Darlington County School District hosts trauma in children confe - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Darlington County School District hosts trauma in children conference

Source: DCSD Source: DCSD

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – Seventy social workers, nurses, counselors and teachers from the Darlington County School District attended a conference at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Hartsville on Thursday and Friday centered on helping children who have suffered trauma in their lives.

A news release from the DCSD states the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) led the training, which was the first of its kind for the school district. “Trauma and Loss in Children: Structured Sensory Interventions” is the name of the TLC conference.

Physical and sexual abuse, suicide, domestic violence and homelessness are some examples of traumatic experiences.

“We’re holding the conference because some children we work with suffer from traumatic experiences, and we want to be sure we are using the most current techniques and intervention strategies,” Sue Cataen-Ingram, DCSD’s lead social worker said.

Day one of the conference was dedicated to understanding, recognizing and developing interventions plans for children with traumatic experiences; day two was geared on putting planned interventions into real-world practice.

“We’re trying to teach these techniques to our support staff, and we also want to help the families,” Ingram said.

Over 30 professionals are employed by the DCSD as support staff for the purpose of counseling and treating students, the release states.

TLC’s certified trainer Mary Hayek, a licensed master social worker and certified trauma specialist, managed the professional development on Thursday. Hayek runs a private practice where she focuses on treating young adults in the judicial system who have had trauma or major loss in their lives. Her concentration is on helping rather than punishing.

“I’m hoping adults and professionals can see a different perspective,” she said. “Trauma in children is not to be managed or controlled but understood and redirected. Bad behavior is not always purposeful.”

Hayek showed how traumatic experiences and loss in life, especially that of loved ones, during a young age can severely modify or delay specific developments in a child’s brain.

Hayek expressed that the question that should be asked is “What happened to you? Not, what’s wrong with you?”

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