Annual child welfare conference is April 12 at UNK

Contact: Jody VanLaningham, criminal justice and social work assistant professor, 308-865-8753

Kearney, Neb., April 8, 2013 — “Trauma-Informed Care in Child Welfare” will be the focus of the 5th Annual Child Welfare Conference on April 12 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The conference, which draws social workers from the area as well as UNK social work students, will take place in the Nebraskan Student Union from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Speakers for the conference are Kay Glidden, assistant director of Region 3 Behavioral Health Services in Kearney; Jenny Brown, active member of the Internal Trauma Informed Care Team at Region 3 Behavioral Health Services; and Kim Carpenter, community outreach specialist for Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska.

Registration and networking will begin at 8 a.m. on April 12. UNK students, faculty, field supervisors and Social Work Advisory Committee members may attend the conference at no charge. Non-UNK participants will pay a registration fee, which also covers the 3.25 CEU credits.

At 8:30 a.m., the first “Trauma-Informed Care in Child Welfare” session will begin. After a short break at 10:15, a second part to “Trauma-Informed Care in Child Welfare” will begin at 10:30. Closing remarks and evaluations will take place at 12:15 p.m.

The three speakers will help participants learn about how trauma affects consumers seeking services, what trauma-informed care is, how to create safe environments for persons served and ways to avoid re-traumatizing practices.

Jody VanLaningham, criminal justice and social work assistant professor, said trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.

“One of the key components of building organizational capacity for trauma-informed care is professional education and development,” VanLaningham said.

The conference is sponsored by the UNK Department of Social Work and the Phi Alpha Honor Society for social work students.

For additional registration information, call 308-865-8739 or e-mail