Skip to Main Content

A new lab at FIFSW will help children and youth exposed to trauma thrive

Categories: ,

Children running through a field laughing on a sunny day

Professor Ramona Alaggia will soon be opening the doors to the new Child and Youth Trauma Research Incubator (ThRIve) lab thanks to support from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure.

Part of a new network of eight Canadian universities, the ThRIve lab aims to make a difference for children and youth exposed to trauma. Bringing together researchers, practitioners, community partners and students, this research incubator will further the mission of the Canadian Consortium on Child and Youth Trauma to improve the lives of mistreated children and youth. Research from the lab will inform provincial policies and practices to “create consistency in the training provided to social workers, police officers, legal professionals and health care providers working directly with the children and families involved”.

Ramona Alaggia“Nurturing, non-violent families and communities are the bedrock of healthy child development,” says Alaggia. “The ThRIve lab is a powerful way to use research for providing leading edge information and best practices to professionals and caregivers for responding to and preventing childhood trauma.”

Alaggia will lead the ThRIve lab from the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, together with Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina, who is heading the national hub at McGill University. They are working in partnerships with Dr. Steve Geoffrion (Montreal), Dr. Melissa Kimber (McMaster), Dr. Sheri Madigan (Calgary), Dr. Lise Milne (Regina), Dr. Tristan Milot (UQTR), and Dr. Elisa Romano (Ottawa), making this the first pan-Canadian collaboration for child and youth trauma.

Alaggia is the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family. Her body of research focuses on gender and violence; child sexual abuse disclosures and mental health effects; intimate partner violence and structural barriers; and promoting ways to foster resilience processes in children, youth and adults exposed to violence.

Locally, Ramona has been instrumental in leading research and evaluation on the wellbeing of children, youth and their families. She supports prevention and intervention programs, and helps develop innovative models of service to enhance children’s mental health. Internationally she provides training on trauma and resilience informed approaches to mental health service providers in the UK and Ireland to ensure leading-edge research for families, communities and systems to support the optimal growth of children. Her co-edited book Cruel but not Unusual: Violence in Families in Canada (3rdE) is widely read by students and practitioners across the country.