Hands of different colors representing community

ATN: Why and How to Get Connected

How much do you know about ATN? As a new member of the Attachment and Trauma Network Board of Directors, I have discovered some amazing things. I knew some of this from joining ATN two years ago and speaking at the first two Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools Conferences. However, joining the board has definitely reinforced it! To learn more about how I connected with this fantastic organization and the difference it made in my life, check out ATN: The Power of Community.

ATN: 5 things to know

It has an established history

First of all, the Attachment & Trauma Network has been around a long time (almost 25 years to be exact)! This organization started working to understand traumatized children long before brain research became mainstream. I can’t imagine how lonely that must have felt in the beginning.

It’s about the parents…

It all began with a group of parents who could not find answers for the difficult behaviors of their foster and adopted children who had been diagnosed with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). They found traditional methods for working with these children ineffective and began searching for better answers. Out of this group came the foundational work of support and networking which still remains a hallmark of ATN.

…and also schools

Even though parents began to understand, schools and teachers often did not. From this need to get all those working with children affected by trauma on the same page, came the Trauma Sensitive Schools program and the Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools Conference.

It has many moving parts

ATN includes a full-time staff (of 2), additional part-time staff, contracted workers, and many volunteers. If you want to know ATN’s location, I would have to say everywhere! Staff, volunteers, and board members span the entire United States. Meetings and other collaborations often take place virtually. In other words, ATN impacts children, families, schools, and communities around the world…from its members’ houses, garages, and basements!

I found my tribe

Last but not least, all that this small band of dedicated people accomplishes astounds me. Over five years ago, I wrote down a list of what I hoped for in my future. Part of my list stated,

“Involvement in a think-tank/business/enterprise/organization with friends who have the positive attitudes, vision, and the talent and drive to make things happen.”

As I sat in my first ATN Board Meeting listening to the stories of how each member came to ATN, what they do both inside and outside of ATN, and the hopes, visions, and plans for the future of ATN, I knew I had found my tribe.

Click on these links to get started:

I am honored to be part of the Attachment & Trauma Network. Come join us in fulfilling our mission “to promote healing of children impacted by trauma through supporting their families, schools, and communities.” If you have a story about what ATN has meant for you, your family, community, or school, I would love to hear it! Just send me an e-mail: [email protected]. You might even want to see your story featured in Our Voices, the ATN Blog. If so, copy that e-mail to the blog manager, [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear from you!




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