April 24, 2018 — Grant Funding Sends MYFS Staff to ‘Trauma-Informed Care’ Conference

MYFS Counselors Mark Hecht and Gail Valoroso with MYFS Clinical Director Susan Pirsch at the IVAT Conference

Thanks to grants from the HMSA Foundation and American Savings Bank, 16 staff members from local nonprofit Maui Youth & Family Services (MYFS) were able to attend the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) 15th Hawai’i International Summit on ‘Preventing, Assessing & Treating Trauma Across the Lifespan’ April 17-19, 2018 at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu.

MYFS empowers youth and families challenged with behavioral health issues to become responsible, self-fulfilled and contributing members of the community. Its programs include adolescent outpatient and school-based substance abuse treatment, emergency shelter, therapeutic foster care, outreach and advocacy, support for homeless and former foster youth, prevention programs and one-on-one mentoring.

MYFS counselors, therapists, social workers and other support staff learned about the latest research regarding various aspects of working from a Trauma Informed framework for assessments and interventions. Training also centered around the long-term effects of childhood trauma and the psychological, behavioral and neuro-developmental consequences.

“We are deeply grateful to the HMSA Foundation and American Savings Bank for making it possible for us to attend this extraordinarily beneficial conference,” said Susan Pirsch, MC/LMFT, MYFS Clinical Director. “We work with youth every day who have been traumatized, abused or victimized at some point in their life. Our staff left the training with a better understanding of where our clients are coming from and ready to utilize the many practical techniques that were presented.”

The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) is a leading international resource and training center based out of San Diego with a satellite office in Honolulu. For more information about IVAT, visit ivatcenters.org.