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Grants Available to Address Toxic Stress in Youth

The Santa Barbara County Network of Care, a partnership of The Santa Barbara County Network of Care, a partnership of Resilient Santa Barbara County (RSBC) and the Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative (PeRC), has released a new Request for Proposals for the Buffering Services Grant Program. Community organizations that provide services to address toxic stress in children and youth are invited to apply for the grants.

Applications are due Nov. 15. For information, visit

Toxic stress, defined as high doses of adversity, has been shown to cause disruptions in the health and development of children. Toxic stress often results from exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which include abuse, neglect, or household challenges experienced before age 18.

Santa Barbara County has been on the forefront of addressing ACEs in the community with pioneering initiatives like the Santa Barbara Resiliency Project and Resilient Santa Barbara County.

The Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative was built upon the foundations of these early initiatives and is an ever-growing community partnership focused on expanding ACEs screening and referral services for all pediatric clinics in the county.

The PeRC model includes training for best practices in ACEs screening, coordinating a designated wellness navigator and therapist to respond to families experiencing ACEs, and working with the broader Network of Care to connect families to buffering services.

The Buffering Services Grant Program provides support to organizations that offer buffering services and invites active participation within the Network of Care, including ongoing engagement with care teams screening and referring for ACEs.

Funding for the grant program is made possible through a grant received by Cottage Health, on behalf of PeRC and Resilient Santa Barbara County, from the state’s ACEs Aware initiative.

The Office of the California Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services jointly launched the ACEs Aware initiative with the goal of providing training, clinical protocols, and payment to Medi-Cal providers for screening children and adults for ACEs. In August, the first round of the grant program began, and seven organizations received more than $340,000 in funds. The second round of the grant program will begin Jan. 1. For more information, contact or visit For more information about Resilient Santa Barbara County, visit

-Maria Zate for Cottage Health



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