Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA
April 27 – 29, 2015

Workshop Sessions A
Monday, April 27, 2015
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

A1 – Dual Status Youth: New Strategies, Tools, and Resources for Improving Outcomes in Your Jurisdiction
Dual status youth are individuals who come into contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. New tools and opportunities for reform on behalf of dual status youth are emerging. This workshop will provide participants with the most up to date research, field experiences, publications and guidance from experts as well as representatives from jurisdictions working to transform the outcomes for their dual status youth.
Presenter(s): John Tuell, RFK Children’s Action Corps, Boston, MA

A2 – What’s Happening to the Title IV-E Adoption Assistance De-link Savings?
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) de-linked a child’s eligibility for federal title IV-E adoption assistance, from the outdated Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The “de-link” is phased in over a ten year period. By 2018, all children with special needs adopted from foster care (who meet other title IV-E criteria) will be eligible for federal adoption assistance. As a result, states stand to accrue a significant savings over time. The law requires that savings be reinvested into child welfare services, to ensure that increased federal support is recognized within child welfare programs.
Presenter(s): Nicole Dobbins, Voice for Adoption, Washington, DC and Joe Kroll, North American Council on Adoptable Children, St. Paul, MN

A3 – Advancing Excellence in Child Welfare: Emerging Caseload Trends and Issues
There have been shifts and changes taking place in practice resulting from research, policy changes, and legislative requirements which call for us to examine the current caseloads standards identified in the CWLA Standards of Excellence. While the National Blueprint includes many of these practices there are other emerging issues that are identified that also require the field reviewing the current caseload standards across the full spectrum of services. This workshop will identify the emerging caseload trends and issues, current caseloads rates, and the results of a recent survey of CWLA members around the workforce challenges they are experiencing which are impacting caseloads/workloads and their ability to provide quality services. Part of the time will be taken to explore with the participants what they are experiencing and help identify what else should be considered in reviewing, updating/creating caseload standards.
Presenter(s): Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC and Andrea Bartolo, CWLA, Acton, MA

A4 – Challenging Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare
This workshop is designed to increase awareness and knowledge about approaches to examine and address the disproportionate representation of children of color in the nation’s child welfare system. It will feature resource materials included in a series of recently published CWLA handbooks designed to highlight: research findings on disproportionality and disparate outcomes, ethical concerns, as well as exercises and strategies to engage students, faculty, administrators, practitioners, policy makers, communities and organizations to address this issue.
Presenter(s): Ruth McRoy, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA and Kathleen Belanger, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX

A5 – Turning Challenges into Opportunities
This workshop illustrates how a rural county’s strategic plan to “Fight Poverty and Abuse” is producing results. The presenter will share several of the multi-functional programs developed and implemented int he county and explain how innovative plans and programs such as Playbook, Hmong Women initiative, All Dads Matter, All Moms Matter and Child Abuse Treatment and others are galvanizing change at the local level. All these programs are multi-functional, with the focus on preventing child abuse and providing second opportunities for those we serve. the presenter will exemplify how the many challenges communities of all sizes face can be turned into opportunities for change. Participants learn not only how to initiate but also maximize change in their communities.
Presenter(s): Magaly Guillen, Merced County Human Services Agency, Merced, CA

A6 – Changing Foster Care by Cultivating Community
Our country’s current foster care crisis presents the opportunity for a new type of community. The solution to changing the way foster care is delivered begins with cultivating and equipping faith-based communities through a relationship-enhanced model that allows the ability to focus on quality, build capacity and increase stability.
Presenter(s): Bill Hancock, FaithBridge Foster Care, Atlanta, GA

A7 – Addressing Vulnerability from a Family Centered Approach: Two Program Models that Reflect the CWLA National Blueprint
This workshop will feature two program models that strengthen and support families. The Maryville Crisis Nursery program is designed to be a preventative service to families in crisis with children ages birth to six to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. The presentation will share a preventative approach to families by providing immediate crisis child care and support 24/7, 365 days a year. The goals of the program are to reduce parental stress, reduce the maltreatment of children and also improve parenting skills. Proyecto Nacer’s Family Incubator Model is a family centered approach for vulnerable premature families. The presentation will share all of the services the program provides; from education, preventive health care, activities, early intervention for the infants and toddlers, spiritual service, economic incentive, among others. It will also highlight how the program achieves connection with the supporting families and the premature family, as well as testimonies of teen parents that received services.
Presenter(s): Amy Kendal-Lynch, Maryville Crisis Nursery, Chicago, IL; and Anayra Túa López and Eunice H. Pike Vélez, Proyecto Nacer, Inc., Bayamon, PR

A8 – Pay For Success
Pay For Success and Social Impact Bonds are new opportunities for implementing evidence based practices in social services. This workshop will introduce the concepts of Pay for Success and how they are being implemented in the nation’s first child welfare and county level Pay For Success project. The randomized control trial project is focused on reducing the length of foster care days for children whose parents are homeless through the use of evidence based practices.
Presenter(s): Karen Anderson, Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services, Cleveland, OH; and Russell Spieth, FrontLine Service, Cleveland, OH

A9 – Traditions of Caring and Collaborating: A Kinship Care Model of Practice to Achieve Child and Family Safety and Well-Being Across Generations
This workshop shares an evidence-based model of practice to collaborate with kinship caregivers to discuss and document their ability, resources, and willingness to provide care for their younger family members. Assessment issues include legal, financial, child behavior, family relationships, fair and equal treatment, access to community supports, and more. Dynamics of family relationships and relatives who are considering adoption or who have adopted will be emphasized
Presenter(s): Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL; Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Manhattan Beach, CA; and Eshele Williams, Hillsides, Pasadena, CA

A10 – Culturally Sensitive Practice with Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Youth in Care
Young people living outside of gender norms are everywhere. Unfortunately, they are also over-represented in the foster care system, where they are often subject to discrimination, harassment and violence. Workshop participants will learn about the unique experiences and needs of transgender and gender-non-conforming (TGNC) youth, as well as best practices guidelines to better serve this community.
Presenter(s): Currey Cook, Lambda Legal, New York, NY

A11 – Child Protection: Working Collaboratively the Military and Civilian Response
Child abuse/neglect occur in military families at rates similar to the general population. The protection of military children is complicated as the Military Family Advocate investigates but the civilian child protection system still has statutory responsibilities. Because of this, it is necessary for systems to collaborate. For effective collaboration practitioners need to understand military culture, and the unique risk factors of military life. This session will provide models of child protection collaboration grounded in military and federal policy, an understanding of the military, and examples of good practice drawn from evidence on how to work with military family violence.
Presenter(s): Myrna McNitt, Boots on Ground Consulting, Holland, MI; Kimberly Kick, Boots on Ground Consulting, Libertyville, IL; Jennifer Bantner, Boots on Ground Consulting, McHenry, IL; Connie Schauer, Boots on Ground Consulting, Spencer, WI; and Jolaina Falkenstein, Boots on Ground Consulting, Spring Lake Park, MN

A12 – Promoting the Use of Research in Child Welfare and Related Services
Building on the work that the William T. Grant Foundation has done to promote research use and the production of relevant research to improve youth and family services, this workshop will focus on the potential of research to improve service implementation and outcomes for youth. The session will feature examples and lessons from efforts to embed research use in the operations of organizations providing child welfare and related services to youth and families. What did this take? What was gained? What were obstacles? How can these efforts be sustained?
Presenter(s): Kim DuMont, William T. Grant Foundation, New York, NY; Allison Blake, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ; Vicky Kelly, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Families, Wilmington, DE; and Monique B. Mitchell, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

A13 – Serving Victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Through Treatment Foster Care
Society has yet to understand the impact of domestic minor sex trafficking on local prevalence, community life, economics, and susceptible populations such as homeless youth and youth in foster care. H.R. 4980, signed in October 2014 by President Obama, requires all states to begin to identify, track, and provide services to victims of sex trafficking. The goals of this workshop are to increase awareness of this issue, to provide suggestions for professional and community response, and to recommend a multi-systems approach to identification, treatment, and reintegration of trafficked youth through congregate care and through treatment foster care.
Presenter(s): Laura Boyd, Foster Family-based Treatment Association, Norman, OK

A14 – Opiates and Child Welfare
A high percentage of children and families engaged in child welfare services are affected by some type of substance use disorder. When working with children and families with opioid use disorders, an important outcome that child welfare caseworkers are working towards is motivating the opioid-affected person to seek treatment, whether this is a child or parent/caregiver. This workshop on opiates will enhance the child welfare caseworker’s knowledge, skills, and abilities, and help them to be more effective in the identification, intervention, and referral to treatment of children and families affected by opioid use disorders, perhaps saving lives in the process.
Presenter(s): Edward J. Perka, Jr. and John Thompson, Professional Development Program, Rockefeller College, University at Albany, Albany, NY

A15 – Reaching Teens® – A Community Wide Effort to Build Resiliency and Reduce Trauma among Teens
Lena Pope is participating in a community wide effort to build resiliency and reduce trauma among adolescents utilizing Reaching Teens®. Reaching Teens® is a curriculum developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Dr. Ken Ginsberg. The first objective is focused on implementing this collaborative project. The second objective will be to provide an overview of the collaborative efforts begun in 1999 that have led us to the current opportunity. The third objective will discuss components of a successful collaboration as well as discuss some of the challenges faced.
Presenter(s): Margaret Cohenour, Wayne Vaughn, Stacey Lewis and Christi Weaver, Lena Pope, Ft. Worth, TX

Workshop Sessions B
Monday, April 27, 2015
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

B1 – Perspectives of Birth Mothers of Internationally Adopted Children from Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of five African countries permitting international adoption of children, many of whom are adopted by families from the United States. Questions have been raised regarding the Ethiopian adoption process and implications for agencies and adoptive parents. This workshop presents findings of a study of birth mothers of Ethiopian children adopted internationally. Topics include: Ethiopian cultural and policy context, birth mother’s understanding of international adoption, motivations for surrendering children, awareness of and involvement in the adoption process, relationships with adoptive parents, and experiences post-adoption. Implications for policy, programs and practices in international adoption will be discussed.
Presenter(s): Tenagne Alemu, School of Social Work Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

B2 – National Blueprint in Action
This session will feature presentations from entities that have been using CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare in their reform efforts to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families at the practice, research and policy level. Participants will have opportunity to hear about how it is being used in many agencies and communities such as the community lead collaborative efforts in Nevada and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Participants will also hear how the principles can and are being used to guide humanizing research methodologies to produce meaningful data and promote better outcomes for children and youth. Participants will be provided handouts of tools used to help with implementing these ideas and opportunity to dialogue with the presenters as well as sharing what they are doing currently to implement the National Blueprint in their work.
Presenter(s): Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC; Denise Tanata Ashby, Children’s Advocacy Alliance, Las Vegas, NV; and Monique B. Mitchell, Louisa Vann and Toni Jones, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

B3 – What Are We Missing? Why Do Kids Keep Dying from Abuse and Neglect? (Two-Part Continued in Workshop Session C3)
Come hear about themes and lessons learned through CWLA’s fatality review work in several states since 2005. Join presenters for a Town Hall forum to discuss why we have not been more successful in reducing child fatalities from abuse and neglect, and what we should do differently.
Presenter(s): Frances P. Allegra, President, Seed School of Miami, Inc., Miami Gardens, FL; Hon. Gail Garinger (ret.), The Child Advocate, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA; Etta Lappen Davis, Etsky Consulting, Bolton, MA; and Andrea Bartolo, CWLA, Acton, MA

B4 – 5 Powerful and Effective New Media Tools to Engage Your Community
Learn how integrating new media and traditional advocacy engages audiences and raises awareness for your organization. New media advocacy is a combination of on-demand access to digital content and the engagement and participation of followers for your mission related to an issue and its awareness. Whether it’s hits on the website, likes, or comments, increase your chances to engage audiences or gain additional donors by learning effective campaigns that tell your story and inform. Come ready to participate in the world of new media advocacy and learn five effective tools. Bring your smartphone, iPad, or computer to hit your mark.
Presenter(s): Joseph M. Costa, Marisol Barrios, and Alison Bell, Hillsides, Pasadena, CA

B5 – Playing Well In The Sand Box To Revitalize Communities
In this session, the presenters will provide an overview of an innovative and effective partnership among key community stakeholders to increase the collective impact on struggling families and children. The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Florida has devoted its resources to engage the faith-based community, social service providers, community leaders, state, and federal funders to maximize each player’s potential to ensure a safer community.
Presenter(s): Trenia L. Cox and Yaridis L. Garcia, Juvenile Welfare Board, Clearwater, FL

B6 – Family Connect Meetings: Strengthening Family Engagement Practice for Youth of All Ages
A need exists for family engagement practices that support the intricate reconnection work required when youth and families have been separated for significant periods of time. Casey Family Program’s Family Connect Meetings bridge this gap. This staffing model draws on expertise of those who know the youth in their current setting, such as teachers, mentors and therapists, to share knowledge with the family. Family Connect Meetings provide opportunities to engage systems and community resources that interact with youth to develop a sense of shared responsibility for permanency. This model also facilitates renewed relationships and teaming between the family and child welfare authorities and expedites the permanency process.
Presenter(s): Holly Parks, Amy Michaels, and Nakisha Freeman, Casey Family Programs, Austin, TX

B7 – Building Blocks to Family and Community Engagment
Working to have a positive impact on the lives of children and their families is not the responsibility of any single agency, professional group, or individual, but rather it is a shared community concern. Family and community engagement is the foundation of best practice that promotes the social, emotional and well-being of children, youth, and families. Yet, professionals struggle with involving everyone in the process. This workshop will examine how professionals can engage and build productive collaboration. Participants will examine some of the challenges, the benefits and examine some of the core principles. Participants will hear how a community based organization is successful in engaging families and community partners.
Presenter(s): Sharon McKinley, Child Welfare Information Gateway, Fairfax, VA and Debbie Rock, LIGHT Health & Wellness Comprehensive Program, Inc., Baltimore, MD

B8 – Health Care Issues: Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act
This session will focus on proposed and potential changes and legislation that affects health care and child welfare. This workshop will discuss the expanded support and use of Therapeutic Foster Care through Medicaid and possible changes in the Affordable Care Act and other potential changes to Medicaid.
Presenter(s): Laura Boyd, Foster Family-based Treatment Association, Norman, OK and John Sciamanna, CWLA, Washington, DC

B9 – Collaborating Across Systems and Generations: Project Genesis and the Generations of Hope Community Model
Scheduled to open in Fall 2015, Project Genesis is an innovative housing initiative for young mothers transitioning from foster care in Washington, DC. The initiative is based on the Generations of Hope Community model that brings together service-minded older adults with vulnerable children, youth and families in need of social support. The workshop will showcase the collaboration of public-private partners developing Project Genesis, the first of two intergenerational community initiatives planned for the nation’s capital. Presenters will detail the collaborative planning process employed in DC and share information about similar intergenerational initiatives underway nationwide.
Presenter(s): Brenda Krause Eheart and Mark Dunham, Generations of Hope Development Corporation, Washington, DC; Brenda Donald, District of Columbia Health and Human Services, Washington, DC; Elin Zurbrigg, Mi Casa, Washington, DC; and Lori Kaplan, Latin American Youth Center, Washington, DC

B10 – Leadership through Culture Change and Strategic Plan Implementation
Every organization experiences the need for change, most often from external forces. Child welfare service delivery and funding models have changed dramatically over the past few years. The organizations that are able to adjust will both survive and thrive in this environment. This session will share one organization’s journey to develop and implement a strategic plan to ensure the organization’s future. It will be presented by both Board Members and leadership of the organization. Participants will be able to engage in conversation and will be given tools for developing their own plans and transformation.
Presenter(s): Ed Kelley, RFK Children’s Action Corps, Boston, MA

B11 – Trauma Informed Care: The Right Fit, One Agency’s Journey
This workshop is one Child Welfare Agency’s exploration, identification, orientation and implementation of the identified tool selected for Trauma Informed Care practice and framework used agency wide. The workshop will look at the journey, selection and tool used agency wide.
Presenter(s): Monte Ephraim, Board of Child Care, Baltimore, MD

B12 – Steps for Developing and Implementing Real World Fidelity Assessment Systems in Child Welfare
Child welfare agencies must build practical quality improvement systems to track meaningful indicators of quality. Using real world examples, participants will be guided through the steps for designing and implementing practical fidelity assessments to measure the degree to which new child welfare policies, programs, or practices are implemented as intended. Co-presenters will demonstrate methods to develop practice profiles or intervention manuals, develop fidelity criteria and indicators, and consider options for assessing fidelity over time. Participants will use their own examples to practice key elements of these steps and discuss how to use fidelity assessment results to guide improvement cycles.
Presenter(s): Diane DePanfilis, Pamela Clarkson Freeman, and Leah Bartley, University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD; James Durand and Dena Negron, Washoe County Department of Social Services, Reno, NV

B13 – Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) in Los Angeles: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach
This workshop will provide an overview of the current, multi-disciplinary collaborations and programs in place in Los Angeles County to support and serve CSEC. This presentation will discuss the newly developed Law Enforcement First Responder Protocol for CSEC, which is a collaboration among child welfare, probation, law enforcement, health services, and a specialized CSEC advocate to make placement decisions, complete a safety plan, conduct a medical evaluation, and stabilize the child within the first 72 hours. Additionally presenters will discuss the specialized juvenile delinquency, STAR Court, and the other statewide efforts in California related to CSEC.
Presenter(s): Kate Walker, National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA; Michelle Guymon, Los Angeles County Probation Department, Downey, CA; Diane Iglesias, Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services, Los Angeles, CA; Kim Biddle and Kristina Fitz, Saving Innocence, Los Angeles, CA

B14 – Creating System Change: Collaborative Practice among Child Welfare, Substance Use Treatment and the Courts
Drawing upon the In-depth Technical National from the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW), substance abuse treatment, and the court systems, this session identifies the key components in developing the cross-system partnerships and practice changes needed to address the issues of substance use disorders among families in the child welfare system. This session will highlight system changes, data sharing, innovative services, outcomes and improved collaboration resulting from the framework and support provided by the NCSACW.
Presenter(s): Michele Rosenberg and Leslie Gross, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC

B15 – Building Bridges between Child Welfare and Family Advocacy Programs to serve Military Families: Communication and Coordination Across Systems
Staff from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and Family Advocacy Program (FAP) will describe the military and civilian responses to concerns for child abuse and neglect. The DoD’s FAP response, and their coordination with civilian child welfare system and child advocacy centers, will be described. Presenters will discuss the framework of a trauma-informed systems of care utilizing evidence-based interventions (such as TF-CBT, and Child Parent Psychotherapy), as well as focus on developmental models of treatment delivery (e.g., screening/assessment/interventions for very young children), as well as those that incorporate a strengths and resilience perspective. Finally, an ecological perspective will be presented that illustrates the military child victim in the contexts of several interdependent systems, and that highlights the importance of coordination across these systems (including FAP and CW). Military speakers will provide their perspectives on ways that military and community providers may improve their communication around incidence of abuse and referrals between and across systems. Learning Objectives – Attendees will be able to: describe opportunities for civilian child welfare agencies to coordinate with the military’s FAP; describe a trauma-informed approach to providing evidence based treatment for military families at-risk for child maltreatment; and list important military and community-based resources that provide technical assistance and training resources for military and community providers to connect and support each other in their states.
Presenters: Dr. Gregory Leskin, NCTSN Military and Veteran Families and UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Los Angeles, CA; Dr. Carole Campbell Swiecicki, The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children’s Center, Inc. and MUSC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Charleston, SC; Dr. Phillip T. Stepka, Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA; and Mary E. Campise, Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Military Community & Family Policy, Washington, DC

Workshop Sessions C
Monday, April 27, 2015
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

C1 – Enriching the Soil: Creating Trauma Informed Environments That Grow Resilience
Promoting resilience and recovery for children who have experienced multiple types of trauma requires a trauma-informed approach across multiple child- and family-serving systems. During this presentation, elements of trauma-informed care for children in out-of-home settings will be described. Two unique programs for training caregivers/service providers will be described: a trauma-informed parenting workshop for foster, adoptive, and kinship caregivers and a staff training curriculum that focuses on creating therapeutic environments of care. The first program described will be the “Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma” (also known as the Resource Parent Curriculum; RPC), which was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) as an in-service training for resource parents to help them see the child through the lens of trauma’s effects and offer a trauma-informed approach to help them heal. The second program described will be the “Building Communities of Care” training review, which is a training curriculum for staff and caregivers that teaches ways to create therapeutic trauma informed environments to best support the success of the clients we serve.
Presenter(s): Kari Beserra, Stacey Forrest and Robert Gervais, Justice Resource Institute, Needham, MA; and Kate Murray and Kelly Sullivan, Center for Child and Family Health, Duke University,
Durham, NC

C2 – Protecting Our Children: Conducting Comprehensive Program Assessments with Tribal Child Welfare Agencies
The Capacity Building Center for Tribes, a federally funded child welfare technical assistance provider, has developed a culturally responsive program assessment framework to help tribes identify the strengths and needs of their child welfare systems. This framework fills a void in the child welfare field, and by using a connected and systemic approach, this process allows tribal child welfare programs to be purposeful when focusing resources on program improvement initiatives. This workshop will present the assessment protocol, discuss how it has been used with tribes across the US, and invite participants to share their own experiences conducting culturally-responsive assessments and evaluations in tribal and indigenous contexts.
Presenter(s): Stacie Hanson and Nancy Lucero, Butler Institute, University of Denver, Denver, CO; and Joe Walker, Tribal Law and Policy Institute, Helena, MT

C3 – What Are We Missing? Why Do Kids Keep Dying from Abuse and Neglect? (Two-Part Continued from Workshop Session B3)
Come hear about themes and lessons learned through CWLA’s fatality review work in several states since 2005. Join presenters for a Town Hall forum to discuss why we have not been more successful in reducing child fatalities from abuse and neglect, and what we should do differently.
Presenter(s): Frances P. Allegra, President, Seed School of Miami, Inc., Miami Gardens, FL; Hon. Gail Garinger (ret.), The Child Advocate, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA; Etta Lappen Davis, Etsky Consulting, Bolton, MA; and Andrea Bartolo, CWLA, Acton, MA

C4 – Church Stewardship and Community Ownership in Collaboration with Child Welfare Conservatorship for Healthier Families
When Child Protective Services, the church, and the community partner together and combine resources creatively, meaningful relationships are developed for children and families that result in additional services and improved outcomes. Texas child welfare has collaborated with faith communities to create an empowerment model for interested churches to develop their unique community-based “Orphan Care Ministries”. In this session, participants will learn how to replicate and sustain the Texas model of collaboration with faith communities, hear about ministries that are currently offering services to children, youth, and families, and examine the larger impact this model could have in other systems to use public/ private partnerships for leveraging the previously underutilized resource of faith communities for clients
Presenter(s): Jackie Hubbard and Gail Gonzalez, Texas Department of Family and Protecitve Services (TX DFPS), Austin, TX; and Bishop Aaron Blake, TX DFPS Advisory Committee on Promoting Adoption of Minority Children, Brownwood, TX

C5 – Connecting the Dots: Collective Impact for Families
The Family Services Initiative (FSI) connects Pinellas County agencies and resources together to help struggling families. Not a handout, but a partnership with families to provide the right service, at the right time, and in the right amount. In this workshop, participants will gain insight into how the Juvenile Welfare Board’s community think tank uses a shared information system to analyze key data and trends and provide for system evaluation to help coordinate services for families throughout Pinellas County, Florida.
Presenter(s): Marcie A. Biddleman and Jeanine Evoli, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Clearwater, FL

C6 – Improving Educational Outcomes for Children in Foster Care
This session will highlight innovative ways to infuse education priorities into child welfare practice. DC CFSA, in collaboration with the ABA’s Legal Center on Education and Foster care, did an organizational analysis of education related policies and practices guided by the Legal Center’s education framework, the Blueprint for Change. The framework outlines 8 goals for education success for foster children. A comprehensive strategy – including identifying improvements to policy, practice, training, internal staffing and coordination, collaboration with external partners, and data collection, sharing and analysis was developed. Information will be shared about the Blueprint for Change, national education trends, and the innovative work going on in DC regarding how to use the Blueprint to guide child welfare practice and collaboration.
Presenter(s): Leslie Gross and Megan Dho, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC; and Kathleen McNaught, American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law, Washington, DC

C7 – Leading Adaptively in Child Welfare – The New Mexico Experience
New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Division spent the last four years operationalizing the Adaptive Leadership Framework across all levels of the agency. The activities have included large summit sessions, executive team coaching, small team meetings, and local experimentation efforts, all designed to teach and hone adaptive leadership skills and develop scalable system changes that will improve outcomes. NM leaders will share their experiences, successes and challenges. They will offer specific tools, strategies and interventions that worked, as well as unique insight into both the power and difficulty in creating and maintaining a culture that encourages and embeds adaptive leadership.
Presenter(s): Peter Watson, Children, Youth and Families, USM/Muskie School, Portland, ME; Jared Rounsville and Annamarie Luna, New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Protective Services, Santa Fe, NM

C8 – Testing What Works to Strengthen Family Relationships for LGBTQ Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System, Using the Integration of Fidelity Assessment, Coaching and Supervision
The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s RISE Project, a Children’s Bureau Permanency Innovations Initiative grantee, will describe a new care coordination service model for LGBTQ and gender non-conforming children and youth involved in the child welfare system. RISE managers, fidelity reviewers and coaches will focus on their experiences using Implementation Science principles to apply the core improvement drivers of fidelity assessment, coaching and supervision to testing and improving intervention activities to strengthen family relationships for LGBTQ children and youth, with a focus on decreasing family rejection, increasing support for LGBTQ identity, and nurturing emotional permanency as a path toward legal permanency.
Presenter(s): Lisa Parrish and Danielle Altman, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Los Angeles, CA; Robert Friend, Seneca Family of Agencies, Oakland, CA; and Vida Khavar, Child Welfare Consultant, Los Angeles, CA

C9 – Building an Integrated Practice Model for Child Welfare and Mental Health
This workshop will explore the development and implementation of an integrated practice model for child welfare and mental health currently under way in California. We will provide a brief overview of the history and background of the Katie A lawsuit settlement agreement and then move on to a discussion of the Core Practice Model Guide, its foundational values and principles, and the basic elements of the new model: universal screening, comprehensive assessment, trauma-informed practices, and a child-and-family team approach. Participants will also be introduced to the training and technical assistance model that is supporting this transformation.
Presenter(s): Richard Weisgal, American Institutes for Research, Walnut Creek, CA and Lisa Molinar, Shared Vision Consultants, Dublin, CA

C10 – Parent Support Providers: A Nontraditional Peer Workforce Initiative
Family peer support, as an emerging work force, is an essential component in the effective provision of services and supports for youth and families across child-serving systems. While there is variability in structure and funding mechanisms, the key elements of family peer support include advocacy, education, training and peer-to-peer support. Through the incorporation of peers with the lived experience of parenting a child who has experienced behavioral health challenges, families and caregivers receive an essential enhancement to the formal services that promote the health and well being of children. Though evidence of the effectiveness is still emerging, the existing research suggests positive outcomes for families receiving peer support. Families report overall satisfaction along with a heightened sense of self-efficacy and empowerment.
Presenter(s): Lynda Gargan and Sandra Spencer, National Federation of Families For Children’s Mental Health, Rockville, MD

C11 – Now and Ahead: What’s in Store from Congress for Child Welfare and Financing of Needed Services?
With the new Congress in place, decisions are sure to be made on the budget and child welfare policy. This workshop will provide participants with an overview of the latest actions taking place on the Hill and possible action in the near future. In addition to child welfare, this session may touch on other vital areas such as Home Visiting, Immigration Policy, Pre-K, Social Services Block Grant and TANF. Session participants will come away with an idea of what their next steps should be to provide advocacy for child welfare and financing of needed services.
Presenter(s): Tim Briceland-Betts and John Sciamanna, CWLA Washington, DC; and Shadi Houshyar, First Focus, Washington, DC (invited)

C12 – Resiliency: Nurturing Youth, Families and Staff
What does it mean to be resilient and why are some more resilient that others? What if there was a way to increase the level of resiliency in the individuals you work with?After all, we are wired to connect, and we have the opportunity and ability to influence one another. Throughout life, the brain has the ability to change as new information and learning is introduced. Through the exploration of the power of the mind, our effects on one another through language and behavior, the use of empathy and positive psychology participants will leave with a reframe and tools to use to nurture resiliency in their clients, their staff and even themselves.
Presenter(s): Beth A. Enser, The Children’s Village, Dobbs Ferry, NY

C13 – A Toolbox for Supervisors and Managers: Working with Staff to Develop and Support Resource Parents as Team Members in Child Protection
This workshop shares strategies to help ensure best practice consistency in the implementation of a model of practice to develop and support resource parents (foster and adoptive) as team members for child safety, well-being and permanency. The focus is on administrators and supervisors of staff who conduct family assessments (home studies) and work with families post child placement to minimize trauma for children and maximize teamwork among families and staff.
Presenter(s): Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Manhattan Beach, CA

C14 – Supporting Healthy Attachments and Healing Trauma: Supporting Successful Child Welfare Reunification through Family-Centered Practice
Children who enter the child welfare system often become additionally traumatized through the practice intended to heal them. Healthy development occurs within the context of a healthy family. This presentation outlines Youth Advocate Programs’ partnership with the St. Lawrence County (NY) Department of Social Services to provide family-centered interventions that support successful family reunification of children ages 0-5. This approach includes intensive coaching and education of parents, frequent supervised parent/child visitation, engaging parents in planning, linkage to concrete supports, 24/7 crisis intervention, and case conferencing. This program has seen a 100% successful completion rate over a 2-year period.
Presenter(s): Bob Swanson, Youth Advocate Programs, Lebanon, PA; Dana LaCoss and Cindy Allen, Youth Advocate Programs, Canton, NY; and Diane Wilby, St. Lawrence Couty Department of Social Services, Canton, NY

C15 – The Human Equity Advantage: Beyond Diversity to Talent Optimization
In North America, the diversity of the child welfare service recipients and providers continues to expand. It is a trend that will continue long into the future. Leaders and managers need new ways to tap into the unique talents and strengths of each employee in order to respond to a work environment with evolving competencies, advancements in technological requirements, and changing demographics. The workshop will present a new management model through using eight core competencies that focuses on individual differentiation, talent differentiation and maximizing human equity.
Presenter(s): Trevor Wilson, TWI, Inc., Toronto, ON and David Rivard, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON

CWLA/OPEN MINDS Leadership Council for Children’s Services
Leadership Track
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

7:30 am–8:30 am
Health Care Reform and the Future of Child Welfare: Trends, Changes & Challenges
(Open to CEOs, Commissioners and Senior Staff registered for the conference.)
Healthcare Reform is challenging the methods child welfare providers deliver services, coordinate care and are being reimbursed. The new environment requires client involvement, data driven decision making, marketing skills, fiscal efficiencies and quality outcomes. States are seeking care coordinated through lead agencies and managed care entities and moving toward pay for performance, flexible funding through IV-E waivers and privatization complete with risk sharing arrangements. Is your organization preparing for these changes and gaining the competencies needed? Join Chris James Brown, President & CEO, CWLA and Monica Oss, CEO, OPEN MINDS in an informative and lively discussion of the changes and trends affecting child welfare.

8:30 am–12:00 pm
Flash Point: Achieving Improved Child and Family Outcomes in an Era of Transformation
(Session is open only to CWLA/OPEN MINDS Leadership Council for Children’s Services Members)
Child welfare and behavioral health public and private leaders are increasingly being challenged to find ways to collaborate in order to improve the outcomes for children and families. This has more recently been driven by the Administration’s focus on child well-being, the recognition of the impact of trauma, litigation, System of Care approach, and the overuse of psychotropic medications for children. This collaboration is supported by many aspects of the Affordable Health Care Act such as the expansion of the Medicaid population, community focus for the delivery of treatment, care coordination, changes in reimbursement, and demand for quality outcomes and evidence based treatment. This session will examine the issues being faced by professionals in the field through a panel discussion and candid conversation regarding the challenges, changes, and actions being pursued by child welfare and behavioral health systems across our nation. The second part of the session will be an open discussion for session participants to share their professional experiences in meeting the challenges of the new healthcare environment with regard to today’s increasing focus on child well-being.
Moderator: Howard Shiffman, Senior Associate OPEN MINDS & Leadership Council Coordinator
Presenters: Eileen Elias, Director, Disability Service Center and Senior Policy Advisor on Mental Health and Disabilities, JBS International and Chair, CWLA Mental Health Advisory Board; Cheryl Fisher, Senior Director, Foster Care and Child Welfare, Cenpatico; Stephen Yerdon, CEO, Devereux Massachusetts; Rich Weisgal, Senior Child Welfare Specialist, Health and Social Development Program, American Institute for Research; and Alan M. Vietze, Deputy Director, Children’s System of Care , New Jersey Department of Children and Families

Please visit CWLA/OPEN MINDS Leadership Council for Children’s Services for more information on our collaborative program.

Workshop Sessions D
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
8:30 am – 10:00 am

D1 – Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Program for Children in Texas Foster Care
Texas has significantly reduced the use of psychotropic medications in foster care over the past decade. The presentation will focus on the components of the Texas psychotropic medication review program including discussion of issues that led to the programs development. The criteria used to trigger retrospective case reviews conducted by the mangaged care organization as well as the peer to peer consultation porcess will be described. Outcome data demonstrating the results of the monitoring program included.
Presenter(s): James A. Rogers, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Austin, TX

D2 – Planning for Success: Program Development and Service Delivery for Foreign-Born Youth
This session will review the programming for foreign-born youth as it exists within the United States. The session will briefly review the process by which unaccompanied children come to the United States, including both Unaccompanied Refugee Minor and Unaccompanied Alien Children populations. Presenters will review the service continuum and share innovative strategies for developing programs that meet the unique needs of these populations. Direct service providers will share their lessons learned as well as how to address challenges, form collaborative efforts with community service providers and how national voluntary agencies function to provide support to a network of agencies. Presenters will also share information about two ongoing research projects currently underway to gain greater understanding of the needs of both the network and the youth served.
Presenter(s): Kerri Socha, Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service, Baltimore, MD; Matt Haygood, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Washington, DC; Meredith McKeen, Northern Virginia Family Service, Oakton, VA; and Rosy Gale, Esperanza Center, Catholic Charities, Baltimore, MD

D3 – Improving Services and Care for LGBTQ Children and Youth: Child Welfare Policy and Practice Standards
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children and youth experience disparities in child- and youth-serving systems. As youth continue to express (or question) their identity at younger ages, professionals including those in child welfare systems should be equipped with strategies and resources to meet their specific needs. We will synthesize and facilitate discussion about standards for providing appropriate care to LGBTQ children and youth from two recent books: Improving Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth: A Guide for Professionals and CWLA’s A Practical Guide for Youth Workers Serving LGBTQ Youth. Participants will receive resources and strategies to apply.
Presenter(s): Jeffrey Poirier, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC and Gary Mallon, National Center for Child Welfare Excellence, New York, NY

D4 – Vicarious Trauma in Child Welfare Workers: Organizational Interventions
This workshop will present the results of a qualitative study about organizational approaches to addressing vicarious trauma in child welfare workers and offer resources for organizational responses to VT that leaders in child welfare can implement to support workforce health. Public child welfare organization directors, and/or their designees were interviewed for the study, which revealed: (1) the need for training on the effect of VT among child welfare workers; (2) the need for organizational responses to VT to support the individual responses to VT; and (3) the importance of clinical supervision to discuss traumatic events.
Presenter(s): Eileen A. Dombo and Wendy Whiting Blome, National Catholic School of Social Service, Washington, DC

D5 – Toward Family Success: Uniting Research, Policy and Practice with Family Leadership
One of the greatest challenges in the arena of child welfare and well-being has been the search for a vision for the future that links research, policy, practice and resource allocation to a coherent solution-in -principle to our national crisis of poor child and youth outcomes. After the shocking and highly visible death of young Faheem Williams in the City of Newark in 2003, a small group of parents, professional and advocates came together to imagine how his life might have been different. This small gathering has grown into a Family Success movement across New Jersey. This workshop will highlight the basic principles of Family Success, the research that support the Family Success movement, the policy challenges and opportunities related to Family Success and how one community, the County and City of Camden, New Jersey, is striving to achieve Family Success on the ground..
Presenter(s): Jeanne Warnock, Family Intervention Service, East Orange, NJ; Tom Blatner, JANUS Solutions, Ewing, NJ; Diana Cooper, Community Planning and Advocacy Council of Camden County, Pennsauken, NJ; and Cynthia Esposito Lamy, The Robin Hood Foundation, New York, NY

D6 – Reaching Kinship Caregivers: A Unified Plan of Policy and Practice
The NYS Kinship Navigator Program (KN) has helped kinship caregivers understand and navigate the system of care for children in out-of-home care as well as reduce barriers faced by kinship caregivers when accessing services. Through eight years of leadership in policy and program, KN has faced many challenges in engaging and understanding the needs of some of the most vulnerable families. This workshop will highlight the successes of the KN program and provide a framework for outreach to families with a diversity of needs.
Presenter(s): Gerard Wallace, NYS Kinship Navigator/Catholic Family Center, Rochester, NY and Althea Pestine, School of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY

D7 – Babies in Foster Care: Working Across Systems to Help the Youngest Children Succeed
Public child welfare agencies are responsible for meeting the needs of all maltreated children. Some communities are enlisting other stakeholders so the protection of children becomes a shared communal responsibility. One example of a community partnership is the Safe Babies Court Team approach, a community engagement and systems-change initiative focused on improving how child welfare agencies, the courts, and related child-serving organizations work together, share information, and expedite services for young children in the child welfare system. This session will provide guidance about building such a collaboration to promote positive outcomes for young children in the child welfare system.
Presenter(s): Lucy Hudson, ZERO TO THREE, Washington, DC

D8 – Post-Adoption Services Advocacy Strategies for State Policy Reform
This workshiop will offer attendees creative and promising campaign strategies and tools for replication in their states to advance post-adoption services (PAS) policy reform for improved well-being and outcomes of children and youth adopted from foster care, as well as family stability. Panelists will present DAI’s experience with one state’s action-oriented plan and parent-youth advocacy network to achieve mandates for quality PAS services, funding, and oversight. Through a presentation, attendee discussion, Q&A, and handouts, participants will be provided with an advocacy campaign blueprint, “how to” tips, and evaluation techniques to implement in their states.
Presenter(s): Georgia Deoudes and April Dinwoodie, Donaldson Adoption Institute, New York, NY

D9 – Accrediting Public Agencies: Supporting Public Sector Accountability through Collaborative System Review
As the only national accreditor of public agencies, the Council on Accreditation is committed to sustaining a program that collaboratively supports agencies in achieving their mission to improve well-being for families and children. We will discuss our approach to public agency accreditation by highlighting how our work with states and counties has fomented policy reform and lead to other important shifts in agency practice. We will then review current efforts to enhance our accreditation program and engage participants in dialogue about the challenges facing public human services and how accreditation can serve as a strategic lever of system change.
Presenter(s): Katie Bourgault and Richard Klarberg, Council on Accreditation, New York, NY

D10 – Stronger Together: How Collaborative Practice is Changing the Futures of Children and Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders
Addiction touches the lives of far too many children and families who face long odds in their struggles against fear, hopelessness, trauma, and neglect. When the child welfare, drug treatment, and dependency court systems come together on behalf of these families, they bring their professionals skills and expertise, and personal dedication and commitment to bring hope, recovery, restoration and advocacy. Every family deserves a chance of reunification and recovery; every family deserves these systems’ efforts to help them achieve these outcomes. When systems work together, families become stronger. There is a growing knowledge of what works in serving families affected by substance use involved in the child welfare system. This presentation will share findings and lessons learned from the Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) program. The RPG program is the Federal government’s largest single investment focused specifically on the lives of children and families at significantly high risk for negative outcomes related to substance use and child abuse or neglect. This session will enable participants to better understand the relationships between adult client characteristics, treatment participation, and child welfare outcomes in addition to the key strategies communities employed to develop collaborative treatment and family-centered approaches.
Presenter(s): Nancy K. Young, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA; Elaine Voces Stedt, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Washington, DC

D11 – Trafficking Victims Protection: Immigration Relief for Abused, Abandoned and Neglected Children
Immigrant children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned are among the most vulnerable people child welfare agencies serve. Many of these children are eligible for immigration relief. Too often they exit child serving systems without achieving legal status and a true opportunity for future stability. This presentation will provide an overview of potential immigration relief options available to immigrant youth, with a focus on the Special Immigrant Juvenile status. This session will include a discussion of unaccompanied children, reasons for their migration, the federal systems that serve them, and how state child-serving agencies may come into contact with them.
Presenter(s): Elizabeth Thornton, Casey Family Programs, Washington, DC; Eileen Matuszak, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Washington, DC; and Elaine Kelley, US DHHS, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Washington, DC

D12 – Factors that Mitigate the Perception of Vicarious Trauma among Child Welfare Workers
This workshop will address practical ways child welfare agencies can safeguard their workers against the deleterious effects of Vicarious Trauma. Current literature suggests that incidents of vicarious trauma among child welfare workers are relatively high and that these workers show more trauma exposure symptoms than do social workers in other human service fields. Although Vicarious Traumatization has not been adequately recognized by child welfare agencies, the vicarious trauma that child welfare workers experience can negatively impact their work performance and ability to engage in personal relationships, and compromise the quality of care they render to clients. Vicarious Traumatization can also influence a worker’s decision to stay with an agency and increase the costs of recruitment and training for public agencies and, by extension, the taxpayer. Research has found that child welfare workers in Virginia who created time to be carefree, to play and have no responsibilities, who made time to do things that would contribute to their health and well-being, and who took time for activities that would allow them to get away from painful feelings related to their work experienced lower perceptions of Vicarious Traumatization. These findings hold important implications for how agencies can proactively safeguard against the occupational hazard of Vicarious Traumatization, provide timely intervention for workers who are experiencing Vicarious Traumatization, and fulfill the agency’s “duty to care” and its statutory obligation to promote a safe and healthy work environment.
Presenter(s): Michael M. Sinclair, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

D13 – Housing Solutions for Child Welfare Families and Youth
Families and aging-out youth in the child welfare system face enormous economic challenges. Child welfare professionals go to great lengths to remediate these issues but often do not have the necessary information and resources to attack housing problems. In this workshop, presenters will provide detailed instructions coupled with ample time for discussion of a range of housing solutions from homeless prevention to housing first strategies – all made possible through interagency partnerships in the public and private sector. Case examples and a cost analysis will also be offered to demonstrate the efficacy of housing interventions.
Presenter(s): Betsy Cronin, The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT and Ruth White, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, College Park, MD

D14 – Child Rights: Time for the US to get on Board with the Rest of the World
We will present factual information about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, how it has improved childrens’ lives across the globe, and will advocate for child protection organizations’ involvement in promoting the CRC. We will offer a tool kit on how to promote the CRC and will help participants to understand how the CRC has improved child well-being around the world.
Presenter(s): Martin Scherr, Campaign for US Ratification of the CRC, Washington, DC and Meg Gardinier, Campaign for US Ratification of the CRC, New Rochelle, NY

Advocacy Sessions
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Child Welfare Workers and the Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Interventions across the Social-Ecological Model
Applying the social-ecological model to prevention calls for targeting interventions at individuals, families, communities and society in general. Child welfare professionals have the opportunity to have impact on all of these areas, and this workshop will offer specific strategies and tactics that can be implemented to prevent the abuse of children before it can ever occur. Presenters will discuss evidence-based strategies and community-level interventions that can be implemented by child welfare professionals with the families they serve, in their own workplace and in their communities.
Presenter(s): Janet Rosenzweig, Prevent Child Abuse America, Chicago, IL and Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC

ChildStat: A Diagnostic Tool for Child Welfare Systems
This workshop explores how ChildStat can be used as a tool for continuous quality improvement (CQI) in child welfare systems. ChildStat offers a closer look at local child welfare practice through a presentation that examines key performance data indicators and real time casework with a family involved with the child welfare system. Local child welfare staff and community provider partners critically assess their work with the selected family, and look for strengths in practice and opportunities for improvement in a transparent and supportive environment. Presenters will share data indicators, lessons learned and ways to align with ChildStat with broader agency goals.
Presenter(s): Claudine Chiarmonte, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ and Mary Browne New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Washington, NJ

Advocacy Sessions
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Working with Birth Families: Making a Working Family
This workshop has been developed from interviews with foster parents, professionals, as well as birth parents to better identify common concerns as well as successful skills for foster and birth parents in working together. Perception has a powerful impact relationship between adoptive/foster parents and birth parents, as well as four kinds of permanence in foster/adoptive homes that impact the child and family. Parents will understand how to improve communication keeping the fostering triangle in mind, and ways to better enhance communication. Skills will be identified in building and maintaining relationship with adoptive/foster parents and birth parents.
Presenter(s): Stan Waddell, Cenpatico, Lubbock, TX

Family Engagement when Engagement is Challenging
Often, families that most need support can be the most challenging to engage, defeating even the most dedicated caseworkers. This skills-based workshop will demonstrate how integrating research on trauma and vicarious trauma into family engagement models can help caseworkers be more effective in managing resistance to and ruptures in the helping relationship. This approach is built on recognition of the power of a parallel process that focuses on caseworker and client engagement as inextricably linked.
Presenter(s): Victoria Kelly, Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, Division of Family Services, Wilmington, DE