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The Healing Brain: Supporting Children from Trauma to Resilience

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The ACWS Children’s Curriculum

The Healing Brain: Supporting Children from Trauma to Resilience is a module-based, online course that participants can work through at their own paceThe training will give participants a better understanding of early childhood brain development, the impacts of trauma on children, and how to nurture resilience in children who have been exposed to domestic violence. Each module is directly linked to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, to inform the ways service providers work with children through a lens of reconciliation. 

Why take this training?

The brain is a complex organ which actually doesn’t finish developing until a person is in their twenties. It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that the first five years of a child’s life can have a big impact on outcomes later in life. This means that supporting healthy early childhood brain development in a playroom environment is a very important role. In this course, you will learn how children’s brains develop, how adverse experiences and toxic stress can derail healthy brain development, and how you can nurture children’s development.

Across Alberta last year, 2,389 children were admitted to ACWS member shelters. For children, exposure to domestic violence can be as harmful as directly experiencing acts of violence. Working with children who have been exposed to domestic violence is one of the major prevention tactics that can be used to interrupt the cycle of violence from continuing into future generations.

Who is it for?

This curriculum was developed because children represent a large percentage of the residents who are served at shelters across Alberta, but it also has wide application beyond shelters—it’s very useful material for anyone working with children.

  • Shelter workers
  • Daycare workers
  • Healthcare workers
  • Caregivers
  • Teachers
  • Coaches

What is the cost?

Thanks to a donation from IODE Alberta, the course is free for ACWS members, and is currently free for the general public in 2023, after which there may be a nominal fee.

How long is the course?

The Healing Brain is a 6-hour course. The course is broken into 6 modules, which you can complete at your own pace. Each module is expected to take approximately 1 hour.


To enrol, login to your account. Then start by clicking on Module 0.