Delaware State University will be the site of a one-day conference titled “Shifting from Trauma-Informed Care to an African-Centered Healing Approach” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Center on campus, 1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover.

There is no cost for conference attendance.

This workshop will address a gap in the way behavioral health care practitioners provide treatment to African-Americans who have experienced trauma. The goal of this training is to educate behavioral health care professionals about the limitations of traditional trauma-informed care as a therapeutic approach and why a healing-centered approach is more effective.

Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, chair of the DSU Department of Psychology, notes that the conference supports Gov. John Carney’s Executive Order No. 24, which makes Delaware a trauma-informed state. The order provides direction for the Family Services Cabinet Council to help mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences and build resilience in children, adults and communities.

Scott-Jones said Delaware State University is among one of the first higher education institutions in the state to demonstrate support of the order and to show a commitment to educating Delaware citizens.

“Trauma Awareness Month is in May 2019, but Delaware State University’s New Trauma Institute under the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences wanted to launch the first conference during Black History Month,” said Scott-Jones. “The DSU Trauma Institute will be providing ongoing training with CEUs surrounding trauma and plan to launch a certificate program related to treating traumatized individuals for practitioners, educators and human-service workers by fall of 2020.”

Registration and a continental breakfast will begin that morning at 8 a.m.

Cosponsors of the conference include DSU’s Department of Psychology, Department of Social Work and College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; TOVA Healthcare; Delaware Department of Health and Social/Division of Public Health; Delaware Center for Health Promotion; and First State Community Action.