The 2018 Research Symposium will unite AFRO Organizations and top academic researchers serving vulnerable children in Romania. The presenters will answer the essential questions: How does the mind heal the brain in vulnerable children and youth and what can professionals do to facilitate this process?

Much of the available literature on orphans and vulnerable children is overwhelmingly discouraging. As individuals who care deeply for the well-being of vulnerable children and youth, this reality can be heartbreaking and defeating. At times, it can even make the work of caring for vulnerable children seem hopeless. Thankfully, an emerging field of research brings with it great hope. “Neuroplasticity” is a scientific term that simply means that the brain can be influenced by the environment around it. Just as adversity can negatively impact brain development, the right interventions can actually reverse damage and move a child toward health.