On May 10 a daylong workshop was held at CSS. The Ministry of Children and Family Development, Yellowhead Community Services, School District 73, and Interior Health sponsored it.
The workshop explored the topic of neglect and emotional trauma in infancy using the science of early childhood development in planning for best outcomes for infants and young children.
The presenter was Evelyn Wotherspoon, a social worker and Zero to Three Fellow. She has devoted her career to high-risk children and families and provides infant mental health consultations to child welfare workers, lawyers, and judges in Calgary.
The workshop was intended for frontline workers, social workers, teachers, childcare workers, public health nurses, foster parents, and anyone else who may work with children.
The workshop focused on the importance of the first three years for brain development, the stress response system, and the development of social/emotional skills.
Evelyn Wotherspoon reviewed the current research on the impact of chronic neglect, emotional trauma, and exposure to family violence on infants and toddlers. She also presented strategies for assessment and planning intervention for maltreated infants and toddlers.
The workshop ran from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and was well attended. Ms. Wotherspoon also presented an hour-long session in the evening that was geared towards parents.