The training pre-conference for social assistance professionals

The training pre-conference for social assistance professionals addresses all people who work with children at risk: social assistants, foster parents, DGASPC and NGOs staff, adoptive or foster parents.

It will take place in October, 26-27 before the ARFO Summit 2016 and will be led by Kerri Dunkelberger, executive director for placement and adoption within the Olive Crest Organization and his colleagues, Jessica Valdez – Program Director for Placement and Adoption and Katie Takeshita, Social Assistant for Adoption. The purpose of the Organization is to prevent child abuse, treatment and education of vulnerable children and abandon prevention. Throughout the 40+ years of activity, Olive Crest has helped almost 1.000.000 children and families at risk.

This training will address the challenges of staff and parents caring for children and youth who have experienced any type of trauma including the loss of biological family members; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; significant neglect; and exposure to family violence. The following learning modules will become the building blocks of effective care and healing interventions taught and practiced throughout the day.

The Neurobiology of Complex Trauma
What is complex trauma, how does it develop and how does it differ from Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome? We will study the impact of complex trauma on brain development and how neurobiology plays a primary role in healing the lives of children and youth.

Psychological First Aid Online
Much of what we know about trauma was learned in the wake of natural disasters and returning war veterans. The incidence of such trauma is higher among children raised in group care or foster care. Social workers and foster/adoptive parents often find themselves doing the work of first responders as they attempt to heal wounds from previous caregivers. The skills required at a post-disaster scene, serve us when a child or youth’s trauma is triggered. The core goals of Psychological First Aid will taught and practiced.

Rebuilding Attachments for Children with Complex Trauma
How do we create a safe environment in which healing attachments can be built and nurtured? Attachment-based work requires patience and creativity. Expressive arts and interventions will be explored.

When Healing Hurts/The Impact of Caring

The impact of secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout affect our work with children who have experienced much harm. The training will inspire frontline workers, administrators, disaster response workers, mental health providers, child welfare workers, supervisors, teachers, and a general audience. Attendees will be encouraged to address their own childhood experience and formulate a “Personal Mission Statement”. Addressing intrinsic motivators will draw out harmful motivations that lend themselves to worker, staff and parent burnout.

HOPE: A Necessary Intervention

As in Secondary Stress that can be inherited from traumatized children and youth, Secondary Resiliency is also real. Our role as care providers can have high impact on the children we serve. Lending out hope is often the most important part of our work.