2019 Trauma-Informed Care Conference Brings Best Practices and Inspiration to Attendees

September 10, 2019
Ryan Imondi

For the 8th year, Children’s Institute gathered experts in the field of childhood trauma, along with more than 600 attendees, to discuss new approaches around supporting children and families facing adversity across Los Angeles.

Keynote speakers Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith and Liz Huntley shared their unique experiences with the ways that trauma has profoundly affected their professional and personal lives respectively. The two anchored an array of speakers who ranged from experts in neurobiology and brain development to seasoned social workers with decades of experience working in the child welfare system.

Huntley kicked off the event with a very moving account of her childhood in Alabama, and her amazing resilience and professional success despite numerous traumas she experienced. She spoke of one caring kindergarten teacher who saw her potential, leading her eventually to become a lawyer and children’s advocate. 

“When a child is going through traumatic events, if that child has consistency in a nurturing, buffering environment, that can help offset the negative damage,” she said.

Dr. Prothrow-Stith spoke about the different ways that violence is a public health threat that can have generational effects at the community level. As a nationally-recognized health leader, youth violence expert, physician and author, she shared research and data that called for early intervention along with new approaches to address the problem.

Dr. Prothrow-Stith, who graduated from Harvard Medical School and practices as a physician in inner-city Boston, called for early intervention to make real change.  

“We’ve got to think a little differently if we’re going to do some real prevention of this problem,” Dr. Prothrow-Stith said.

Ingrid E. Mürrle, Senior Clinical Specialist, NCTSN Training Center Clinical Manager, and PSB-CBT Program Director at CII, coordinated many aspects of this year’s conference and ensured all sessions aligned with The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. CII is a member of the network, which helps ensure child welfare professionals are trauma-informed.

She said the conference not only gives people new resources to incorporate into their daily work, but it also serves as an opportunity to provide inspiration and reenergize helping professionals who are very susceptible to burnout and compassion fatigue.

“This is great vehicle to bring people together who are doing similar work,” she said. “It is affirming to see so many like-minded professionals in one place where we can connect and reconnect.”

CII offers ongoing trainings throughout the year. Click here to learn more and register for upcoming trainings.