COBYS Conference to Address PTSD in Foster Children

People often associate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with soldiers returning from battle, but foster children sometimes exhibit similar symptoms as a result of the trauma they have experienced in their lives.

COBYS Family Services therapist Laura Miller, LCSW, will lead a one-day seminar on “PTSD in Children, Adolescents, and Youth” on May 31 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.

Designed for professionals and foster and adoptive parents, the training will offer insight regarding how trauma affects the brain, how PTSD manifests across the lifespan, and how to recognize symptoms related to secondary trauma in caregivers. Participants will learn coping strategies for the whole family, as well as some effective tools to parent traumatized family members.

“Trauma affects so many people,” said Miller, “especially children and adolescents who are part of the foster care system. As adoptive and foster parents strive to parent traumatized kids, these caregivers sometimes find themselves at the receiving end of all the behavior related to past trauma.”

Miller has been an outpatient therapist since 2005, specializing in treating attachment and trauma issues among foster and adoptive children, adolescents, and their families. A resident of Lancaster, she has been a presenter at numerous conferences, educating others about attachment and trauma issues. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, has been a Licensed Social Worker since 2003, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2009.

Cost for the event is $30 for professionals and $10 for foster and adoptive parents. This program has been approved for an award of .5 continuing education units by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Millersville University. The registration deadline is May 24.

Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS Family Services educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential. COBYS carries out this mission through adoption and foster care services, counseling, and family life education. COBYS is affiliated with Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren.

A brochure with registration form for the event is at . To learn more contact Nicole Lauzus at 717-481-7663 or

— Don Fitzkee is director of Development for COBYS Family Services in Leola, Pa., and also serves on the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren.

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