A Workshops


Please remember to list a 1st and 2nd choice for each workshop block when registering, as workshop spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A1. Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through the Strengthening Families Framework

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. The framework is a research-informed approach which enhances protective factors in families by increasing their strengths, combating the effects of toxic stress and reducing the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Providers

Presenters: Allison Matthews-Wilson, LCSW & Katherine Ramirez, MS, Center for Care Coordination, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

A2. Mindful Parenting: A Journey of Connection

This presentation will cover mindfulness and how it is applied to parenting. We will provide a clear understanding of mindfulness (with guided practices). The talk will include the importance of living with intention. We will discover how the parental relationship is fertile ground for present moment awareness and personal growth. Participants will come away with an awareness of personal triggers and learn how to choose to respond to our children instead of react.

Through interactive group discussions, we will uncover common unconscious, false beliefs and hidden agendas that are not serving our highest intentions for our children. Participants will discover how to build authentic connections with their children as well as provide containment and boundaries when appropriate and mindfulness techniques to practice with children.

Target audience: Parents

Presenters: Amanda Votto & Emily Williams, The Divine Within, LLC

A3. The Neurobiology of Trauma in Children

This presentation will cover the neuroscience on how trauma affects children from

the intrauterine environment and throughout childhood. Attendees will learn which areas of the brain are affected by trauma from a Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) perspective, which is a framework that was developed by Dr. Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, TX. Attendees will also learn how to recognize symptoms of trauma and how to assist these children with managing and coping with their exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and how parents can also support their traumatized child and how to seek treatment for them.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/ Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers

Presenter: Dr. Noel Casiano, Casiano Clinical Services, LLC

A4. Trauma Informed Practices That Can Benefit All Children

When children experience trauma during the early years, it can change the trajectory of development, impact normative behaviors, and present an additional layer of complexity to individualizing practices and methods. In this workshop we will unpack how trauma impacts brain development to help us understand the meaning behind behaviors and develop strategies and practices that grow resiliency and mitigate the impact of toxic stress. Specifically, strategies such as building protective factors, strong relationships, social and emotional skills, and implementing whole school supports will be reviewed as a way to help children with a trauma history best learn and grow, as well as to support the healthy development of all children.

Target audience: Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals

Presenter: Dr. Peg Oliveira, Gesell Institute of Child Development

A5. Wounded Places: Confronting Childhood PTSD in America’s Shell-Shocked Cities (part of the Raising of America documentary series)

This powerful 42-minute document will be viewed with a facilitated talk back session to discuss the content and debrief with the audience. The film helps to answer questions like “How can so many of our kids show signs of PTSD?” Why do we label them “bad” kids rather than “injured” kids in need of healing? It encourages the audience to ask, “What happen” to them instead of “why do they do that?” Moving the conversations from judgment to understanding and hope.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/ Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider

Presenters: Joyce Bosco, Catholic Charities & Scott Newgass, LCSW, Connecticut State Department of Education

A6. Compassion Fatigue Resilience: Fostering Hope and Empathic Connection for Professionals and Helpers Addressing Trauma

How can we build resilience and relational hope so that kids don’t dropout and the adults don’t burnout? This workshop introduces tools, problems, and pathways to promote staff wellness beyond basic ethical obligations of self-care. The premise: adults must first manage and share their own feelings before reaching out compassionately to help kids. The same relational resilience and connection-building that is fundamental for children to heal and succeed may also be essential for adults to thrive.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/ Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider

Presenters: Carolyn Franzen, Ph.D, LMFT, Windham Hospital, School-Based Health Center & Lynne Weeks, MA, Windham Public Schools

A7. Supporting Young Children who have Experienced Trauma

Approximately 26% of children in the U.S. witness or experience a trauma by the age of four. Further, young children are disproportionately more likely to be victims of abuse and neglect than their older counterparts with 26.8% of victims under three and 19.9% are 3-5 years old. The high prevalence of trauma suggests that early childhood educators, preschool teachers, and others working closely with young children and their families are likely encountering many children who have experienced trauma. This presentation will provide information on the signs and symptoms of trauma in young children, including how to conduct trauma screening, and how trauma is influenced by stage of development. Recommendations and concrete strategies for educators to address the needs of children who have experienced trauma will be provided. Further, information and resources about how to access trauma-focused interventions will be provided.

Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Early Intervention Provider

Presenters: Kellie G. Randall, Ph.D. & Jason M. Lang, Ph.D., Child Health and Development Institute

For a full list of our presenters and their bios, visit the Speakers page.