Media invited to attend childhood trauma symposium May 17 in Louisville

Helping a child

FRANKFORT, Ky., May 15, 2013 – Professionals in the fields of law, medicine, psychology, education, social work and others will come together for a second consecutive year to discuss how to address the causes and effects of childhood trauma at a symposium Friday, May 17, in Louisville. The program, Preventing Systems Retraumatization, will take place from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Kay & Jim Morrissey Advanced Therapy Center at the Home of the Innocents. The center is located at 1100 E. Market St. Members of the media are invited to attend this multidisciplinary symposium.

“Professionals who come into contact with children who are traumatized need to do everything in our power to make sure that we don’t make matters worse for a child as we try to help them,” said Jefferson Family Court Judge Joan L. Byer, who is a chairwoman for the symposium. “Sometimes our well-meaning attempts to help result in additional trauma, known as systems retraumatization, for a child. We want professionals who participate in the symposium to come away with a greater awareness of the impact of trauma and a plan to work across their disciplines to address the issues surrounding childhood trauma.”

The symposium will include lectures, an internationally acclaimed documentary on trauma, roundtable discussions and a multidisciplinary panel discussion. Christopher Mallett, who is an attorney and an associate professor in the Department of Social Work at Cleveland State University, will provide the keynote address. Speakers for sessions include Monique Marrow, consultant for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and licensed social workers Kara Stith and Candice Jackson, regional directors of Family Preservation and Reunification Services at KVC Behavioral HealthCare in Lexington.

Approximately 250 people are scheduled to attend the program, including judges, physicians, nurses, psychologists, law enforcement officers, social workers, attorneys, juvenile justice professionals and child advocates.

Opening remarks at the symposium will be made by Judge Byer; Gordon Brown, president and CEO of the Home of the Innocents; Superintendent Donna Hargens of Jefferson County Public Schools; Tish Geftos of Seven Counties Services; and University of Louisville social work professors Anita Barbee, Emma Sterrett, and Larry Michalczyk. Barbee and Michalczyk are symposium co-chairs with Judge Byer.

The event is being sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Courts, University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work (Center for the Promotion of Recovery and Resilience in Traumatized Children and Youth), Home of the Innocents, Seven Counties Services and the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health. East End Psychological Associates, Metro United Way, Family & Children’s Place and Hilliard Lyons in Louisville are also providing funding for the symposium.