Together Through Trauma at Philadelphia Rec Centers 2023-05-30T09:59:11+00:00


Center for Families and Relationships is partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to bring ‘Together Through Trauma’ programming to rec centers throughout Philadelphia! Below is some key information about this exciting program expansion. 

What is the purpose of the programming?
CFAR will expand its ‘Together Through Trauma’ programming to provide evidence-based trauma counseling and trauma education through community workshops/support groups on the impacts of trauma and how to cope after exposure to traumatic events.  The programming, which will take place at various PPR Rec Centers, will engage children, teens, adults, families and staff with the goal of decreasing the incidence of PTSD symptoms to those directly or indirectly impacted by gun violence and working to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma.

How is the programming being funded?
Through a Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Violence Intervention & Prevention (VIP) Grant in the amount of $999,000 over 29 months. VIP funding “supports grants and technical assistance to address community violence throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on preventing and intervening with gun and group-related violence.”

Who is the target audience?
Children, adults, teens, and families who have been impacted by gun and street violence in Philadelphia. PPR identified Rec Centers in areas with particularly high instances of gun and street violence in order to best access this population.

What will the services/programming include?

  • Community Workshops. Trauma workshops/support groups to children, adults, teens and families in each of the six identified recreation centers, monthly.  Topics can be chosen by Recreation leadership from a menu of workshops including understanding trauma, how trauma impacts families and relationships, how to deal with the loss of a loved one due to gun violence, managing anxiety after a traumatic event, conflict resolution, etc.  The goal is to provide trauma education as well as create a safe environment for community members to support one another.
  • Trauma Services. Therapists that provide evidenced based trauma services to those directly impacted by gun violence in person or through telehealth, making appropriate referrals as needed.  Therapists hope to provide four open access hours at each Recreation Center per week.  Therapists will have the capacity to see an average of 30 clients per week.
  • Staff Trainings. Training/support to recreation staff and/or community partner staff located within the neighborhoods we are located, once a month.  Trainings will focus on education around secondary traumatic stress, providing support to staff members working in these vulnerable communities to help reduce burnout.
  • Emotional Education Workshops. Weekly, one hour, mental health and emotional education in twelve camps, over two summers.

Where will the programming be located?
Programming will take place in six PPR Recreation Centers identified as being located in high-need areas:

  • Feltonville Rec Center, 221 E Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19120
  • Mallery Rec Center, 100-70 East Johnson Street, 19144
  • Tustin Rec Center, 5901-29 W. Columbia Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19151
  • C.B. Moore Rec Center, 2551 N 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA, 19132
  • Mander Playground, 2140 N. 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA, 19121
  • 8th and Diamond Playground, 800 Diamond St., Philadelphia, PA, 19122

Where can people access information about the programming?
Information will be posted on CFAR and PPR social media, distributed/posted at the Rec Centers, shared with local partners and schools to disseminate, and on the CFAR website. CFAR will also be working with PPR and other partners to increase visibility about the programming in the target communities.

What is the timeline for rolling out the programming?
CFAR is in the process of posting program staff positions and interviewing candidates. CFAR is starting to meet with rec center staff and advisory councils to begin assessing needs and developing plans for each rec center. CFAR is looking forward to begin programming as soon as the program expansion staffing is in place.

How will the programming make an impact in the community?
CFAR has expertise in understanding how trauma impacts individuals and communities. CFAR teaches that talking about your trauma, and understanding how trauma impacts you, are the first steps in regaining control and minimizing symptoms of post-traumatic stress.  The more individuals talk about their trauma, the more likely it is that they will help break the cycle of intergeneration trauma.  CFAR community workshops/support groups will cover topics such as understanding trauma, parenting through trauma, conflict resolution, emotional regulation, managing anxiety after a traumatic event, grief/loss groups, coping with the loss of a loved one due to gun violence, etc.  The goal is to provide education to help build skills to reduce the chances of developing symptoms of PTSD and encouraging community members to have healthy communication and shared experiences in which they can utilize one another as a support.  CFAR strives to create a community of healing instead of a community of silence in which people are alone in their pain. CFAR will also offer free evidenced based trauma services to those directly impacted by gun violence to help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The goal of the mental health services is not only to reduce symptoms of PTSD but to help families feel open to talk about their trauma in healthy ways, sharing their experience and feelings with family members to help break that cycle of intergeneration trauma.  In today’s world, our community is too desensitized to violence because it feels normal.  It is happening around us every day.  These sessions help children, teens, adults and families cope with trauma in a health way to help prevent retaliation and desensitization to gun violence trauma.

Family Counseling Specialists

The Center for Families and Relationships is a not for profit counseling center serving the needs of individuals, couples, families and children.


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