Afterschool Webinar:

Caring for Children and Youth in Crisis, Part III

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020 02:00 PM ET

Caring for Children and Youth in Crisis, Part III: Leveraging policy to expand access to healing-centered afterschool programming

About this webinar:

The word “crisis” comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning "decisive point in the progress of a disease.” It denotes a critical juncture at which change is inevitable, for better or worse. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the civil unrest persists around the country in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it is well-known that the US is facing a mental health crisis among our children and youth. In partnership with American Institutes for Research & the Forum for Youth Investment, the Afterschool Alliance is excited to announce a series of webinars focused on the why and how of implementing trauma-informed approaches in youth development programs. In a series of three webinars we will discuss the importance of trauma-informed approaches in out-of-school time settings, and the critical role that afterschool and summer program providers and networks can play in helping youth manage and recover from trauma.


The first webinar in this series provided an overview of what we know about the effects of adversity on child and adolescent brain development, with an eye toward why trauma-informed practices are so important and offered practical tools and strategies for programs to employ when working with youth who may be dealing with trauma. The second webinar delved further into what it means for afterschool programs and systems to truly go all-in on creating supportive learning environments that are centered on healing. In this webinar, the third and final of the series, we will dive into the policy implications of developments in research and practice around trauma and healing. With presenters representing the federal, state, and local policy perspectives, we will discuss how some policies already do and potentially could help support this critical work, and provide insights into how advocacy can help to improve the policy supports that programs require to meet the needs of their communities.


Join us for a conversation with experts in the field who will provide practical tips and suggestions on policy and advocacy at all levels, discuss the implications of policy in advancing equity, and discuss the important ways that policy can help ensure that all youth have access to high quality youth development programs that are able to address adverse childhood experiences and create supportive, healing-centered environments for children and youth.



  • Chelsea Eickert, Children & Youth Master Plan Coordinator & Co-Coordinator, Trauma-Informed Community Network (RAISE), City of Alexandria, VA
  • Ayana Melvan, Senior Project Manager, Educational Initiatives and Lead for the Rhode Island Afterschool Network, United Way of RI
  • Erik Peterson, Sr. Vice President of Policy, Afterschool Alliance
  • Jodi Grant, Executive Director, Afterschool Alliance (Moderator)
  • Hal Smith, Sr. Vice President, Education, Youth Development & Health, National Urban League (Moderator)