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Thu, Mar 07


New Horizon Presbyterian Church

Southwest Iowa Drug Endangered Children's Conference

Addressing the Needs of Children and Teens with A History of Prenatal or Postnatal Trauma Featuring: Ira J Chasnoff, MD and Christine Schmidt, PsyD

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Southwest Iowa Drug Endangered Children's Conference
Southwest Iowa Drug Endangered Children's Conference

Time & Location

Mar 07, 2024, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

New Horizon Presbyterian Church, 30 Valley View Dr, Council Bluffs, IA 51503, USA


About the event

In the past two decades, the number of children born into families affected by substance abuse has grown exponentially.  These children and teens often suffer from both prenatal and postnatal trauma through prenatal exposure to licit and illicit substances and lack of positive early childhood attachment relationships.  They likely are disrupting classrooms, filling the child welfare system, and challenging the health care system with behavioral difficulties that defy classic treatment approaches.   This program will discuss the neurobiology of prenatal and postnatal trauma, describe the behavioral dysregulation that results, and present strategies that can support appropriate behavior and learning at home and in the classroom.

At the completion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss the neurobiology of prenatal trauma on development, behavior, and learning across the lifespan.
  2. Discuss the neurobiology of postnatal trauma on development, behavior, and learning across the lifespan.
  3. Describe an overall strategy for developing interventions that support appropriate behavior and promote learning in infants, children, and teens affected by prenatal and postnatal trauma.

About the Speakers:

Ira J. Chasnoff, M.D., an award-winning author, researcher and lecturer, is president of NTI Upstream and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and the effects of maternal alcohol and drug use on the newborn infant and child.  His research projects include a study of the long-term cognitive, behavioral and educational developmental effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs; strategies for screening pregnant women for substance use; the effects on birth outcome of prenatal treatment and counseling for pregnant drug abusers; the effectiveness of both outpatient and residential treatment programs for pregnant drug abusers; and innovative treatment approaches for children affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol or illicit drugs. Dr. Chasnoff led the development and operation of a laboratory preschool classroom to develop specific interventions for children prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs and developed a model Head Start Family Service Center for children and their families at risk from drugs and the drug-seeking environment.  In addition, Dr. Chasnoff directed one of five national sites conducting research into the integration of behavioral health interventions into primary health care services for high-risk children and their families, and through this project studied the impact of concurrent planning on permanency placement for children in the foster care system.  Since 2002, Dr. Chasnoff has been leading cutting edge research into innovative treatment for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Dr. Christine Schmidt is a clinical psychologist who has specific interest and expertise in working with youth and families impacted by pre- and post-natal trauma. She began her postdoctoral career in 2001 at the Children’s Research Triangle (CRT), in Chicago, Illinois, where she received extensive training surrounding the assessment and treatment of children who have histories of prenatal substance exposure and complex trauma. Over the course of her 16-year tenure at CRT, Dr. Schmidt lead the child adolescent psychology program, coordinated the student and postdoctoral training program, directed several foundation and national grants, and provided numerous local and national trainings regarding pre- and postnatal trauma. Most recently, Dr. Schmidt has especially enjoyed co-directing a three year grant designed to help address the impact of secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma on legal professionals working with youth in the child welfare system. In her current role as an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services consulting psychologist, Dr. Schmidt provides consultative psychological services to administrators, caseworkers, and other professionals involved with the department. Each summer, Dr. Schmidt and her two children, ages 10 and 13 years, appreciate the additional opportunity to help run a two-week overnight camp for children who have special needs, Camp SOAR.


Early Bird Registration (open through February 5, 2024): $75.00 per person

Regular Registration: $100 per person

Continuing Education Hours

This workshop has been approved for 6.5 hours / Counseling Theories & Techniques Continuing Education Hours (CEU's) by the Iowa Board of Certification.

NASW has determined that this program meets the criteria of the Iowa Board of Social Work for 5.5 hours of continuing education

Professionals who believe that this programming meets the requirements of their professional licensure board may present their certificate to their professional board. All those attending in full will receive a certificate of attendance and agenda for the day that includes the course title, trainer names, date, location, and number of hours. It is the responsibility of the individual attending to be familiar with the CEU requirements of their professional licensing board. Licensees should retain course materials and certificates for four years for auditing purposes.

Sponsored by: 

  • PMP - Prevention Means Progress
  • Southwest Iowa Mental Health & Disability Services Region
  • Green Hills Area Education Agency
  • Thriving Families Alliance

For more information about the conference, contact Julie Larsen, Prevention Specialist,

Scholarships may be available: Please contact Caelan Sauberan, Administrative Assistant,

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