JRI Institute for Dissemination, Evaluation and Advancement of Trauma Informed Care (IDEA)

The JRI Institute for Dissemination, Evaluation and Advancement of Trauma Informed Care (IDEA) is comprised of a collaborative group of experts in traumatic stress whose mission is to broadly disseminate, evaluate, and advance trauma informed practices for children, youth and families with histories exposure to trauma and adversity. Through regional and national dissemination activities, research and program evaluation work, and scholarly products and collaborations, IDEA strives to raise the standard of care for trauma-impacted children, youth and families across the nation. 

Dissemination work focuses on raising the standard of care for children, youth and families who have experienced childhood trauma and adversity, increasing access to effective treatment approaches for traumatic stress, and promoting the development of a trauma-informed mental health workforce through training, technical assistance (TA), and direct service activities both regionally and nationally. This work occurs through multiple initiatives within SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), including the Metropolitan Boston Complex Trauma Treatment Network, and the Building Resiliency through Residential Communities (BRTRC) initiative.

Evaluation work encompasses both research and program evaluation, with the broad goal of examining what treatments work best for who, where they work best (i.e. environments and settings), and how to support effectiveness (i.e. implementation conditions). Current research and program evaluation initiatives focus on several key areas of inquiry; (1) examination of the effectiveness of trauma informed training and implementation initiatives within mental health services systems, (2) treatment outcome research with an emphasis on real-world applications of Evidenced Based Practices (EBPs) for trauma in community based settings (i.e. effectiveness studies), and (3) examination of risk and protective factors that influence development of or resistance to mental health conditions among diverse populations experiencing a broad range of types of traumatic experiences. These initiatives utilize both quantitative and qualitative data collected through NCTSN grant activities, clinical quality improvement data that is collected through the JRI CATS system, and data collected through JRI’s randomized control trial examining the effectiveness of the Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) framework in community settings. Multiple theoretical frameworks are used to guide this work including developmental psychopathology, social justice, and resiliency theory. 

Advancement of Trauma Informed Care includes scholarly work and collaborations with the goal of increasing professional and public awareness of advances in trauma informed care supported by JRI, as well as informing broader policy and practice that impacts children, youth and families who have experienced trauma and adversity. For a list of our publications please click here


Click here to meet our team.


NCTSN Category III Direct Service and Training grant   

Metropolitan Boston Complex Trauma Treatment Initiative (MB-CTTI)  

Project Period: 2018-2023, Total Funding JRI Prime Award: $2,000,000 

JRI Project Staff: H. Hodgdon, E. Hopper, K. Kinniburgh, G. Corens, K. McCarthy, J. Roman-Martin, S. Mazur 

The Metropolitan Boston Complex Trauma Treatment Initiative (MB-CTTI) is a regional initiative focused on reducing health disparities and disseminating trauma-informed EBPs to children and youth exposed to complex trauma across the Metro Boston region. The MB-CTTI is comprised of a team of mobile clinical experts that provide direct clinical services, consultation, and training to partner programs within and outside of JRI, serving children and youth across the care continuum, with a particular focus on LGBTQ youth, youth in state custody, urban youth of color, commercially sexually exploited youth, and military families. The goals of this project are to: 

(1) Reduce health disparities and increase access to EBPs among the five high-risk, vulnerable subpopulations of traumatized youth throughout the Metro Boston region.  

(2) Strengthen the infrastructure of at least 50 programs within our internal and external partner network to effectively deliver and sustain EBPs for complexly traumatized youth and families.  

To date, the MB CTTI project has trained over 300 professionals within JRI in a variety of trauma-informed practices and approaches including Trauma Focused CBT, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, and the NCTSN Resource Parent Curriculum. We have provided direct service and / or enhanced ongoing services through dissemination of EBPs for trauma to over 120 clients across the agency. Current and past partnerships include residential programs, group homes, and community based service programs where we have provided direct service to clients, parent consultation and support, group therapy, and clinical and system level consultation and training. 


Evaluation of the Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) Framework for the Treatment of Complex Trauma in Children  

Project period: 9/1/2016-3/30/2021 

JRI Project Staff: H. Hodgdon, K. McCarthy, E. Southwell 

The goals of this project are to conduct a randomized control trial in order to; 1) establish an empirical evidence base for the effectiveness of an innovative intervention approach for the treatment of complex trauma in children, 2) examine the impact of ARC on several proposed change agents or mechanisms, in addition to reductions in clinical symptoms, and 3) support ongoing sustainability of the delivery of EBPs for complex trauma by providing additional training and consultation in ARC to the practitioners working with underserved children who have experienced multiple traumatic exposures and are seeking mental health services through community based outpatient clinics. 


ARC RCT COVID19 Pandemic Impact Ancillary Study 

Project period: 4/1/2020-3/30/2021 

The COVID19 pandemic is an unprecedented society level stressor that is impacting everyone in our community. We are also hearing reports, both through the media and from our programs and clients directly, that this crisis is exerting a differential impact individuals from specific socio-economic strata and racial and ethnic groups. It is important to understand, both for short and long term planning for how to mobilize and utilize services, who is being impacted the most and in what ways. Through this ancillary research study we are using an online survey instrument and several brief psychometric instruments, to better understand how the COVID19 crisis is impacting caregivers of children and youth who are enrolled in the ARC RCT, as well as clinical staff at our participating community based mental health clinics. The primary aims of the study are to explore how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting both families seeking mental health treatment and the people providing the mental health treatment. We will examine: (1) The degree to which each family is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including impact on daily family life, financial impact, food security, physical health, and access to mental health services; (2) For caregivers - the association between the degree of impact of the COVID-19 crisis and caregiver perceived parenting stress, as well as caregiver distress and mental health; (3) The association between the degree of impact of the COVID-19 crisis and child distress; and (4) The interaction between prior risk factors and mental health indicators (e.g., cumulative trauma history, severity of child PTSD symptoms, caregiver parenting stress, and caregiver distress) and impact of the COVID-19 crisis on child and caregiver stress and distress. For mental health clinicians, we are examining the degree of impact of the COVID19 pandemic on each individual, as well as changes in mental health practices and impact on provision of services (i.e. issues related to the transition to telehealth). 


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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.