Play Video
June 1, 2023
6:00 PM

On June 1, French-American Aid for Children presented the latest edition of its Child Health Webinar series: Healing from Childhood Trauma. Trauma is a critical reality faced by numerous American children and their families. There are at least one in seven American children experiencing child abuse and/or neglect, and more than 2/3 of children reporting at least one traumatic experience by the age of 16. Moreover, pediatricians specializing in trauma, warn that childhood trauma, unless treated early on, is known to seriously impact mental and physical health throughout adulthood. 

Our expert mental health panelists and moderator discussed how parents and caretakers can get the proper help for themselves and their children. They described the prevalent types of traumas, symptoms to look for, and where and when to seek help. Our viewers learned about the most current and effective interventions and models practiced by our panelists’ respective agencies.


Kristina Coleman Head shot (2)

Kristina Coleman, LMSW, MPA

Vice President of Child Advocacy and Mental Health Programs at Safe Horizon

Kristina has served in the social services field for over 14 years specializing in child welfare, family reunification, trauma treatment , mental health, program Implementation, and development.  She has two masters degrees, one in social work leadership from Hunter College and in  Public Administration from Mercy College. She has held multiple roles at both the direct service and leadership level. Kristina is the Vice President of Child Advocacy and Mental Health Programs at Safe Horizon and also the Founder/CEO of youRmore. Her private practice focuses on mental health and the impact of intergenerational trauma among communities of color. As someone who values leadership,  teamwork, and community. Kristina's mission is to inspire, develop, educate and  create opportunities for people to identify their strengths to live up to their full potential. Kristina is a Member at Large at the National Association of Social Workers, NYC Chapter, and a board member of several organizations that support youth and family work .

Show More Show Less
Laura photo webinar (2)

Laura Fernandez, LMSW

Senior Director, Clinical Services at Sanctuary for Families

Laura Fernandez provides leadership, management and strategic direction for all of Sanctuary’s clinical services citywide. She oversees a team over 90+ staff including clinicians, case managers and support personnel. Before coming to Sanctuary in 2015, Laura served as Assistant Executive Director of Programs for Edwin Gould Services. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and her Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.

Ms. Fernandez has over 30 years of experience working with families and violence, including as a Child Protective Worker in Massachusetts, as a school counselor, and as a social worker in a New York City domestic violence shelter. She served as an expert witness on the overlap between domestic violence and child protective issues in the Federal class action lawsuit, Nicolson v. Williams, which influenced major changes in the Administration for Children Services’ policies towards domestic violence victims.

Ms. Fernandez has initiated several programs for young people that promote positive youth development and inter-disciplinary collaborations. She created an after-school program based on promoting an awareness of human rights, using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and presented research on this program at an the XII World Congress of Comparative Education Societies. She is deeply connected to bringing a trauma informed family lens to her work with families impacted by domestic violence and helped develop the FamilySafe model currently used at Sanctuary.

Ms. Fernandez is also a field instructor for social work students and has been an adjunct
professor at Hunter School of Social Work in the areas of Child Welfare Policy and Research.

Show More Show Less

Joseph Boyd, LMSW

Assistant Director, Integrated Treatment Model at the Children's Village

Joseph Boyd LMSW is the Integrated Treatment Model Assistant Director at The Children’sVillage in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Joseph started his career working with children in a variety of settings including summer camps, after school programs and coaching sports.  In 2013, he began working as a sociotherapist at the Children’s Village with youth who were adjudicated through the NYC court system for engaging in sexually abusive behaviors. After a few years of doing direct care work, Joseph began working with youth who had to transition to another permanency option rather than their family, this gave him the opportunity to be in the communities that the youth came from and taught him a lot about working with families and the impact of structural racism.  Around this same time, the Children’s Village was moving in a direction to implement a new treatment model called the (ITM) Integrated Treatment Model, Joseph and his current supervisor led that implementation and still do. Joseph earned his Master’s of Social Work from Silberman School for Social work in 2020 and he was licensed shortly after. Joseph consults to a variety of other agencies throughout the state and in the United Kingdom on the implementation of the Integrated Treatment Model.

Show More Show Less


Safe Horizon

Safe Horizon is the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, operating a network of programs across New York City communities and systems. Visit their website and learn about their child trauma response team.

Sanctuary for Families

Visit the Sanctuary's Children and Family Services. Learn more about this impactful organization and how to get help.

The Children's Village

Visit the The Children's Village and learn how they strive to keep children safe.

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

Click here to view Dr. Nadine Burke Harris' (Surgeon General of California between 2019 and 2022) TED MED presentation.


Center for Safety and Change

For more than 40 years, Center for Safety & Change has worked tirelessly with victims, survivors and their family members, offering life-saving and life-changing programs.

What is complex trauma?

Visit the Child Mind Institute and understand how complex trauma affects children.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Read this CDC Article explaining  how CBT is effective for treating trauma symptoms in children and teens.


The New York Foundling

The mission of The Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection is to prevent child maltreatment and promote the well-being of children in times of crisis

New York Center for Children

Serving victims of child abuse and their families. Visit here

24h New York State Parent Helpline (English/Spanish)


Provides information and referral service for parents, child care professionals and other citizens who want to prevent child abuse and intervene in abusive situations.

Project HOPE

Providing advocacy/support services

Family PEACE Trauma Treatment Center

The Family PEACE Trauma Treatment Center (FPTTC) is dedicated to improving the safety and well-being of children and families exposed to violence/abuse and breaking the intergenerational transmission of trauma through early identification and treatment.

Interface Children & Family Services

Connect to resources and assistance during times of crisis.

Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) at Northwestern University

The purpose of the Center is to provide national expertise on interventions for the developmental effects of trauma across child-serving settings, including child welfare, behavioral health, educational and juvenile justice settings.

Yale Center for Traumatic Stress and Recovery (YCTSR)

Provides trauma-informed treatments and services to children and families, builds professional knowledge through clinical research, and advances the field of child trauma treatment through collaboration, training, and dissemination

National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative

Learn about the signs of child traumatic stress in different age groups, the impact on children, treatment options, and how families and caregivers can help.

The Child HELP Partnership (CHP) of St. John's University

The Child HELP Partnership (CHP) mission is to better protect and heal children and caregivers from trauma and its emotional impact.

The Center for Child Trauma and Resilience (CCTR)

The Center for Child Trauma and Resilience (CCTR) advances the science and treatment of child traumatic stress and psychological resilience.

Recovery & Support for Traumatic Stress in Children

Recovery from traumatic stress is different for each child. Specialists at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, are available to provide support for as long as needed to ensure that your child recovers as quickly as possible.