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Strengthening Families Conference

Photo courtesy Family Education and Support Services Regional Resilience Center (FESS)

Strengthening Families Conference set for November

Earlybird registration opens for national conference aimed at helping families thrive

The fourth annual Strengthening Families Conference will be held Nov. 3-4 this year. So, if you have children in your family, work with children and families, interact with struggling families in any way, shape or form or you just simply care about kids, mark your calendar.

The conference, hosted by the Olympia-based Family Education and Support Services Regional Resilience Center (FESS), will be completely virtual this year. 

Sessions will provide participants with cutting-edge evidence-based resources and information, ideas and strategies for helping kids and families thrive, especially in the aftermath of trauma. Although the event was created for people whose work or advocacy efforts center around the lives of children and families, the training event is open to all parents interested in growing the five “protective factors” that lead child and family health and well-being. 

Those five factors are parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need and social and emotional competence in children.

By going virtual, this year’s conference will reach beyond Washington to a national audience, a move that organizers say will help expand thinking around family resiliency in our state. A key focus of the 2022 event will be programs that help prevent or lessen trauma in children. The past two decades have seen an explosion of research, data and information about brain science and what happens in the brains of children who experience risk factors like neglect, divorce, death of a loved one or abuse. 

“Studies have led to practices such as trauma- and resiliency-informed care to treat the effects of those experiences,” said Scott Hanauer, clinical director of FESS and a former program director at Children’s Home Society of Washington located in Seattle.

Speakers will include experts in the fields of education, child welfare and advocacy, law enforcement, juvenile justice, medical and mental health for parents, daycare, kinship, foster care and other areas. The speaker line-up will be announced soon.

Early registration ($75) is now open. The fee to participate will go to $125 on September 1.  For more information go to

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