Complex trauma - the impact of early life, repeated trauma and loss often involving trusted relationships

Youth Health Forums (YHFs) are stimulating, half-day forums that cover a wide range of adolescent health and wellbeing issues, appealing to health, education, community, welfare professionals and students. The Forum provides an opportunity for attendees to meet, update knowledge and skills, exchange information and strengthen the youth health network, in order to provide the best possible support for young people in NSW.

Free of charge

When and where
Date:  21 July 2021
Time: 9am -12.30pm (AEST)

Where: live streamed to where you are

Live Stream details (including technical difficulty issues)

To watch the live event go to:

Remember to add this to your calendar, no password is required

  • Ensure you have up to date browser installed for example Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
  • Check out page 2 of the program and the streaming tips if you encounter technical difficulty on the Forum day


Register by close of business 16 July 2021 to receive a reminder email (registration is optional)

Direct questions to Forum speakers during the live stream

  • Text questions to 0452 378 112 stating location and question. For example "[Dubbo], my Q to Speaker A is…."
  • For technical difficulty on the Forum day, please refer to live stream details above (this number will not be able to respond to technical issues)

Forum’s speaker notes

The speakers’ presentations will be available on the NSW Health website ( within two weeks of the Forum (search for ‘Youth Health Forum’) , or go to:

Forum’s evaluation

Program includes presentations on:

This forum will be chaired by Ms Sue Foley,  Director, NSW Children’s Court Clinic, The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN)

·       Sue is currently the Director of the (NSW, Australia) Children’s Court Clinic, and is a senior Clinical Social Worker. She has worked in Health, Community Services, NGOs and private practice since graduating in social work in 1975. She has a combination of post graduate qualifications, including social work, adult education and childhood and social policy. She is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and enhancing the capacity and safe care of children by parents and other carers, using prevention, trauma informed interventions, appropriate assessment and intervention strategies that are developmentally, culturally, and therapeutically respectful. She has been working with colleagues to ensure that the work of clinicians and others is respectful and collaborative with our indigenous colleagues and clients.   Sue has been working in the field of children's safety  and wellbeing since being an undergraduate and volunteer in 1973 in health, welfare, NGOs, legal settings and in private practice.  Sue’s special interest is in education, films, prevention of injuries and harm to children, children’s voices, factitious disorder, strength based casework and therapy.

Speakers include:

  • Impact of complex trauma: Ms Stephanie Helfer, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Complex Cases Consultant, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, SCHN
  • Integrated Trauma-Informed Care - mitigating the impacts of trauma, preventing re-traumatisation and promoting healing for children and young people: Ms Katherine Barnes, Acting Manager, Child Protection and Wellbeing Team, Prevention and Response to Violence, Abuse and Neglect Unit (PARVAN), NSW Ministry of Health; and Ms Helen Freeland, Managing Director, ACER Associates
  • Trauma, cognitive development, and social and emotional wellbeing: Dr Paul Gray, Associate Professor, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney
  • Intensive Support Services for out of home care children and young people: Mr Andrew Schacht, Principal Project Officer, Intensive Support Services, Department of Communities and Justice
  • Trauma responsive practice for our youth - the Australian Childhood Foundation approach: Ms Karyn Robinson, Senior Advisor, Professional Education Services, Australian Childhood Foundation
  • Voice of youth: Ms Emily Backhouse and Ms Sienna Acquara, CREATE young consultants, CREATE Foundation
  • Panel discussion: Panel will include all program speakers