Evergreen Youth And Family Services Holds 14th Annual Conference
Over 300 professionals from the surrounding Bemidji area as well as Southern Canada attended the two-day Evergreen Youth and Family Services conference. The theme of this year’s 14th annual event is Creating Hope and Healing for Youth and Families.
Discussions centered on topics related to youth who are struggling with homelessness, addiction, trauma and education issues. There were 25 informational booths set up around the Sanford Center that ranged from organizations that deal with youth and families to child development.
“These are folks who work with kids and work with families and the more access they can have to the latest researcher on brain development, the more access they can have to professionals from around the country who have become experts in this field. It just sort of ups our own game here in the community and makes us better able to respond to families who are going through hard things,” Evergreen Youth and Family Services Director Dan McKeon said.
A keynote speaker at the event was a former high school principle who was featured in a documentary that focused on his schools approach to discipline to help students overcome adversities. During his speech he spoke about the importance for a community to be trauma informed.
“We need to drop our traditional approaches which are more punitive in style to a trauma responsive approach which builds relationships and changes lives,” keynote speaker Jim Sporleder said.