About the Center

Founded in 2009 and originally located within the Walnut Avenue Women and Family Center in Santa Cruz, the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care promotes trauma-informed practices within California’s social service sector. Through professional development training and agency-specific consultation, the Center works with staff, boards, executive leadership, volunteers, and consumers of publicly funded social services to improve client outcomes and agency effectiveness. We work with agencies to develop policies and practices that respond to the needs of trauma-exposed clients by focusing on safety, coping, and designing practice to encourage trauma recovery.

The Center also provides direct services.

Groups in Santa Cruz, California

  • Seeking Safety Drop-In Group: Women age 18+
    • Currently groups are suspended.  Agencies interested in hosting Seeking Safety groups can contact traumainformedcalifornia@gmail.com
    • Since November 2009, Gabriella has offered no-cost drop-in Seeking Safety groups to women in downtown Santa Cruz.  Originally hosted by Walnut Avenue then Siena House, the group has offered accessible, affordable and effective treatment for over 800 women.
  • Additional groups are also occasionally offered, including Creating Change, the past-focused treatment for PTSD and unsafe behaviors developed by Dr. Lisa Najavits.

Gabriella Grant, Director

Gabriella Grant, director of the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care (left) and Louise Godbold interim executive director for ECHO Center for Parenting
Gabriella Grant, director of the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care (left) and Louise Godbold interim executive director for ECHO Center for Parenting

Gabriella Grant is the director of the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care, overseeing the Center’s research, program and professional development as well as policy analysis activities. Her background includes heading the nation’s first community corrections-based victim advocacy program and running a three-year project funded by the California Department of Public Health to increase access to domestic violence shelters by women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. The domestic violence shelter project showed that it is possible to increase capacity to serve women with co-occurring disorders by understanding trauma and developing programs that respond to people’s need for safety. Gabriella brings to the Center a long history of professional experience developing innovative programs for female offenders, crime victims, and domestic violence survivors. Through this work she has also gained an understanding of how program design, policies and procedures can positively affect the people being served. She earned her undergraduate degree from Amherst College, a Latin teaching certificate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy and a Masters in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught at the primary, secondary and university levels and has trained professionals, advocates and consumers in a wide variety of settings.

Governance

The California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care operated under the fiscal sponsorship of Monarch Services~Servicios Monarca. Formerly, it operated as an associated program of Walnut Avenue Women and Family Center’s board and governance structure (July 2009-july 2015). Starting in July 2015, CCE-TIC moved its fiscal sponsorship to Monarch Services and offices moved to the Seabright area of Santa Cruz. For more information about the Monarch Services governance, please visit http://www.monarchscc.org/.

The California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care is developing a long-term budgeting plan to be able to provide low- or no-cost training and consulting to California-based nonprofit social service agencies that want to improve services, client outcomes, and staff morale and be certified as a trauma-informed agency.

To give a tax-deductible donation to the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care, please contact Gabriella Grant at 831-515-7570.