On Monday, March 21, 2016, over 400 social workers, educators and more filled the gymnasium of Bester Elementary School in Hagerstown, MD, as leading trauma experts from across the nation linked findings from the ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) with staggering proof of health, social, and economic problems resulting later in life. The event was coordinated by Bester Community of Hope, a broad-based initiative committed to supporting the children, families and residents of the Bester neighborhood in Hagerstown, MD.
Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the ACE Study, shared the findings of his research which involved over 17,000 participants and has become influential in demonstrating the need for effectively responding to childhood traumas early.
Patsy Sellars, Casey Family Programs, presented information on key concepts in neurodevelopment and emotional regulation. She also showed a clip of the new movie, Resilience, and discussed the importance of understanding concepts of resilience.
Dr. Jerry Yager, Denver’s Children’s Advocacy Center, wrapped up the day discussing how traumatic events shape neurodevelopment and behavior. He stressed the critical role adults can play when working with children who may have experienced trauma.
The conference was sponsored by the Community Foundation of Washington County, San Mar Children’s Home, Washington County Office of Grants Management, The Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation, and Casey Family Programs.
Presentation materials including PowerPoint presentations, links to additional trauma informed information and recommendations by Dr. Felitti can be found at www.sanmarhome.org/news.html.