Arabella Pérez

Ms. Perez, originally from Newark New Jersey, with a short stint in Miami Florida, is a licensed clinical social worker in Maine, holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tulane University in New Orleans, and has been a practicing social worker and therapist for 24 years. She is a native Spanish speaker and daughter of parents from Cuba and Puerto Rico.  Prior to joining UNE, Ms. Perez was a system of care director from 2005-2015, leading three Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants. During these years she managed to find time to start a non-profit, THRIVE, a technical assistance center for trauma-informed care. She is a certified cultural competency trainer and has presented extensively, both locally and nationally, on Trauma Systems Change, Cultural and Linguistic Competency issues, and Youth-Adult Partnerships. She is a founding member of several community collaboratives and has provided ethnic self-help organizations with logic modeling and nonprofit development support.  She provides technical assistance and consultation to states and communities on the development of trauma informed systems and provides system of care consultation through federal site monitoring and one on one peer mentoring for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Technical Assistance Partnership in Washington D.C. and the University of Maryland's Technical Assistance Network. 


Trauma Informed Care

Positive Youth Development

Trauma Informed Systems of Care

Mutual Aid and Ethnic Self Help Groups

Multicultural Awareness


Selected Publications


The Building Blocks of Trauma Informed Practice. Child and Family Professional, 14(3), 15-23

Other Scholarly Activity

2014    Mental Health First Aid Trainer: Georgetown Training Institute

2012    Child Welfare Trauma-informed Toolkit Trainer: National Child Traumatic Stress  

2010    Graduate of Hanley Center for Health Leadership (Institute of Civic Leadership Portland ME)

2010    California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale (CBMCS) Certified Trainer

2009    Harvard Pilgrim: Certified Culture Insight Trainer Cultural and Linguistic Competency

2009    Graduate of Georgetown: Santa Fe Leadership Academy on Eliminating Health Care Disparities

2007    Certified National Child Traumatic Stress Network Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Funded Grants

2005 Substance Abuse Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Cooperative Agreement Awarded to the Office of Child and Family Services to Develop Trauma Informed System of Care in Maine (directed)

2011 Substance Abuse Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Expansion Grant Awarded to the Office of Child and Family Services (co-authored and directed)

2012 Substance Abuse Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Cooperative Agreement Awarded to Maine's Department of Corrections' Division of Juvenile Services (co-authored and directed)

Invited Plenary Presentation

2015   Maine Annual ACES and Resiliency Conference; co-presenter "Trauma-informed Collaboration" 

2015    San Francisco Department of Public Health Expansion on Trauma-Informed Care

2014    Monterey County California: Implementing Trauma-informed Agency Assessment (TIAA) Train the Trainer

2013    Indiana Department of Behavioral Health Services: Implementing the TIAA

2013    Missouri Youth in Transition Conference Speaker

2010    Indiana System of Care and Mental Health Association: Key Note Speaker and Consultant on TIAA

2010    Federal monitoring site visit Technical Assistance Partnership Hawaii System of Care

2010    New Community Meeting for Grantees: Panel Member on System of Care 

2009    Missouri System of Care and Dept. of Mental Health Services: Trauma-Informed Care Keynote Speaker 

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Arabella Perez

Arabella Pérez



Assistant Clinical Professor

Portland Campus

Hersey Hall

On Campus