Alumni Update: Alice Kraiza: Bringing Trauma-Informed Care to Children

Alice Kraiza.

Alice Kraiza (MN-LEND, 2017–18) is a project coordinator for the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc., where she is helping bring evidence-based children’s mental health treatments to schools to improve the quality of care for students who are recovering from trauma.

In her role at CHDI, she coordinates trainings and provides technical assistance for teams implementing Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Bounce Back. CBITS is an evidence-based group-based intervention for children in grades 5 to 12 who are experiencing post-traumatic reactions. Bounce Back is an adaptation of CBITS for children in grades K-5.

CBITS and Bounce Back teach children cognitive behavioral techniques, such as relaxation skills, social problem solving, and cognitive restructuring. These techniques help children cope with the impact of their traumatic experience.

“I’m passionate about children’s health, which is why I was a LEND fellow and why I chose to work at CHDI,” Kraiza said. “Through LEND I was able to reach out to underserved communities, and here in Connecticut we serve school districts with a wide range of access to mental health services. Through these experiences, I’ve seen how trauma cuts across race, gender, sexuality, and disability quite differently. We always need to work to consider the whole child.”

Kraiza completed her MN-LEND fellowship while also earning a master’s degree in public health administration and policy from the University of Minnesota.

Looking ahead, she hopes to increase awareness and understanding of how the intersection of race, gender, disability, trauma exposure, and other factors affect children’s health outcomes and tailor implementation strategies to address varying needs.

“You can’t just look at a person through one lens,” she said.