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as the state’s first surgeon general is a ground-breaking step and an important validation of the need for greater awareness of toxic stress. Burke Harris is the founder of the Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) and has been its CEO for the last six years and is the author of “The Deepest Well,” a landmark book about toxic stress. CYW is the nation’s leading toxic stress organization, with a robust advocacy and education arm and a network of pediatric clinics that screen children for risk of toxic stress.

With Dr. Burke Harris’ appointment, the CYW Board has named longtime Bay Area community healthcare leader, James H. Hickman, as interim CEO. Hickman is taking the reins immediately and working with the CYW team to seize on groundbreaking initiatives from the Newsom administration and the California state legislature, including new toxic stress screening legislation.

Toxic stress can happen when children experience serious trauma — like abuse, domestic violence or a parental mental illness — it can impact children’s growing brains and bodies including their immune and hormonal systems and can put them on a lifelong path toward chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Nadine’s appointment as Surgeon General of California. Without her vision of establishing CYW in the first place, the necessary spotlight to direct resources to educating parents, caretakers and physicians on the importance of trauma and the dangers of toxic stress in children may never have occurred,” said Mary Pang, board chair of CYW. “Nadine now takes the power of her voice and vision to Sacramento, working alongside policymakers to effect change and creating a healthier California for all of us.”

“Governor Newsom’s vision to address healthcare from a preventive, rather than reactive, frame reflects a keen appreciation of the latest science as well as a deep commitment to the health of California children and families,” said Dr. Burke Harris. “I am honored to serve in this capacity and will work hard to support the health of all Californians.”

With Governor Newsom and Sacramento putting an even greater emphasis on toxic stress, the work of CYW will be amplified and its advocacy efforts fortified. Hickman has over twenty-five years of experience in senior level positions in the nonprofit, government and private sector. In these roles, he galvanized system change as a social impact practitioner to help create, fund, and promote mission-aligned innovators for the common good. His policy portfolio notably includes serving on the National Advisory Committee for the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers’ National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs.

“This isn’t so much an organizational transition as it is an acceleration of our work to raise awareness about toxic stress so that more parents get their kids screened and treated,” said Hickman. “We are hard at work to build on the incredible accomplishments of Dr. Burke Harris and look forward to watching her achieve incredible things as our state’s first surgeon general.”



Native American Women Speak Out About Sexual Violence


“As the country has its national reckoning with cases of sexual harassment, abuse and inequalities, there is at least one overlooked group of women. The treatment of indigenous women in the U.S. and their accusations of sexual violence perpetrated against them have been seemingly ignored. According to U.S. government statistics, Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the country. Caroline Antone of the Tohono O’odham Nation near Tucson, Arizona, was molested when she was six years old and endured years of continued assault. As an adult, she has devoted herself to awareness, holding rape response clinics on tribal lands and encouraging others to no longer hide what happened to them.”    

Click this link to watch this powerful video:  https://www.nbcnews.com/leftfield/video/native-american-women-speak-out-about-sexual-violence-1134025795618