2nd Annual Southern NM KIDS COUNT Conference

Childhood Trauma: From Symptoms to Systems Change

Wednesday, November 14th

Las Cruces Convention Center 

Call for Proposals: Breakout Learning Sessions


NM Voices for Children and Ngage New Mexico are pleased to be partnering to bring you the 2nd Annual Southern NM KIDS COUNT Conference on“Childhood Trauma – From Symptoms to Systems Change.”  We now know that for children, experiencing chronic, toxic stress can result in traumatization, which can in turn have lasting and dangerous effects on their physical and mental health throughout their lives. In New Mexico, our children have unspeakable odds stacked against them.

At least 51% percent of New Mexico children have  experienced an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE), and New Mexico has one of the highest proportions of children with three or more ACES, which equates to an ACEs rate of 18 percent — higher than the national average of 11 percent. ACEs are potentially traumatic experiences causing toxic stress — ranging from abuse and neglect to living with an adult with a mental illness — that can having lasting, negative impact that carries over from and to multiple generations. Furthermore, in New Mexico children of color are the majority, and the data clearly shows that children of color experience ACEs at a disproportionately higher rate. A sibling statistic to our ACEs ranking, reported in the 2018 Kids Count Data Book, shows that New Mexico has fallen to 50th in the nation in child well-being and has the highest rate of children living in poverty – one in four – of any other state. Research shows that children living in poverty have higher rates of developmental delay, learning problems, and school behavioral issues. Economically distressed children have higher rates of chronic illness, hospital admissions, and mortality. Such challenges are beyond lifelong, and often carry over into subsequent generations, creating an urgency to prevent and reduce the effects of ACEs and associated toxic stresses.

Purpose & Audience: A Conference about Childhood Trauma

We have a full-blown crisis before us and must increase our collective knowledge and ability to recognize and address both the symptoms of trauma in children AND the systems that enable the cycle of trauma to continue. Failure to prevent or decrease the impact of ACEs will result in greater inter-generational health disparities and poor health across generations in families. Additionally, we must better leverage the strengths and assets throughout communities as we seek to create more resilience statewide.  Thus, the conference will provide both a clinical and policy lens to increase understanding for child advocates, service providers, communities, and policymakers about the causes, symptoms, and impacts of ACEs in children in New Mexico specifically, as well as strategies for redressing childhood trauma at the individual, organizational, and policy levels.

The conference will invite experts and community leaders to offer presentations and learning sessions for experienced practitioners and advocates to help conference attendees to gain critical knowledge, strengthen their networks and resources, build skills for trauma informed care provision and strategic policymaker advocacy, and encourage collective action for policy and systems change in our state.

We have opened a call for proposals for the afternoon Breakout Learning Sessions. The afternoon hours of the conference will offer several 60 minute breakout learning sessions which will be determined by the quality and quantity of proposals we receive and are able to accommodate that align with the theme and goals of the event. Deadline for proposal submissions is September 26, 2018. (See link for more details and guidelines). Selected proposals will receive an honorarium of $150/session.

For more information about submitting a proposal, and to access the application, please click here.

Questions can be directed to Lori@NgageNM.org or you can call 575-521-1957.

We are looking forward to an outstanding conference, and look forward to seeing you there.

In solidarity,


Lori Martinez

Executive Director

Ngage New Mexico

James Jimenez

Executive Director

NM Voices for Children