Bridges to Resilience Conference

Bridges to Resilience Conference title=
Bridges to Resilience Conference
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Event Date: 
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 08:00

Registration Open for “Bridges to Resilience” Conference 

Conference on Childhood Trauma and Building Resilience Expected to Sell Out

  • Fourth Annual BRIDGES TO RESILIENCE Conference
  • October 14, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Hilton Beachfront Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara
  • Audience: anyone who works with children, youth and families
  • Focus: preventing and addressing childhood trauma, building individual and community resilience
  • Includes keynote address, 12 breakout sessions, resource networking
  • $125 cost includes breakfast and lunch; Continuing Education Units avail. for $60
  • Learn more and register at


The Santa Barbara County KIDS Network is pleased to announce that the 2019 BRIDGES TO RESILIENCE conference will be held Monday, October 14 at the Hilton Beachfront Resort in Santa Barbara. This day-long conference is intended for anyone who works with children, youth and families; is interested in understanding, preventing, and addressing childhood trauma; and wants to help make Santa Barbara County a resilient community. Learn more and register at

Bridges to Resilience 2018

BRIDGES TO RESILIENCE is a cross-sector conference to build a trauma-informed, resiliency-focused community. It engages educators and early care providers, social workers and therapists, police and probation officers, physicians and psychiatrists, philanthropists and community agencies, parents and foster parents. Attendees will learn tools for the classroom, exam room, living room, and the street; and hear updates on exciting local projects. The program is intended to facilitate community collaboration to improve outcomes for children, youth and families.

“The conference has sold out every year,” said the event co-chair, KIDS Network Manager Barbara Finch. “This new location gives us space to welcome more attendees from communities throughout Santa Barbara County. We expect about 400 people this year. A lot of the interest is driven by increased awareness of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).” 

Bridges to Resilience 2018

ACEs are specific childhood traumas including abuse, neglect and family dysfunction. Researchers have found that ACEs can cause chronically elevated levels of stress hormones that negatively impact development of a child’s brain and immune system. The result is increased risk of physical and behavioral health problems in adulthood—from heart disease and stroke, to alcoholism and suicide. The more ACEs a child experiences, the greater the risk: children with six or more ACEs have 20 years shorter life expectancy. 

Research has also identified factors that can build resilience, mitigating ACEs. For example, pediatricians can screen patients for ACEs and apply early intervention strategies and provide referrals to other services. An always-available trusted adult can help children develop resilience and empathy. Protective factors, such as parenting skills and concrete support in times of need, can help families break the cycle of abuse. 

Finch added, “We know that ACEs can dramatically impact life outcomes in adulthood and that the consistent support of caring adults can strengthen a young person's resilience. Now comes the exciting part, as our community begins to build a collaborative, trauma-informed system of care that can improve life for generations of children and families.”

This year’s BRIDGES TO RESILIENCE conference includes a keynote address by Laura Porter, a national leader in helping communities use ACE science to make investment and policy decisions that improve outcomes for children and families. The conference also includes 12 breakout sessions by 19 presenters on a variety of topics, from tools for teachers to local trauma-informed care collaborations; provides opportunities to discover community resources and network; and ends with a re-convening that helps attendees integrate their new knowledge and plan a path forward. The conference cost is $125 and includes breakfast and lunch buffets. Continuing Education Units are available for an additional $60. Learn more and register at

The conference would not be possible without enthusiastic local sponsors. These sponsors include the KIDS Network, Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness, Casa Pacifica, Children & Family Resource Services, Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM), Towbes Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Community Action Commission, First 5 Santa Barbara County, People Helping People, and Santa Barbara County Education Office.

About Kids Network:

The KIDS Network of Santa Barbara County was created by the County Board of Supervisors in 1991 as an advisory body on children and family issues. Administered by the County Department of Social Services, it provides data on child well-being and supports key initiatives benefiting children and families. For more information, visit




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