Developing OMID’s Trauma-Informed Culture December 23, 2018 by Azadeh Akbari The Restorative Approach® and Risking Connections Training As part of OMID’s continued commitment to building on its trauma-informed culture and system of care, some 25 staff members from various departments across OMID (Management, Social Work, Psychology, Psychiatry and Education) attended a four day intensive course on the Restorative Approach and Risking Connections in Tbilisi, Georgia, earlier in November. The course was led by world leading expert, Patricia Wilcox LCSW. Patricia is the creator of the Restorative Approach, a trauma and relationship-based approach to congregate care treatment of children, and its companion book, Trauma-Informed Treatment: the Restorative Approach. She is Faculty Trainer for Risking Connection and an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work. Patricia is also the Vice President of Strategic Development at Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain, Connecticut and part of the Traumatic Stress Institute team. In 2011 Patricia was awarded Connecticut Social Worker of the Year. Assisting Patricia was Mary Jo Harwood, LSW, DNCCM, a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers, with years of experience as a trauma and conflict management specialist. A significant part of her 28 years as a social worker has been spent working with traumatized individuals and groups in the capacity of a therapist, crisis responder, and trauma trainer. She has spent the past 16 years on the executive leadership team of the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime (CVVC) in Pittsburgh, PA. Mary Jo’s crisis and clinical experience include local, state and national response to incidents of mass casualty. She has trained nationally and internationally on the impact of trauma and is a member of Mediators Beyond Borders International. Her expertise in trauma recovery has been used in numerous newspaper articles, radio, and television news reports. During the course of the training, Patricia and Mary Jo taught the techniques and approaches to restore relations and connections with survivors of trauma in order to further help them cope with their traumas and move forward. This training session was one of several training programs OMID provides its staff in becoming fully trauma-informed youth workers, in line with OMID’s commitment towards being a trauma-informed organization – one of a kind in the country.