On February 9, 2010 Devereux Mass and Klingberg Family Centers co-sponsored a conference entitled “The Nuts and Bolts of Trauma Informed Care”. The conference was attended by over 300 people, from CT. MA, Florida, Kentucky, NY, Missouri and several other states.
The conference began with a welcome by Steve Yerdon, CEO of Devereux. After Dr. Bob Davis set the frame of the day, Dr. Steve Brown asked the audience questions to determine who was attending. Some participants rated their agencies at the beginning of trauma informed care; others had considerable experience. Disciplines such as direct care, therapists, administrators, nurses and teachers were all represented; and settings included residential, schools, hospitals, out patient and foster care.
Dr. Davis led the presentations with a history of the trauma informed care movement, which related to the restraint reduction initiatives. Then Dr. Brown and Dr. Davis described the Risking Connection® foundational trauma training. Dr. Brown included a clip from Star Trek in which the character Data, who has no feelings, wonders whether it is actually advisable to form connections- much as our children do.
Patricia Wilcox, LCSW and Dr. David then described a vision of a trauma informed agency, using a formulation created by Roger Fallot. Ms. Wilcox described how an agency can incorporate safety, trustworthiness, collaboration, choice and empowerment. Dr. Davis followed with sharing agency practices that embody administrative commitment to change, universal screening, staff training and education, hiring practices, and supporting policies/procedures.
At lunch the Legacy of Caring Award was bestowed on Lynn Sanford, LCSW. Lynn made an inspiration and humorous acceptance speech.
After a delicious lunch (the cheesecake got especially good reviews) participants attended workshops on trauma informed care on the units, in education and in clinical practice. The role of administration in creating and sustaining trauma informed care was the subject of one workshop, one covered sensory interventions, and the Restorative Approach was another.
Participant comments included:
“It was relevant to what we are trying to do. The presenters were knowledgeable and helpful.”
“I appreciated the honesty about the challenges.”
“Different agency perspectives were helpful in comparing/contrasting real life processes and challenges.”