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Network of Care Awards Grants to Address Toxic Stress in Youth

Children who experience toxic stress or high levels of adversity have been shown to experience disruptions in their health and development. The Santa Barbara County Network of Care, a partnership of Resilient Santa Barbara County (RSBC) and the Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative (PeRC), has awarded buffering services grants to seven community organizations addressing this toxic stress in children and youth. (The Santa Barbara County KIDS Network is a cross-sector, umbrella organization that serves as the hub for RSBC.)

Cottage Health, on behalf of PeRC and RSBC, received a grant from the state’s ACEs Aware initiative to support the Santa Barbara County Network of Care. The ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the nation effort led by the California Department of Health Care Services and the Office of the California Surgeon General.

ACEs Aware seeks to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in an effort to prevent and address the impact of ACEs and toxic stress. ACEs refers to traumatic events, such as abuse, neglect or household challenges, that are experienced before the age of 18. Through PeRC, Resilient Santa Barbara County, and the Network of Care, ACEs screenings and referral services are being implemented in pediatric clinics across Santa Barbara County. The Network of Care is a key component of this effort and coordinates community organizations providing resources to families affected by ACEs. The seven community organizations receiving grants will provide services in response to referrals from pediatric clinics screening for ACEs.

2021-2022 Buffering Services Grantees:

Grants were awarded for Aug. 1, 2021 through Jan. 31, 2022 and totaled $340,000 across all recipients. The following organizations were selected to provide evidence-based interventions that prevent, treat, and heal the harmful consequences of toxic stress.

  • Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) – Parenting Together and Raising Children with Pride programs provide culturally relevant parenting skills training in English and Spanish.

  • Carpinteria Children’s Project – Family Strengthening field trips for children and parents and Promotores-led family classes encourage physical activity, strengthen parenting skills, and foster supportive relationships.

  • Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley – Nurturing Skills for Families and Project Parent classes teach parents skills to increase balance and well-being.

  • Family Service Agency – Educational classes are offered for parents in English and Spanish, and a home visitation program enhances supportive relationships.

  • Harding School Foundation – Friendship Social Support Groups at Harding and Monroe Elementary schools support students in need of additional social-emotional learning as well as classes and workshops for parents and a Youth Mental Health First Aid course.

  • Isla Vista Youth Projects – Parenting classes, conducted in Spanish, provide education on child development, communication skills, and positive discipline, and grandparenting classes support non-custodial grandparents or children ages 0-5.

  • Wilderness Youth Project – Bridge to Nature offers nature experiences for children and youth in small group settings to deepen relationships with self, others, and mentors as well as facilitate child-centered nature exploration, skill-building games, and storytelling.

For more about Cottage Center for Population Health and Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative, visit For more information about Resilient Santa Barbara County, visit

-Maria Zate for Cottage Health



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