Workshops

Trauma and its impact on a child’s life

The traumatic events in a child’s life endanger his psycho-emotional development which will affect his entire life. This workshop aims at raising awareness of the deep causes and effects of trauma in children and to equip attendeesto work with children on their journey toward healing and restoration.

(Laura Andres, Social Assistant – Founder of the Oaza Association)

The secondary traumatic stress, burnout and self-care

The subject will be addressed from different perspectives; the reasons we tend to neglect self psycho-emotional care, differences and similarities between the secondary traumatic stress and burnout, signs of secondary traumatic stress and factors contributing to all of these, warning signs and restoration strategies, and strategies and self-care methods.

(AlexandruIlie, psychologist – ARFO Executive Director)

Frustration and Aggressiveness vs. Acceptance and Adaptation; substitute parents helping harmed children to find healing

A child’s past trauma can create a frustration that results in aggressive behavior. The possibility for children who have experienced trauma to realize the importance of the choice they can make – to stay frustrated and continue to behave aggressively or to embrace the things that cannot be changed and adapt to the present. The relationship between the new substitute parent and the child plays a critical role in this process.

(Nathan Burke – CoMission for Children at Risk, member of the Board of consolers for ARFO)

Top three most successful secrets for being a good parent!

We all want what’s best for our children and do whatever we can to be good parents. But what does it mean to be a good parent? What are the needs of our children that we as parents must fulfill? In this seminar we will talk about the three secrets that can help us become better parents and will look at practical ways to implement them. We will learn the key principals that will improve your communication skills and help your child feel loved and protected. We will practice new skills that can help you be a more efficient parent, build a trustworthy relationship and create a stimulating and secure context in your home.

(Raya Shelashska – Program Director for Eastern Europe, A Family for Every Orphan)

Prepare your child’s brain for success

Our day by day actions and the way we communicate with our children send certain messages to their brains, which can consolidate or destroy our trust and relations, laying the foundation for negative behavior. As we all know, the behavior is directly influenced by the brain’s chemical reactions. How does the brain function? How can we help children be successfully compliant, fulfill their daily responsibilities? You will learn the answers to these questions and leave this seminar with a new understanding regarding the triggers of the negative behavior of a child, how to respond to those behaviors and prevent them in the future, and how to prepare the child’s brain for success. You will be able to practice what you learn and make a plan to take back and apply at home.

(Raya Shelashska – Program Director for Eastern Europe, A Family for Every Orphan)

Cultivating positive emotions, a burnout prevention method

This seminar aims at presenting four simple exercises that can have beneficial effects, if thoroughly implemented. We will define the terms, discover the value we give to words and respond to the questions of who, why and how.

(Dana Nadalban – Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist)

The professional supervising of Social Services staff

The professional supervision is based on reflexive critic and promotes the evaluation and development of personal and professional competences, including how well we perform our job. Through supervision, the person being supervised will develop self-criticism concerning themselves and their professional activity through reports on the objectives framework of the values, knowledge and practice within management and intervention in social assistance.

(Ana Rădulescu – PhD University Professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, University of Bucharest, General Director at the Romanian Social Care Assistants Association)

Therapy stories

Therapy stories have the role of helping children process abandon trauma.

(Corina Caba – Founder and Director of the Casa Speranței Foundation in Oradea)

Attachment disorder and fury cycle in children

The workshop will present the effects on attachment disorder and the intervention method in behavioral crises. It is recommended for adoptive parents, substitute parents, educators, caregivers as well as volunteers who work with at risk children.

(Sarah Nicole Smith, President of Anchor of Hope Romania)
(David Lee, Author of “Cut through the drama – tools for your traumatized child”)

Life with no family, expression of abandon perception

In this workshop, we will debate on the importance of the maternal role in the life of young children, either the biological mom or other women, as a major and meaningful component in the life of the future adult. A basic principle in psychiatry/psychotherapy states that childhood experiences play a crucial role in determining the adult personality.

(OanaMorcan – PhD University Professor within the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences in Arad)

(Post institutionalized youth) – from birth abandon trauma to the difficulties of adult life adaptation

A model of innovative intervention within the Romanian Support, Counseling and Care Group. “Yes to an independent life!” represents an initiative group with professional support, counseling and care for building friendships based on experience change, mutual respect, development of life skills for an independent life, and emotional and psychological comfort. This group has professionals willing to break barriers within the theme-based meeting, especially considering 22% of the children raised by the Romanian government have no future perspective, as the report “The post institutionalizing failure… we want to bring about change!”

(OanaMorcan – PhD University Professor at the Faculty of Human and Social Studies)

The effects of aromatherapy on the brain of the traumatized child

Would you like to see your child happier, more empowered and more connected?
Aromatherapy can help you with this. How? The smell sense can help us with the harmony and health of our child’s brain, heart and body. What is the connection between children, smell and emotional moods? This is what you will discover in this workshop.

(Alina Muntean – Psychologist)

The phantoms of the past – an obstacle that can easily be overcome

In this workshop we will identify the specific methods that grow the felt safety of the traumatized child who faces an ongoing sense of fear. For the children with a traumatic past, the concept of feeling safe is completely unknown. Their experience has taught them the following things: adults do not offer you protection cannot be relied on and can even be dangerous. The increase in the felt safety is a first step towards healing for the traumatized child.

(Alina Muntean – Psychologist)

Developing secured attachment in abandoned children

Lately, a lot of studies have come out showing that a successful relationship between spouses depends also on the quality of the attachment during childhood. The following question is raised – if the childhood attachment is so vital in furthering adult relationships, what are the most important factors that develop it? A few responses: unconditional acceptance from vital people, trust and safety. In this workshop, we will try to understand the role of those factors in developing a healthy attachment in abandoned children.

(AnnamariaBalla – PhD University Psychology Professor)

Identification and therapy of the physically or/and sexually abused children

In an ideal world, children should be protected from physical and sexual abuse. But the sad reality is that out of five children, one has experienced at least one physical/sexual/ cruel/inappropriate treatment. The major issue is that only 1% of such cases are discovered in time for safety and healing measures to be taken. The faster the abuse is discovered, the faster and deeper the healing process.

(AnnamariaBalla – PhD University Psychology Professor)

How can you help when fostering is not a solution
This workshop will encourage people, organization, churches etc. to help children in orphanages and group homes when a foster family is not an option. The ideas include sponsorship of a child/adolescent, holiday in a fostering home, visiting a child /adolescent, housing events for children in orphanages, holiday presents, etc.

(Melissa Osborne Ghitun, Emil Stincea)

Children witnessing domestic violence

This workshop will show the impact that the domestic violence has on children who have been witnesses. It will mainly focus on children who have not been abused physically, but have witnessed the abuse of family members (most often the mom). The participants in this workshop will be able to recognize the most typical behavior seen in children who have witnessed violence and will be given tools to help children heal from what they have seen. Many of these tools can also be used for children who have witnessed traumatic events such as car accidents, etc.

(Melissa Osborne Ghitun– )

The role of massage and nutrition in healing the traumatized child

The emotional and physical trauma affects the mind, body and soul to all levels. For healing we need faith in God, prayer, support, unconditional love, time and more integrated therapy. Massage and nutrition are two of the easiest and most efficient therapies that parents or caregivers can learn to help children heal from trauma, connect, reduce anxiety, strengthen their body, and more.

(Janet Feavel – Licensed Therapeutic Masseur and Nutritional Therapist Practitioner)

Advanced training – The role of massage in healing the traumatized child (part 2)

*Must first attend “The role of massage and nutrition in healing the traumatized child”

Gain more training and experience in the area of therapeutic massage for children. Learn effective massage techniques beneficial for any child, but especially for children with special needs, autism, pre-mature infants, abandonment and trauma.

(Janet Feavel – Licensed Therapeutic Masseur and Nutritional Therapist Practitioner)

The instruments used in lobby activity

In this workshop we will show the difference between lobby and advocacy on one hand versus the traffic of influence. We will introduce the democratic instruments of how to legally influence people with decision making powers who are involved in creating, modifying or influencing legislation or a form of normative act, thus increasing the possibility for the legislation to be in harmony with the legitimate social needs.

(FloricaChereches – Paliment Deputy, LiviuMihăileanu – co-author of the book  „Reglementareaactivității de lobby”, graduate of the Open University Business School – Great Britain)

The impact on changing foster care homes and attachment

The multiple changes have consequences on the attachment abilities of the child and the future-to-be young people. We will learn ways to reduce the impact and trauma from changing foster care homes.

(Kerry Dunkelberg – Executive Director for Placement and Adoption at Olive Crest)

How to create memorable moments

The children and youth find healing in daily interactions. We will talk about how we can transform the experiences with the child in our care so that they will have a healing impact.

(Kerry Dunkelberg – Executive Director for Placement and Adoptions at Olive Crest)

Help when adoption has apparently failed

We pursued this wonderful dream – adoption. We had so many ideas of how we would be as parents. How we would lead our children through life and how wonderful it would be … but everything is different! Nothing we knew worked. I am so disappointed. The only thing I would like is to scream: ”Stop the bus! I want to get down!” In this workshop, we will openly speak about the expectations and realistic approaches when the relationship with the adopted child seems so much different than what we imagined.

(Bruce Tomas, founder of Loc Foundation, father of four children, of which two adopted; Alex Ilie, Executive Director for ARFO, father of four adopted children)

International partnerships and the expectations of the westerners – good aspects, bad aspects and… grey aspects.

(Bruce Tomas – founder of Loc Foundation, Jon Gibson – Chief Child Advocate for Open Arms Romania, businessman, Christian Feavel – Executive Director of Romania Reborn)

Adoption seen through the eyes of the adopted child – or what adopted children would like their parents to know, but don’t know how to tell them

Are you an adoptive or foster parent who desperately wants to know your child and connect to them? Here you will hear directly from somebody who was adopted about what your children would like to tell you, but doesn’t know how share. This workshop will help parents understand the wounds of rejection suffered by the adopted or foster children. Also, you will understand better the feelings and big questions they have, many of them unspoken. We will also talk about the role of the parents and how they can lead the children through healing.

Ramona Dudaș Caba – adopted child, mother, a graduate of the Conservertory: http://www.romaniafaraorfani.ro/2016/03/24/din-lagarul-mortii-in-sanul-familiei/

Bucharest Early Intervention Project

The biggest comparative research on a child’s brain development and behavior began in 2000 and continues today on the subject of institutionalized children vs. foster children. The research is conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Tulane and Maryland with The Children’s Hospital in Boston.

(Florin Țicu – PhD University Professor, post PhD Researcher in BEIP)

The collaboration between NGOs and the Church

Fight for control or independence vs. collaboration, serving and support. Within this panel discussion we will explore the unhealthy tendencies of such collaborations, but also the principle of a successful collaboration.

(Jedd Medefind – President of Christian Alliance for Orphans)

Collaboration between the government and the NGOs

Starting from present examples, both positive and negative, we will try to understand how, in a sound society, the Government and the NGOs could collaborate for the benefit of children at risk in Romania.

(Jedd Medefind – President of Christian Alliance for Orphans)