We know that experiencing trauma can have a severe and long-lasting effect. When childhood trauma is not resolved, a sense of fear and helplessness carries into adulthood, setting the stage for further adversity.

It is well-researched that care-experienced young people experience trauma which is disproportionate to that of their non-looked-after peers. Effective help requires intervention that is congruent with neuroscience, developmentally relevant and is rooted in relationally-based practice.

Emotional nurture is a universal physiological need which we require for our brains to develop as babies, and as we get older our connectedness with others keeps us healthy and resilient, and is key to recovery from toxic stress.

Post-traumatic growth and resilience is possible. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring wellbeing and we can change social conditions to create environments in which young people can feel safe and where they can thrive.

This conference will bring together the latest findings and practice from neuroscience and trauma recovery, which will serve to strengthen our existing understanding as you deliver services to the young people in your care.

Speakers confirmed:


Lori Leyden, PhD, MBA
is an international trauma healing specialist who has worked around the globe. She is known in particular for her work in Rwanda after the genocide, where she set up the world's first youth healing, heart-centred leadership and entrepreneurship programme. More information about her transformative work can be found on the Create Global Healing website.

We will also be joined by Louise Wallwein, a renowned and award-winning poet, playwright and performer from Manchester. Louise was brought up in 13 different children's homes, and wrote her first play at the age of 17. Her career took off in 1998, when she performed an award-winning one-woman show on the wing of a World War II Shackleton Reconnaissance aircraft. Her plays have been broadcast by the BBC, graced the stage of the Sydney Opera House, Royal Exchange and Contact Manchester.

GLUE, her acclaimed one-woman show is currently on tour. Louise is under commission with the National Theatre Wales and BBC Radio 4, and is one of the Hull 17 Poets in Residence.

Dr Alex Hassett works across the various programmes at Salomon's Centre for Applied Psychology at Christchurch University in Canterbury in his role as Principal Lecturer and Senior Consultant. He is programme director for the PhD in Professional Practice: Psychological. Alex also works as a therapist, working predominantly with teenagers.

His research interests focus on emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people. A particular focus is on attachment, trauma and being in the care of local authorities and the link with emotional well-being. This includes issues related to care leaver's identity development, issues associated with being in foster care, and the impact of caring for those who have suffered trauma. He is also engaged in research around supporting the children's workforce who work with traumatised young people. He is currently undertaking a piece of research to develop trauma recovery core competencies for the children's workforce in the UK.

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