Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Empowered to Connect 2017

MCH Family Outreach in Waco brought together several members of the community for the Empowered to Connect conference simulcast April 7-8 at the Waco campus. The conference was hosted by The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University and Show Hope, a nonprofit organization based in Franklin, Tenn.

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) has a partnership with the Purvis Institute in utilizing Trust-Based Relational Intervention techniques into its childcare practices. Show Hope is an international movement to care for orphans through adoption aid, care centers, adoption support and student initiatives. The two agencies joined together for the Empowered to Connect conference which is designed to give professionals and adoptive and foster parents insight into connecting better with children who have experienced emotional or physical trauma and help them to heal.

The conference was held in Tennessee, but many agencies, including MCH, hosted simulcasts in their communities. Around 40 people attended the MCH simulcast including foster and adoptive parents, social workers, school staff, counselors and local nonprofit case managers.

“We believe that the information provided in this training and other trauma-informed care trainings we offer at MCH have the power to offer hope and transformation to families,” said Brooke Davilla, director of MCH Family Outreach in Waco. “We desire for everyone who is a caregiver or works with children to be exposed to this information and be equipped with practical tools which can assist them in their different roles with children.”

The two-day conference provided presentations to explain the effects of trauma on the brain, how to form healing connections, helping improve behavior, and other helpful trainings.

“One of the biggest impacts is to witness the relief and understanding that washes over caregivers when they hear the effects of trauma on children and adults,” Davilla said. “Many of our caregivers feel at a loss or don’t know how to explain what they are experiencing with their children, so when they hear they are not alone and that there is hope for healing, it is transformative.

“Overall, we think it was a huge success,” she continued. “We hope to continue to offer opportunities such as this in the future for our community.”

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