The Summit will explore how rural communities can help children with trauma of Virginia

Children living in homes where there is scarce food and violence, or whose parents are suffering or are in prison, are likely to have problems in school, go to drugs themselves and run out of the legal system.

But it does not need to be so.

A Rural Summit for Youth is hosted by the United Way of Southwest Virginia in May to enable leaders in rural communities to learn more about the trauma that children do and how schools, social services and social services can work. the justice system adapted to help these children.

The summit will see Jeannette Walls, author of the most prestigious memorial “The Glass Castle.” The walls grew in extreme poverty, with a father drinking from their money and a mother with a disease. mental. During adolescence, Walls lived in a sloping hill house in Welch, West Virginia, which had to offer shelter. She and two brothers and sisters put their way out.

She will talk about resilience.

Leann Vernon, the United Kingdom's director of accountability and strategic influence, said that the region served by the agency has been badly affected by opioid and addiction and poverty that has contributed to the decline in the coal industry.

She said that many of the agency's partners began to understand how children are affected by poor youth events, known as ACEs.

“They know about trauma. They know about ACEs, and they know about resilience, ”she said. “But they don't know what to do about them.”

She said they wanted to know what skills their workforce must have. Others in the region are less conscious of knowledgeable trauma care.

With the help of Virginia Department of Health's rural health office, the United Way began planning for the summit, which will take place on 23 May at Southwest Virginia Education Center in Abingdon.

It was designed with 20 workshops for three trails.

“The introduction to people from rural areas may have heard a little about it, but I don't know much. So, it's good to do this, ”said Vernon.

Other workshops are aimed at those with some knowledge who wish to gain a better understanding of what to do, and for those implementing programs.

Vernon said that they are looking forward to a cross section of community leaders from rural areas throughout the state.

“We would encourage people at leadership level to serve people and more than one person from a city or county,” she said. “There will be no staff activities, but if the same information was heard by a county administrator and an economic development person and the head of the health and social services department and the district attorney, he could help them with that information. wider dissemination to their agencies. ”

Registration begins, which is limited to 500 people, Monday. For more information, go to


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