The uniqueness of the CWLA National Conference is that it provides an opportunity for people from every state; public and private providers from child welfare and other fields of service; corporations, advocates, educators, caregivers, and youth to come together and share learning based on our common vision of a better future for all children.
REASONS TO ATTEND:
- Experience exceptional learning
- Hear outstanding speakers and presentations
- Meet your Members of Congress
- Make YOUR voice heard – Promote child welfare policy priorities
- Network with colleagues and peers
- Advance excellence in child and family services
- Share ideas and wisdom on strengthening families
- Learn about successful prevention and intervention programs
- Visit attractions in our nation’s capital
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC! Contact us at CWLA2019@cwla.org for assistance.
Thanks to our conference sponsors for their generous support!
Tuesday, April 9
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Special Session for CWLA Members
Wednesday, April 10
8:00 am – 6:00 pm
8:30 am – 10:00 am
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Opening Plenary Session
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Networking Lunch & Advocacy/Policy Briefing
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
3:15 pm – 3:45 pm
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Learning Labs B
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Learning Labs C
6:15 pm – 7:30 pm
Opening Reception in Exhibit Hall
Thursday, April 11
7:00 am – 5:30 pm
7:30 am – 8:45 am
Annual Meeting Breakfast
7:30 am – 8:45 am
Breakfast in Exhibit Hall – Poster Sessions
9:00 am – 10:30 am
10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Plenary Session – Advocacy
Thursday, April 11 (cont.)
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Box Lunch – Meet-up for Hill Visits – Poster Sessions
12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Capitol Hill Visits
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
Public Sector-Focused Workshops E
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Public Sector-Focused Workshops F
4:45 pm – 5:30 pm
Call to Action
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Networking Reception in Exhibit Hall – Poster Sessions
Friday, April 12
Breakfast On Your Own
7:30 am – 4:00 pm
8:00 am – 9:00 am
Learning Labs G
9:15 am – 10:45 am
Plenary Session – Panel
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
12:45 pm – 2:15 pm
Closing Lunch Plenary Session
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Training Institute and Special Sessions
Saturday, April 13
Breakfast On Your Own
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Training Institute and Special Sessions (continued)
OPENING PLENARY SESSION
Wednesday, April 10, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., has served as President and CEO of The Aspen Institute since June 2018. He was selected by the Institute’s Board of Trustees because of his intellectual depth, commitment to inclusivity and diversity, and ability to lead a complex, mission-driven organization to create impact and make a difference in the world. His career embodies the ideals of values-based leadership upon which The Aspen Institute was founded.
Prior to leading The Aspen Institute, Dr. Porterfield served for seven years as the President of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), a leading national liberal arts college founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1787. Under his leadership, F&M set records for applications, fundraising, and fellowships; developed cutting edge new centers for student wellness, career services, and faculty excellence; constructed a new athletics stadium; embarked upon the process of building a groundbreaking new visual arts center; and strengthened its academic excellence and competitiveness by tripling its percentage of incoming low-income students and more than doubling its percentage of domestic students of color.
Dr. Porterfield has been recognized as a visionary leader and advocate for expanding educational opportunity and improving the human condition by the KIPP Foundation, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, the Posse Foundation, and the Kaplan Educational Foundation. He was named a White House Champion of Change in 2016.
Prior to his appointment at F&M, Dan served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development and an English professor at his alma mater, Georgetown University, and for four years as a senior aide to then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. He earned B.A. degrees from Georgetown and Oxford—where he was a Rhodes Scholar—and his Ph.D. from The City University of New York Graduate Center where he was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities
Not Business as Usual: Child Welfare for Tomorrow’s Leader
Friday, April 12, 9:15 AM – 10:45 AM
It is no secret that the child welfare workforce recruits and attracts young professionals who aspire to change the world! In 2017, young professionals surveyed by CWLA indicated that their long-term career aspiration in child welfare is leadership, and that they desire education and networking opportunities in order to develop new skills and have more responsibilities.
In this Plenary Session, panelists will share their personal decision to work in the child welfare field and their triumphs, failures, and lessons learned as they aspire to climb the leadership ladder. This session will address how panelists have arrived in their current positions, their career goals, and the barriers and successes they see in the workforce. Panelists will share their insight on current workforce development opportunities and what current leaders can do to recruit, retain, and energize young professional leaders in the 21st century.
With the challenges and opportunities of implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act, it is especially important to have the energy and commitment of young professionals in the child welfare workforce. This session will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about supporting and developing tomorrow’s leaders in child welfare and how we can leverage their critical support for successful implementation of services and programs.
Facilitator: Sarah Saint Laurent, Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH); and CWLA Board of Directors
Presenters: April Curtis, Elevate Young Professionals and Foster Care Alumni of America; Bacall Hincks, Children’s Service Society of Utah; Charity Brallier, Family Design Resources, Inc.; Frank Green, Richmond Department of Social Services; and Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky, New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioner and Directors
CLOSING LUNCH PLENARY SESSION
Friday, April 12, 12:45 pm – 2:15 pm
Isaiah B. Pickens, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in consulting, counseling, and educational services for individuals and organizations. Dr. Pickens is currently Assistant Director of the Service Systems Program at the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), the coordinating site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). In this role he is responsible for supporting diverse national, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative efforts to make child- and family- service systems more trauma-informed. His research focuses on trauma-informed and culturally responsive programming in numerous service sectors and optimizing service utilization among underserved communities.
Dr. Pickens is also founder of iOpening Enterprises, a mental health and wellness education company that specializes in health messaging through innovative media and interactive and evidence-informed workshops. In this capacity, Dr. Pickens has developed the Bridge Trauma-Informed Culturally-Responsive (TICR) Program, a multi-day professional development for educators that provides a practical toolkit for managing youth traumatic stress responses in the school setting.
Dr. Pickens is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader. In this capacity, he works collaboratively with cross-sector scholars and practitioners to promote a culture of health in America. Dr. Pickens has been awarded by the American Psychological Association Early Career Achievement Award and the Black Enterprise BE Modern Man award for his contributions to the field of psychology. Dr. Pickens aims to continue sharing psychological science with diverse audiences through his scholarly publications, writings for the general public, and practice in communities.
JOIN US FOR ADVOCACY DAY 2019 AND GO TO THE HILL!
Thursday, April 11
CWLA members and conference participants will have an opportunity to take the information and learning from the Wednesday Policy Luncheon, various workshop sessions, and Thursday morning Advocacy Plenary to go to Capitol Hill and meet their Senators and House Members. Thursday, April 11, from 12:30 pm–4:30 pm, will be our dedicated time for Capitol Hill visits. The conference hotel is only a short distance away from Capitol Hill offices—just a brief walk or quick ride to reach your Senators and Representatives—making it easy for you to share your constituent voices without missing important conference programming.
The most important thing you can do while you’re at the conference is promote child welfare priorities on Capitol Hill! 2019 will see the first opportunity for states to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act—and it will be the beginning of a new Congress. The new Congress will need to focus on the need for a new budget deal, what will happen next on health care, how to implement the Family First Act, extending the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), and dealing with expiring child welfare waivers. It will be more important than ever to make your voices heard.
CWLA staff will provide instructions and information so that you can set up meetings with your members of Congress and Senators before you come to Washington. Meeting with your members of Congress or their key staff is incredibly important—especially in times like these, with the opioid epidemic impacting children and families, 2019 being the first year of a new Congress, and continuing interactions with the Trump Administration. Even if you don’t meet with members of Congress themselves, their staff members are their closest advisors and can heavily influence decisions. Value every moment with them!
In 2017 and 2018, CWLA was in the fight: the Affordable Care Act, extending Home Visiting and CHIP, fighting Medicaid block grants and budget cuts, and much more! What will the challenges be in 2019? What will be your role?
Join us on Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day. Your voice is powerful when you share it in person!
The 2019 National Conference will provide a variety of learning options for conference attendees, including traditional 90-minute workshops, 60-minute learning labs, and poster presentations.
Wednesday, April 10
Workshop Sessions A
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
A1 – Establishing Effectiveness in Existing Pre- and Post-Adoption Counseling Services
Developing effective pre- and post-adoption counseling (PAC) services has been a defining factor of New Jersey’s plan for adoption support. Recently, the state Department of Children and Families joined with adoption service providers and academic researchers to evaluate PAC services for effectiveness and to gain insight on generating empirical evidence from existing programs. This session will describe, and share early results of, an evaluation of the programs and their ability to adapt to the evolving landscape of adoption services. Presenters will also make recommendations for applying the model of evaluation and clinical practice to other states or service contexts.
Presenters: Lori Jalkiewicz, Robins’ Nest, Inc., Glassboro, NJ; Kerrie Ocasio, West Chester University, West Chester, PA; Nicole Coburger & Lisa Duff, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, Trenton, NJ; Brett Greenfield, Rutgers University School of Social Work (PhD Student), New Brunswick, NJ; and Maria Lagattuta, Family Intervention Services, Inc., East Orange, NJ
A2 – Federal Policy That Can Enhance Quality Family Foster Care in the Family First Prevention Services Act
Now that the Family First Prevention Services Act is in law, this workshop will look at Washington, DC, policy debates and discussions in 2019 and how the next set of reforms can enhance and make the Family First Prevention Services Act most effective—especially ways to enhance family-based foster care.
Presenters: Laura Boyd, Family Focused Treatment Association, Norman, OK; and John Sciamanna, CWLA, Washington, DC
A3 – Utilizing a Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Approach to Child Welfare Transformation: A Three Branch Model
The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is leading a multi-system and community-based approach to the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. VDSS is utilizing a Three Branch Model, which is a collaborative team approach, comprised of all three branches of the government, several state and community based agencies, and advocates that respond to the needs of children and families, redefining the responsibility of child welfare to all agencies who serve children and families. The Three Branch model serves as a successful leadership group to enact legislative, financial, and policy changes to improve the child welfare system.
Presenters: Carl Ayers, Virginia Department of Social Services, Richmond, VA; and Scott Reiner, Virginia Office of Children’s Services, Richmond, VA
A4 – Working Smarter: Selecting, Implementing, and Sustaining Evidence-Based Practices
Organizations can invest a lot of resources, time, and money implementing evidence-based practices only to struggle with sustainability overtime. Presenters will share what has been learned using Implementation Science to develop an infrastructure to introduce, pilot, install, and sustain evidence-based practices with fidelity.
Presenters: Pamela Chambers and Vickie McArthur, Saint Francis Community Services, Salina, KS
A5 – Legal Assistance to Kinship Families: How to Fill the FFPSA Gap in Kinship Navigator Services
The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) provides the first sustained federal funding for kinship navigators serving kinship families who are not in foster care. However, FFPSA does not support delivery of legal assistance. While some kinship navigators provide legal help, kinship navigators would have to add such services without funding. This workshop will identify core legal issues faced by kinship families and recommend strategies to incorporate legal help into kinship navigator programs. The attorney presenters will describe successful collaborations with state court programs, legal services providers, county and state bars, pro bono resources, and law schools, and offer tools for educating the legal community.
Presenters: Marla Spindel and Stephanie McClellan, DC KinCare Alliance, Washington, DC; and Gerard Wallace, New York State Kinship Navigator and University of Albany School of Social Welfare, Delmar, NY
A6 – Transforming Residential Care in Preparation for Family First
The Family First Preventive Services Act sets high standards for the delivery of residential treatment services. Learn how one agency is transforming its residential treatment model, as part of a continuum of care, using research-driven practices to focus on family support, permanency, and sustainable change.
Presenters: David Collins and Daphne Torres, The Children’s Village, Dobbs Ferry, NY
A7 – Twenty Years Since the Adoption and Safe Families’ Act: Lessons on Improving Outcomes for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders and Child Welfare Involvement
The Adoption and Safe Families Act enactment in 1997 emphasized achieving timely permanency for children involved with child welfare and underscored the importance of effectively addressing substance use disorders. This session will offer an in-depth discussion of concrete collaborative policy and practice strategies to address the needs of families affected by substance use disorders gleaned from work with key initiatives over the past twenty years. Presenters will provide policy and practice achievements and their outcomes from the Regional Partnership Grants, Children Affected by Methamphetamine, and In-Depth Technical Assistance Programs to bring these strategies to life and offer ample time for identification and discussion on policy improvements to continue support and strengthen families affected by substance use disorders.
Presenters: Nancy K. Young, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA
A8 – Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act: Reconsidering the Role of Kinship Caregivers
The recent passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act has placed renewed emphasis on the child welfare mandate to offer services and to support birth parents in their efforts to address the issues that led to separation and reunify with their children. This workshop focuses on the role that kinship caregivers are uniquely qualified to fulfill in promoting reunification due to family attachment and knowledge of the child welfare system. Strategies for navigating complex and difficult intra-family relationships, assuring the safety of children, supporting healing and growth of parents, and caregiver self-care, as well as implications for child welfare practice will be addressed.
Presenters: Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ; and Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL
Wednesday, April 10
Learning Lab Sessions B
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
B1 – Beyond Awareness: Practical Application of the My Life My Choice Exploitation Prevention Solution Model
The goal of the My Life My Choice Prevention Solution Model is to prevent the violence and degradation of commercial sexual exploitation. Empowering girls with knowledge about how exploitation begins and equipping them with strategies for avoiding danger is a crucial first step. However, just providing education to youth is not enough. It is imperative to provide support and consultation to the service providers in their lives to shift how they serve this population that is highly vulnerable. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about this enhanced model and make practical considerations for applying it to programs within their jurisdiction.
Presenters: Amy Corbett and Audrey Morrissey, My Life my Choice, Boston, MA
B2 – Fit, Feasibility, and Best Practices for Implementing an EBP Into a Child Welfare Program
This session will help you prepare for the Family First Prevention Services Act by highlighting the process of implementing an evidence-based parenting model within a contracted child welfare program. Utilizing the implementation science framework from NIRN, presenters will share their process for selecting their EBP and implementing it with fidelity. Presenters will discuss how they effectively executed the incorporation of Triple P into the Family Preservation Services model. Presenters will share their evaluation process, outcome data, strategies and challenges to maintain model fidelity and sustainability, and lessons learned.
Presenters: Lisa Haya and Mike Attanasio, Robins’ Nest, Glassboro, NJ
B3 – The Possibilities Project: Investing in Youth Aging Out of Foster Care to Change the Trajectory of Their Lives
Presenters will share how their direct service agency and a housing coalition, two Richmond-based nonprofits, have collaborated to address the challenges of youth aging out of Virginia’s foster care system. Each year about 500 young people in Virginia “age out” and are sent into the world with nothing—no reliable housing, no job options, no education, no transportation, and no one to rely on for help. The collaboration has developed a comprehensive evidence-based and trauma-informed program that provides critical supports and housing to these youth in order for them to develop into independent and engaged community members.
Presenters: Nadine Marsh-Carter and Diehdre Gregory, Children’s Home Society of Virginia, Richmond, VA
B4 – Partnership & Promise: Meeting the Needs of the Family First Prevention Services Act with the Legal Partnership for Permanency®
With the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, children and youth agencies (CYA), courts, and service providers will be called upon to implement new and demanding policies that protect and sustain children in their care. The Legal Partnership for Permanency® program provides permanency services to agencies such as a nationally recognized diligent search process, knowledgeable paralegals in every county CYA, and attorney trainers who create specialized workshops for agencies and stakeholders. This session will outline the program and explore the ways that strategic interventions can be replicated to aid other child and youth agencies.
Presenters: Ilene L. Dubin and Scott Shannon, Family Design Resources, Inc., Harrisburg, PA
B5 – CARES: Safely Diverting Entry into Foster Care through the Creation of a New Level of Care on the Front End of the Child Welfare Continuum: A 10-Year History of Positive Outcomes
An overview of the CARES program’s pioneering efforts as an established child abuse prevention and diversion program—with a 10-year history of successfully diverting entry into foster care while keeping children and families safe and together at home and in the community—will be presented. The implementation science used to scale the program along with a review of the history, research, outcomes and evidence will be outlined. A crosswalk of CARES with the Family First Prevention Services Act will be discussed. CARES cost savings with better outcomes and strategies to implement and sustain the program with return on investment will be presented.
Presenters: Valerie Holmes, Brevard Family Partnership, Melbourne, FL; Patricia Nellius, Breakthrough 365 Consulting, Melbourne, FL; and Stacy Brown, The House Next Door, Deland, FL
B6 – Characteristics, Proficiencies, and Trainings Recommendations for Successful Resource Parents Who Care for Children who are American Indian/Alaskan Native and are Placed in Out-Of-Home Care
The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics and training proficiencies associated with successful foster and adoptive caregiving of children who are American Indian/Alaskan Native. Characteristics and proficiencies were identified utilizing multiple methodologies including: a systematic literature review, qualitative interviews with tribal professionals, and key stakeholder groups (including resource parents, young adults who experienced a foster, kin, adoptive placement, and tribal child welfare experts). Findings collected through these processes were put through a formalized Delphi review to reach consensus on the most poignant themes for inclusion in the development of a culturally adapted, national foster and adoptive parent training curriculum.
Presenters: Angelique Day, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Virginia Whitekeller, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK; and Kerrie Murphy, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
B7 – Sexual Health Youth Advocacy
Both youth of color and youth who identify as LGBTQ are overrepresented in child welfare and other out-of-home-care systems. Children in government custody often face challenges getting accurate and inclusive information about sexual health. Risk of HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted infections are highest among youth, young adults of color, and youth who identify as LGBTQ. Participants will discuss how advocates and providers can ensure youth have access to accurate information and preventative measures critical to well-being. Members of the Sexual Health Youth Advocacy Coalition, including alumni from foster care and state child welfare agency staff, will share tips on policy and practice reform.
Presenters: Currey Cook and Cathren Cohen, Lambda Legal, New York, NY; and Arpita Appannagari, Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York, NY
B8 – Federal Policy Impacting Youth and Young Adults
How we help youth in child welfare, juvenle justice, and other systems will be addresssed in many different areas in the 116th Congress. This session will include a discussion with key Capitol Hill staff and advocates on some of the proposed legislation and policy debates in this area. A critical factor to the success of the Family First Prevention Services Act will be dependent on some of these policy choices and decisions.
Presenters: Shaquita Ogletree, CWLA, Washington, DC; and Capitol Hill Staff, TBA
Wednesday, April 10
Learning Lab Sessions C
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
C1 – Safe at Home West Virginia: Using Data and Evaluation to Strengthen Program Practices in Preparation for Family First
Safe at Home West Virginia is a high fidelity wraparound model that was implemented to help youth ages 12-17 with mental health issues who were placed in out-of-state congregate care return back to the state, and help those placed in-state to enter lower levels of care. The success of Safe at Home has expanded the focus to include youth at risk of entering congregate care. West Virginia is using the results of the ongoing evaluation to determine how best to expand and sustain this promising practice and contribute to the growing body of work to establish the wraparound model as a well-supported practice.
Presenters: Amy Lawson-Booth, West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families, Charleston, WV; and Sara Ryan, Public Consulting Group, Inc., Troy, NY
C2 – Cultural Identity for Youth in Foster Care: Its Impact on Well-Being and Best Practices
This workshop will discuss the importance of cultural identity for children in foster care, highlighting the preliminary findings of the first cultural identity and access survey of youth in foster care who are non-native. Presenters will cover how the Indian Child Welfare Act and “active efforts” can foster cultural identity and resilience. They will also share real-life cultural access stories and data affecting youth in foster care. Attendees will learn about research and best practices regarding the importance of respecting and nurturing cultural identity for emotional well-being, creating a healthy environment, and promoting placement stability.
Presenters: Ariella Stafanson, California CASA and Harder + Company Community Research, Oakland, CA; Crys O’Grady, Foster Care Alumni of America, Oakland, CA; and Lily Colby, California Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, Oakland, CA
C3 – The Joys, Fears, and Tears of Replicating an Evidence-Informed Program
Learn from the Ohio experience of implementing and scaling an evidence-informed program, 30 Days to Family®. Regardless of which Family First Act evidence-informed program your agency is launching, there are rich lessons to learn from the Ohio experience, such as avoiding costly mistakes, overcoming systemic hurdles, and maintaining model fidelity. Presenters will share detailed information about the 30 Days to Family® program, which is proven to increase placement stability, result in faster reunification/permanency, and save at least $10,000 per child served.
Presenters: Mike Kenney, Kinnect (transforming from Waiting Child Fund), Cleveland, OH; and Ian Forber Pratt, Children’s Emergency Relief International, New Delhi, India
C4 – Kinship Navigators 2.0: Enhancing Kinship Navigator Programs to Meet the Requirements of Family First
A feature of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is the opportunity for states to pursue a 50% match for funds spent on Kinship Navigator Programs that meet specific requirements. Due to the limited evidence base, nearly all states face a challenge pursuing this match. In FY2018, $20 million was allocated for all states and tribes operating a Title IV-E program to develop, enhance, or build evidence for kinship navigator programs. This session will explore how a nonprofit partnered with its state agency to meet the opportunity for kinship programs offered under FFPSA and to ensure that all kinship families in the state had access to comprehensive services.
Presenters: Ali Caliendo, Foster Kinship, North Las Vegas, NV; Bob Ruble, OC Kinship & Support, Buena Park, CA; and Mark Preston, Mark Preston Consulting, LLC
C5 – Creating Permanent Family Connections with Youth Formerly in Foster Care
The landmark Family First Prevention Services Act emphasizes the importance of prevention services and permanency. Often, permanency is not perceived as a possibility for older youth in foster care. In this session, two youth formerly in foster care will share how YVLifeSet helped them reunite with biological family members and create supportive bonds that remain long after their program involvement and after they exit foster care. Many young people are returning to biological relatives after emancipation even when legal permanency was never achieved. Presenters will share how their agency has partnered with other public and private agencies to help young people establish safe and healthy permanent relationships.
Presenters: Jessica Foster, Youth Villages, Memphis, TN
C6 – The Blind Spot in Child Welfare
The “Blind Spot in Child Welfare” is the space between when a female becomes pregnant and is carrying to term and when the child is born: the prenatal period. The prenatal period is a missed opportunity to connect with women and girls who may not be ready to parent. A missed opportunity to have conversations around barriers to healthy parenting. A “blind spot” that must be addressed to strengthen families for prevention of children coming into foster care. This workshop demonstrates how the best practice, Unique Families Program, proactively supports families and improves the safety and well-being outcomes of children.
Presenters: The Honorable Mary Landrieu, Louisiana; Rebecca Vahle, Family to Family Support Network, Centennial, CO; and Dixie Weber, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, ID
C7 – The Trauma of Trauma Work: Understanding the Impact of Trauma on the Helping Professional
Helping professionals working with families and children in the public/private child welfare system are exposed daily to trauma. Repeated exposure to trauma can impact individuals both personally and professionally. This workshop will examine the nature of trauma, counter-trauma, factors contributing to resiliency, and strategies for creating an organizational trauma-focused culture of safety. Participants will be encouraged to recognize the impact of trauma on individuals, teams, and organizations.
Presenters: Rick Azzaro, Family Design Resources, Inc., Harrisburg, PA
C8 – Promoting First Relationships in Child Welfare: A Birth to Five Evidence-Based Home Visiting Program
Promoting First Relationships ® (PFR) is a brief home visiting intervention designed for caregivers with infants or toddlers. PFR uses video feedback as a method to help caregivers understand and reflect on their child’s social and emotional needs. PFR has been evaluated in three randomized clinical trials in child welfare. PFR increases observed parental sensitivity, increases parents’ child development knowledge, and improves stimulated cortisol and child emotional response to stressors as measured by respiratory sinus arrhythmia. PFR reduces foster care placements by 2.5 times and improves permanency outcomes for children already in foster care.
Presenters: Monica L. Oxford, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Thursday, April 11
Workshop Sessions D
9:00 am – 10:30 am
D1 – Collaboration for Behavioral Health Intervention for Families Receiving In-Home Services
Children who remain at home after a child welfare investigation have higher rates of behavioral problems compared to children in the general population. These children have increased risk for out-of-home placement and future maltreatment. Often, families experience difficulty assessing and engaging in mental health services that include the entire family. A task shifting approach was used to modify an Evidence-Based Practice (EBP; 4Rs2S) to be implemented and delivered in child welfare (CW) placement prevention services. CW staff and supervisors were trained in the behavioral modification model, then facilitated the intervention in a group setting.
Presenters: Rachael Maconachy, Rosalind Hill, and Carnitra D. White, Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, Annapolis, MD
D2 – Federal Policy That Can Enhance Post Adoption Services and Link to the Family First Prevention Services Act
In this session, we will look at 2019 opportunities in federal legislation that can advance post-adoption services and how that legislation will complement the Family First Prevention Services Act’s role in funding post-adoption services.
Presenters: Cortney Jones, Voice for Adoption, Washington, DC; and John Sciamanna, CWLA, Washington, DC
D3 – The Psychological Impact of Kinship Care on the Family System
The success of placements, safety plans, and treatment plans are highly dependent on the professional’s understanding of the complex dynamics of family systems and kinship scenarios. Professionals must understand at the core level the family’s fear response and dysregulation resultant from the genogram shifts and role movement that come from both children’s replacement and system intrusion. Without that understanding, success rates for relative placements are subject to more difficulties over time. This workshop is designed to walk the attendees through seeing the kin placement through the eyes of the family to learn about the real effects of home studies, room sharing with biological children, marital disruption, resource depletion, and myriad other effects on the family system. Using this new understanding, participants are then given tools and strategies that will help with understanding the viability of a relative placement. They will learn how to identify a family’s needs and how to respond to those needs in a way that is meaningful—and adds to the long-term well-being of both the family and the children.
Presenters: William Nunnally and John Van Horn, Heartland For Children, Bartow, FL
D4 – Helping Parents Heal Relationships with Their Kids: The Connect Parent Program
The Connect Parent Program is an evidence-based practice (EBP) built on attachment and trauma principles to help support parents to strengthen, repair, and rebuild relationships with their children ages 8-18. This manualized, 10-week group program uses principles, role plays, and reflective activities to help parents understand what might be under their teen’s challenging behaviors. Research findings consistently demonstrate significantly decreased parental strain, increased parental satisfaction, and decreased youth conduct problems. The program can be used with birth parents/kin to prevent placements or stabilize reunification, and with foster parents during placement. While this model has been widely disseminated in other countries, it is newly implemented in 10 sites across the United States.
Presenters: Vicky Kelly, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Millsboro, DE; and Evette Jackson, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD
D5 – Permanency RoadMap: How We Found Our Way Home
The District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has developed an interactive “Roadmap to Permanency” that maps the route a family takes through the child welfare agency—it links to forms and information to support social workers at the various decision-making points in the life of a case. This is part of the permanency strategy CFSA has implemented as part of the “drive to permanency” for children and families from the day a child enters care. Other steps include case planning meetings within 12-15 days with family and SME ( Mental Health, Domestic Violence, etc.) at the table, use of birth parent peers to provide an introduction and navigation through the system, and presence of kinship staff for the first 30 days of any case. CFSA is one of very few in the nation whose foster care numbers have been in decline for over five years and continue to do so. This workshop will review barriers, demonstrate the roadmap, and share lessons learned.
Presenters: Heather D. Stowe and Wendy Jacobson, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC
D6 – A Collaborative Approach to Plans of Safe Care for Infants with Prenatal Substance Exposure and their Parents and Families: Policy and Practice Implications and Lessons
This session will present policy considerations and practice strategies for implementing a collaborative and comprehensive approach that strengthens families, prevents infants from coming into care, and improves services for pregnant and parenting women and their families. Using state strategies and lessons from five states engaged with the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare’s In-Depth Technical Assistance program, participants will identify effective collaborative practices to improve outcomes for infants with prenatal substance exposure and their families. Presenters from Kentucky’s state child welfare and behavioral health offices will present their collaborative approach to developing and implementing Plans of Safe Care.
Presenters: Maggie Schroeder, Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Frankfort, KY; and Amanda LaTulippe Gehring, Kentucky Department for Community Based Services, Frankfort, KY
D7 – Reshaping How Residential Treatment Services Can Be Delivered Using Agile Implementation Processes
The newly enacted Family First Prevention Services Act has created requirements for residential/group care services that will require many agencies to enhance or restructure their service delivery models to be more trauma-informed, accredited, assessment-driven, and very time-limited. This workshop will help participants assess their programs, policies, and culture through an implementation science lens and learn how to approach reshaping their service delivery models to meet these new expectations in a family-centered way. Using research-based frameworks, RTC contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes will be explored at the system, organization, and individual practitioner levels.
Presenters: Leslie Rozeff, Deloitte, Baltimore, MD; and Melinda Baldwin, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children & Families, Washington, DC
D8 – Disruptions: Preventions and Interventions for Kinship and Foster Families
When children are separated from their parents to live with relatives or join foster families, it is expected that there will be no more loss and trauma because of disruptions. Research evidences that there are stages to disruptions and strategies for prevention and intervention. This workshop demonstrates practices, clarifies policies, and emphasizes how “minimizing trauma and maximizing teamwork” can and should be a central tenet to a foster care and kinship care model of practice.
Presenters: Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Long Beach, CA; Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT; and Eshele Williams, CWLA, Altadena, CA
D9 – Building a Sustainable Solution: Creating Systems of Care in Rural South Dakota to End Child Maltreatment and to Foster Resilient Families
South Dakota is facing the detrimental outcomes of adverse childhood experiences. In unprecedented collaboration, with the support of the state Legislature, the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment was created to lead South Dakota’s workforce through a 10-year strategic plan designed to combat child sexual abuse and maltreatment, to build resilient families, and to create trauma-informed communities. Learn how agency partners are overcoming roadblocks caused by the rural nature of the state, minimal funding for prevention services, and a historically siloed workforce to create innovative solutions to end sexual violence and maltreatment against South Dakota’s children.
Presenters: Carrie Sanderson, Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment at the University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, SD; and Sharon Chontos, Sage Project Consultants, Vermillion, SD
D10 – When Motherhood and Addiction Collide: A Trauma C.A.R.E. Model
Lack of attention to treating the traumatic experiences of parents and children who are involved in child welfare is a major service gap in the child welfare system. This gap is particularly evident in substance abuse settings where clinicians are often ill equipped to treat both the substance use disorder and the underlying trauma simultaneously. Presenters will share how implementing the agency’s Trauma C.A.R.E. model in their residential program has provided effective long-term treatment where mothers are treated for both trauma and substance use disorders, children are reunified in a trauma-informed manner, and together they participate in dyadic treatment designed to strengthen and/or repair attachment bonds.
Presenters: Debra Ruisard, The Center for Great Expectations, Somerset, NJ
D11 – CWLA National Blueprint Network: A Road Map for Success
As states, counties, cities, and providers have been readying for the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), CWLA has embarked on a new initiative that we hope will put in place much of what is needed for agencies and communities to support the success of FFPSA implementation. In order to be successful, public agencies will need to have their community at the table with them. To that end, CWLA is working with six member agencies and their community collaborators to test and refine tools for implementing the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare and achieving its vision “that all children will grow up safely, in loving families, with everything they need to flourish–and with connections to their culture, ethnicity, race and language.” The National Blueprint is an excellent tool to help broaden the thinking of communities, individuals, and groups, including public and private organizations within and outside of the child welfare system, and to help them understand how their roles and responsibilities fit into the overall strategy to improve outcomes for children and youth.
The diverse group of pilot sites reflects the wide array of stakeholders to whom the National Blueprint applies. The sites are helping identify new tools and resources needed, and helping to create them. Come hear from these leaders about how implementing the National Blueprint with their own agency and with their community collaborators is making a difference and helping them put in place the infrastructure and practices consistent with FFPSA. Attendees will hear from a cross section representation of the pilot sites: community prevention related agencies, county-level public and private agencies, a multi-service child welfare agency, and a managed care organization.
Presenters: Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC; and TBD
Thursday, April 11
Public Sector-Focused Workshops E
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
E1 – Comprehensive Assessment and Planning to Implement Family First Prevention Services Act
This workshop provides jurisdictions with a macro-level strategy and resources for (a) conducting a structured assessment of their child welfare system related to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and (b) developing an implementation plan related to the FFPSA. The workshop will provide one jurisdiction’s experience embarking on this strategy and offer a guided opportunity for participants to discuss how they can leverage each provision of Family First in their child welfare system and associated service array to promote effective implementation and provide a blueprint for system transformation.
Presenters: Clare Anderson and Miranda Lynch, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and Rebecca Jones Gaston, Social Services Administration, Maryland Department of Human Services, Baltimore, MD
E2 – Can Cognitive Computing and AI Harness Protective Factors to Improve the Impact of Child Welfare Services?
Outcomes in child welfare have changed little over time and would benefit from innovations to complement traditional risk-based case practices. Incorporating protective factors and related services in service delivery have the potential to make a positive impact on the safety and well-being of children and the stability of families. Learn how cognitive computing and artificial intelligence can surface protective factors and provide insights to caseworkers to suggest interventions that leverage data-driven, evidence-based best practices so that human services organizations can rethink their operating models to change the way they deliver services.
Presenters: Kathy Park, National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), Madison, WI; Karen Rewalt, IBM Watson Health, Herndon, VA; and Walt Sedlazek, IBM Watson Health, Leesburg, VA
E3 – Stories, Systems, and Strategies: An Innovative Model to Improve Health Care Services for Children in a Child Welfare Agency
This session will focus on an in-depth description of an innovative model for provision of high-quality health care services to children in the care and custody of a state child welfare agency. This model has led to improved compliance statistics, assured excellent ongoing care coordination, facilitated stability of placements, and supported children and families in their homes.
Presenters: Linda Sagor and Jessica Coolidge, Massachusetts Department of Chidren and Families, Boston, MA; and Audrey Smolkin, Commonwealth Medicine and Department of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School, North Worcester, MA
Thursday, April 11
Public Sector-Focused Workshops F
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
F1 – From Research to Practice: Casework Decision-Making at the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
Organizations thoughtfully consider which programs and services to implement to serve children and families. However, if these programs and services are not carried out with fidelity, agencies can fall short of their goals to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and NCCD Children’s Research Center are conducting a fidelity review of a decision-support system in Los Angeles County. Presenters from both organizations will share the review process, lessons learned during the review, and findings to improve decision-making at key case practice points to better serve children and families.
Presenters: Philip Decter and Sierra Fischer, NCCD Children’s Research Center, Madison, WI; and Diane Iglesias, Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles, CA
F2 – Hands Across the District: Leveraging Local Partnerships to Build a Prevention Safety Net
The District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) is in the process of transitioning out of its Title IV-E Demonstration Project and into a preventive services model that maximizes positive outcomes under the Family First Prevention Services Act. This transition is larger in scope than a mere adjustment of funding mechanisms: it is a wholesale refocusing of energy and efforts at keeping children out of the child welfare system. The transition into Family First programming requires thoughtful construction of a comprehensive prevention system: a safety net. It requires the understanding and commitment of stakeholders from other client serving systems, the legal community, and community-based partners on the front lines of service delivery. CFSA has assembled a District-wide Family First Work Group to guide planning and strategic activities of the entire human services system. This session highlights the importance of public/private partnerships in creating an integrated prevention system. Participants will gain insight into the process and strategies for assessing community needs and identifying service gaps, and discuss how to work with community partners to develop services and support systems for families.
Presenters: Brenda Donald and Robert Matthews, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC
F3 – Partnering to Keep Kids Home: What Family Treatment Courts Need to Know and What they Can Do to Serve Children In-Home with their Families
This session will review the In-Home and Pre-File Family Treatment Court (FTC) model and highlight how implementing jurisdictions are able to prevent placement in out-of-home care by offering an array of services among treatment court partners to address substance abuse disorders and strengthen parenting capacity. An FTC will share their model of early intervention and provide key lessons and concrete implementation strategies. Presenters will also highlight recent key policy and legislative achievements which demonstrate the increasing commitment to keeping kids at home and how FTCs can be a part of leading larger systems change.
Presenters: Phil Breitenbucher and Alexis Balkey, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA
Friday, April 12
Learning Lab Sessions G
8:00 am – 9:00 am
G1 – Child Care and Child Welfare: A Year-Two Report on Innovative Service Collaboration
Child care and child welfare systems both are concerned about the safety and well-being of young children. A Los Angeles collaboration between systems has grown into a state-wide, state-funded program. The collaboration for providing child care services to young children placed in foster care, foster parents, and kinship providers, and for teaching trauma-informed care to child care providers, has been taken to scale. Child Care Resource Center, Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles, University of Southern California, and the Department of Children and Family Services will present two-year results from the pilot, and the challenges and benefits of expansion county- and state-wide.
Presenters: Ellen Cervantes and Susan Savage, Child Care Resource Center, Chatsworth, CA; Jacquelyn McCroskey, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Los Angeles, CA; and Cristina Alvarado, Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles, CA
G2 – Culture, Family, and Community: An Indigenous Approach to Keeping Our Children Safe
Over 25 years, the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Service Society has developed a unique approach to keeping indigenous children safe within their families, communities, and cultures. “Restorative child welfare” is grounded in indigenous worldviews, addresses the impacts of colonization, and incorporates indigenous practices and teachings into child protection case management. Presenters will share stories of success, focusing on family preservation, reunification and placement within kinship networks. They will also show how strengthening connectedness across the 4 dimensions of relational, cultural, physical and legal permanency shortens and/or enriches a child’s time in care, and ask what can be learnt from this Canadian urban experience for application under Family First.
Presenters: Carolyn Oliver and Claudia Liddle, Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Service Society, Vancouver, Canada
G3 – Evaluation and CQI Are Good Bedfellows: It’s Just Finding the Right Sleep Number
Agencies can integrate evaluation and continuous quality improvement (CQI) to support the evidence building requirements of Family First. Favorite programs must become demonstrated evidence-supported programs through evaluation. Agencies that do CQI well can do evaluation well—with some culture shift. This session will offer guidance on how to build a structure that includes evaluation as a part of this developmental process. Presenters will identify steps to consider during implementation of CQI that will prepare the agency for evaluation, and will identify readiness factors for when it’s time to evaluate and to be co-partner in an evaluation.
Presenters: George Gabel, Westat, Rockville, MD
G4 – Family Centered Treatment: Large-Scale Implementation for Sustainable Outcomes
Effective implementation of innovative and viable treatment approaches for families in crisis and youth at risk can be a challenging venture. Developing researched processes and data-driven implementation systems is key to ensure that known evidence-based models are adhered to with fidelity upon application to their intended target populations. This session will look at methods of implementation and the clinical presentation of an evidence-based in-home family therapy model for youth at risk and their families. The model for review will be Family Centered Treatment® (FCT). FCT was developed as a treatment approach for use in the provision of intensive in-home services. FCT origins derive from practitioners’ efforts to find simple common sense solutions for families faced with forced removal of their children from the home or dissolution of the family functioning due to external/internal stressors and circumstances.
Presenters: Tim Wood, Family Centered Treatment Foundation, Charlotte, NC; and John Sullivan, Family Centered Treatment Foundation, Great Falls, VA
G5 – Beyond Kinship Navigation: How to Support the Kinship Family After the Crisis
The current focus on Kinship Navigation as part of the Family First Prevention Services Act has shed new light on how to best support kinship families affected by the current drug epidemic. In addition to kinship navigation, what ongoing support do we offer families when the parents are not able to parent for long periods of time? Through ongoing support services in addition to kinship navigation, a Grandfamilies program can provide comprehensive support to kinship families to develop family attachment and bonding, and strengthen families to decrease substance abuse and mental health concerns in the second generation.
Presenters: Bacall Hincks, Children’s Service Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
G6 – Improving Services to Families with Multiple Vulnerabilities: Programmatic and Pollicy Considerations
This workshop examines the needs of families with multiple vulnerabilities and service-delivery strategies that hold promise for improving the well-being of these families, reducing risk for maltreatment, and improving children’s outcomes. Family engagement and retention, worker-family relationships, cultural responsiveness, and other components of promising strategies will be examined, as well as lessons to be learned from evidence from promising programs such as Early Head Start and Child First. Strategies for strengthening existing programs, partnering with other service providers, and advocating for the resources necessary for this transformation will be examined and discussed.
Presenters: Lenette Azzi-Lessing, Boston University, Boston, MA
G7 – A Candid Conversation: The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Well-Being of Youth in Foster Care
The health and well-being of youth in foster care, including those who are pregnant and/or parenting, must not exclude their sexual and reproductive health and well-being. Presenters invites you to join them for a candid conversation about data that support integrating programs, services, and resources that address the needs of these youth. Attendees will learn about Power Through Choices, the only evidence-based and trauma-informed adolescent pregnancy prevention curriculum developed specifically with and for youth in out-of-home placements. This not-to-be-missed session is sure to spark further action to improve the lives of young people.
Presenters: Deborah Chilcoat, Healthy Teen Network, Baltimore, MD
G8 – What Do We Mean When We Talk About Risk? Ethical Analytics: Balancing Equity and Accuracy in Risk Assessment Use and Development
Netflix leverages data to answer: “Which show would an individual watch?” Social service agencies ask: “Which individuals will reenter the system?” Are these questions inherently different? What is the impact of an incorrect answer? What are the ethical considerations? Join presenters for a discussion and exercise regarding ethical analytics and how to develop accurate risk assessments while balancing equity and accuracy.
Presenters: Sierra Fischer and Philip Decter, NCCD Children’s Research Center, Madison, WI
G9 – Creating a Neurodevelopmental Ecological Screening Tool for Young Children in Low-Resourced Settings: Bridging the Gaps in Community-Based Child Assessment
NEST (Neurodevelopmental Ecological Screening Tool) is an easy-to-use, online screening tool developed on a nationwide sample of children ages 3-5 who are experiencing poverty and homelessness. NEST encourages partnership and dialogue between providers and caregivers, identifies a child’s developmental risk across multiple domains, and provides actionable recommendations to support resilience. NEST reflects an ecological view of child development, assessing constructs such as self-regulation and executive functions, caregiver well-being, and adverse childhood experiences. Join presenters to learn what thier research reveals about risk/protective factors in a diverse sample, and how integrating NEST into child welfare can support healthy developmental trajectories.
Presenters: Katie Volk, Center for Social Innovation, Needham, MA; and Carmela J. DeCandia, Artemis Associates, Watertown, MA;
G10 – An Evidence-Informed Response to Secondary Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare Settings
This interactive session will present research on predictors of secondary traumatic stress in child welfare workers to aid in identifying individuals at risk, and present an evidence-informed tool to determine the degree to which the agency is secondary trauma-informed and responsive. This tool, the Secondary Traumatic Stress Informed-Organizational Assessment (STSI-OA), can be used to create a blueprint for change and to monitor progress over time. Participants will receive a copy of the tool and utilize it to create a secondary trauma response action plan.
Presenters: Ginny Sprang, University of Kentucky Center on Trauma and Children, Lexington, KY
G11 – Trust Based Relational Intervention®: A Community Approach
Childhood trauma can have lifelong effects—neurological, biological, cognitive, behavioral, and relational. A trauma-informed community approach to children with traumatic histories is the focus of the Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County’s TBRI® Pilot Project. Presenters will share how, as a project participant, they were tasked with creating practical and meaningful ways for service providers to join with children and families to promote health across a child’s lifetime. The agency’s TBRI® Pilot Project Implementation Plan focuses on recognizing a child’s history of trauma and nurturing healthy connections; improving cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning of the child; and enhancing the skills of parents and other caregivers.
Presenters: Jamie Diaz and Shana Hazzard, Lena Pope, Fort Worth, TX
Friday, April 12
Workshop Sessions H
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
H1 – Working with Birth Families: Making a Working Family
This workshop will help foster parents and caseworkers identify ways to develop strong working relationships with birth parents. Perception plays a vital role within the relationship between foster parent, caseworkers, and birth parents. How each person perceives each other will have a powerful impact on how well the relationship is established. If we can change and adjust perceptions of one another, it will increase the ability of the relationship to have more positive outcomes.
Presenters: Stan Waddell, Envolve, Wolfforth, TX; and Kimberly Purinton, Envolve, Sunrise, FL
H2 – System Performance Measures and Scorecard Evaluation for Preventive Services
This session will share with attendees how to use system performance measures as a way to evaluate the implementation of Evidence-Based Programs (EBPs) in response to the adoption of the Family First Prevention Services Act. The major questions attendees will be able to answer include: (1) How do you know the programs and services that you are providing are achieving the desired outcomes and conducting the desired activities that lead to these outcomes? ; and (2) How do you know how service providers are performing in relation to each other?
Presenters: Brian Clapier, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and Christina DeNard, Jane Addams College of Social Work, Chicago, IL
H3 – Foster Parent Training as an Advocacy Strategy to Support Family Reunification
Training foster parents has long been recognized as an essential component of teamwork, partnership, and retention. CWLA created the first national foster parent training program, Parenting Plus, over 50 years ago. Since then, it has been documented that an essential skill foster parents must have, in addition to parenting children who have experienced trauma and loss, is to support the relationship between children in their care and their birth parents. Previously known as “visitation” and now as “family time,” contact between children and their birth parents is essential for reunification, however skills to support family time is a decades-old challenge. Please join colleagues who will demonstrate the essential link between foster parent training and discuss implications for the Family First Act with an emphasis on advocacy as a training objective.
Presenters: Irene Clements, NFPA, Pflugerville, TX; Denise Gibson, Children’s Alliance of Kansas, Topeka, KS; Gwen Bass, Foster Care Researcher; and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Long Beach, CA
H4 – Housing and Services Partnerships to Strengthen Families: Overview and Evaluation of ACYF’s Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Demonstration
The intersections between child welfare involvement, housing instability, and homelessness is well documented for both families and young adults. When the housing and child welfare systems collaborate and leverage resources, they have the potential to prevent out-of-home placement and shorten time to family reunification, increase access to services that can help stabilize housing and help people to exit homelessness, and strengthen family connections. Utilizing a unique approach and collaborative service structure, supportive housing helps keep families safely together. This workshop will share evaluation findings from ACYF Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System.
Presenters: Leah Lindstrom Rhea, CSH, Minneapolis, MN; and Andrew Johnson, CSH, San Diego, CA
H5 – Post-Release Services for Separated Families Exiting Immigration Detention
The mid-2018 zero-tolerance immigration policy caused the forcible separation and detention of over 2,300 children and their families, who were then ineligible for any existing child welfare or family-strengthening services post-release. Presenters will share how their agency used its comprehensive case management and child welfare expertise to develop the Family Reunification Support Program (FRSP), which provides welcome and reception services and 90 days of integrative post-release services to reunified families. Attendees of this session will discuss the issue of family separation and the unique needs of children and families exiting detention, and receive insight into the development, implementation, and monitoring of the FRSP.
Presenters: Samantha Williams, Basel Mousslly, and Carolina Todo Bom, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Baltimore, MD
H6 – How to Remain Relevant: A Blueprint for Service Adaptation and Innovation
Over the past 15 years, many changes have occurred within the child-serving industry: managed care, privatization, long-term redesign, and the need for service organizations to respond to an ever-changing child and family population. Central to all of these changes is the recognition that service organizations must transform themselves into multi-service organizations that can service complex populations. Complex populations include children, youth, and parents that present multiple challenges, including not only traditional child welfare considerations but also serious mental and physical health challenges. These demands require successful organizations to align their services to meet very complicated case profiles. This session will provide participants with a blueprint on how to identify, evaluate, and re-align services to be competitive in the changing business environment.
Presenters: William E. Reay and Alexandria Kosiski, Omni Inventive Care, Omaha, NE
H7 – Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures Among Children and their Families in the Child Welfare System: Preliminary Results from a Multi-Site Study
Prenatal exposure to alcohol and other drugs can have detrimental lifelong effects. Evidence indicates children with such exposures in the welfare system often are not identified or are misdiagnosed. This workshop reviews: (1) evidence-based literature regarding children in the child welfare system with prenatal exposure to alcohol and other drugs, including opioids; (2) preliminary findings from a multi-site study examining policies and practices related to children prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs and their families within the child welfare system; and (3) promising identification procedures and screening tools that can assist with identifying affected children.
Presenters: Erin Ingoldsby, James Bell Associates, Arlington, VA; Doug Waite, The Keith Haring Clinic at Children’s Village, Echo Hills, NY; Sharon Newburg-Rinn, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, Washington, DC; Jacquelyn Bertrand & Heather McCann, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; and Christine Leicht, ICF – Capacity Building Center for States and Child Welfare Information Gateway, Fairfax, VA
H8 – Shifting your Residential Practices to Become a Quality Residential Treatment Program (QRTP): Important Lessons from the Building Bridges Initiative
The requirements of the new Quality Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) services—for which the Family First Prevention Services Act allows Title IV-E reimbursement—call for current providers of residential interventions to shift the way they work with the youth and families they serve. The extensive work of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) over the past 13+ years has helped to identify residential practices that align with the research on improving youth and family outcomes post-residential discharge. Many of these BBI practices are reflected in and support the meaningful implementation of the QRTP requirements. For instance, one of the key drivers for shifting and providing quality residential interventions is the engagement and involvement of youth and families. This session will provide attendees with an overview of the BBI framework and best practices that are consistent with QRTP requirements and/or necessary for implementation of these requirements. Attendees will learn about strategies used by a provider that has transformed their programs along these best practices for working with youth and their families. Attendees will also hear from a youth advocate and family partner on successful ways to engage and work with families so that the intent of QRTPs can be realized. The focus of the session will be on providing attendees with practical strategies they can use when they go back to their agencies and communities to successfully prepare for and operate QRTPs.
Presenters: Julie Collins, CWLA and BBI Consultant/Family First Lead, Washington, DC; and TBD
H9 – Rethinking Family Recovery: Lessons from the Prevention and Family Recovery Program
This workshop will explore family readiness as a collaborative practice issue by raising the need for coordinated case plans and effective communication protocols across child welfare, substance use treatment, and court systems. The session will explore program designs across grantee sites, including the timing and phasing of reunification, family maintenance supervision, and case termination. Presenters will highlight nine lessons from the Prevention and Family Recovery Initiative and feature a site example and presentation from the Tompkins, New York site. Participants will learn successful key concepts and practical strategies to implement these lessons in their jurisdiction.
Presenters: Phil Breitenbucher and Alexis Balkey, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA
H10 – Engaging Youth in Child Welfare Policy Advocacy: Successes and Challenges of a Multi- State Youth Advisory Board
State and federal legislation reflect a recognition of the need to incorporate youth voice in decision-making as a mechanism to enhance child welfare policy and practice. However, there is limited research focused on promising practices in the context of child welfare. Participants in this session will learn about the successes and challenges of youth engagement in the New England Youth Coalition—a group of foster youth and adult supporters from across Region I, New England—who advise the commissioners and directors of those states. Participants will also learn key elements of meaningfully engaging youth in child welfare policy advocacy.
Presenters: Astraea Augsberger and Linda Sprague Martinez, Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA; Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky, New England Association of Commissioners and Directors, New England Youth Coalition, and Massachusetts Network of Foster Care Alumni, Boston, MA; and Julie Springwater, Boston University School of Social Work and New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors, Boston, MA
Thursday, April 11
7:30 – 8:30 am; 12:15 – 1:15 pm; and 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Conference posters will be on display throughout the day on Thursday, April 11. There will be several opportunities for presenters to share information with attendees and answer questions.
FIND: Identifying and Coordinating Natural Support Networks for Vulnerable Children and Families
FIND is a program designed to identify and collaborate natural supports for vulnerable children and families. FIND supports the five domains of well-being; fulfills multiple state statutes concerning due diligence; and provides a transcendent resource for vulnerable children, families, and for those in the helping profession. This presentation will provide a general overview of the FIND program, showcase outcomes of its implementation, and will inform and empower participants to utilize the FIND program to effectively implement criteria and meet the mandates of the Family First Act.
Presenters: Ashley Grant and Johan Mostert, COMPACT Family Services, Hot Springs, AR
Working with Fathers: Resources and Tips from the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
Find out more about the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, including lessons learned from fatherhood work in community-based settings, successful strategies that have worked to engage fathers in group and individual learning experience, promising practices to develop programs for fathers and families, and information and resources to use in work with fathers.
Presenters: Eugene Schneeberg, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, Fairfax, VA
Participatory Program Design: Bringing Family Voice into Agency Planning
There is a dearth of client-centered Domestic Violence (DV) interventions for the whole family in child welfare, including the Person Causing Harm (PCH). Moreover, there are few programs that work with the children and the PCH when it is safe to do so. To develop an innovative approach to working with families experiencing DV, the Administration for Children’s Services’ Division of Prevention Services conducted an extensive literature review, held interviews with 84 DV experts, and conducted focus groups with survivors and PCHs. This presentation will share this iterative approach to program development, which led to a novel intervention.
Presenters: Elizabeth Mota and Kailey Burger, New York City Administration for Children’s Services, New York, NY
Together Facing the Challenge: Urban Implementation Outcomes and Ongoing Supports
Together Facing the Challenge is an evidence-based training program for therapeutic foster parents. This presentation will describe longitudinal foster child and parent outcomes from an urban implementation of the training program, identify a model for coaching foster care case managers to enhance ongoing supports for therapeutic foster parents, present lessons learned from the coaching model implemented at a therapeutic foster care agency in a large urban community, and present updated program outcomes two years following model implementation.
Presenters: Richard Allen and Michael Moleski, Devereux, Philadelphia, PA
Implementing Evidence-Based Interventions for Urban Parents with Dual Child Welfare and Substance Abuse Concerns
A New York City-based regional partnership was formed to focus on ensuring strong and effective collaboration between child welfare and substance abuse providers. This presentation provides preliminary implementation data related to a multi-systems, community-based approach to evidence-based interventions consistent with the Family First Act. Implementation data related to the delivery of Seeking Safety (for comorbid trauma and substance use), Incredible Years (parenting skills training), and Contingency Management (to support engagement) will be provided, alongside recommendations for this intervention to be replicated in similar settings.
Presenters: Charu Sood, Scott Wetzler, and Anita Jose, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY; Jing Zhu, Metis Associates, New York, NY; and Jacqueline Martin, New York City Administration for Children’s Services; New York, NY
Improving Practice and Policy: Top-down Perspectives on Workforce Retention by Child Welfare Administrators
Amidst the changes associated with the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, child welfare worker retention remains a vital aspect of ensuring healthy and stable communities. Previous research focused on workforce retention largely includes feedback from the frontline worker and the supervisor/middle manager. Taking a top-down approach, this presentation explores the findings of a mixed-methods study designed to capture candid insight from a statewide sample of child welfare administrators. Findings reveal avenues for direct application, with respect to the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare and the Family First Prevention Services Act.
Presenters: Austin Griffiths and Angelique Horace, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
CWLA’s Outcome-based Workload and Caseload Standards
CWLA has embarked on a process to not only update its workload/caseload standards but to create a new framework for the calculation and management of them that is tied to outcomes for children, youth, and families. This process has been strongly influenced by administrators in public and private agencies. Concerned about the resilience of their organizations, the workforce, and the children and families they serve, they have asked for a more effective way of calculating what it actually takes to do the various components of the work, using best practices that lead to improved outcomes for children, youth, and families while meeting state and federal requirements. CWLA has sought ongoing input from the field as it has moved through the different phases of the initiative. More recently, CWLA held a meeting with a group of researchers from child welfare and other related fields to get feedback on the findings from the final CWLA 2018 report, Child Welfare Caseload and Workload: A Synthesis of the Evidence Base, Current Trends and Future Directions, and what else needs to be considered.
Come hear about the key findings from the October 2018 meeting with researchers and the framework for the new outcomes-based CWLA Workload and Caseload Standards, which will draw on the research evidence to improve outcomes for the children, youth, and families. Participants will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on the framework and identify issues that will need to be considered as CWLA and its National Advisory Committee work to finalize a draft for the field to use.
Presenters: Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC; and Vicky Kelly, CWLA Board of Directors, Millsboro, DE
What Will it Take to Make FFPSA Work for Your Agency? A Facilitated Dialogue
(For CWLA Members Only)
Tuesday, April 9, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Current and future leadership of public and private agencies, including management, staff, and board members of CWLA member agencies, are encouraged to attend. This special session will include presentations and discussions about the impact of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2018. The FFPSA funds and emphasizes prevention of children coming into care and family-based services when children do enter care. It also creates a new national standard for residential treatment intervention called the Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP). Implementation of the Act will require agencies to provide increased support for children and families to prevent children from entering foster care through the provision of mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, as well as in-home, skill-building services. The FFPSA makes some reforms to the federal child welfare financing streams, Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, to allow flexibility to provide these evidence-based and evidence-informed prevention and intervention services when a child is deemed to be a candidate for foster care. However, finance reform alone is insufficient.
Organizations will need to shift and deliver their services to align with the goals of the FFPSA, and success will require that agencies work in collaboration with organizations in other sectors. Come prepared to listen to your peers who were early advocates for the FFPSA, as well as from some of those who are in the first group to implement FFPSA. The session also will provide an opportunity for you to share your ideas about what’s needed to ensure that, with the type of system change required, we continue to provide a full array of services and supports to meet the needs of children and families.
This special session was organized by Donna C. Pressma, LCSW, President and CEO, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey and Jeremy C. Kohomban, PhD, President and CEO, The Children’s Village. It will include presentations from each of them as well as from Carl E. Ayers, Director, Division of Family Services, Virginia Department of Social Services and CWLA Board Member; John Sciamanna, Vice President, Public Policy, CWLA; and Julie Collins, MSW, LCSW, Vice President, Practice Excellence, CWLA.
Registration is required. CWLA members should register now for the Full Conference to participate in this special session.
Facilitated Conversation on the Ethical Challenges Impacting the Child Welfare Workforce
Wednesday, April 10, 8:30 am – 10:00 am
You are invited to join this facilitated conversation on the ethical challenges facing the child welfare workforce and their impact on personal, professional, and organizational dimensions. This session is set up to provide a safe and structured forum for interdisciplinary professionals to talk. During this conversation, a particular emphasis will be placed on the challenges of professional responsibility and professional ethics in a highly complicated, ever-evolving sociocultural and political environment. The practical components of the session will become platforms to host similar conversations—focusing on local issues—within the participant’s agency and unique community context.
The facilitated conversation seeks to foster mutual learning, enduring support, and team cohesion “in the here and now.” A systemic framework of collaboration, resilience, and wellness will be applied to counter escalating burnout, frustration, stress, anxiety, and anger that impact our clients, colleagues, and communities on a daily and very personal basis. Underlying the facilitated conversation is the belief that as helping organizations and professional staff enhance their capacity to rebound from immediate crisis and weather persistent stress, they also gain vital resources to deal more effectively with future challenges. Thus, in building organizational resilience among professionals, every learning moment is a preventive measure.
This session is designed for a smaller group, so please sign up early! Also, please note that the session is a companion to the Training Institute session Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress and Worker Wellness through Group Facilitation, taking place on Friday, April 12 from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm. Be sure to register for the Training Institutes (with a “Premium” Full Conference Registration) and plan to participate in both.
Session Facilitator: Michael J. Schultz, Ed.D.
Strengthening Families: Moving to a Global Perspective
Friday, April 12, 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Saturday, April 13, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
CWLA will feature short round table presentations at a special post conference session immediately following the CWLA 2019 National Conference. The theme of the special session is to explore how a global perspective can support the transition to more inclusive, family-centered models and service designs that are aligned with the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare as well as the goals of the Family First Prevention Services Act. The session will be an opportunity for U.S.-based child welfare researchers, practitioners, and advocates who have worked in countries outside of the United States to share (1) key findings from their work that could help support the transition to a more inclusive, family-centered system; and (2) their perspectives on the value of working globally. The approaches shared in the special session will inform the discussion about promising programs or practices that have been shown to be effective in their country of origin. We anticipate featuring: services that address poverty and unemployment along with material hardship; economic, employment, and occupational ladders and related anti-poverty supports for families struggling with poverty; and strategies that include parental leadership and multi-system engagement that can lead to a more collaborative, community-based child welfare system.
The special session is part of an ongoing movement to transition to family-strengthening and supportive child protection interventions and will be followed by a Global Conference on Child Protection in connection with the CWLA National Conference in 2020. The objective of this special session is to inspire a more global perspective in child protection and child welfare policies and programs in the United States.
Registration is required. Register now for either the “Premium” Full Conference or Training Institute Only to participate in this special session.
Effective Policies and Practices for Improving Outcomes of Children and Youth Who are LGBTQ:
Exploring Findings from the 2018 Child Welfare Special Issue
Saturday, April 13, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
This special session will provide the opportunity for participants to hear from national experts and researchers, and engage in discussion about the cutting-edge issues explored in the 2018 two-volume special issue of CWLA’s Child Welfare journal, “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression, and Child Welfare.” Guest Editors for the special issue are Jeffrey M. Poirier, PhD, of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jama Shelton, PhD, Hunter College, and the two volumes include articles by seasoned and emerging scholars in this field. Topics covered include data and evaluation, tools and system improvement, homelessness, and the intersection of sexual and gender identity with race and ethnic identity. The research in the special issue adds to the body of knowledge needed to develop the policies, practices, and programs for children and youth who are LGBTQ and affected by the child welfare system or who are experiencing other challenges. Key presenters include the guest editors, several authors featured in the special issue, and pioneer in the field Gerald P. Mallon, Child Welfare senior editor, who was one of the first researchers to focus on this population. This session will include presentations and an interactive conversation—all designed for attendees to better understand and discuss child welfare policy and practice issues. Child welfare administrators as well as policy-makers, front-line practitioners, researchers, and others who are working to improve outcomes for young people who are LGBTQ are encouraged to attend. Participants are also encouraged to read the special issue in advance of the convening. The two-volume set is available for purchase online in both print and digital format at Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression, and Child Welfare. CWLA members can access the special issue in digital format on the Members Only website.
This special session is being facilitated through a joint partnership between the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Westat. Through the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, lunch will be provided. Registration is required. Register now for either the “Premium” Full Conference or Training Institute Only to participate in this special session.
Friday, April 12 – 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Saturday, April 13 – 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
The two-day Training Institute offers an extended learning opportunity for conference attendees. Select the “Premium” Full Conference Registration to participate in an additional day and a half of exceptional educational offerings. Training Institute Only registration is also available.
FRIDAY, APRIL 12
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Achieving the Outcomes of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA): Child Welfare-Behavioral Health-Medicaid Collaboration for Successful FFPSA Implementation
With the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) including the funding of mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, and the Program Institutions of November 30th indicating that Title IV-E is the payer of last resort, it will be critical for child welfare, behavioral health, and Medicaid entities to collaborate together at the state, county, and city levels. But this is easier said than done. What should the child welfare entity be asking of their behavioral health and Medicaid partners? What do they already have in place that can be leveraged? Where do the Managed Care entities fit into this? What could they be doing to help child welfare successfully implement Family First? What is the difference between a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) and the new Quality Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) service? What would be the differences in the needs of the youth severed in these?
As state child welfare agencies and their other stakeholders try to get their arms around the requirements of FFPSA, these are some of the many questions they are struggling with. The public child welfare agency can’t implement FFPSA alone. They need their other key stakeholders at the table with them to answer these and many other questions. This session will focus on key strategies that can be used in the collaborative work that will need to take place. Suggestions for what the child welfare system should be asking of their key stakeholders will also be addressed. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with leaders from these systems, as well as managed care, and discuss and get input on the issues that they are struggling with as they/their state prepare for/begin implementing the requirements of FFPSA.
The effective implementation of the key components of FFPSA, especially the mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services and the QRTP, are issues that the CWLA Mental Health Advisory Board (MHAB) is concerned about and are helping CWLA take leadership in addressing this collaborative relationship. As part of their commitment, they have helped with putting together this training session, and representatives of the MHAB will be panel participants.
Presenters: Julie Collins, MSW, LCSW, CWLA; and TBD
Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress and Worker Wellness through Group Facilitation
It has become increasingly apparent that interdisciplinary professionals are confronted with escalating demands, shifting priorities, rapidly decreasing budgets, and intensive public scrutiny. These harsh realities leave many professionals feeling overwhelmed, under-supervised, and highly vulnerable to primary and secondary traumatic stress. This session explores the ways in which organizational consultation and group facilitation can be used as a springboard for transformative learning, enduring support, and greater team cohesion within and across helping systems.
There is burgeoning literature and growing interest with regard to “care for the caregiver,” and recognition that primary and secondary traumatic stress impacts interdisciplinary professionals on a daily and very personal basis. These occurrences are important backdrops in virtually all of the case examples to be discussed in this session. The case studies will be explored to illustrate typical problems and circumstances facing administrators, practitioners, and consultants in a wide range of interdisciplinary settings. Each case study utilizes a five-step approach to the assessment and intervention process.
Presenter: Michael J. Schultz, Ed.D.
Impact of COA Accreditation: Building Staff Morale & Strengthening Agency Practices
The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is a federal regulation that mandates accreditation for residential programs to qualify for Title IV-E funding as a qualified residential treatment provider. Increased oversight from funders, including accreditation mandates such as FFPSA, have the potential to make staff feel disconnected from the mission of an organization. Come learn how accreditation can serve as a catalyst for organization-wide change. This session will discuss facets of the accreditation process, particularly the site visit, with tips on how to maximize the experience to drive impactful practices within your organization. Participants will explore ways in which organizations have used games, blogs, themes, and other mechanisms to use accreditation as an opportunity to cultivate agency-wide change and leverage achievement of accreditation with the community and payers.
Presenter: Kerry Deas, LMSW, COA
Innovations in Kinship Navigation: Lessons Learned and Evaluation Findings for Guiding our Future Work
This session considers the models, lessons learned, and evaluation findings from four Children’s Bureau grantee demonstration projects on kinship navigation. Presenters will examine the essential components of a kinship navigator model and provide guidance on implementation for new and existing programs. Participants will explore case studies that can be used to customize a kinship navigator program based on the specific needs and cultural context of kinship families and communities. Presenters will also review technology solutions that assist kinship caregivers in obtaining needed information and referrals, as a critical innovation for improving access to services and decreasing kinship family needs. Participants will be offered lessons learned for replication and culturally responsive adaptations of a kinship navigator model.
This session will also share how programs utilize the Healthy Families Parenting Inventory (HFPI) with kinship caregivers to set goals, support strengths, and identify strategies for supporting protective factors. Presenters will discuss how aggregate HFPI results may be used by programs to augment program implementation to better meet caregiver needs. Presenters will discuss the benefits and challenges of these strategies, and ways programs may adapt these strategies to their services.
In the wake of recent Family First legislation, evaluation findings from these programs can offer a guide for our future work in the child welfare field, and our advancement of the principles and values captured in the CWLA National Blueprint, by exploring navigation strategies for maximizing the strengths and resilience of kinship families in the context of their local communities.
Presenters: Michelle Rosenthal, Ph.D., Data with Purpose, LLC; Kerry Littlewood, Ph.D., MSW, AAJ Research & Evaluation; Michele C. Schmidt, MPA, LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc.; and TBD
InstruMENtal—Recognizing the Importance of the Male Role in Child Welfare
This interactive session is designed to discuss the importance of males in child welfare. This includes birth fathers, foster and adoptive dads, male kinship caregivers, and male child welfare workers. Many members of the child welfare team report a sense of feeling overlooked and underutilized in case planning, decision-making, and collaboration. Participants are invited to come share their successes and challenges regarding father engagement and learn more about CWLA’s role out of a nationwide leadership group for networking, advocacy, and support for fathers and males in child welfare.
Presenter: Marcus Stallworth, LMSW, CWLA
Knowing and Growing the Family Tree: Reunification Strategies for Young People in Foster Care
Young people in care are disrespected through the label and practice of “aging out” as well as having “independent living” as a service goal. Loss and trauma also may be exacerbated when agency staff, foster parents, or child care staff do not actively help youth connect or reconnect safely with parents, siblings, and extended family. This session respects the lived experiences of young people and the families and staff who support them, focuses on policies and practices that replace “aging out” and “independent living” approaches, and demonstrates the value of essential connections for young people.
Presenters: Eileen Mayers Pasztor, DSW, CWLA; and Former Youth in Care, Foster Parents, and Agency Staff TBD
Let’s Get Real: Addressing Parent-Partnering Issues that Challenge Child Advocates
Based on the newly published companion workbook to Kathryn Brohl’s best-selling book, Working with Traumatized Children: A Handbook for Healing, Third Edition, the author will discuss the often unaddressed obstacles that prevent child welfare professionals from connecting with parents of children within the child welfare system of care. Ms. Brohl will invite trainees to actively participate as she guides them through some of her new workbook exercises, intended to prompt personal recognition and practice application in building parent relationships.
Presenter: Kathryn Brohl, MA, LMFT
Proven Effective Methods and Practices that Create Futures of Opportunity for Youth Involved in both Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems
A key aspect of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is the requirement to track and demonstrate that, as a result of the limitations on restrictions on Title IV-E foster care payments for child care institutions, states are not enacting policies that will result in increased numbers of youth in the juvenile justice system. The good news is that proven effective methods and practices exist that could potentially help state child welfare leaders have in place what is needed to monitor and serve youth who are already involved with or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. This dynamic and interactive session will feature two jurisdictions that have successfully transformed their multi-system practices for youth involved with both child welfare and juvenile justice, often referred to as “dual status youth.” Both jurisdictions have leveraged the extensive field-based training and technical assistance expertise of the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice and its reliance on evidence-based and research-informed approaches and practices for youth involved in both juvenile justice and child welfare systems. This seminal technical assistance framework memorialized in the original version of the Guidebook for Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare System Coordination and Integration: A Framework for Improved Outcomes, published in 2003 (now available in the 3rd edition, published in 2013), has been used in partnership with a diverse array of local jurisdictions in 26 states and will be shared during this session. This framework addresses the barriers (e.g., information sharing, workforce and treatment resource allocations, data collection and reporting that confirm efficacy and efficiency) that jurisdictions often experience while enhancing existing strengths that produce improved futures for this population of youth. Representatives from the two jurisdictions will highlight findings from the rigorous evaluations of their work which confirms the positive impact of these collaborative practices. A national renowned state leader will address the implications and relationship of the FFPSA and share how these successful approaches and practices can help other state agencies and jurisdictions to ensure there are no increases in the juvenile justice population.
Presenters: John A. Tuell, RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice; and TBD
SATURDAY, APRIL 13
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Parenting in a Digital World
This session will examine the impact of social media and technology on today’s society. Overexposure can influence youth’s perception of reality which can pose significant dangers to their overall safety and well-being. This is particularly true with individuals who have experienced trauma and significant losses. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss realistic, cost-effective strategies to reduce risks, and identify ways to educate foster/kinship parents, social workers, and other professionals with decision making abilities for our most vulnerable population. The session will also explore how to increase media literacy by educating and empowering adults and children how to use critical thinking skills and recognize the direct and unintended consequences associated with technology. The importance of legislative advocacy will also be discussed. The following objectives will be addressed: examine the pros and cons of technology; discuss the impact social media and technology can have on emotional well-being and behavior; explore how media’s auditory and visual messaging can misguide young people who often internalize messages as being real and plausible; discover how some apps and mobile devices limit parents’ ability to safely monitor their children’s online use; analyze how marketing and advertisement can influence self-perception, gender, and relationship expectations.
Presenter: Marcus Stallworth, LMSW, CWLA
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lessons Learned to Prepare for Successful CARF Accreditation
With the passing of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), providers who serve children and youth in child care institutions, group homes, residential programs or other congregate care settings who wish to continue providing similar services must meet new requirements and become a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) or meet one of three other designated specialized programs. For most, this has meant becoming familiar with the requirements to become a QRTP and its major condition, accreditation. Providers not currently accredited are now under short time constraints to become accredited. Preparation for the accreditation visit is often time consuming, anxiety producing, and confusing. This session will provide attendees specific details about the CARF accreditation process and the steps to prepare for a successful survey. Information presented will include preparing for a survey within limited timeframes and incorporate lessons learned from recent mandates. Attendees will have the benefit of hearing from an accredited program about “what really works best” and “what the surveyors really are like.” Additionally, they will have the opportunity to meet a surveyor and ask questions. The goal of the session is to have participants who choose CARF to become a QRTP realize that although the process may not be effortless, it is doable, and will add real value to their overall organization. Accreditation will bring improved service quality to their program, their staff, other stakeholders, and, most importantly, the children, youth, and families they serve.
Presenter: Leslie Ellis-Lang, CARF International Inc.
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Critical Role of Supervisors in Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress in the Child Welfare Workplace
Social workers work directly with children, youth, and families that have experienced trauma in their lives. As such, they are very likely to experience occupational stress. Studies have shown that up to 50% of child welfare workers are at high risk of secondary traumatic stress (STS). This workshop explores how social workers experience STS, risk factors, dynamics of symptoms such as burnout, organizational and environmental factors, and the role of supervision as a social worker support. Functions of supervision will be discussed from the perspective of addressing STS in the workplace.
Presenter: Charlene Ingram, MSW, CWLA
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Housing/Homelessness and Substance Use: Opportunities and Challenges to Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act
Working with families differently, including changing the role of housing, treatment, and cross-sector services, creates new opportunities for children, youth, and families to become safely and stably housed, and, from a place of “home,” engaging in a treatment and recovery journey—and tackling their complex challenges and higher-order needs with trauma-focused, family-centered, collaborative support for the entire family.
The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and other recent federal changes create opportunities to change the trajectory for children, youth and families involved in child welfare, including those experiencing housing instability and homelessness. This session will provide child welfare agencies, treatment and service providers, advocates, and policy-makers with an opportunity to explore these opportunities and potential challenges to keeping families safely together when faced with a substance use disorder and a lack of safe and stable housing. The provision of prevention and reunification services, when matched with housing resources, can help achieve positive outcomes for families across treatment, housing, and child and family domains. This session will highlight collaborative practice approaches between substance abuse treatment, child welfare, and other human service agencies and juvenile courts. National experts and state and local jurisdictions implementing supportive housing solutions benefiting this population will offer the framework and strategies to be considered, such as family-centered treatment, plans of safe care, services to support the parent-child relationship and family recovery, cross-system collaboration, two-generation approaches including treatment services for the whole family, and peer recovery supports. Presenters will facilitate peer learning, exploration of lessons learned, cross-disciplinary connection points, actionable strategies and supportive policy and FFPSA considerations.
Presenters: Andrew Johnson, CSH; Sid Gardner, Children and Family Futures; and TBD
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Models of Practice: Mandatory or Magical Thinking?
What would be the results if everyone in your agency was asked the following questions: What is your agency’s mission, program goals, and expected outcomes? What is your role in achieving those outcomes? Are you trained at your competency level? What is your role in relation to others who impact lives, and what is your agency’s image in the communities you serve? Would you obtain the same answers from direct service staff, foster parents and kinship caregivers, supervisors and managers, and even front office staff? CWLA’s Training Team has the privilege of working with public and private child welfare agencies across the country, and whether service plans focus on family reunification, adoption as an option, or assuring that young people leave agency custody connected to relationships that are safe, nurturing, and enduring, it is often recognized that there would not be congruent responses. Is your agency’s model of practice thriving or magical thinking? This session focuses on model of practice assessment, development, support, and retention for any services provider. The common denominator is children and families and sometimes staff, too, whose lives are impacted by loss and trauma.
Presenters: Eileen Mayers Pasztor, DSW, CWLA; and Model of Practice Agencies TBD
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Joint Commission Accreditation Experience
With specific and relevant accreditation requirements for child welfare agencies, The Joint Commission helps your organization serve children and families who are vulnerable by improving quality and safety as well as reducing risk across the culturally diverse populations you serve. Joint Commission standards focus on state-of-the-art performance improvement strategies that help organizations continuously improve the safety and quality of care, which can reduce the risk of error. In addition to helping you meet licensing and contract requirements and qualify as Quality Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) for the Family First Prevention Services Act, Joint Commission accreditation will: provide an external validation of quality; stimulate quality improvement efforts and adoption of leading practices; create continuity of processes across multiple sites or services; and reduce your risk profile and may lower liability insurance rates. In this session, you will learn everything you need to know about making an informed choice for behavioral health accreditation with The Joint Commission.
Presenter: Yvonne Rockwood, MBA/MHA, CPHQ, The Joint Commission