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Community Conversation Series


IECMH Trauma Informed Care: Honoring Families, Communities, and Cultures

March 12th, April 9th, June 11th, September 10th, October 22, final date TBD

VIRTUAL over Zoom from 8:30-10:30am

RIAIMH's Community Conversation Series (CCS) is a 6-session (monthly) series that is organized around a broad theme to showcase IMH-relevant research, clinical practice, and/or policy work in RI.  Our goal is to offer professional development opportunities that serve to enhance knowledge of (and are aligned with) the RI Infant Mental Health Competencies and IECMH-Endorsement®. 

Participants are encouraged to attend the full series to experience the arc of conversation about the topic, deepen connections with others in the RI infant/family workforce community, and broaden awareness of the range of innovative leaders in RI. But it is not required that you attend all sessions of the series.

The Community Conversation series is open EVERYONE. RIAIMH members may attend at no cost. Non-members are welcome to attend for a registration fee ($40). Graduate and Undergraduate Students are welcome to attend at no cost. (They are required to enter their College email when registering.)

Total PD: 2 hours/session; up to 12 contact hours/year (In October, CCS combines events with an additional half hour of Advocacy training)

Possible NASW credits and CELP PD hours per session. Please see session event registration for pending/offering. General CEU eligibility requirements below. 

All session content Learning Outcomes are with IMH Competencies®. The IMH Competencies® are listed on the Attendance Certificate.

Series Description

RIAIMH’s CCS 2024 series will examine core IECMH trauma-informed care concepts that honor families, communities, and culture. Trauma-informed care involves recognizing, responding to, and reflecting on symptoms of stress and trauma, and actively seeking to restore and maintain emotional safety to buffer against long-term negative impacts. The mental health needs of infants and young children are often overlooked despite decades of research showing critical brain architecture forms in the early years and serves as the foundation for lifelong health and mental health. The impacts of toxic stress and trauma in the earliest years can have lifelong impacts.  Healthy brain development depends on nurturing and consistent relationships with parents/caregivers in safe and predictable environments, at home and in community-based settings. When adults are in crisis, babies suffer. Supporting healing and wellbeing health through trauma-informed practices in the early years prevents worsening of symptoms and reduces the need for more costly interventions later.

In this series, we explore trauma-informed principles from an IECMH perspective that highlights the power of positive relationships for healing as they are implemented in diverse programs in RI. We examine how programs address attachment-based parenting, support parent-child interactions, enhance social supports, connect to culturally relevant community resources, and include provider selfcare as an integral part of the work (Strong Roots, Zero to Thrive). We center discussions around issues of race, power, equity, and bias as we explore implications for promoting mental health and wellbeing of infants, young children, and families.

Series Facilitators:     Sheila Grant Orphanides, MS, IMH-E®  RIAIMH PD Coordinator   &   Susan Dickstein, PhD, IMH-E® ,  RIAIMH Executive Director 

With generous support from:



Session #4: Spotlight on Safe and Secure Baby Court

Date: September 10, 2024

Time: 8:30-10:30am

Location: Virtual

Description:  During this session, participants will hear from the Safe and Secure Baby Court Team in RI.  A history and description of the program will be shared, along with examples of research and evidence that supports the efficacy of the program model as Trauma Informed Care for infants and families. The speakers will share examples of how the program "keeps babies in mind" and honors families, communities, and culture. The discussion will include input and reflections from program leaders and session participants.

Featured speakers from Safe and Secure Baby Court:

  • Hon. Lia Stuhlsatz, Family Court Judge
  • Jessica KartenBSW, Safe & Secure Baby Court Social Worker
  • Amanda Venturino, Director of Family Services and Women Services
  • Sandra Hayes, BSW, SSBC Care Coordinator/Social Worker
  • Julie Connelly, LCSW, Safe and Secure Baby Court Care Coordinator/Social Worker


Registration fee:

  • RIAIMH Members: NO COST with active 2024 membership
  • Non-Members: $40/session
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students: NO COST with valid student email entered during registration


  • NASW (Social Work) Continuing Education Units (2hrs) $30/session (for events taking place after May 1, 2024), (small online CC fee applied)
  • CELP (Center for Early Learning Professionals) 2 contact hour no cost for participants

IECMH-Competencies toward IECMH-Endorsement® - suggested competencies noted on event participation certificate.


Registration and Cancellation:

Pre-registration is suggested. Registering day of is welcome. Cancellation requests emailed to the event manager up to 7 days (5/14/24) before event, will receive a full refund. No refunds for cancellation requests received after 7 days, regardless of the cause for cancellation including failure to join meeting on the day of the training. If the training cannot be held due to circumstances beyond the hosts’ control (natural disaster, strike, fire, severe weather, illness of speaker, speaker cancellation, etc.) the session will be rescheduled, if possible, and the registration fee applied to that date. If rescheduling is not possible or registrant cannot attend the rescheduled date, reimbursement will be provided less any actual costs accrued.

Zoom Link: Instructions to REGISTER for ZOOM LINK are included in the confirmation and reminder emails sent to all registrants.

Post Event Evaluation:

Nearly every RIAIMH event will have a post evaluation survey. We strive to include our members in many aspects of our Association and asking for their feedback is on the top of the list.

Evaluation links are shared through Zoom CHAT, pop-up window upon exiting the event, and in the post event "Thank you for attending" email. 

All attendees are highly encouraged to complete the session evaluation. Those who purchased CEU credits must complete the evaluation to receive CEUs.

Continuing Education Units: optional 

Full attendance and participation at the live/virtual event, including participation in the small group exercises, polls, survey, etc., meets the qualifications for 2.0 hours of continuing education credit as required by the National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter (NASW) - units and the Center for Early Learning Professionals (CELP)-credit for Rhode Island's Early Childhood workforce.

In order to receive CEUs, attendees must register and purchase CEUs ($30) during event registration, there is a small fee to use a credit card. (CEU price is NOT included in registration). Please note: the cost of CEU's has increased to $15/hr for events taking place after May 1, 2024. 

Reminder, full attendance are required in order to receive CEUs and no partial credit will be offered (participants must join meeting by 8:45 am and leave no earlier than 10:25a). Failure to meet this requirements will prohibit RIAIMH from issuing certificates and no refund will be provided.

Attendance Certificate:

All professionals in attendance will receive an Attendance Certificate. This certificate lists speakers, session title, session date, and suggested Infant Mental Health Competencies®, for use in your IECMH-Endorsement® Application/Renewal. 

Infant Mental Health Competencies®:

All RIAIMH events are aligned to the IMH-Competencies® .  They will be listed on your Attendance and Continuing Education Certificate.

Please let us know if you have questions. 

EVENTS Calendar RIAIMH members can see materials from past events HERE

RIAIMH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

RIAIMH is a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.

RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

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