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Recap- Virginia Summit On Childhood Trauma And Resilience 4/25/19


On Thursday April 25, 2019 Voices hosted over 950 attendees at the Virginia Summit on Childhood Trauma and Resilience. The goal of the Summit was to connect child-serving professionals and advocates across the Commonwealth to best practices to prevent, and better address, the impacts of childhood adversity. California’s first Surgeon General and well-known ACEs expert, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, provided the keynote address. Both Governor Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam addressed the audience and spoke to the Northam Administration’s efforts to promote trauma-informed practice through the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. A panel of bi-partisan legislators provided examples of legislative efforts they have supported, from education reforms to foster care policy, intended to make Virginia more trauma-informed.

WATCH THE KEYNOTE by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris.

VIEW THE POLICY PANEL with introduction by First Lady Pamela Northam and featuring Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D- Richmond), Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico), Delegate Chris Peace (R- New Kent), and Delegate Jeff Bourne (D- Richmond). Moderated by Emily Griffey, Policy Director.

In honor of Voices’ 25th Anniversary as the only multi-issue child advocacy organization in Virginia, Voices wanted to highlight policy change that would improve the well-being of Virginia’s children. The policies supported under the umbrella of the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia and the Unified Policy Agenda were the perfect focus to engage advocates on a topic that many practitioners and policymakers were energized to learn more about. Voices connected to our partners at Families Forward Virginia, the child abuse prevention and home visiting organization in Virginia, as well as the Family and Children’s Trust Fund and Greater Richmond SCAN, two organizations providing expertise and technical assistance to trauma-informed community networks across the state.

Through these partnerships, Voices was able to recruit teams of eight to represent 15 of the community networks in Virginia. These representatives on each teams were intended to represent the cross-sector networks and diversity of perspectives engaging to promote awareness of ACEs and implement trauma-informed practice. Learn more about these networks: Virginia’s Trauma Informed Community Networks, a publication by FACT.

The afternoon featured nine breakout sessions highlighting trauma-informed care practices featuring presenters exclusively from Virginia. These breakout sessions touched on trauma-informed practices in education, the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, trauma-informed leadership in health care systems and law enforcement, and the intersection of racial equity and trauma. Read more about each breakout session and the bios for the presenters.

The Summit closed with a focus on proactive and positive ways to release stress and engage youth with Healing the Community with Rhythm by the Drums No Guns Foundation. Watch a little of the action here and here.

One participant remarked, “I have not been in a crowd with this much positive energy, this engaged on a topic, in a long time!”

Another commented, “I think we will look back on this day as a seminal moment in Virginia’s history as when professionals began shifting practice to become more trauma-informed and engaged in advocacy.”

To learn more about the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia contact Emily Griffey at

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In addition to helping hurting people there should more emphasis on the primary prevention of adverse childhood experiences.  In other words a new kind of parenting that reaches everyone, everywhere, all the time. Visit 

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