First Lady Tonette Walker

First Lady Tonette Walker Promotes the Importance of Trauma-Informed Care at Congressman Mike Gallagher’s “Youth Voices: A Trauma-Informed Perspective” Panel

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

GREEN BAY – First Lady Tonette Walker today participated in Congressman Mike Gallagher’s (WI-8) panel “Youth Voices: A Trauma-Informed Perspective” to discuss the critical role Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have in influencing a child’s behavior and life. The panel focused on how to expand the reach of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) to more areas, especially foster care.

“Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress are a root cause or exacerbating factor of many of our biggest public health issues,” said Mrs. Walker. “This is certainly the case for children in foster care and our state’s need for supportive and skilled foster parents is growing. I hope that people who generously step up to become foster parents are willing to learn about the impact of ACEs and gain the TIC skills that will improve outcomes for these kids.”

In addition to Congressman Mike Gallagher, other panelists discussing TIC included Wisconsin State Assembly Representative Paul Tittl and Representative Joel Kitchens. 

There are almost 8,000 children in Wisconsin who have been placed in out-of-home care due to neglect or abuse as of 2017. Children in the child welfare system have a higher likelihood of experiencing more ACEs which increases the need for TIC.

Earlier this year, Governor Scott Walker signed 11 bills as a part of a bill package created by the 2017 Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care to help improve outcomes for children in Wisconsin’s foster care system. TIC is an approach that has been recognized as essential in helping these children and families.

Mrs. Walker has been working to spread information and knowledge about Trauma-Informed Care since 2011. Her efforts have resulted in several state agencies, county human service systems, and tribal nations adopting TIC.