Connected
Child
Consulting

"Children are not a distraction from important work.
They are the most important work."

~Trainer

MISSION

To provide education and consultation (including observations/recommendations), in the following domains, to therapists, educators, organizational leaders, and parents:

Trauma and attachment issues

• The impact on the neurobiology of the developing brain

• Impacts on emotional, social, and academic development

• Parenting a child with a trauma history

• Trauma-informed schools

• Implementation of trauma-informed organizational plans

• Treatment models

 

Mindfulness and social/emotional practices

• The impact of such practices on the neurobiology of the brain

• Teaching and practicing mindfulness

• Social/emotional programming and practices

 

Expressive therapies and play therapies

• The theory and process of these modalities

• How such approaches provide alternatives to talk therapy

 

Brain-based and Love and Logic® Parenting and Teaching

• The techniques and strategies inherent to this approaches

ABOUT US

Decca and Brandy met in 2011 while attending training by the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. They discovered a shared passion in finding ways to connect with and help traumatized and poorly attached children. They have received approximately 170 hours of training in this area, in addition to trainings in mindfulness, expressive therapies, play therapy and parenting education.

Decca Knight

MAEd, LPSC, CTS

 

Education & Experience

• MA.Ed., Counselor Education, Virginia Tech

• Licensed Professional Counselor Resident

• Parenting & Teacher Educator

• Licensed Professional School Counselor, Roanoke County Schools

 

Awards

• 2015 Golden Halo Award from Children’s Trust for preventing child abuse in the community

• 2018 Humanitarian and Caring Person Award from the Virginia Counselors Association for making an societal impact in the community

 

Specialized Training

• Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

• Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Training

• Theraplay Level 1 & 2 Training & Marschak Interaction Method

• National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children - Certified Trauma Practitioner-Clinical (CTP-C)

• Independent Facilitator of Love and Logic®

• Graduate course and trainings in Play Therapy

• Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute

Brandy Smith

MAEd, LPSC, LPC

 

Education & Experience

• MA.Ed., Counselor Education, Virginia Tech

• Licensed Professional Counselor, Private Practice, Salem, VA

• Licensed Professional School Counselor, Roanoke County Schools

• Licensed VA Educator - Early and Middle Education

 

Specialized Training

• Interpersonal Neurobiology

• Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

• Attachment Focused Family

• Motivational Interviewing Intermediate Training

• Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Training

• Theraplay Level 1 Training & Marschak Interaction Method

• National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children - Level 1 Training

• Willowbank Expressive Arts Therapy Introductory Training

SERVICES

Presentation lengths and prices depend on the needs of the organization. Previous presentations have ranged anywhere from one hour to five hours. Please contact Decca and Brandy for more information.

Past presentations

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (May 2019) “Trauma and Teaching: Facilitating Change through Addressing Teachers’ Experiences, Mindset, and Process of Self-Reflection. Virginia Cross Sector of Professional Development Conference. Charlottesville, VA.

 

• Smith, B (April, 2019) Perspectives on Introducing ACEs and “Trauma 101” to Communities, Virginia Summit on Childhood Trauma and Resilience. Richmond, VA.

 

• Smith, B. (March, 2019) Trauma in the Classroom, Virginia School Board Association Hot Topics Conference. Abingdon, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (February & March, 2019) Emotional and Social Development in Early Childhood, Numerous Preschool Sites, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (January 2019) Working With Individuals With a Trauma History (6 hours), Rescue Mission of Roanoke (homeless and addiction services), Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (September 2018) Trauma and Resiliency in Toddlers and Preschool Students, Smart Beginnings of the Greater Roanoke Valley Fall Conference (United Way), Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (September 2018) Trauma and the Brain in Toddlers and Preschool Students, Smart Beginnings of the Greater Roanoke Valley Fall Conference (United Way), Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (August 2018) Counseling for Traumatized Students. Roanoke City Schools. School Counselors. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (August 2018) Trauma in the Classroom. Staff of 5 Roanoke City Elementary Schools. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (July 2018) Trauma in the Classroom. Botetourt County Schools Professional Development (Training for every administrator and teacher in the county). Bonsack, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (June 2018) Trauma in the Classroom. Roanoke City Schools Administrative Retreat. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (May 2018) Trauma in Children. Greenvale School. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (April 2018) Beginning to Build Resiliency. United Way of the Roanoke Valley. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (April 2018) Trauma in Children.  Botetourt County Schools. Botetourt, VA.

 

• Knight, D. (December 2017) Parenting the Special Needs Child. Carilion Children’s Conference. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (October 2017) Trauma: Anatomy, Symptoms, and Advocacy. Best Practice Matters Seminar. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (January 2017) Parenting Children Impacted by Trauma. Roanoke County Department of Social Services. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (December 2016) The Neurobiology of Trauma and Its Impact on Children. CASA In-Service. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (December 2016) The Neurobiology of Trauma and Its Impact on Children. Carilion Pediatric Conference. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (September 2016) Emotional Regulation Across the Lifespan. HPRIII Conference. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (April & May 2016) Three part series (7.5 hours.) Trauma’s Impact on Children: The Impact of Trauma and Poor Attachment on the Neurobiology and Behavioral Patterns of Children. Roanoke City Department of Social Services, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (December 2015) Adverse Childhood Experiences: The Impact of Trauma and Poor Attachment on the Neurobiology and Behavioral Patterns of Children & Strategies to Promote Emotional Regulation. Mount Rogers Community Service Board, Wytheville, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (November 2015) Adverse Childhood Experiences: Helping Parents Emotionally Attune with their Child. Virginia Counselors Association Conference. Hot Springs,  VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (August 2015) The Impact of Trauma and Poor Attachment on the Neurobiology and Behavioral Patterns of Children. Roanoke County Public Schools. Roanoke,  VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (February 2015) Trauma’s Impact on Children. Roanoke County

Department of Social Services. Salem, VA.

 

• Knight, D. (February 2015) The Neurobiology of Trauma. Roanoke City Department of Social Services, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. (February 2015) Helping Parents Help Themselves with Love and Logic. Continuing Medical Education Class, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. (May 2014) Keynote Speaker: Fostering Strong Roots, Roanoke City Department of Social Services Foster Parent Dinner, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (March 2014) A Brief Overview of Theraplay, Highlands Community Services, Abingdon, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (March 2014) Two Part Series - Cultivating Emotional Regulation (5 hours total). Roanoke City Department of Social Services, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (January, February, March, and April 2014) Four Part Series - Trauma’s Impact on Children (11 hours total). Roanoke County Department of Social Services. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith, B. (February 17, 2014) Trauma and Attachment Therapies for Children. Trauma Informed Practice Seminar. Hosted by Roanoke City Department of Social Services and Children’s Trust. Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (October 2013) Creative Approaches in School Counseling. Virginia

Association for School Counselors Fall Forum. Abingdon, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (September 2013) Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and

Attachment-Focused Family Therapy. K.I.D.S Group, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (August 2013) Expressive Arts Techniques for Counselors. In-service,

Buchanan County Schools, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (August 2013) Trauma’s Impact on Children. In-service, Roanoke

County Schools, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (April 2013) Children and Trauma, Promoting Understanding and

Awareness Among Schools and Families. Roanoke Area Counselors Association Forum,

Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (March 2013) Childhood Trauma: Understanding the Impact of

Adversity on Children. Southwest Virginia Counselors Forum, Abingdon, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (February 2013) Trauma’s Impact on Children. Roanoke City and

County Department of Social Services, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (November 2012) Children and Trauma, Promoting Understanding and

Awareness Among Schools and Families. Virginia Counselors Association Conference, Fredricksburg, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (November 2012) Working with At-risk Children. In-service, Buchanan

County Schools, 90 special area teachers, Grundy, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (November 2012) Working with Children Affected by Trauma and

Insecure Attachments. In-service, Wytheville High School, Wytheville, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (November 2011) Trauma in Children. In-service, W.E. Cundiff

Elementary School, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (September 2011) Trauma in Children. In-service, Roanoke County

Public Schools Elementary School Principals, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. & Smith B. (August 2011) Trauma in Children. In-service, Roanoke County Public

Schools Elementary School Counselors, Roanoke, VA.

 

• Knight, D. (November 2011-present)  Love and Logic® courses for parents and teachers.

 

 

 

Testimonials

 

 

We were very privileged to have Decca and Brandy complete our Trauma Informed Care Training.  We were hoping the training would impact our staff directly in their work lives and it has.  Over 95% of our staff that took the training felt the objectives were clearly defined and the material was relevant to them in their day to day work lives here at the Rescue Mission.  Staff commented that they enjoyed the laid back but professional nature of the trainers.  They were “very open to our questions and comments.  They did not try to talk over our heads with their terms.”  Another staff member commented, “I really liked the compassion piece.  That I need to just assume that everyone reacts from a place of trauma.  It really changed my perspective.”  Other staff members commented on the length of the training.  The length was appropriate in nature and there was a great appreciation for it being split between two days which allowed for the material to be digested.  The training energized our staff and a month later they are still talking about the things they learned and how our facility can change policies to become more trauma-informed for the betterment of our guests.  This training has impacted our staff and organization in a positive way and I can’t wait to see what the future holds as we continue to put what we have learned to practice.  Any organization that has this opportunity should take advantage of it.

 

 

Helen Ferguson, MPH

Chief Programs Officer

Roanoke Rescue Mission Ministries

 

 

 

As a school administrator, I am passionate about the social and emotional well-being of not only my students but our school community as a whole.  Decca and Brandy have a profound ability to engage an audience of educators to create a monumental paradigm shift in thinking.  So often, we educators get consumed in the nuts and bolts of teaching academia.  During the professional development provided to my staff, it was refreshing to watch as lightbulbs began to light up and interests sparked with research and data that explain how trauma impacts students and families within our school building.  My staff had an overwhelming response to the trauma informed information shared by Decca and Brandy and already my school culture has had a positive shift toward understanding our student’s stories.  My teachers have become more equipped to service all students through the inspiring presentation that Decca and Brandy provide.  Roanoke City Public Schools will continue the trauma informed professional developments with Decca and Brandy.  This continued engagement in appropriately servicing our students is a priority for our school division.  I extend my gratitude toward Decca and Brandy for the incredible impact they had on my teachers which positively impacts our student’s success.

 

 

Morgan Strother, Principal

Monterey Elementary School

Roanoke City Public Schools

 

 

 

I think this training has not only opened my eyes with new information, but it has allowed me to reflect on how I work and approach these trauma kids. I am now re-energized and my heart is even more full for these kids.

 

Workshop Participant

 

 

 

Such great visual aids that are relevant, engaging, and not outdated! This the best, most applicable training I have ever had as a TDT (Therapeutic Day Treatment Counselor)!  The techniques are so applicable. The knowledge and experiences they shared and they filled up my toolbox to help the kids I work with and made me feel less harsh about myself when I feel insignificant/losing my cool/or feel like I’ve fallen short therapeutically. But it happens, even to the best trained people. I hope to participate in more trainings offered by these two presenters. Everyone should have this training…especially teachers and school staff. We are now training police officers in mental health, why not our teachers so they can better understand and work with our kids?

Workshop Participant

 

 

 

This workshop has given me the knowledge to see my adoptive son, who has been diagnosed with RAD in a new way. Thank you!!  I wish I knew this information years ago.

 

Workshop Participant

 

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the training. Working in foster care, I attended many trauma trainings but I really enjoyed how you all articulated the information and all the resources provided.

 

Workshop Participant

 

 

 

For almost five years, The City of Roanoke Department of Human and Social Services has retained Decca Knight for ongoing training for our foster care Resource Families. When she announced her consulting partnership with Brandy Smith, another well-regarded trainer in the area, we were excited at the prospect of bringing their quality educational programs to our parents.

 

We have used these trainers individually and as a team for a variety of courses, including “Love and Logic,” “Early Childhood Trauma,” and “Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation.” Our parents relate well to their personalities and teaching styles, and we find their course materials to be highly relevant to the issues we face in child welfare today.

 

Connected Child Consulting has been a reliable resource for us when it comes to bringing appropriate and qualified training to our parents. We hope they continue to provide these services to our area for years to come.

 

Stephen Warren, MSW

Resource Family Program Coordinator

 

 

 

"Adverse Childhood Experiences: Helping Parents Emotionally Attune with their Child", presented by Brandy Smith and Decca Knight, was the best presentation I attended all day.

 

2015 Convention Attendee

Virginia Counselors Association Annual Convention

CONTACT

Presentation lengths and prices depend on the needs of the organization. Previous presentations have ranged anywhere from one hour to five hours. Please contact Decca and Brandy for more information.

For more information, email us directly.

 

Decca Knight

decca@connectedchildconsulting.com

 

Brandy Smith

brandy@connectedchildconsulting.com

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