Keynote Address

8:45 a.m.

When Culture Heals: What Everyone Ought to Know About Creating Self-Healing Communities

Presenter: Laura Porter (ACE Interface)

Are you curious about how some communities build the capacity to improve lives year over year, even in the face of tremendous challenges? The most powerful drivers of people’s health, safety and productivity are interrelated, and they happen in a place – community. Building the capacity of communities involves helping people to shift from participation in a culture on auto-pilot, to new ways of working that intentionally generate the future that people want for their children and grandchildren. Communities that build hope, honesty, and healing mobilize common resources in uncommon ways. Based on over seventeen years of experience as a funder and partner with Self-Healing Communities, Laura Porter will share stories that illustrate what matters most for community success, and provide ideas and strategies that will help every person to contribute to that success. Participants will be able to:

  • Name four processes for building community resilience

  • Share resilience factors that moderate effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) among parents and reduce risk for children

  • Evaluate our own practices using a principle-centered approach to leading in Self-Healing Communities


Morning Breakout Sessions

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Role of Leaders in Self-Healing Communities

Presenter: Laura Porter (ACE Interface)

Communities that build hope and healing mobilize common resources in uncommon ways. How do community leaders work in concert to build the capacity of communities to solve complex problems? How do we structure the work for success generating a culture that prevents adversity and promotes flourishing?  What should we actually do, month to month? This workshop will detail the processes and principles of Self-Healing Communities, focusing on the role of community leaders. We will explore leadership practices that generate transformational change and hear stories that illustrate the different ways that successful communities have structured their work and built layered strategies over time. This is an interactive workshop that offers practical ideas for people who are leading community change.

The Pair of ACEs: Building Community Resilience

Presenters: Carrie Collins & Shane Meserve (Strategies 2.0)

In this presentation, participants will explore the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Community Environments. Participants will learn about the crucial foundations for building resilient communities, and identify techniques for addressing the root causes of ACEs to help alleviate their effect in communities.

Trauma-Sensitive Early Childhood Programs: Attuned & Responsive Relationships between Children & Adults

Presenter: Sandi Walters (WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies)

This session will support child care providers and early educators to understand trauma as well as its impact on young children’s brains, behavior, and learning.  Key topics will address reflection and reframing, using positive descriptive acknowledgement, predictable routines and schedules, direct teaching of social emotional skills, understanding tantrums, emotional literacy, and self-regulation/calming environments.  Providers will develop self-awareness about their own hot buttons and self-regulation and the impact on children’s behaviors and emotions.  By strengthening self-awareness and self-care, teachers will understand how to create trauma sensitive environments and strategies for supporting young children with histories of trauma.

Implicit Bias: What is it? What can we do about it?

Presenters: Lena Morán & Maria Munguía Wellman, PhD (Just Communities)

Implicit or "Unconscious" Bias is a hot topic these days. It is associated with racial/ethnic, gender, and other disparities in virtually all areas of life including education, the criminal justice system, health care, and more. But what is it? What can be done about it? How does it impact our behavior and our ability to create safe spaces where resilience can flourish? During this breakout session, we'll explore the brain science behind implicit bias, understand how it is different from explicit bias, explore how it impacts the work of people in helping professions, and review concrete, evidence-based strategies for how we can reduce the likelihood that our own implicit biases will impact our behavior in ways that undermine our work with the people and communities we serve.

Intervention Over Detention: Transforming Juvenile Probation in Santa Barbara County

Presenters: Holly Benton & Karyn Milligan (Santa Barbara County Probation)

Over the last decade, the field of juvenile probation has evolved to include trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate approaches to working with youth. What was once a punitive and compliance-based system has become a framework of assessment and case management, where accountability is balanced with evidence-based interventions, positive reinforcement, and incentives for change. Santa Barbara County Probation has embraced these changes and the opportunities to facilitate growth and resilience in our youth. Take a walk with us through our process of change, and learn about where we’ve been and where we are headed.

The Neuroscience of Trauma and How Mindfulness Can Help

Presenter: Ari Goldstein, PhD (Mindful Heart Programs)

This session will begin with an overview of the characteristics of attention that define mindfulness. We will also address the neuroscience of trauma, with a focus on what happens in the brains of children with ACEs. Participants will build their awareness of the impact of trauma on both the children they work with and themselves. The workshop will introduce attendees to the Mindful Pause and explore how it can be used to respond instead of react during stressful situations. Finally, we will discuss strategies for developing empathy, and the importance of being kind to ourselves.



12:40 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Mindful Movement

Presenter: Avery Voos (Mindful Heart Programs)

Optional: Join Avery Voos to awaken and re-energize after lunch, with a Mindful Movement break on the lawn.We will bring kind and curious attention to our breath and body as we gently move and find stillness in the sun. For those who are able, we will practice while standing, although all are welcome to join and participate in any way they can. 


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Help that Helps

Presenter: Laura Porter (ACE Interface)

Parenting adults have the most power for preventing ACEs in the lives of children today. Yet parenting may be harder for people with a history of Adverse Childhood Experience. We now know that the common progression of adversities in people’s lives—with major adult adversities tending to pile on top of childhood adversities—has a profound effect on the health and functioning of parenting adults. How do we structure our services and our communities to support parents in their very important role preventing ACEs? This workshop will introduce four resilience factors that make a big difference for parenting adults. We will explore the ways that effective communities have boosted these factors, and explain why improving community resilience is a high-leverage prevention investment.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention

Presenters: Jody Colt (Resource Parent & Family Advocate) & Edwin Weaver (Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley)

In this session, you will learn about Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®): a holistic, attachment-based, evidence-based, trauma-informed intervention designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. Based on years of attachment, trauma, and neuroscience research—and grown out of hands-on work with children who have experienced trauma—TBRI can be used in homes, residential treatment facilities, group homes, schools, courtrooms, camps, and international orphanages. Taught and utilized across 50 states and 40 countries, TBRI is listed on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) registry for Child Welfare, and is rated as being “Highly” relevant in the child welfare system based upon the program being designed to meet the needs of children, youth, and families receiving child welfare services.

Trauma-Informed Classroom Practices

Presenter: Lara Kain (ACEs Connection)

This dynamic and highly interactive workshop will explore the consequences of childhood trauma, and identify tangible strategies to make your schools and classrooms trauma-informed and resiliency-focused. It will include a brief overview of how trauma impacts learning and behavior, with the primary focus on addressing the "how" — what it looks like in schools, and how staff can adjust their practice and responses to youth. The emphasis is on practical application, and attendees will leave with an abundance of ideas and strategies that they can begin to implement immediately. 

Feminist Approaches to Mental Health: Resiliency Interventions for Queer Youth of Color

Presenters: Ali Guajardo MSW (Casa Pacifica) & Isabella Restrepo (Ph.D Candidate, UCSB)

Scholars of sexuality argue that LGBT youth continue to be one of the most vulnerable populations within the United States. Utilizing auto ethnography and personal experience, this workshop will explore trauma-informed approaches to working with LGBT youth from the lens of a Trans Latinx former foster youth. Through a woman of color feminist approach, we will unpack intersectionality in relation to queer youth while learning risk factors and resiliency interventions.

The Santa Barbara Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative

Presenters: Dr. Andria Ruth MD (SB Neighborhood Clinics), Alana Walczak (CALM), Maria Chesley PhD (Carpinteria Chldren's Project), & Korey Capozza (Cottage Health)

The Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative (PeRC) is a community effort to screen all children for ACEs and build family resilience. A partnership convened by Cottage Health, it includes Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM), Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, CenCal Health, The Carpinteria Children’s Project, Santa Barbara County Public Health Clinics, and Santa Barbara County ACEs Connection / KIDS Network. PeRC has the ambitious goal of expanding ACEs screening and referral to all pediatric clinics in Santa Barbara County, and linking patients and providers to other community systems. PeRC aims to identify high-risk children at an early age via the trusted relationship of the pediatrician; to improve care coordination and trauma responsiveness among healthcare providers, agencies and organizations that serve children; and to prevent trauma and adversity, promote resilience, and change the life trajectory of families who experience ACEs. At this session, two clinics that have implemented ACEs screening and referral to services will share their "lessons learned" and PeRC leaders will discuss, with audience members’ input, the community’s vision for the future.

A Reflective & Compassionate Approach to Professional Health & Well-Being

Presenter: Debbie Reno-Smith LMFT (Victor Community Support Services)

Providers in the fields of Children’s Mental Health, Wraparound, and Family Support are under pressure to meet heightened needs and address expanding social and behavioral challenges that result from the immense life stressors that affect children and families today. It is common for a treatment or care provider to have pervasive exposure to the trauma of and stressors in the workplace, and to place their own health and well-being behind the health and well-being of others.  Default challenges that arise include an inability to connect and empathize, workplace fatigue, overall feelings of overwhelm, and difficulty tapping into resources to maintain a work-life integrated balance.  This workshop will introduce reflective practices that can enhance the overall health and well-being of the professional and help us engage more effectively and attune to the needs of the families we serve. It will include an overview of the science related to vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and provider work-life balance along with the opportunity to practice strategies for self-compassion and paying attention to the present moment with non-judgment.



2:45 p.m.

Resilient Santa Barbara County: Discovery & Possibility

Moderator: Terri Allison. Panelists: Abe Powell, Lindsey Day, Maribel Landeros, Barb Finch.

Santa Barbara County has embarked on a journey to create an integrated and resilient community built on a foundation of trust and healthy relationships. How can we prevent and reduce the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Community Environments? How can we work collaboratively to ensure the health and well-being of all individuals, families and communities in our county? This session will explore the underlying urgency of this work, the solutions that are rising in our midst, and the questions that need our attention in the days, weeks and months ahead.


BRIDGES TO RESILIENCE 2019 receives administrative support from the Santa Barbara County KIDS Network.

Website created by Dennis Tivey for KIDS Network.

©2019 KIDS Network.