Using Trauma Informed Practices to Navigate Challenging Behavioral Terrain

Hector Sapien, LCSW, CYC-P, Academy for Competent Youth Work, UMA Adjunct Faculty

This training integrates several significant contemporary approaches that promote a child & youth care professional’s skill set to be more strategically aligned with “Trauma Informed Practices.”

It starts with:

  • a subtle yet significant paradigm shift in perspective that sets the root work for the following elements;
  • an overview of the ACE Study which delineates the growing awareness of the prevalence of trauma and toxic stress in the general population;
  • a brief overview of the correlation between emotions, needs, & behavior;
  • and concluding with current brain neuroscience research and its practical implications to communication & practice.

Discussion that includes participant examples and small group work will enable child & youth workers to enhance their practice in ways that are more strategic, compassionate, resilience oriented, and effective in promoting optimal youth development.

Workshop Objectives:

Participants will:

  1. Understand and be able to articulate the differences that are inherent to this paradigm shift so that expectations and resources are leveraged to fit developmental models.
  2. Know and understand a basic overview of the ACE Study, its different trauma/toxic stress types, its research based prevalence of trauma factors in the general population, and its effect on child and youth behavioral health as well as that of the adult care taker.
  3. Be able to describe the relationships between needs, emotions, and behavior; then use that knowledge to enhance effectiveness of their interventions with young people.
  4. Gain a basic understanding of brain neuroscience that starts with simple developmental characteristics, how the brain reacts to varying degrees of stress (and trauma), and the formation of “templates;” then applying this knowledge to improve interventions and program effectiveness.
  5. Practice, in small group work, integrating these elements to formulate effective intervention approaches reflective of “Trauma Informed Practice” by using a sample case study.


Nurturing Social Trust through Meaningful Dialogue: Closing the Gap between Us and Them

Cindy Carraway-Wilson, Youth Catalytics

Social trust is an essential ingredient in safe and supportive communities, regardless of how “community” is defined. It helps us to engage in meaningful relationships, develop our own skills and create inclusive communities. During this past election cycle and the transition to a new administration we have seen what appears to be an increasing divide between ‘Us’ and ‘Them.’ According to a Harris poll conducted for the American Psychological Association, 52% of American adults reported experiencing stress over the presidential election. When they looked only at registered voters, the numbers rose to 55% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans. We can see on the news and in the headlines that stress levels are continuing to affect much of the country. We are seeing people struggling to have conversations about difficult issues while under high levels of stress. The levels of stress we are feeling have a profound effect on our individual and collective well-being. Studies have explored the effect of social trust and mistrust and found that in areas where people agree with the statement “Most people can be trusted” citizens have greater life satisfaction, happiness, and health. We also need to understand that our children are not immune to these issues. What can we do to heal this divide and use it as a stepping stone to propel us forward as a nation that is a healthy, safe, and supportive environment for all of our people?

In this workshop, participants will:

  1. Explore the concept of social trust, it’s importance to creating safe and supportive environments anywhere and assess your own levels of social trust.
  2. Learn and practice approaches to address our own social mistrust so we can use them with young people and peers.
  3. Learn a few short mindfulness practices to help you experience your emotions without controlled by them.
  4. Practice having meaningful dialogue with others about your perspectives to understand differing perspectives to bridge the gap between us and them.


Programs That Matter: Positive Outcomes Through Proven Practices

Margaret Jones, Maine Afterschool Network

A good quality youth program demands enthusiastic, competent staff, consistent yet innovative programs, vigilant documentation, and organization. Efforts to improve youth outcomes must draw from the latest research such as social and emotional learning as well as the latest trends in program practices that range from the environment of the program, the organizational culture, opportunities for youth input, parental involvement, and staff training.

This experiential training will examine the essential ingredients needed to assure positive youth outcomes, review proven practices such as the 40 Developmental Assets and resiliency, and discuss successful approaches that create positive outcomes for youth.

Participants will:

  1. Increase their understanding of the ten program practices that improve outcomes for youth
  2. Increase their understanding of social and emotional learning staff assessment tools and how to use them to improve staff performance
  3. Increase their knowledge of current trends in successful youth practices
  4. Learn new activities that promote bonding and a positive outlook on life


ALL TRAINING ACADEMY EVENTS ARE JUST $199.00 for a six-hour training day.