Hope & Healing JAX Board of Directors

Every child is precious.

Hope & Healing JAX equips ALL who touch the lives of children with what they need, so they can give children what they need. 

Every child should feel precious, loved & safe.

Board of Directors

Eric Bradstreet, President

Justin Contreras

Carrie Driscoll

Eric Mitchell

Nemiah Rutledge

Letter from our Executive Director:

Dear Hope Partner,

At Hope & Healing JAX we are committed to two key principles.

Every child is precious, and
Every child should feel precious, loved & safe.

Hope & Healing JAX and its TBRI practitioners provide ALL who touch the lives of children with a deep understanding of the impact of unresolved trauma and Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs) on Jacksonville’s most vulnerable children through Trust Based Relational Intervention, or TBRI. This model of care offers knowledge, strategies, and a safe space to process and practice these evidence-based skills to promote healing and resilience to increase child wellbeing by strengthening family and community connections.

In 2021 Hope & Healing JAX was named the lead agency for the local resilience building initiative Hope & Healing JAX. Focused on bringing together those already working in Jacksonville to address Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs) and trauma to promote healing and build resilience, ultimately we aim to raise awareness concerning the needs of children and adolescents, and the part we can ALL play in meeting those needs.

We best serve little ones, tweens and teens who have experienced trauma when we see them through a strength-based lens. When they act out, we don’t see just troubling behaviors but the life events that may have led to these behaviors. Likewise, with parents who have struggled themselves, we must replace “What’s wrong with you?” with “What happened to you?” Just as we see children as they deserve to be seen, we must also see all that is good and right in their parents. We are privileged to empower adults to positively shape the lives of children.

When young people send behavioral SOS signals, they communicate to us through their behaviors, partly to gain our attention. We offer the best support to children when we strengthen their family relationships and empower parents to be their guides toward adulthood.

We each have a vital role in supporting children and families, even though the length of our interactions may vary. While some of us develop ongoing and enduring relationships with children, teens and parents, others play a very particular role in nurturing growth and change but never get to watch the progress and see the results.

A strength-based approach is only part of the equation. Positive thinking and a focus on strengths and past successes are important—but hope is better. There is something more a parent can look forward to, even beyond a crisis situation. Hope-centered care seeks to understand how strengths developed in the midst of adversity. We partner with parents to see themselves as strong and resourceful as they identify specific qualities that have served them well in other difficult situations, restoring power and hope. The reframing of the story doesn’t deny any of the difficult truth of the story, but it changes the parent’s view of himself in the story. A story of hope sparks motivation in everyone.

We meet people where they are, with all their strengths, weaknesses, resolved and unresolved trauma, ingrained reactions and responses, and myriad self-narratives. We protect children by coming alongside parents to listen, hear, and facilitate strength-based approaches and solutions to persistent issues. Misbehaviors, or behaviors that signal something is amiss, allow a child to send up an SOS in the only way they know how at that time—“See me, hear me, pay attention to me, and help me navigate this.” By showing up with a humble and loving stance, we can help parents and kids work toward flourishing. Keeping expectations high means we all want more, more than just getting by—we offer developmentally appropriate protective strategies with respect and guidance based on the parent’s past successes.

Every child is precious, and
Every child should feel precious, loved & safe.

 We know that ONE CARING ADULT can change the life trajectory of a child.

See the child. See the need. Meet the need.

Be the one.

In gratitude for your partnership,

Kirsten Freitag Murray
Executive Director
Hope & Healing JAX, Inc.

The research on the most effective treatments to help children who have experienced trauma might be accurately summed up this way:

 

What works best is anything that increases the quality and number of relationships in the child’s life.     

Dr. Bruce Perry

National Strategic Partner:

Karyn Purvis Institute for Child Development
Department of Psychology
College of Science and Engineering
Texas Christian University