Free Workshop on Trauma in Children for Foster Parents and Relative Caregivers

Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (NLCMH) and the Crawford County Department of Human Services (DHS) are teaming up to provide a training workshop for foster parents and relative caregivers on caring for children who have experienced trauma. The workshop will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Crawford County DHS at 230 Huron Street in Grayling. There is no cost to attend but advance registration is required. Lunch will be provided.

The workshop will focus on understanding how trauma affects children. Attendees will improve their ability to communicate with children who have experienced trauma, learn ways to reduce the stress of parenting a traumatized child, and learn skills and techniques to influence children’s behavior and attitudes.

One of the organizers, Kelly Sauter, BSW, Northern Lakes CMH Children’s Case Manager, explained that, “This training stems from a statewide effort to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families. Our hope is to create a community of trauma informed foster parents who can serve as a resource to individuals interacting with traumatized youth.”

Another organizer, Donna Van Brocklin, Services Specialist and Licensing Consultant for the Crawford County Department of Human Services, said, “We find that all children who come into the foster care system have experienced some type of trauma, whether it is from the neglect and/or abuse they have experienced or just from being removed from their family and home. It is important for foster parents to have the knowledge and skills to be able to help these children while they are placed in their home. At this time, Crawford County has 23 foster homes that do an excellent job helping foster children deal with the emotions and feelings they are experiencing and sometimes the behaviors that come along with these. This training will help foster parents and relatives that are helping out as caregivers to add more skills to their bag of tools.”

This project is funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

For additional information call Kelly Sauter at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health at (989) 344-3009 or Donna Van Brocklin at Crawford County DHS at (989) 344-5126.