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Children’s of Alabama and the UAB International Adoption Clinic at Children’s of Alabama to Hold a simulcast broadcast of the Empowered to Connect Conference April 13-14

 BIRMINGHAM - The UAB International Adoption Clinic at Children’s of Alabama will host a Simulcast of the Empowered to Connect Conference on April 13-14. Adoptive and foster parents, church leaders and professionals are invited to attend the two-day forum to be held at the Christ Community Church (2222 Highway 52, Helena).

The event cost is $20 per person or $30 per couple. Registration is now open to the public. Social workers can earn Continuing Education Units (CEU) for attending. For more information or to register, call the IAC at 205-638-6964 or email

The conference is presented by Show Hope, Karyn Purvis Institute of Childhood Development at Texas Christian University, Focus on the Family, and In: ciite Events. It will feature the Trust-Based Intervention® methods developed by Dr. Purvis and Dr. David Cross, and is designed to help current and potential adoptive and foster parents, ministry leaders, and professionals to better understand how to serve children impacted by adoption and foster care. Its practical teaching methods help bring and strengthen attachment and connection in families, as well as helping those who may assist and support them.

“This conference is beneficial for so many,” said Karen Belcher, clinical programs coordinator\pediatric nurse clinician of the International Adoption Clinic. “Whether you are a parent, teacher, caregiver, social worker, medical professional or simply have a loved one who has experienced hardship early in life, you will benefit from the information and education provided throughout this two-day event.”  

Some of the conference objectives include:

  • Helping parents see their children with “eyes of compassion,” understanding the needs of the whole child, and offering hope from the scientific research that all children can heal if their parents are insightful and equipped.
  • Providing insight into development deficits that impact “children from hard places,” but also focuses on helping parents and caregivers to see beyond maladaptive behaviors to the “real child.”
  • Helping parents understand how the impact of their own history can have on relationships, provide parent’s insights and skills to help them begin to process their own histories, and challenge them to focus on what they bring to the parent-child relationship.
  • Focusing on helping parents and caregivers understand how to rebuild and repair ruptured attachments for “children from hard places.”
  • Offering insights, strategies and tools parents need to achieve effective behavioral change in their children while promoting lasting connection and healing.

“The strategies and interventions discussed are specific to dealing with emotional challenges, trauma, neglect, abandonment and abuse, or as the Empowered to Connect terms ‘kids from hard places,' “said Belcher. “Having the tools to intervene now can impact the trajectory of a child’s future.  I can say from personal experience that the lessons learned from this program have been life altering for me personally and for my child.”

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 45 other states and six foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at