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Coaching Academy on Resilience & Trauma (CART) FAQs

About Program

1. What is CART?

CART is the Coaching Academy on Resilience & Trauma hosted by the Center on Child Wellbeing & Trauma. The mission is to support community teams in addressing trauma, fostering healing, and building resilience to ensure all children and families have the opportunity to thrive in their community.

2. What is the Center on Child Wellbeing & Trauma (CCWT)?

The Center on Child Wellbeing & Trauma supports child-serving organizations and systems in becoming trauma-informed and responsive through trainings, technical assistance, communities of practice, and coaching. CART is our new program specifically geared towards community-based work. To learn more go to

3. Who is funding CART?

CART resources come from the Center on Child Wellbeing & Trauma, which is fully funded by the MA Office of the Child Advocate using funds allocated in the state budget.

4. What will the accepted community teams be learning throughout the program?

We will equip 5 regional community teams with the strategies to develop trauma-responsive community initiatives that incorporate

  • Safety: Ensuring physical, social, and emotional safety for the children & families in your community as well as for the community team who are serving them.
  • Transparency & Trust: Intentionally building trust and promoting transparency with the children & families in your community.
  • Empowerment, voice, & choice: Partnering with children & families in your community and making them valued leaders & decision-makers.
  • Equity, Anti-Bias efforts, & Cultural Affirmation: Actively addressing discrimination, promoting equity, and practicing cultural affirmations to help avoid re-traumatizing children and their families.
  • Healthy Relationships & Interactions: Encouraging and modeling healthy relationship behaviors help children learn to cultivate positive interactions with peers and family members.

5. What does CCWT hope that participants will gain from the program?

We know that you are passionate and knowledgeable about helping your community. We hope that:

  • Applying trauma-informed & responsive strategies to your community initiatives will increase your capacity to utilize a multi-layered approach to address issues your community is experiencing
  • Our training approach will give you practical strategies to implement your initiative so that you will see measurable & transformative impact in your community
  • Your partnership with your community will build trust as children and families feel empowered, valued, supported within their own community
  • The institutional partnerships that you currently have will be strengthened & the new ones you build through this program will help you tap into resources to collectively meet the needs of the children & families in your community.

6. Do you offer any certification?

Yes every CART participant will graduate from the program as a “Certified Trauma-Responsive Community Leader.”

7. Are there any funds offered to teams?

Each accepted team will be provided with up to $20,000 toward development of a trauma-responsive project.

8. Will CART be a virtual or in-person experience?

To accommodate teams from different regions/cities, we will be hosting CART virtually.

9. What will the CART experience be like for participants?

CART will be an interactive experience. Participants will meet twice a month. The first session of the month will be a training session led by the CART instructor. The first session is filled with break-out rooms, application exercises, and lively discussion. The second session of the month will be a collaboration session where community teams are invited to implement strategies and collaborate with other teams by giving and receiving feedback.

10. What is the time commitment for CART participants?

The duration of CART is 6 months.  Participants can expect to spend at least four hours a month in the sessions and additional time outside of the sessions working on the community project.

11. What are CART participants expected to contribute?

All CART teams are expected to attend and participate in all sessions, complete brief evaluation forms, and learn and grow with us.  Funding for the initiative requires a defined project with goals.

Applicants & Eligibility

12. What are the eligibility requirements for CART?

  • Teams should be made up of a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 8 people. No solo applicants will be accepted.​
  • Team should have relationships with key stakeholders in their community.
  • Teams members should be diverse and inclusive.
  • Team should be knowledgeable about the issues that impact the children & families in their community​.
  • Teams should present an idea for their community resilience building initiative.  We welcome ideas from early-stage concepts to more developed work.
  • Team should be ready to commit to 6-month program of twice a month sessions.

13. What sectors or backgrounds should applicants come from?

We recognize that each community has different needs and assets. It is important that each applicant team can build the best team that works for their local project, goals, and context.

We believe the teams who would benefit best from this program will include various passionate and invested stakeholders. When it comes to the mental health & well-being of children, SAMHSA defines community stakeholders as:

  • Youth/children
  • Parents/caregivers
  • Businesses
  • Media
  • Schools
  • Youth-serving Organizations (non-profit & for profit)
  • Law Enforcement
  • Religious Or Fraternal Organizations
  • Civic Or Volunteer Groups
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • State Or Local Agencies
  • Other Local Organizations

14. What level of expertise is required from applicant teams?

We value both professional experts & experience experts.

Experience experts are those who have been directly impacted by the issues that your team is trying to solve. Example: a parent of LGTBTQ teen leading an initiative that impact LGBTQ children & families.

Professional experts have formal education and certifications or has a history of being paid for their skills/talent. Example: a local grant writer that can help the team get additional funding or a local furniture maker teaching foster youth build chairs.

Perhaps most importantly, your team needs to work together in a strength-based & collaborative way.

15. What issue areas should applicant teams be working on?

We are open to all issues & topics that impact children & families and that can benefit from trauma-responsive & resilience-focused training.

16. Why does CART only accept teams?

Trauma and resilience in a community are complex issues that require a team approach.  None of us can do it alone! Additionally, we want to support projects that have the potential to be sustainable and have a long-term impact. This requires the ability to tap into various resources including personnel capacity.

17. How do you define region?

We are open to your team’s definition
of your location and also encourage non-regionally based work if that better fits your definition of community team. In Massachusetts, regions are defined in multiple ways, cities, counties, districts, major metropolitan areas. There are also 6 formal
regions as defined by the state government: Western, Central, Northeast, Metro West, Boston and Southeast.

18. How do you define community?

Communities can be defined by location, identities, or experiences.  Example: A team can be working on an initiative that specifically impacts the LGBTQPIA2s+ community.

19. Can applicant teams be working on a community initiative that impacts multiple cities?

Yes, multi-city and/or regional approaches are welcomed, if they are focused on a common goal and their initiative is relevant and appropriate for the multiple cities.  See the previous question about how the community is defined.

This is about what would work best to make your community more trauma-responsive. If you are unsure if your team is the right fit, or have a question please contact

20. Will multiple teams representing the same city or community be accepted? Can more than one applicant team apply per city or community?

We do not intend to accept multiple teams representing the same city or community. However, we are open to understanding special circumstances*. One of our goals is to support resilient and positive collaboration across the state, so the selection committee will factor in geographic diversity in its process.

*Special circumstance depends on how teams are defining their regions. One team may be focused on a multi-city region and another team addressing a completely different issue might be focused on one city.

Application Process

21. What is the application process?

Teams can apply at:

Application & Selection process:

  • November 18: Applications are due.
  • December: Accepted teams will be notified and meet with CART Instructors and identify their goals for the program.
  • January: Program Start Date! Dates & times will be based on accepted team availability.

22. Will the applicants who are not selected be notified?

Of course. If you are interested in knowing why your team was not selected you are welcome to contact us at

23. Will there be future opportunities to participate in CART if the timing isn’t right for me/my community?

We hope so! This first year of implementing this model will be about learning what works and does not work to better meet your needs. We hope this model will continue and grow for years to come.

Download a PDF version of these FAQs here.