Avedis Foundation: Halo project receives $14,730 grant

Vicky O. Misa
Pictured, from left, are Dr. Kathy Laster, president and CEO of the Avedis Foundation; Cindy Lee, LCSW Halo Project executive director; and Tracy Meeuwsen, program director of the Avedis Foundation.

HALO Project International recently received a $14,730 grant from the Avedis Foundation.

The project meets the needs of foster and adopted children by using Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) though a 10-week intensive program.

HALO will partner with Pottawatomie County DHS to train staff and foster families in TBRI and provide on-going training and support.

The goal of the project will be to ensure that each child touched by foster care in Pottawatomie County is seen, heard and valued, and secondary systematic trauma is decreased on all levels.

“The Avedis Foundation is honored to partner with the HALO project and Pottawatomie County DHS to provide this exceptional Trust Based hands-on training to staff and local foster families in our area,” Dr. Kathy Laster, president and CEO of the Avedis Foundation, said. “The collaborative nature of this project is a testament to the work of community partnerships coming together for the greater good.”

Avedis Program Director Tracy Meeuwsen said by working directly with the HALO Project, this training opportunity has been broadened to include local organizations and nonprofits.

“This program is groundbreaking for our state and will not only serve as the pilot program for state-wide expansion but also for national recognition,” Cindy R. Lee, LCSW Halo Project executive director, said.

HALO is thrilled to be partnering with the Avedis Foundation to bring TBRI to the Pottawatomie County community, she said.

Lee said TBRI has been widely successful on a national level and now it can be offered to this community.

“This program will help take us to the top nationally in how we care for children,” Lee said.

No longer will Oklahoma be viewed as a state struggling to care for children and families, she said.

“We feel this will be a tool that can truly benefit those in the community that work with some of our most vulnerable children and families,” Meeuwsen said.

About Halo

HALO formed the Oklahoma TBRI Collaborative for Children (OTCC) in 2016.

The OTCC is now in its third year and provides training to 16 partner agencies serving Oklahoma Child Welfare.

The goal of the OTCC is to produce a cultural change within the child welfare system that enables those who touch a child’s life to make decisions based upon the best practices of trauma-informed care (i.e. TBRI).

HALO provides partners with TBRI Mentors, monthly TBRI trainings, ongoing coaching and support and scholarships.

TBRI mentors assist partners with creating and implementing a TBRI plan within their own organizations.

For more information about Halo, call (405) 753-4172 or visit haloprojectokc.com.

For more information about Avedis, call (405) 273-4055 or visit avedisfoundation.org.