Research

After our members vote on a community problem to address, we research the problem and solutions.

Teams of RISC members, including at least one member from each RISC congregation, participate in research teams. Research team members are not experts in the traditional sense - we have personal experience with the problems and care about our community, but do not have Ph.Ds in the subject area. Instead, we meet with experts within our region and on a national level who inform us about the problem, statistics, and how it affects our community. We also identify solutions that are being implemented on a national level and solutions that have been tried before in our region.

Overall, our research teams of 40+ community members hold at least 20 meetings with experts between November-March of a given year to understand the problem and identify a proven solution that will be workable in our region. We also identify public officials and institutions who will have the authority to implement the solution and meet with them extensively before taking action.

Example:

After taking on the problem of children's mental health, we learned that Chesterfield County schools average 5 to 8 students per classroom with a mental illness. They also suspended four-thousand three-hundred kids last year for behavior problems that are often linked to traumatic experiences in their lives.

So we looked for proven solutions and found one: school-based trauma-informed care training. 

Trauma is reflected in the high rates of suspension, mental health concerns, and truancy – even suicide. Across the country, school systems are training teachers and staff to recognize and respond to student trauma, as one step to prevent suspensions and mental health crises. ACE Interface is a strong trauma-response program with results across the country.

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health will train a school district’s staff at no cost. We knew our schools needed this training!

That brought us to our third step – Action! Click here to learn about the exciting next step in our process.

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