BrainSTEPS: ACEs, Vicarious Trauma, and Supporting Students with Brain Injury

Sheraton Station Square Google Maps

Session Dates

Friday April 12, 2024 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM - Sheraton Station Square

This event is by invitation only. You must have a registration key in order to register.

The BrainSTEPS Brain Injury School Consulting Program, established in 2007, has provided support, consultation, and training to nearly 7,000 students, their school staff, and families in Pennsylvania. Experiencing an Acquired Brain Injury is traumatic for the entire family system, including parents, grandparents, and siblings. Working daily with a population that has been traumatized can be both enriching and rewarding. However, it also poses an emotional toll on BrainSTEPS team leads and members, who are constantly exposed to the long-lasting or permanent effects of sudden brain injuries on children and teens.

Exposure to the trauma of injured students, known as vicarious trauma, impacts BrainSTEPS team leads both negatively and positively. The negative impacts can affect morale, cohesion, performance, and retention, both individually and collectively. Providing information, training, and team-building activities helps BrainSTEPS team leads to recognize, validate their experiences, and develop stronger peer support. Introducing evidence-informed practices and strategies is crucial to mitigate negative impacts and enhance positive outcomes, fostering commitment, shared contribution, and a sense of purpose among consultants.

In this interactive and informative session, we will introduce the negative and positive effects of work-related trauma exposure, or vicarious trauma. BrainSTEPS team leads will explore the personal and professional impact of this work and learn strategies and practices that mitigate the negative effects while promoting resilience building, both individually and as a team.

BrainSTEPS team leads will also work on BrainSTEPS State Best Practices, complete an interactive activity focusing on brain architecture and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), will analyze individual team data, and receive program updates.


At the end of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Explore the negative and positive impacts of working with psychologically traumatized children and their parents/families who have experienced an Acquired Brain Injury.
  • Provide BrainSTEPS team lead consultants with an understanding of how to mitigate the negative impact of work-related trauma exposure.
  • Explore strategies to build individual and BrainSTEPS team resilience to trauma exposure.
  • Identify strategies that each BrainSTEPS team has found successful to increase student referrals over this past academic year.

Target Audience

BrainSTEPS Team Leaders Only Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate individuals who have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and who need assistance at this event. Contact: Kim Clemens at

Event Info

Event Type:


Credit Type:

Act 48 Clock Hour
No credit


Dr. Brenda Eagan-Johnson, Maggie Lockovich, Dr. Janice Tucker, Anita Heller, Katherine Manners

Event Contact:


Kim Clemens

Content Contact:

Brenda Eagan Johnson