Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

Orchard Place Hosts 9th Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice Trauma Informed Care Conference June 3 & 4


On June 3 and 4, more than 300 professionals who work with children and families including physicians, social workers, mental health counselors, foster parents, early interventionists, psychologists, educators, business, human resource, medical and juvenile justice professionals will attend the 9th Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice Trauma Informed Care Conference in Des Moines.

 The conference is part of the Trauma-Informed Care Project, which was initially funded by a mental health block grant.  The main emphasis of the conference is to provide education on trauma and related issues to individuals who interact with children, youth, families, and adults in Iowa and around the Country.  Attendance has ranged from 200 people when the conference began to more than 500 a few years ago.

 "Topics at the conference are always new and refreshing, and the speakers are very relevant to current research and trends," said Gladys Noll Alvarez, who is the Trauma-Informed Care Project Coordinator at Orchard Place.  "The awareness of Trauma-Informed Care has come a long way during the past 10 years. People are figuring out it's not just what we are doing with and for our clients, but for what we do among our staff and ourselves."

The two-day conference provides essential continuing education credits for professional development and has always offered scholarships to make attending a possibility for students who are entering a related field and others whose agency funding is limited for training.

Of particular interest are new developments in brain science which show a direct correlation regarding how trauma impacts the development of the brain, of our relationships, and of our social/emotional/physical/mental health. "The research confirms that when it comes to kids, early intervention with a trauma-informed care approach builds resiliency," added Alvarez. 

"Also, we have learned that it's not just individuals who have trauma, but entire organizations can be affected.  There is now more focus on the important aspect of entire organizations taking a trauma-informed care approach in their agency culture; impacting clients and staff performance in a positive manner.  The evidence shows how this is impacting the bottom line, reducing staff turnover, raising client outcomes and improving overall performance."

To learn more about the Trauma Informed Care Project and Conference, visit The link to register for the conference is You can also call or email Nancy Boggess at 515-246-3531 or