“There is no such thing as a bad child”
Stemming from our founder Floyd Starr’s revolutionary belief “there is no such thing as a bad child,” our strength-based approach to building resilience in youth has remained true since Floyd first set our commonwealth into motion in 1913.
Every day, we work to develop healthy relationships, attitudes, and experiences to showcase the innate greatness in all children; to empower the professionals and communities that serve them; and to provide the best tools, resources, and perspective possible to unlock the limitless success we believe all children are capable of achieving. We seek to nurture the roots that were first planted by our founder, as their strength has fueled more than 100 years of growth and opportunity for the countless children we continue to serve.
What began as the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) in 1990 by Dr. William Steele (MSW, PsyD) has grown into Starr’s global network of educational and human service professionals informed by resources, materials, and trainings that have been changing the lives of children and their families ever since. Providing services to traumatized children and their families, Starr is driven to provide professionals the training and resources needed to help children, families, and communities thrive.
Starr’s strength-based, resilience-focused approach is rooted in the universal principle that, to be emotionally healthy, all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. This unique model of positive youth development, the Circle of Courage®, was developed by Starr’s 2nd President, Dr. Larry K. Brendtro (PhD), and his colleagues. The model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practical wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth, and the findings of modern youth development research.
The Circle of Courage® model addresses the needs and problems of each individual, and fosters healing and growth through interventions held in an atmosphere of respect and growth. Each intervention is trauma-informed and resilience-focused, and designed to encourage the child to feel safe and comfortable in an environment of understanding and acceptance. Every broken circle can be repaired, and with every repair comes a greater sense of resilience, strength, and belief in one’s greatness.
One Human Family
Our belief in the oneness of humankind is built into all aspects of our organization and programs.
In our society, we have been taught – intentionally or not – to view people who don’t look like us in a variety of unfortunate ways. This may result in committing, or ignoring, acts of superiority. Whether intentional or unintentional, the pain experienced is the result. Seeing this pain and an opportunity to play a role in racial healing, Starr began a process in the 1980s that continues to this day – creating new forums for individuals to discover healthier ways of looking at others, ourselves, and our world.
The results of our many years of work in racial healing and equity: the development of our Glasswing program.
With safety and transformation being the hallmarks of our approach, Starr is committed to uplifting all who need our support – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or spiritual tradition.
Equipping Professionals with the Right Tools
Leveraging each approach and program noted above, Starr provides trainings, materials, and conferences for individuals and organizations across the United States and around the world. We are committed to equipping professionals and caregivers with the right tools to help guide children, adults, families and communities break the devastating cycles and impacts of trauma and build resilience. We are driven to heal.