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Empowering Foster, Kinship & Adoptive Caregivers

Workshop teaches ways to navigate a child’s trauma history

In April, the 8-week workshop Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma began at CCFH. The course is designed for parents raising children who are in, or have been in, the child welfare system. Recognizing that these children have often experienced trauma, the curriculum gives kinship, foster, and adoptive parents tools to understand and support their child.

The workshop is led by two CCFH clinicians and a parent facilitator, Gina Brown. The parent facilitator role is a unique aspect of the workshop, a nod to the importance of incorporating lived experience into the learning environment for parents.

And Gina Brown is a unique parent facilitator, having sought on her own to go through the 40-hour staff facilitator training, which is not required for parent facilitators. Brown, who brings her experience as a kinship parent and a member of the NC Child Welfare Family Advisory Council to the role, felt that being fully trained as a facilitator would best serve parents in the workshop.

“I really thought it was important; I thought it would be helpful to parents.”

When a child’s trauma history is shaping their current behavior, it can be stressful and isolating for the whole family. But in the workshop, parents learn alongside one another why a child behaves the way he or she does, making it easier to provide the support and care that a child who has suffered from trauma needs.

Brown appreciates the way that the workshop equips parents and communities with the knowledge that a child’s challenging behaviors are a response to trauma.

“If you use the trauma lens and give the child time and space to acclimate to feeling cared for, to feeling stability, to feeling positive emotions, to feeling structure, then you can start to build resilience. The time between when [a child] arrives and getting to that point can be long and hard…. but you’re not alone.”

Posted on May 13, 2022