Continual education and growth is so important to our team at Embrace. Particularly in our field, it is vital to stimulate our minds and hearts to avoid burnout from such emotionally taxing work. Luckily, we can collaborate with our greater community and lean on each other for support. Our Virginia Beach location was honored to attend the Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Care Network “We’re All In” Trauma Summit, where we learned many important lessons from people who have dedicated their lives to working with those impacted by trauma. Here is what we learned:
1. My Trauma Informed Care (TIC) elevator speech: My young child is having a meltdown in the grocery store. Instead of looking at her and thinking “What’s wrong with you?,” think “What has happened to you?” and “What do you need?”
2. We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to the trauma around us, and we cannot forget the sense of urgency to adopt a trauma informed framework so all of our neighbors can reach their full potential.
3. Trauma is ubiquitous. Everyone experiences trauma. Whether I think an event or experience is traumatic is irrelevant. Trauma affects everyone.
4. The effect of loneliness on our bodies is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Although technology allows us to connect with more people than ever, we feel more isolated than ever.
5. We must move to a place of not just cultural awareness but cultural humility. Pay attention on purpose and without judgement.
6. Standardized testing is a byproduct of what was supposed to be standardized teaching.
7. The Power of Yet! Effort is as good as outcome and we want our children to learn that they have the capacity to learn anything.
8. A growth mindset creates a love of learning whereas a fixed mindset believes that basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. Let’s believe that our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, our brains and talent are just the starting point.
9. Nothing great begins with knowing, it all begins with not knowing. Hang out with people that know stuff you don’t.
10. Make sure you are in a space where someone will offer you a reflective mirror.
We hope that we can do our part in passing these important messages on, and allowing ourselves to be a beacon of support for our foster care community. We have, and will continue, to provide individualized attention that takes into consideration the full context of people’s lives. And of course, we will continue to work with our community to consistently better ourselves and discover the best practices in our field.