In recognition of the long-term impacts of adverse childhood experiences on young children, a regional effort is underway to banded together schools and various other community organizations. Building a trauma-informed, coordinated system of care across sectors, offers the most promise for success. Spearheaded by North Country Education Services (NCES), the effort seeks to join partners from throughout the North Country to create a cross-sectional alliance aimed at increasing trauma-competence and improving the pathway from the early identification of trauma in young children through effective intervention.

Developing a common language and foundational understanding of trauma-informed care, the effort will begin with a two-day learning conference. This also will provide participants the chance to develop relationships with others in the region for trauma-informed system-building. Developing “trauma-competence” requires a deep understanding of the neurodevelopmental disruptions that occur as a result of traumatic experiences and must possess the skills to successfully intervene with individuals and in systems in ways that promote resilience and recovery. This conference will focus on building this core knowledge and preparing professionals to employ trauma-sensitive approaches within their respective roles.

The conference, Sept. 17 and Oct. 30, 2018 in Whitefield, N.H., will accommodate 100 partners. It is intended for early childcare and pre-school directors and lead teachers, home-visiting personnel, kindergarten and grade 1 teachers, early elementary school nurses, counselors, principals, school psychologists, and others working with children birth to age 6 who have been traumatized by adverse childhood experiences. Presented in partnership by the North Country Principals Association with support from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and NCES with support from the HNH Foundation, the conference is being offered at no cost to eligible participants. Eligibility is determined by role/organizational affiliation and being located in the NCES service area: School Administrative Units 3, 7, 20, 35, 36, 58, 68, 77 & 84 (and, as space allows, SAUs 9 and 23).

As part of the regional effort, a monthly learning community will be formed of a core group of advanced trauma specialist under the supervision of Cassie Yackley, Psy.D.. Dr. Yackley, who will also be leading the two-day training, has spent more than 25 years committed to understanding and effectively addressing the impact of traumatic/adverse experiences on children, caregivers/families, and systems. She brings together recent discoveries from developmental neuroscience, attachment, implementation science, and reflective practice to help audiences develop skills of relationship and self-awareness in ways that transform organizations, promote staff professional growth and wellness, and improve outcomes.

Those working with children or families impacted by adverse childhood experiences in the North Country region and who are new to learning about this cross-sector effort are encouraged to contact NCES Executive Director, Lori Langlois, at lori@ncedservices.org or 603-466-5437 to be included in future announcements about opportunities and convenings.

Additional information, including the registration link for the conference, can be found at http://ncedservices.org/t-i-systems.

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