October 4, 2018

From Isha-Charlie McNeely, Outreach and Community Engagement Coordinator, Trauma Informed Oregon

The 2018 Oregon Teen Conference provided an opportunity for foster youth to understand how trauma affects their mind, body, and self-esteem with the goal of restoring healing and power along with new tools for their health. This conference included various interactive and informative wellness workshops and activities sponsored by FosterClub and the Independent Living Program.

The FosterClub All Stars and Oregon Trauma Advocates Coalition (OTAC) partnered to develop a youth-led Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Workshop, which was piloted at this year’s conference. Trauma Informed Oregon’s (TIO) Foundations of Trauma Informed Care Training was revamped by young adults in hopes of engaging young people in discussions on trauma and resilience. The PowerPoint is available on our website, “For Youth by Youth: Foundations of Trauma Informed Care.”

The young adults worked diligently for a week to make the Foundations of TIC training more youth friendly, strengths based, and interactive. The full youth workshop is titled “TIC Talk: What’s the 411” and includes activities, discussion questions, personal stories, and youth resources. FosterClub plans to take the feedback and comments from the pilot to further develop the TIC workshop with the future plans of packaging it as one of their workshops they present across the country when they are invited to conferences. They would also like to create a provider’s version of the TIC workshop. Please contact them for more information.

The workshop received great feedback from the youth and providers who attended the conference. In particular, the youth found it to be very engaging and the content to be informative and relevant. One attendee said, “The scenarios were great because they were realistic and I could relate to them and the presenters gave tips on skills and responses that I could use when I am feeling activated or to prevent myself from losing control.” This seemed to be a shared sentiment for most of the participants. Youth want to not only know the impact of trauma but also, in the midst of experiencing it, what are some ways they can cope, feel empowered, and be in control of their own bodies. It is so important that youth are educated on TIC, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and resilience because it helps them to understand their trauma and begin to heal.