More than 100 social care professionals, including counselling representatives from the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) and students and staff from the University of Malta’s Department of Counselling, attended Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)’s first ever conference in Malta in April 2022. Themed ‘Trauma-informed practice in adolescent care’, the event was aimed at frontline professionals and NGOs working in the social welfare field.
Trauma-informed care creates a safe environment where past and current experiences of trauma can be understood and processed to support safety, choice, and control in people’s lives.
The half-day conference, held under a collaboration between RMHC and FSWS, discussed how trauma-informed care allows professionals to create a safe space in which the client’s past or current traumas can be understood and processed so that the required support can be delivered.
Dr Mariella Mangion, Consultant Community Paediatrician and RMHC Malta board member outlined the effects of childhood trauma on the developing brain. The health characteristics of children care for in the community or residential homes were discussed by Dr Kevin Borg, Consultant Paediatrician within the Directorate for Alternative Care at FSWS. The effects of trauma-informed care on young people were examined throughout a presentation by Dr Roberta Attard, Clinical Psychologist and Head of Department of Counselling, University of Malta.
A panel discussion involving the keynote speakers and Ms Remenda Grech, Director of Alternative Care within FSWS ensued, during which participants were able to put questions to the panel.
"RMHC not only provides a recurring top service through its Learning Centre, but it has upped the ante in organising a conference on trauma in adolescent care, sadly a common consequence of bullying. It was an opportunity to meet fellow stakeholders and listen to engaging talks by top speakers.”
Dr Aaron Zammit Apap
Founder & Secretary General, bBrave
“The atmosphere was excellent, with networking taking place among students and professionals from many different sectors, in a great venue. The expertise of the speakers was evident, and their insightful delivery of the content provided much food for thought.”
Youth Worker & Master’s in counselling student
“The conference was professionally conducted, mostly highlighting the IMPORTANCE of trauma- informed practice and how it can be crucial in understanding and supporting our clients, especially our young people.”
Social Worker, FSWS Gozo