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We offer many trainings here at Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. Read the full descriptions of each of our trainings below, and to contact staff for more information, click here!


Infant Care and Safety


Happiest Baby on the Block

The Happiest Baby on the Block is a technique developed by Dr. Harvey Karp for soothing a crying infant. It includes five specific components which trigger what Dr. Karp calls the “calming reflex.”  This training provides valuable tools and techniques for new and expectant parents.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) occurs when an infant or young child is violently shaken. This training will help participants understand the signs, effects and causes of SBS and the impact on families and society. This training is also available in a Train-The-Trainer format.

Dangers of Unsafe Sleep Environments and How to Create Safe Sleep for Babies

This training will help participants gain a deeper understanding about Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUIDs) and safe sleep environments for babies.  Participants will learn how to identify and reduce risk factors for SUIDs, learn how to create safe sleep environments for babies, and tips about how to talk to parents and caregivers about safe sleep.

Childhood Trauma


Trauma 101: The Impact of Childhood Trauma

This training is an introductory training on trauma and discusses the definition of trauma, explaining both acute and complex trauma. It describes how traumatic experience impacts brain development in children and how that affects them into adulthood. The training explores the ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study and how that has influenced the movement to become more trauma sensitive in working with children and families. At the conclusion of the training, there is a brief discussion on addressing secondary trauma as well as the importance of building resiliency in children and families who have experienced complex trauma. 

Addressing Secondary Trauma 
This training will introduce participants to the importance of being aware of how secondary trauma impacts both their professional and personal lives. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of secondary trauma and other related conditions. Participants will take a short survey to determine what aspects of their own lives are causing more stress and will then learn strategies on how to reduce secondary traumatic stress. This training will provide attendees with various self-care activities that can be utilized at an individual, as well as at an organizational level. 


Poverty: Cycles of Risk

This training will allow participants to gain a deeper understanding of how poverty often reinforces other issues such as exposure to violence, complex trauma, homelessness, and substance misuse and how living in poverty can impact the most vulnerable families in communities we serve. Participants will explore their own attitudes and beliefs about poverty and the people who are identified as living in poverty. Participants will also explore the underlying conditions of poverty and how that impacts our communities. During the training, participants will take part in a poverty simulation. Finally, participants will learn and discuss strategies to change these underlying conditions within their community.


Effective Engagement: The Key to Building Resilience in Youth and Families

This training will provide participants with effective engagement strategies that can be used to engage youth and families. The training will identify various strategies that can be done on an individual and an organizational level to increase the level of engagement between the professional and the client being served. This training will also challenge participants to identify barriers to engagement and identify strategies on how to overcome those barriers. The training discusses resistance as a part of engagement and how to overcome resistance. At the end of the training, participants will learn the concept of resiliency and begin to explore how they can begin building resiliency in the youth and families they are working with.


Building a Road to Resilience

This training introduces participants to the concept of resiliency and how to build resiliency in the youth and families they are working with. The training challenges participants to assess their own resiliency traits and begin exploring how their own traits impact their ability to build resiliency in youth and families. This training will define resiliency, and explore domains, characteristics, and traits that are needed in order to build and strengthen resiliency.  Strategies to build resiliency in outside supports and inner strengths in youth and families will be identified.


Understanding ACES: How the Body Keeps the Score

This training introduces participants to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study that was done in the late 1990’s. Participants will learn how and why the study was conducted and conclusions due to the study. This training will explore a deeper understanding of brain development and what types of stress impact healthy brain development. Participants will learn how adverse childhood experiences impact lifelong physical and mental health. The conclusion of this training will focus on resilience and how building resilience can negate the negative impacts of adverse childhood experiences.

Substance Use

Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Awareness – Identifying Drug Endangered Children:  A Collaborative Approach
Ignored, abused, and abandoned – these are some of the chronic conditions experienced by children raised in environments where there is substance misuse or illegal drug use, manufacturing, cultivation and distribution.  Drug endangered children are part of a large and growing population of children whose lives have been seriously and negatively impacted by dangerous drugs. The Core DEC Awareness training looks at overcoming the challenges in aligning the agencies and systems responsible for preventing, intervening, and treating these issues to change the trajectories of the lives of drug endangered children and break multi-generational cycles of abuse and neglect.

Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Approach:  Moving from Awareness to Action

This training by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (National DEC) focuses on how to implement the DEC Approach which is a comprehensive strategy based on a common vision, collaboration that is on-going between various disciplines and agencies, and on-going changes in practice. The DEC Approach has proven to be effective in improving the likelihood of better outcomes for drug endangered children. This training provides insights about how various practitioners—including child welfare professionals, law enforcement officers, court/judicial professionals, prosecutors, probation/parole, medical personnel, educators, and treatment providers—are in a position to identify, protect, and serve drug endangered children and their families.

Domestic Violence


The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

Living in a home with domestic violence can have a significant impact on a child’s emotional and physical well-being. More than half of families where a woman is abused, the children are abused as well. This training will provide an overview of the cycle of violence, warning signs that may be exhibited by children, and ways you can help. 

Child Abuse Prevention


Child Abuse Prevention 101

Living in a home with domestic violence can have a significant impact on a child’s emotional and physical well-being. More than half of families where a woman is abused, the children are abused as well. This training will provide an overview of the cycle of violence, warning signs that may be exhibited by children, and ways you can help. 

Childhood Neglect Prevention: Exploring the Basics

Reports of childhood neglect account for 75% of all calls to the Child Abuse Hotline, and yet this topic is often misunderstood and hard to define. Childhood neglect can impact physical and mental health and lead to long-term problems. Participants will learn about the different types of neglect, risk factors and consequences of neglect on children, as well as protective factors and effective prevention strategies.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Child sexual abuse can happen to any child. Children need adults who know about child sexual abuse and who are willing to do something about it. This training will provide an overview of the facts, signs and symptoms, how to respond, and how to prevent it from happening. Child sexual abuse is a global problem that not only affects the child and family, but the entire community. With your help child sexual abuse can be prevented.

Stewards of Children

Stewards of Children is a 2-hour training that teaches adults how to recognize, react responsibly, and prevent child sexual abuse. This training, developed by Darkness to Light, is for parents, professionals, and anyone who wants to make a difference in their community by protecting children. Five supplemental trainings are also available such as Talking with Children, Healthy Touch, Bystanders and more.

Other Learning Opportunities


Parent Cafes

Parent Cafés are physically and emotionally safe spaces where parents and caregivers talk about the challenges and successes of raising a family. Through individual deep self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning, participants explore their strengths, learn about the Protective Factors, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experiences to help strengthen their families.

Paper Tigers Documentary

Paper Tigers is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WA, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities - a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). This film is a “must see” for anyone who works with children and families. A post film discussion is facilitated by PCA Illinois. 

Resilience Documentary: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope

Resilience is a one-hour documentary film that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The documentary reveals how toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brain and bodies of children putting them at greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time and early death. Resilience chronicles a movement that is fighting back to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress. A post film discussion is facilitated by PCA Illinois. 

View our Trainings Schedule

See if a PCA Illinois training or an event we are hosting or sponsoring is happening in your area!

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