Sonshine Children’s Centre: Developing a Trauma Informed, Therapeutic Day Care

11/06/2019 - 11:15 to 11/06/2019 - 12:45
Proposal(Workshop / Presentation)
Coordinating organization: 
Sonshine Community Services
New Methods in Shelter Management and Social Work
Organization Name: 
Sonshine Community Services
Proposer: afourie
Describe your workshop/presentation (300-500 words): 
Sonshine Children’s Centre is a licensed, accredited daycare located in Calgary. The Centre opened in June of 2015, offering specialized child care for children from Sonshine’s shelter, other shelters and the greater community who have experienced domestic violence. Children who are exposed to family violence are more vulnerable than their peers to social, emotional, physiological and cognitive development problems that can have long-term effects on their family, friends and community. The focus of the program is to prevent the cycle of violence from continuing by intervening early on in a child’s development, so that they can grow into healthy, positive youth and adults.

The Children’s Centre programming targets both normally developing and traumatized children and is anchored in well-tested theoretical frameworks and service principles, that ensure consistent, informed and individualized services that build on child development theories and understanding of child behaviour. The Centre’s interventions and services help address multiple issues such as the history of trauma, abuse or neglect, behavioural problems, and attachment disorders as well as support and encourage normal child development in normally developing children.

The Centre uses ARC framework which is an intervention for children, youth and families who have experienced multiple traumatic stress. ARC identifies three core domains that are frequently impacted among traumatized children and youth, including attachment, regulation and competency, which are relevant to future resiliency. The Centre also uses the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) to guide its service planning with children, particularly those who have been exposed to significant trauma. NMT is an approach that integrates core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology to inform work with children, families and the communities in which they live.

The Children’s Centre takes a learning through play approach, organizing the play environment in a way that provides a choice of play activities that meet the developmental needs of each child in the group. The learning through play approach expands, for traumatized children, into Theraplay which is a child and family therapy for enhancing and building attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun.

This session is intended for staff across the agency who wishes to learn more about offering integrated services for both the typically developing children as well as children who have been exposed to family violence and other forms of trauma.
All Speakers:
Alma Fourie
Alma Fourie M.Comm, PhD (Diaconiology) has 25 years of experience in leadership, mental health, program development, and facilitation and training. Her research interest includes adverse childhood experiences, and trauma informed practices. She has presented at conferences nationally as well as internationally. Currently she works as the Principal Director Programs and Operations at Sonshine Community Services. She realizes the importance of providing trauma informed care services and programming to the culturally diverse staff and clients served by agencies in the domestic violence and family homelessness sector. She has a passion for working with individuals who are vulnerable and is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and experience.
Joy Johnson-Green
Joy Johnson-Green BSW; M.A.; Ph.D. (counseling) has over twenty-five years’ experience in the field of domestic violence prevention and has presented at national and international conferences. In 2003, Joy was awarded the prestigious Jerry P. Selinger award in recognition of her dedication towards eradicate domestic violence. Joy is currently the Executive Director of Sonshine Community Services. In 2015, under her leadership and vision, the organization opened the first of its kind in North America, the Sonshine Children Centre. This unique Centre with the platform of a daycare provides wraparound therapeutic services to children who have experienced domestic violence and other forms of emotional trauma
Slides: The presenters don't authorize the sharing or distributing of their presentation content.