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PHO Webinar: Life History Timelines: A trauma-and violence-informed approach to exploring clients’ experiences of adversity and resiliency

Many community-based health or social care services, including home visitation programs for pregnant individuals and families with children, require an early assessment of a client’s strengths and risks, including their experiences of traumatic events in childhood, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs are associated with challenges in learning, health risk behaviours, and negative long-term health effects. This session will discuss the construction of a life history timeline as a trauma-and violence-informed approach to assessment that provides an emotionally safe context for providers to learn about, and clients to share, information about adverse and positive childhood experiences. Discussion of the life history timeline also helps to foster rapport and trust between the provider and client, as well as to create an opportunity to reflect on how past experiences can inform the client’s own personal vision and goals for parenting.

Intended audience: Healthy Babies Healthy Children public health nurses, family home visitors, supervisors; Nurse-Family Partnership public health nurses, supervisors; Community-based health or social care professionals who work with pregnant individuals or families with young children.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify when and with who it would be appropriate to construct a life history timeline.
  • Describe how to introduce a life history timeline activity to a client.
  • Guide a client through the construction of a life history timeline that allows for the identification and sharing of both adverse and positive childhood and life experiences.
  • Debrief with a client and reflect on how the information shared on the life history timeline can be used to inform their goals of care, including supports needed to parent.

Présentateur(s): Susan Jack

Dr. Susan Jack, RN, PhD, FCAN, is a professor at the School of Nursing at McMaster University and is internationally recognized for her work in public health nursing practice, education, and research. As the lead for the Public Health Nursing Practice, Research and Education Program (PHN-PREP), Dr. Jack and her team are committed to integrating the principles of trauma-and violence-informed care into professional practice and curricula as a strategy to improve client engagement and health outcomes, as well as to promote provider wellness.

Avis de non-responsabilité

The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Mis à jour le 17 nov. 2022