Alyssa Benedict, MPH is the founder and Executive Director of CORE Associates and has been working to improve human service systems for nearly 20 years. Alyssa works across sectors and integrates knowledge and research from a variety of disciplines to create engaging and dynamic learning experiences for her clients. She has sub-specialties in organizational development, and the design and implementation of gender responsive, culturally inclusive and trauma-informed policies and practices. Alyssa encourages international learning and engagement and has explored human service systems and individual and social trauma and resilience in the US, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Thailand.
Following her direct service work in adult and child mental and behavioral health and criminal justice, Alyssa was inspired to engage in systems change work. She has worked across sectors throughout the United States to provide training and technical assistance to organizations looking to improve their policies, practices and outcomes. She has extensive implementation experience, including multi-site statewide initiatives and specialized approaches in institutional and community corrections, detention, residential, community-based and psychiatric settings. Her approach to organization and system-level enhancement is collaborative and dynamic.
Alyssa has been a thought leader and change agent regarding critical issues affecting system-involved girls/women and the implementation of trauma and resiliency informed approaches. “Though caught in many different systems, the voices of diverse girls and women serve as a powerful reminder that we have much work to do to improve our systems for all populations.” Alyssa is also an advocate for the inclusivity and engagement of diverse cultural groups as we enhance and reimagine human service systems. “It is not enough to elevate the experiences and perspectives of underserved and marginalized groups. We have to actively engage these groups as partners in system analysis and enhancement. Only then will we have the information and leadership we need to create effective, equitable and empowering human service systems.”
In addition to her direct service experience and consultation, Alyssa has developed a variety of practical resources designed to assist professionals and improve system and organization level outcomes. This includes pioneering work in gender responsive, trauma-informed and culturally responsive program assessment, behavior motivation, program culture and staff communication. She has completed advanced training in lifespan human development, the neurobiology and ecology of trauma and is completing her doctorate in International Psychology. She is an open systems thinker and a staunch advocate for cross-sector communication and partnership.
Alyssa is a federal partner with the National Resource Center for Justice Involved Women (funded by the Department of Justice), has been a national consultant for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Institute of Corrections, and has served as a consultant and faculty member on various federal initiatives. She is a co-author of NIC’s Gender Informed Practices Assessment and has authored, co-authored and contributed to various publications and models designed to support administrators and staff. Her most recent publications include: “Using Trauma-informed Practices to enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Corrections Facilities”, “Creating Regulation and Resilience: Essential Communication Skills and Advanced Techniques that Promote Safety and Positive Outcomes” and “The Gender Responsive Discipline and Sanction Policy Guide.” She is an advocate of evidence-based practices and ongoing innovation to ensure that systems can offer effective services to children, youth and adults that have a sustainable impact.