School of Social Work endowed lecture to highlight consequences, treatment of childhood trauma

October 17, 2013

A national expert on childhood trauma will visit Wayne State University to explain the developmental disturbances that occur in children exposed to violence and the promising interventions that can aid emotional healing and recovery.

Steven Marans, director of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence within the Child Study Center of Yale University's School of Medicine, will deliver the School of Social Work's 26th Annual Edith Harris Endowed Memorial Lecture on the topic of "Trauma, Justice and Heroes." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Community Arts Auditorium on Wayne State's main campus. The program is approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative for two CE Clock Hours.

Marans, who has advised the White House, U.S. federal agencies and members of Congress on appropriate responses to trauma from community violence, terrorism and natural disasters, will explain the phenomena of traumatic experience and the poor developmental outcomes for children when their trauma goes unrecognized and unaddressed. He will describe the Child Development-Community Policing Program, a collaborative and widely replicated model that Marans developed to help mental health and law enforcement professionals jointly respond to children and families exposed to violence and trauma. He will also discuss the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention program, an early-stage model for decreasing post-traumatic stress and the resulting disorders that result from it.

Cheryl Waites, dean of the School of Social Work, called the topic of Marans's lecture "timely and critically important."

"Violence is a devastating and inescapable reality for many American families and communities, and social workers have a powerful role in the national response by developing evidence-based interventions that can help these individuals cope and recover," Waites said. "The impact of trauma and violence on society can't be overstated, and while it cannot always be prevented, well-informed practices can heal those afflicted and break debilitating cycles of violence."

Marans, who is Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry and professor of psychiatry at the Child Study Center and Department of Psychiatry within the Yale University School of Medicine, will also discuss various reasons that childhood trauma may go unrecognized and untreated by mental health professionals, social service providers, policy makers and the broader public.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.