MELBOURNE, FL – June 14, 2013 – Brevard Family Partnership is launching a new initiative with the goal of understanding and addressing the trauma endured and improving the lives of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. A rollout of the Trauma Informed Care – Positive Youth Development initiative will take place at a community-wide summit on Thursday, June 20, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Hotel and Conference Center – 8298 N Wickham Rd., in Viera.

CLICK HERE to Register (Registration closes Monday, June 17)

The event will present the basis of trauma informed care from the perspective of not only an abused, neglected or abandoned child but also that of first responders, educators, health care professionals and caregivers. It will also focus on the results that properly administered care achieves: positive youth development.

“What we’re doing is changing the paradigm of the care community when treating an abused, neglected or abandoned child, getting those who work with these children to go from asking ‘what’s wrong with you?’ to ‘what happened to you?’ and providing the programs and services that address the latter question,” said BFP CEO, Dr. Patricia Nellius. “Being trauma informed means we understand what a child may have experienced that led them to being removed from their home and focus on helping them overcome the physical and emotional hurdles they face.”

Three former foster youth who have successfully transitioned into adulthood and are leaders in their own rights will make keynote addresses, sharing their stories and individual paths to success, along with recommending strategies for system improvement. They include Lucas Boyce, Director of Community Relations, Multicultural Insights, Cause Marketing and Government Affairs for the Orlando Magic and former White House Office of Political Affairs staff member; Mark Anthony Garrett, a professional speaker, trainer, success coach, author and advocate for children and families; and Lydia Joyner, a former Brevard foster youth who is now a filmmaker and who recently presented a compelling case for improving foster care systems worldwide to the United Nations.

The evening before the summit, current and former foster youth will have an opportunity to meet and discuss the current state of care in Brevard with the keynote speakers and develop ideas to improve the system to better serve children and teens.

Over the next twenty-four to thirty-six months, following the summit, BFP will lead training and awareness sessions designed to build better understanding of trauma informed care and positive youth development practices, along with their applications and integration.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required by Monday, June 17. CLICK HERE to Register

For more information, visit or call (321) 752-4650.