Wayne State University

Aim Higher

News and Announcements

School of Social Work annual lecture highlights trauma-informed child welfare systems subject

November 9, 2016

A national child welfare expert will describe traumatic stress in children and the essential elements of a trauma-informed system at the Wayne State School of Social Work’s 29th Annual Edith Harris Endowed Lecture, which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the university’s Community Arts Auditorium.

Charles Wilson, senior director of the Chadwick Center for Children and Families and the Sam and Rose Stein Endowed Chair in Child Protection at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, will present the free lecture, which is open to the public and eligible for two continuing education contract hours. Attendees will gain a basic knowledge of traumatic stress in children, learn the essential elements of a trauma-informed system, and be able to adapt the concepts of trauma-informed systems to other child and adult service delivery environments well beyond child welfare.

Child welfare is a core research area of the School of Social Work, which is in the process of planning a Child Welfare Institute to advance research and evidence-based best practices to help families and communities in Detroit and beyond.

“Child welfare is one of the most impactful areas of social work, but it’s also among the most emotionally taxing,” explained Dean Cheryl Waites. “It’s critical that child- and family-service systems be designed to respect the impact of traumatic stress on everyone involved, including children, caregivers, and service providers. The best systems infuse trauma awareness throughout the entire organizational culture, from policy to practice, to support the recovery of children and their families.”

A frequent speaker at national and international conferences and seminars and a widely published author on trauma-informed child welfare, child abuse investigation, and forensic interviewing, Charles Wilson oversees a large multi-service child and family maltreatment organization providing prevention, intervention, medical assessment, and trauma treatment services along with professional education, and research. He serves as the director of the California Evidenced Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, under contract with the California Department of Social Services and the Chadwick Trauma Informed Systems Project for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He also supports institution-wide efforts to improve the operations of the hospital, co-leads the Rady Children’s Hospital Centers for Developmental and Behavioral Sciences, and provides administrative oversight to Rady Children’s Psychiatry and Medical Social Services departments. He co-chairs the Child Welfare Committee of the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and serves on the board of the California Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. 

Wilson was formerly the Executive Director of the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. He previously served in a variety of roles in public child protection, from a front line worker in Florida and Tennessee in the 1970s, to the State Child Welfare Director in Tennessee from 1982 to 1995. He is past president of the American Professional Society on Abuse of Children, past vice president of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, and a former ex-offico member of the National Children’s Alliance Board of Directors. 

For additional information on the lecture visit the Wayne State School of Social Work online. To view the slides from the Edith Harris Lecture click here

We will create and advance knowledge, prepare a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities.