Trauma-Sensitive Training for Caregivers and Professionals

January 18, 2018

Every person involved in the life of a child who has experienced trauma has a role in that child’s healing. On January 27, 2018, Whole Child Initiative offers a one-day intensive event designed to facilitate collaborative, trauma sensitive training for foster and adoptive parents, social workers, teachers and other helping professionals.

The event is hosted by The Glade Church in Mount Juliet and is generously sponsored by the Southeast Produce Council. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the event ends at 5:15 p.m. Childcare and lunch are provided, as well as foster parent and social worker CEUs. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at

Whole Child Initiative, a ministry of Palmer Home for Children, changed its event format this year from an annual parenting conference to a focused intensive offering trauma-sensitive training by well-known Nashville therapists, social workers and counselors.

“Each of our keynote speakers and break-out session leaders are local experts in trauma, attachment and parenting,” said Lauren Strickland, Director of Whole Child Initiative. “The event provides a beautiful environment where local helping professionals and caregivers come together to share knowledge, experience, and resources.”

The intensive focuses on Whole Child Initiative’s four principles: The Whole Story, The Whole Child, The Whole Team and The Whole Caregiver. The four principles expand Whole Child Initiative’s focus to holistically care for vulnerable children and the people around them.

“In the past we focused on meeting the physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs of a child,” said Strickland. “Now we’re looking at these aspects through a trauma-sensitive lens. Their needs and our responses to those needs are unique because of the trauma experienced.”

Paris Goodyear-Brown, founder and director of Nurture House, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, kicks off the event with a keynote presentation. She will lead caregivers through strategies to help hold the hard stories of the children in their care.

Following the keynote, attendees will attend breakout sessions focused on trauma responsive strategies for meeting the unique needs of the children in their homes, churches, and classrooms. Breakout presenters represent an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience from local resources that exist for the purpose of restoring the whole child.

As the event begins to wrap up, Whole Child Initiative staff will lead a question-and-answer session between attendees and presenters and partner organizations.

“Our goal is to help everyone approach the child in a more cohesive way and to walk away using more unified language and approaches,” said Strickland.

Chris Troutt, Executive Director and Co-founder of Papillion Center, a not for profit, therapeutic counseling center in Middle Tennessee, wraps up the event with her presentation focused on the caregivers themselves. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with additional training as a Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner® (TBRI) (Purvis & Cross, 1999-2011), Troutt offers caregivers tools to recognize trauma and the impact caring for a child from hard places can have on the caregiver.

“We’re really excited for our Palmer Home caregivers to be able to get off campus and receive additional education about caring for our children,” said Ashley Gray, Vice President of Palmer Home.

For more information about the conference or to register go to

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