Bringing Connections Matter to North Carolina
By: Nadia Moreta and Taylor McDonald, Partnership Engagement Managers, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
What does it mean to be trauma sensitive and how can we build resilience in our community? Educators, social workers, parent educators, faith communities and more are looking for answers to these questions. Connections Matter NC is an evidence-informed training and public awareness campaign Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) is rolling out across the state. In July, 58 trainers across North Carolina completed the Connections Matter Train the Trainer. One training was held for state-wide trainers at Alliance Health in Wake County and another for Cumberland County Child Abuse Prevention Plan’s SOAR members at the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County.
Science tells us that relationships have the power to shape our brains. Relationships help us learn better, work better, and parent better. When we experience tough times, relationships help us heal. With each connection we develop a healthier, stronger community. The Connections Matter training creates an opportunity for participants to become trauma informed by exploring the topics of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), toxic stress, brain development, and resilience. The model of the training is very flexible and can last from a short two-hour training, to a half-day or full-day training. Bringing this training to our state will help citizens increase their understanding of how the connections we make in life profoundly impact our brain’s ability to grow, cope, and succeed. One of the trainers recently commented, “The training far exceeded my expectations, and I am truly motivated to continue this Connections Matter work in this community.”
Participants in the Connections Matter training build their knowledge by engaging in various activities that lead to the creation of trauma-informed strategies and increased connections. For example, one of the activities is called the Tree Map activity, highlighting community resources by using everyone’s collective knowledge of support available to families and children, helping build a holistic visual of community resources across the state, while illustrating how our brains, relationships, schools, and communities are interconnected.
Trainers believe that, “this [training] is an extension of the work [already underway] and supports our efforts nicely.” If you’re interested in being trained in the curriculum or want your entire organization to be trained, please contact Prevent Child Abuse NC’s Partnership Engagement Manager, Nadia Moreta, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-829-8009 (Ext. 615).