Building Brains with CARE

Workshop Description

A child’s experiences impact brain development, which builds the foundation for the child’s learning, behavior, and well-being now and in the future. If a child is exposed to toxic stress or harmful experiences, that foundation can be impaired leading to negative behaviors and barriers to learning. A responsive, supportive and reliable caregiver can reduce the negative impacts of those experiences and help build resilience through executive functioning development.

Building Brains with CARE (BBwC) is an evidence-informed training model that incorporates the Brain Architecture Game and Child Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) models for caregivers and professionals who care for and work with children and are seeking strategies to build their resilience and executive functioning skills. Components of this training were originally developed and have been shared by the following:

  • Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
  • Clinical & Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center at University of Southern California
  • FrameWorks Institute
  • Trauma Treatment Training Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Workshop participants engage in interactive learning to build foundational understanding of the powerful role of experiences on early brain development: what promotes it, what derails it, and the larger impacts across the lifespan. Participants then learn evidenced-based interaction skills drawn from research-supported parenting programs to improve relationships with children in a variety of settings, such as residential treatment centers, foster care agencies, transitional living programs, and medical care settings. This workshop promotes a focus on resilience and actively builds your skills through discussion, demonstrations, practice, and live coaching.

Participant Benefits

  • Build an understanding of the impactful role of experiences on early brain development;
  • Practice play-based and child-led relationship-building methods;
  • Identify effective methods for giving directions to children and adolescents to increase the likelihood they will listen;
  • Increase relationship-enhancement techniques through active skill-building;
  • Continuous learning and implementation support through access to the BBwC Community of Practice (provided through virtual platforms).

Who Should Attend?

Building Brains with CARE was created for general usage by clinical and nonclinical adults who work with traumatized children; however, training is applicable to a wide range of provider and caregiver populations. The workshops facilitated by the Institute for Child and Family Well-being are uniquely designed for (but not limited to) the following professionals and caregivers:

  • Foster and/or adoptive parents
  • Foster care caseworkers and child protection workers
  • Social service case managers
  • Home visitation providers
  • Juvenile justice workers
  • Infant and Early Childhood teachers
  • Mental health providers
  • Medical providers
  • Community support providers

How Do I Attend a Building Brains with CARE Workshop?

Building Brains with CARE is a full-day, in-person workshop that is offered quarterly. Dates for 2022 will be released shortly. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Luke Waldo at