CASA to host public Childhood Trauma Learning session May 24

Special to the Bulletin
CASA in the Heart of Texas

More than two-thirds of children reported at least one traumatic event in their lives by age sixteen. Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, and diminishes the sense of self and one’s ability to feel a full range of experiences and emotions. Trauma can be caused by many things including abuse, neglect, experiencing a natural disaster like the recent fires in our area, loss of home or family, bullying, separation from or the death of a loved one, and witnessing domestic violence. Knowledgeable “trauma informed” caregivers and other adults can play an important role in helping a child heal from their trauma.

On May 24, CASA in the Heart of Texas will sponsor a session focused on understanding the impact of trauma on children and young adults, how trauma manifests itself in children’s behaviors, and the ways to help them heal from their trauma. The session is free and open to all. Parents, foster parents, caregivers, teachers, guidance counselors, and those working in child social service organizations should find this session useful. There will be a question-and-answer period for general questions at the end of the session.

Carlton Burke will be the guest speaker. Mr. Burke is the Clinical Director for the New Horizons Audrey Grace House in Abilene, which provides counseling and residential services for children in foster care. Mr. Burke has over twenty years of experience as a therapist and counselor and has spent fifteen years working specifically with trauma. “It is vital to help children in managing their trauma and the feelings and behavior it causes,” said Mr. Burke. “There are real consequences for the child if the caregivers and adults in these children’s lives are not taking action. No matter how well meaning, how well intentioned, or how loving we are, we can’t just treat children who have experienced trauma the same way as we treat a child who is trauma free.”

The CASA sponsored learning session will be from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM on May 24 and will take place at the Community Connections of Central Texas building located at 901 Avenue B in Brownwood. If you have questions about the session or would like to learn more about CASA in the Heart of Texas and its mission to “passionately support the overall well-being and best interests of children in the foster care system”, please call (325)643-2557 or visit CASA in the Heart of Texas is a non-profit organization serving Brown, Comanche, and Mills counties.