Thursday, March 26
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Learning Lab Sessions A
A1 – The Child’s Perspective on Child Welfare and Justice Systems
Child welfare and justice systems are intimidating, confusing, and overwhelming to many adults, but especially so for children, whose systems involvement may exacerbate their trauma and distress. This presentation will discuss the support and informational needs of children involved in the child welfare and justice systems, and how child welfare system practitioners can best meet these needs through provision of trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate court information and guidance, including through the use of interactive child witness support materials.
Presenters: Shashika Peeligama and C.J. Glackin, Center for Court Innovation, New York, NY
A2 – What About Dad?: Pursuing and Promoting Paternal, Sibling, and Relative Connections
Although the ancient proverb “it takes a village” has been widely accepted across cultures, it has only been codified in the child welfare laws of the U.S. fairly recently. Fathers especially play an important role, yet they often are overlooked or misunderstood in a child welfare case. This session strives to educate the audience on the importance of early father and relative identification and engagement, as well as associated barriers. We will also present successful strategies employed in Pennsylvania, with new data to support our claims that these measures find and support relative resources.
Presenters: Ilene L. Dubin and Charity Brallier, Family Design Resources, Inc., Harrisburg, PA
A3 – Integrated Care Consulting as a Path to Permanency
Indiana has a unique service line that provides integrated care consultation to family case managers regarding cases that are experiencing behavioral, medical, or educational difficulty. The focus is to help build resiliency around these needs in order to improve permanency options, through reunification, adoption, or long-term guardianship. Often, a child’s living situation disrupts due to behavioral, educational, or medical issues. Presenters will share how this program helps prevent disruption and improves opportunity for successful permanency.
Presenters: Heidi Monroe and Leslie Miller, Indiana Department of Child Services, Indianapolis, IN
A4 – Making It Better: Creating and Sustaining a Vibrant Collaboration in Service to Youth who are LGBTQ
The Vermont Department for Children and Families has partnered with Outright Vermont, a youth-serving nonprofit agency, to better serve youth in the Vermont child welfare system who are LGBTQ through best practice discussions, consultation, service referrals, and support with legal and/or medical decision-making. Vermont is excited to share their vibrant and collaborative model with other states and child and family service agencies.
Presenters: Amanda Rohdenburg, Outright Vermont, Burlington, VT; Heather McLain and Lindsay Barron, Vermont Department for Children and Families, Family Services Division, Waterbury, VT
A5 – A Mental Health—Child Welfare Services Collaboration to Improve Behaviors and Placement Stability for Young Children in Foster Care
Young children in foster care are at high risk for mental health problems and placement instability. To address this issue, UC Davis Children’s Hospital, CAARE (Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation) Diagnostic and Treatment Center, is working with county Child Welfare Services to implement Parent-Child Care, a seven-session dyadic intervention for children who have or are at risk of developing externalizing problems, as a preventive service for all children aged 1-5 years in new foster placements. The presenters will share how, through this collaboration, they were able to provide services to children who may not have qualified for mental health treatment, and observed improvements in trauma symptoms, behaviors, relationships, and placement stability.
Presenters: Brandi Hawk and Susan Timmer, University of California-Davis CAARE Center, Sacramento, CA
A6 – Enhancing Child Welfare Client Service and Experience: From Principles to Process to Product, and Using Intersectional Data Analysis
While understanding the client experience is important from a customer satisfaction perspective, it is essential when mandated child welfare services intersect with clients from communities experiencing oppression, racism and trauma. Clients frequently relay difficult experiences when receiving Children’s Aid Society (CAS) services: too many departments, too many worker changes, too many people involved in their case. In late 2018, CAS Toronto began a process to answer two questions: How does organizational structure impact good client service? How can we change service structure in order to improve client/community experience? This session presentation will detail the process and challenges of aligning organizational structure to our service principles to achieve improved client experience. Additionally, presenters will demonstrate how intersectional analysis (i.e., using organizational, child, case, and placement variables) can provide critical insight into informing more effective organizational strategies in three key areas: reducing entry to care/unnecessary separation; decreasing long-term stays in care; and addressing disproportionality.
Presenters: Deborah Goodman, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Mahesh Prajapat, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON
A7 – Findings of the SAFE-CORE Study: Strategies for Serving Child Welfare Clients with Substance Use Disorders in Rural Communities
Rural communities have been at the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and families living in rural areas have endured the full brunt of its impact. This presentation will present results of a study focused on the challenges rural communities face in delivering services to families with substance use disorders who are involved with the child welfare system—and the service models that show promise in addressing these challenges. Findings are based on site visits and key informant interviews conducted in diverse rural communities across the nation. Researchers will present national findings; local program officials will describe their service arrays and how they have been adapted for rural communities.
Presenters: Laura Radel, U.S. DHHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation, Washington, DC; and Elizabeth Weigensberg, Mathematica, Chicago, IL
Thursday, March 26
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Learning Lab Sessions B
B1 – Strengthening Families by Engaging Youth, Parents, Families, and Communities: Results from the Child and Family Services Reviews
This presentation uses Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) data from 50 states and the District of Columbia to highlight evidence-informed challenges and solutions to promoting well-being through youth, parent, family, and community engagement. Data represent 4,067 cases of children involved with child welfare (2015–2018). The results indicate ways in which agencies can promote engagement through case planning, needs assessment and service provision, caseworker-parent visits, parent-child visitation, and caseworker-child visitation. They also indicate the importance of promoting positive relationships between children and their parent(s), as well as preserving children’s connections to their neighborhood, community, faith, extended family, Tribe, school, and friends.
Presenters: Katelyn Blair and Peter J. Lovegrove, JBS International, Inc., North Bethesda, MD
B2 – Early Outcomes from a Pilot Evaluation of Multisystemic Therapy-Intimate Partner Violence (MST-IPV): Comprehensive Family Treatment for Families Involved in the Child Protective Service System
In this session, the presenters will provide a clinical overview and preliminary outcome data for an innovative new treatment model, Multisystemic Therapy for Intimate Partner Violence (MST-IPV), designed to comprehensively address the co-occurring problem of child maltreatment and IPV within families involved in the child protective service system. MST-IPV provides evidence-based conjoint couples therapy to help partners stay together without violence or separate safely while maintaining a coparenting relationship. In MST-IPV, conjoint couples treatment is provided along with an array of individualized treatments for all family members to address the drivers (e.g., parental substance abuse) and consequences (e.g., adult and child trauma symptoms) of IPV.
Presenters: Cindy M. Schaeffer, University of Maryland Child Psychiatry, Baltimore, MD; and Cynthia C. Swenson, Division of Global and Community Health, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
B3 – Realizing the Promise of Family First: Lessons Learned from the District of Columbia’s Family First Implementation Team
This session will focus on the role of the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency’s (CFSA) implementation team in advancing timely and successful implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First). Participants will gain an understanding of the scope and nature of the tasks the team was charged with carrying out, as well as key aspects of the membership, roles, and functioning of the team that enabled it to be successful. Presenters will reflect on firsthand experience related to the challenges and strengths of the team, and invite dialogue to help other jurisdictions leverage CFSA’s experience to further Family First implementation.
Presenters: Natalie Craver and Robert Matthews, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC; and Katie Rollins, Chapin Hall at University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
B4 – Implementing Systems-Level and Direct Service Interventions to Improve Outcomes for Youth who are LGBTQ
The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services is collaborating with the Human Rights Campaign as part of their All Children-All Families program to offer LGBTQ Foundations trainings to staff, foster parents, and community partners. The agency is also conducting the AFFIRM program with youth in foster care whoa re LGBTQ and their caregivers. AFFIRM is a supportive program based around the clinical treatment modality of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is an evidence-based practice. Presenters will share data collected from each component of this initiative, their experience with implementation, and successes and learning opportunities for program enhancement.
Presenters: Harry Morgan, Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, Landover, MD; Alison Delpercio, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC
B5 – A Collaborative Effort to Increase Staff’s Emotional Intelligence and In Turn Youth and Family Outcomes
In this session, participants will learn how Casey Family Programs and Walker, located in Massachusetts, collaborated with the Kentucky Department of Community-Based Services (DCBS) to create and deliver a train-the-trainer module in permanency practice to support ongoing permanency efforts in the state. Through this collaboration, supervisors, trainers, and key stakeholders in the Kentucky DCBS system were trained in key aspects of agency level support of permanency such as emotional intelligence, empathy, perspective taking, and trauma-informed practice.
Presenters: Shannon Lee and Mina Burbridge, Walker, Needham, MA; and Ella Bridgewater, Casey Family Programs, San Antonio, TX
B6 – CAPTA Notification of Infants Born Substance-Exposed: Connecticut’s Collaboration Between Child Welfare, Early Childhood, and Substance Use Stakeholders to Achieve Meaningful Plans of Safe Care
Building upon positive collaborations, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) partnered with key stakeholders to ensure that Notification of Infants Born Substance-Exposed, and Plans of Safe Care for these infants and their families, achieve the intended purpose of ensuring that infants who are vulnerable do not “fall through the cracks” and have Plans of Safe Care without further discriminating against persons with substance use disorders. Presenters will share how this collaboration helps families impacted by substance use, including those affected by the opioid crisis.
Presenters: Mary Painter, Connecticut Department of Children & Families, Hartford, CT; Kimberly Karanda, Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Hartford, CT; and Elena Trueworthy, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, Head Start State Collaboration Office, Hartford, CT
B7 – Childonomics: Measuring the Immeasurable – The Social Return on Investment in Children
Childonomics is a methodology that helps decision-makers at various levels consider the long-term social and economic return of investing in children and families. The model assesses the value of different types of social service by considering costs of various services and approaches to support children and families and outcomes achieved for them, as well as for the community and society as a whole. Childonomics and the methodology adopts a rights-based foundation and outcomes focus for understanding investment in children and families to ensure the well-being of children and families within communities in order to prevent and reduce any form of developmental delay, harm, and, especially, the unnecessary separation of children from their parents or family. Two pilot countries, Malta and Romania, demonstrate the possible adaptation in different circumstances, provide information on how the methodology can be implemented, and identify the challenges and needs for further development. The model was developed as a research project coordinated by Eurochild; the economic model was developed by the Oxford Management Group and funded by the OAK Foundation.
Presenters: Maria Herczog, Family, Child, Youth Association, Budapest, Hungary
Thursday, March 26
3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
Workshop Sessions C
C1 – Shared Responsibility for Child Safety and Family Well-Being: A Public-Private Partnership Effort
This presentation introduces participants to Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC), a public-private collaborative effort in Southern Maine focused on strengthening families and communities by improving the ways multi-sector partners share responsibility to promote the safety and well-being of children and youth. The strategy includes parents and youth as partners, nurtures meaningful partnerships among community members, and works directly in neighborhoods where families experience a lack of resources and supports. The CPPC approach encourages local innovation that removes systems barriers. Established in a single community in 2006, the pilot continues to grow and has shown promising results.
Presenters: Debra Dunlap, Tiffany Greco and Jamie Brooks, Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) Southern Maine, South Portland, ME; and Bobbi Johnson, Maine Office of Child and Family Services, Augusta, ME
C2 – Growing a Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Partnership within a Maryland Community
Through the Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration project in 2015, the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services and Catholic Charities entered into a partnership to bring Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) services to Anne Arundel County in Maryland. With a common goal of strengthening the parent-child bond to build resilience and protective factors, implementing an evidence-based intervention that is trauma responsive is a journey. The initial implementation of PCIT has expanded to include families in out-of-home care to help facilitate reunification as well as to support placements and prevent disruptions, and will continue expanding with Family First.
Presenters: Rachael Maconachy, Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, Annapolis, MD; Kelly O’Brien and John Cosgrove, The Institute for Innovation & Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD; and Vanessa O’Conner, Catholic Charities Child and Family Services, Millersville, MD
C3 – North Carolina’s Approach to Building Capacity for Family First Implementation
Achieving healthier families and communities is a top priority for North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services. Recent state legislation to reform the state’s child welfare system was enacted in 2017, followed by the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018. Both offer transformative opportunities to improve outcomes for children and families through comprehensive systemic assessments, which identified opportunities to reshape our policy, practice, and organizational structure. This workshop session will highlight North Carolina’s collaborative efforts to engage legislative, state, county, and community partners and stakeholders in leveraging our existing child welfare reform efforts with integration and implementation of Family First.
Presenters: Alycia Blackwell-Pittman and Lisa Tucker Cauley, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, NC; Yolanda Green-Rogers, Chapin Hall at University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and Mark McDaniel, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chapel Hill, NC
C4 -Planning is Protecting: Best Practice for Safe Repatriation and Reintegration in Guatemala
In this session, presenters will share International Social Service-USA’s Guatemala safe reunification and reintegration program, an evidence-based approach that strengthens families, prevents unnecessary separation, addresses how the lack of resources contributes to displacement and migration, and offers solutions to keep families together. The presentation will describe the innovative family-based model as grounded in the internationally recognized best practices in child protection. Additionally, presenters will provide resources and guidance for practitioners working with international or cross-border families, including how to engage in culturally responsive approaches to family strengthening and reunification.
Presenters: Felicity Sackville Northcott and Elaine R. Weisman, International Social Service-USA, Baltimore, MD
C5 – An Innovative and Strategic Partnership in New York City Prevention Services: Investigative Consultations for Strengthening and Supporting Families at Risk of Domestic Violence
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Division of Prevention Services oversees the largest continuum of evidence-based/evidence-informed prevention programs in the country, serving 47,000 children per year. In 2018, ACS launched the Investigative Consultation Initiative providing background clearances on prevention services cases where there are domestic violence risk factors and/or criminal history. The aim is to address safety and risk factors around family violence more adequately. This presentation will cover the innovative approach to research, service design, and implementation of the initiative to support families experiencing domestic violence and expand the use of trauma-informed practices and resources citywide.
Presenters: Kelly Acevedo, Jacqueline Martin, Susan Morley and Eva Mardak, New York City Administration for Children’s Services, New York, NY
C6 – Implementation of Qualified Residential Treatment Programs and Accreditation in States: Where are We Now? Where are We Going? What have We Learned?
Hear from representatives from three states that are at different stages of implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) (implementation dates of October 2019, 2020 and 2021). Additionally, providers from each of these states will share their experiences with current FFPSA-related activities, lessons learned, and next steps in their implementation of Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) under FFPSA. This session will be a dynamic panel conversation providing practical advice for state regulators and service providers who are navigating the strategic transition to QRTPs. Accrediting bodies approved under FFPSA (CARF, COA and The Joint Commission) will share their perspective on lessons learned to help providers prepare for and successfully achieve national accreditation.
Presenters: Jennifer Flowers, Accreditation Guru, Inc., Mamaroneck, NY; Zoë Hutchinson, COA, New York, NY; and Yvonne Rockwood, The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, IL; and Leslie Ellis-Lang, CARF International, Tucson, AZ
C7 – Becoming a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Organization: A Conceptual Framework and Resources to Promote Trauma-Informed Practices, Policies, and Systems
Few resources exist to assist child welfare agencies in integrating trauma-informed policies into their organizations; available resources often focus on high-level principles that are difficult to translate into practice. This session will present a framework for becoming a trauma-informed organization and introduce assessment and evaluation tools that will form part of a comprehensive resource to guide child welfare agencies toward becoming trauma-informed. Grounded in implementation science, the framework components include: (1) organizational readiness/assessment; (2) building a resilient workforce; (3) leadership/staff capacity-building; (4) practice and policy development and implementation; (5) evaluation/measurement; and 6) sustainability.
Presenters: Melinda J. Baldwin, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHS, Rockville, MD; Colleen M. Killian, James Bell Associates, Arlington, VA; Sarah Kelly Palmer, Family Service of Rhode Island, Providence, RI; and Keitha Wilson, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Services Oklahoma City, OK
C8 – Medicaid 101: A Primer on the Provision of Medicaid in Adoption and Foster Care Assistance Programs
Participants will receive a basic training in the federal Title IV-E Adoption and Foster Care Assistance and Medicaid Programs, understanding the importantinterdependence of the two programs and the implications for interstatepermanency practice. The session will be presented in three parts with an overlay of the role that the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA) plays in the delivery of Medicaid interstate: (1) Title IV-E Recipients – Participants will receive education and training on Medicaid law – Title XIX – and its intersection with Title IV-E law on issues such as its mandatory receipt, services and their types, Medicaid State Plans, Medicaid coverage, recipient age(s), and the importance and role of EPSDT in in-state and interstate Medicaid; (2) Non-Title IV-E Recipients – Participants will receive an education on Medicaid law – Title XIX – as it applies to youth receiving non-title IV-E adoption assistance, the role of the Assistance State in determining benefits and the reciprocal, Medicaid coverage in most states; and (3) Medicaid as a Post Adoption Service – A look at public, post adoption services in the states and the funding potential that the Family First Prevention Services Act represents for state programs.
Presenters: Sharon McCartney, AAICAMA, Washington, DC; Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC; and TBA (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – invited)
C9 – This session will feature two presentations:
The Practice of Rights of Children Should Start with the Family
Presenters: Rob van Pagée, Eigen Kracht Centrale, Zwolle, The Netherlands
Breaking the Cycle Through Relationships: Improving Maternal and Child Outcomes in Families who are Substance-Involved
Presenters: Mary Motz and Margaret Leslie, Canadian Mothercraft Society, Toronto, ON
Friday, March 27
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Learning Lab Sessions D
D1 – Social Inclusion Model and Outcomes: Fighting Marginalization of Families with Parents who are Adolescents
In order to promote effective social ties that will result in open community participation and interpersonal connections for families with parents who are adolescents, a social inclusion approach is required. Throughout this workshop session, the presenter will address the social exclusion mechanisms that impact parents who are adolescents and their families, using the social inclusion model as a framework to understand the need for complex systems and services. The presenter will share Proyecto Nacer’s “family incubator” model of service as a practical reference. Proyecto Nacer, a nonprofit organization based in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, developed this service model with the purpose of breaking the social disadvantage cycles and increasing the potential for social inclusion in parents who are adolescents.
Presenters: Anayra Tua and Mayra Lopez, Proyecto Nacer, Bayamon, PR
D2 – Engaging Global Communities in Child Protection Systems Strengthening: ChildFund’s Rapid Ethnographic Assessment Approach for Community-Based Child Protection (CBCP) Mapping in the America’s, Africa, and Asia
This session will share ChildFund International’s global experience and findings from the implementation of a rapid ethnographic assessment approach for community-based child protection (CBCP) mapping in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Qualitative synthesis was used to summarize and compare CBCP mapping methods, processes, and findings within and across countries (15) and regions. The session will highlight findings on community resident perceptions of child protection issues and formal and informal child protection systems. In addition to sharing lessons learned from implementing the participatory approach to strengthening community child protection systems, the presenters will discuss implications for utilizing the collaborative approach in other contexts.
Presenters: Mark Dasco, ChildFund International, Asia; Patricio Jarrin, ChildFund International, Americas Region, Republic of Panama; Verónica Burbano, ChildFund International, Americas Region, Ecuador; Tigist Tarekegn, ChildFund Ethiopia; Yil Felipe Wood, ChildFund Mexico; and Darcy Strouse, ChildFund International, Washington, DC
D3 – Creating Conditions for Change: The Evidence-Based CARE Program Model for Residential Settings
CARE is a trauma-informed, principle-based, organizational (setting) level model designed to enhance the social dynamics in group care settings to create a living environment that provides developmentally enriching experiences for children and families. This workshop will give participants a unique look at how CARE is implemented and sustained through the experience of two organizations. The CARE developer and representatives from two CARE agencies will explain the CARE model, review the evidence base supporting its level 3 promising practice status in the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare Programs, and describe the implementation process and illustrate its impact on organizations.
Presenters: Martha Holden, CWLA Press Author and Residential Child Care Project (RCCP), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Debra Bunce and Candace Rowell, Spurwink Services, Portland, ME; and Ezra Buchdah and Aggie Callahan, Catholic Charities of Baltimore, MD
D4 – Linking State Medicaid and Child Welfare Data for Research on Opioid Use Disorder and other Behavioral Health Issues
Presenters will describe a project supporting several states in linking parent and child records across child welfare and Medicaid data systems. The project will create datasets to allow tracking Medicaid enrollment, diagnoses, services, and claims, along with child welfare characteristics and outcomes. Long-term family outcomes may be tracked related to parents with substance use disorders, who have children in the child welfare system. Linked data, de-identified for research use, will become available for secondary analysis. Presenters will share plans for a roadmap to document the challenges and successes in creating these linkages. Research questions will also be discussed.
Presenters: Valeria Butler, U.S. DHHS, ACF, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Washington, DC, DC; and Emily Madden, U.S. DHHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation, Washington, DC
D5 – Improving Outcomes for Families and Youth in Foster Care with the Whole Family Approach
This session will provide a brief description of the Whole Family Approach as used to strengthen families and improve outcomes for children and youth. Presenters will describe using the Whole Family Approach with families—foster and biological—and children to strengthen outcomes for high school and college youth in foster care. Stories of successes and challenges will be shared. The session will also highlight significant findings for children and caregivers using the Whole Family Approach within public K-8 schools. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions as well as work on plans to incorporate Whole Family Approach in their work.
Presenters: Jackie Edwards, Pascale Sykes Foundation, Red Bank, NJ; Ross Whiting, The Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, Camden, NJ; and Wally Kappelar, South Jersey First Star Collaborative, Glassboro, NJ
D6 – Evidence-Based Home Visiting Strategies for Strengthening and Supporting Families who are Indigenous and Addressing Intergenerational Trauma: The Family Spirit® Program
This interactive session will center on how federally endorsed Family Spirit® (FS) helps strengthen families and supports their health and well-being. The largest and only evidence-based home visiting program designed specifically for pregnant and parenting Native Americans, FS trains culturally embedded paraprofessional home visitors to provide structured, culturally grounded education to families with children 0 to 3. Presenters will: share information about FS and its evidence base; engage in group dialogue; involve learners in activities to understand how to use culturally-informed interventions as a prevention strategy; and share new frontiers of research related to leveraging technology to delivering tailored services.
Presenters: Laurelle Sheppard, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, Tuba City, AZ; and Emily E. Haroz, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, Cambridge, MA
D7 – Promising Practices for Transgender Inclusion in Child Welfare Systems
Join the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s All Children – All Families project for promising practice tips on transgender inclusion in child welfare systems. Come explore foundational concepts for supporting youth and adult clients with diverse gender identities and expressions and learn steps you can take today to improve trans inclusion at your agency. Together, we’ll cover common barriers and identify ways to be welcoming and affirming.
Presenters: Alison Delpercio and Jean-Phillipe Regis, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC
D8 – Secondary Traumatic Stress-Breakthrough Series: Strengthening Agency Practice to Respond to Staff Trauma and Promote Workplace Wellness
This session will focus on the work of seven local Departments of Social Services in Maryland who spent 12 months engaged with content experts in the Secondary Traumatic Stress-Breakthrough Series Collaborative (STSBSC). Presenters will discuss the Breakthrough Series Collaborative process and how this model was leveraged to address secondary traumatic stress among social service workforce, the use of the Secondary Traumatic Stress Informed-Organizational Assessment (STSI-OA) to create a baseline and determine outcomes as a result of this process, and how to translate STSI-OA outcome data into action steps.
Presenters: Ginny Sprang, University of Kentucky, Center on Trauma and Children, Lexington, KY; Carrie Gould-Kabler, The Institute for Innovation and Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD
D9 – The Lowdown on Families Who Get High—Joining Forces with the Addiction Field to Keep Families Together
Understanding how addiction affects the family across generations is important in determining how to effectively provide treatment during the opioid epidemic. St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers’ Rose Hill Campus, a nonprofit, licensed, adolescent and young adult residential facility, has developed a model that provides longer care for affected teenswhile addressing the needs of their caregivers, keeping families united. Rose Hill’s unique model of assigning a substance use disorder clinician, a mental health counselor, and a family counselor ensures a dynamic approach to the family. In addition, all youth are evaluated by a psychologist and have access to psychiatric treatment and medical services, as needed, onsite. This intensive team approach ensures successful outcomes. The Rose Hill model requires close collaboration between the local social service department, family courts – and specialized courts such as human trafficking – schools, and mental health providers identified in the youth’s treatment and discharge plan. Presenters will share how to: understand the points of intervention that the intergenerational cycle of addiction presents; identify immediate strategies that the youth and family can implement; and collaborate across systems that affects families impacted by substance use disorders.
Presenters: Patricia O’Gorman, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers and CWLA Press Author, Massena, NY; and Tina Buckley, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers, Massena, NY
D10 – Comparative Use of Treatment Foster Care and Congregate Care in Three States
During this session, presenters will describe a recent study examining states’ utilization of treatment foster care (TFC, also called therapeutic foster care) and congregate care. The study analyzed placement patterns in three states (Illinois, New York, and Tennessee) comparing TFC with congregate care, standard foster care and kinship foster care settings. Findings explore differences across placement types in the characteristics of children and youth served and the movement of children into and out of various placements. Presenters will also discuss the implications of the study for service providers and states seeking to improve TFC programming.
Presenters: Melinda Baldwin, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA, Rockville, MD; Treva Johnson, Family Focused Treatment Association, Hackensack, NJ; and Laura Radel, U.S. DHHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation, Washington, DC
D11 – Moving Toward A Research-Based Model: Second Opportunity for Success®
Lena Pope’s Second Opportunity for Success® program, an agency-developed, skills-based diversionary curriculum, has been successfully diverting youth from the juvenile justice system for 19 years. With a 90% success rate, youth and their parents acquire skills that strengthen family relationships and keep youth out of the juvenile justice system. In 2017, after receiving funding from the Jerry M. Lewis, MD Mental Health Research Foundation, Lena Pope partnered with Texas Christian University (TCU) to conduct a year-long research evaluation of the program. This session will provide an overview of the successful Second Opportunity for Success® program and highlight the results of its first research evaluation in its journey to becoming an evidence-based model.
Presenters: Sonya Mosley and Jana Jones, Lena Pope, Fort Worth, TX
Friday, March 27
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Workshop Sessions E
E1 – Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth
Children and youth who experience one form of trauma often experience multiple forms. These experiences often go unreported and unidentified, putting them at a higher risk for health problems, substance abuse, behavioral issues, and delinquency. Four states are working simultaneously to change the way child-serving providers respond to young people who have been exposed to crimes or experienced trauma. This workshop will highlight the steps these four states have taken to intervene in early adversities, including efforts to identify child and youth victims and recognize their needs, as well as the different state-specific paths taken to respond to identified needs.
Presenters: Nancy Fowler, Virginia Department of Social Services, Richmond, VA; Jess Mayrer, University of Montana – Linking Systems of Care, Missoula, MT; Jo Simonsen, Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Columbus, OH; and Reshma Desai, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Chicago, IL
E2 – Making Permanency Happen Interstate: The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance and its Association
Interstate placement is different than in-state placement. A Compact and an Association were created by states to meet the needs created by these differences. The Compact is a state construct through which vital permanency benefits are received and transferred across state lines. The Association is the collection of permanency and Medicaid professionals that implement the Compact and work together to provide interstate answers, resources, and solutions to families, agencies, states, and the public. Together, the Compact and the Association play a vital role in securing and ensuring the receipt of adoption and guardianship benefits – particularly Medicaid – to strengthen permanency and increase life outcomes. This session will include an education on the history and blueprint of the Compact and training on the Association’s use of its forms, electronic transmittal system, and procedures. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of the work of the ICAMA and the services provided to states and the public by its Association.
Presenters: Sharon McCartney, Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA), Washington, DC; and Adrian Owens, AAICAMA, Atlanta, GA
E3 – Protecting Children and Families by Improving Standby Guardianship Policies
The right and responsibility of a parent to take care of their child is often taken for granted. But what happens when a parent is not available to make those decisions due to detention, deportation, incarceration, military deployment, natural disasters, or other family emergency? This session will share legal research from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories on standby guardianship policies; discuss the benefits and challenges of these types of policies; and share strategies the presenters are using to change and improve these policies to protect children and families.
Presenters: Elisa Ortiz, Appleseed Network, Washington, DC; Anna Rathbun, Latham & Watkins LLP, Washington, DC; John Sciamanna, CWLA, Washington, DC; and Marla Spindel and Stephanie McClellan, DC Kincare Alliance, Washington, DC
E4 – Reflections on Kinship Care: Learnings from the Past, Implications for the Future – A Roundtable Discussion
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the child welfare system began to view relatives as resources for children who could not remain in the care of their parents. Contributing to this interest was the challenge that most child welfare agencies experienced in recruiting and maintaining non-related caregiving families (foster families) during a time when the number of children needing alternative care was increasing. In response to these interests and challenges, child welfare professionals, administrators, and policy-makers grappled with the complexities of reconciling the informal-customary traditions of kinship care with the formal-legal foundations of public foster care. This roundtable discussion will highlight significant past themes in policy, practice and research, discussing their relationship to current themes and implications for the future. Participants will share their experience and perspective on various areas of kinship care policy, practice, and research and their view for the future to enhance services and learning in the field.
Presenters: Dana Burdnell Wilson, Morgan State University School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD; Robert B. Hill, Westat (Retired), Washington, DC; Mark F. Testa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; and Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ
E5 – Group Facilitation During Organizational Transitions – CANCELED
E6 – Family Members as Experts–What Every Practitioner Needs to Know: Sharing our Lived Experience with Child Welfare, Early Childhood, and Treatment Services in Connecticut
This session will share family members’ experiences with Connecticut’s child welfare, early childhood, and substance use treatment systems, offering a candid perspective on what every practitioner needs to know about how to help support and strengthen the families they serve. The facilitated discussion will focus on the journeys of several individuals, all with lived experience. Their courage, wisdom, and insight on parenting, recovering from substance use disorders, and working in the field will offer invaluable insight to the audience on what to do—and not to do—to help families thrive.
Presenters: Elena Trueworthy, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, Hartford, CT; Kimberly Karanda, Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Hartford, CT; Mary Painter, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Hartford, CT; Carol Cruz, R.E.A.C.H. OUT Project, Milford, CT; and Stephanie Perez, Sandy Phair, Rebecca Allen, and Gilbert Nieves, Family Experts
E7 – Managed Care + Innovation = The Birthplace of Valuable Collaboration and Services for Children in Out-of-Home Care and Their Families
This session highlights several areas of innovations and best practices. First, presenters will share an introduction of GA Families 360 use of ZOOM, a technology-based Virtual Care Coordination. ZOOM was implemented to address the caregiver strain expressed by foster parents who were feeling burdened with having to make time to meet with another person regarding the child/children in their care. Virtual meetings occur much more frequently than face-to-face visits, and staff and caregivers have access to bring in multiple members of their Care Team to their meeting. Second, presenters will focus on the innovative Value Added Benefit program offered by Anthem to children receiving assistance in Indiana who are in foster care or adopted. The partnership, with vendor Educational Tutorial Services, has received overwhelming support from the state, and from families and youth receiving the service. Who would have thought that their medical insurance company would provide them no cost in-home tutoring? Third, presenters will discuss a psychotropic medication roundtable. This new approach identifies children on psychotropic medications and empowers staff, caregivers, and biological parents by bringing them to the table for discussion with the prescribers, state workers, and Health Plan Care Coordinators. Fourth, presenters will share several innovative specialty programs, including an intervention for youth who are transition-age called Pathways to Permanency, and the Court House Clinic, a one-stop shop where youth in foster care can receive three visits in one: medical, behavioral health, and dental care at a space a family law judge has provided.
Presenters: Candace Body-Williams and Ciara Pierce, Amerigroup Community Care – Anthem, Atlanta, GA; Siyama Drake Anthem (Medicaid KY), Louisville, KY; Maria Richardson, Anthem, Longwood, FL; and Lisa Russell, Educational Tutorial Services, Pittsburgh, PA
E8 – This session will feature two presentations:
Youth who are Indigenous with Lived Experience of Care: Mentors to Service Providers
Presenters: Rachel Gouin, Child Welfare League of Canada, Ottawa, ON; Richard Rothenburger, Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network, Regina, SK
Culturally Meaningful Child Protection Responses within Muslim Communities
Presenters: Mohammed Baobaid, Eugene Tremblay and Sahar Atalla, Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration, London, ON
E9 – This session will feature two presentations:
Transforming Child Protection: Shifting the Culture of Care from Institution to Community Care
Presenters: Myrna McNitt, Spring Arbor University, Holland, MI; and Vasundhra Sharma, Centre of Excellence in Alternative Care of Children, New Delhi, Rajasthan, India
Building Bridges to Families: Keeping Children with their Families and Preventing Unnecessary Separation
Presenters: Ung Pola, Holt International Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
E10 – Advancing Innovative Community Partnerships that Strengthen Families, are Culturally Responsive, Address Disproportionality, and Reduce Children/Youth Growing Up in Care: Journey to Zero
Journey to Zero is an evidence-informed, community Children’s Aid Society of Toronto partnership model. The program focus is on strengthening families’ capacity to protect and raise their children; expanding family networks; and having strong, culturally relevant “Signs of Safety” plans so children remain at home, within their culture and communities. Journey to Zero interventions provide integrated, customized, and timely prevention services by community partners. A robust evaluation plan informs key outcomes to reduce the number of children entering care; eliminate long-term stays in care; and reduce disproportionality. Led by the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, this innovative $7.1M, three-year pilot is funded through foundation, ministry, agency, and private funding sources.
Presenters: Sharon Cabrera, Mahesh Prajapat and Deborah Goodman,Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto, ON
E11 – ACTIVE Family Support – Community and Family-Based Care and Child Protection
This session will share the ACTIVE Family Support (AFS) model, which was developed by Hope and Homes for Children based on 20 years of practical experience in different countries and regions undergoing the transition from institutional to community and family-based child protection and care systems. AFS is a practice framework that is flexible and easily adaptable to various contexts, allowing planning of appropriate interventions and services for children and families who are vulnerable with the aim of preventing unnecessary separation. Tested, documented and externally evaluated, the AFS model has proven effective and scalable across the world, in Eastern and Southern Europe, in East and Southern Africa, and in emerging programs in India, Nepal and Latin America. The AFS model prepares the child protection system to function independently, without reliance on institutional care, but instead channeling resources and services to strengthen families and prevent children from entering the formal care system. The AFS is an evidence-based model of intervention aimed at identifying and supporting parents/caregivers and children at risk of being separated from their families and preventing their institutionalization. It is also used to support the reintegration of separated children back into families and communities.
Presenter: Delia Pop, Hope and Homes for Children, London, United Kingdom
Saturday, March 28
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Workshop Sessions F
F1- Regulate then Educate!
This workshop session will illustrate the connection between trauma and its impact on regulation and relationships, and academic, social, and behavioral struggles as well as successes. It will also explore a simple antidote to the impact of trauma that is surprisingly at the fingertips of anyone at any time. This session will give participants the opportunity to put on a trauma lens— “trauma goggles” —to deepen understanding of the impact of trauma on the mind, body, and soul. It will also provide a practical overview of basic brain function and the impact of trauma on the brain’s organization, function, and structure.
Presenters: Donna M. Lucero, All Faiths Child Advocacy Center, Albuquerque, NM
F2 – Housing and Child Welfare – Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together: One Roof, Two Generation, Three Drivers
One Roof, Two Generation, Three Drivers is about addressing the needs of both children and their parents collectively, holistically, and safely in Supportive Housing utilizing a Keeping Families Together approach. This approach empowers families by combining the stability of a home with intense case management and cross-sector services, recognizing that families come in all different shapes and sizes, define themselves, and are better together in nurturing environments where needs are effectively identified based on where they are in life. This session will highlight components of this approach with specific local examples and strategies for planning and implementation.
Presenters: Andrew Johnson, CSH, San Diego, CA; and Jillian Fox, CSH, Richmond, VA
F3 – Supporting Relationships between Children and Parents — Birth, Kinship, Foster, Adoptive
When children and parents are separated by child protective services, typically because of abuse or neglect, the care of these children is outsourced to other parents. They may be relatives or kin, foster families, or adoptive families. Historically, these relationships often have been adversarial. Initial meetings sometimes include “ice-breaking” activities, implying that those first contacts could be “frosty.” Best practices and policies can be put in place to ensure that when there is loss and trauma for children and parents, other parents—as well as professionals—can be supportive as parent partners, loss managers, and trauma-informed team members. This workshop will provide an array of roles and international perspectives.
Presenters: Lisa Pion-Berlin, Parents Anonymous, Inc., Claremont, CA; Maria Herczog, Family, Child, Youth Association, Budapest, Hungary; Rob van Pagée, Eigen Kraht Centrale and Op Kleine Schaal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA and School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach
F4 – What is “Neglect?” Better Understanding the Needs of Families who are Child-Welfare Involved
Child welfare administrators and policy-makers depend on accurate data to understand and address the needs of children and families involved in the child welfare system. However, neglect and other types of child maltreatment are defined in very different ways state-by-state, and in some cases are operationalized very differently on the local level, making the interpretation of child welfare data challenging. This workshop will present findings on mixed-methods research related to the accurate identification of child maltreatment, and review factors that appear to influence the identification process. Recommendations for child welfare policy-makers, administrators, and researchers will be shared.
Presenters: Erika Tullberg, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
F5 – Federal Policy Impacting Youth and Young Adults
How we help youth in child welfare, juvenile justice, and other systems will be addressed in many different areas in the 116th Congress. Building off the momentum of the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) and the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), there are many opportunities to pass legislation to improve the lives of youth who are vulnerable. Further, it will be critical to maintain pressure on Congress and the Administration to ensure successful implementation of Family First and JJDPA. During this presentation, presenters will highlight areas ripe for reform in the current Congress, discuss what legislation has already been introduced this year that will impact youth, discuss concerns and hurdles to implementation of Family First and JJDPA, and share with participants how they can get involved in Federal advocacy, whether in DC or at home.
Presenters: Cherice Hopkins, Rights 4 Girls, Washington, DC
F6 – Don’t Forget About All of Me—Understanding the Impact of Social Determinants of Health
Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) look at gaps in health across society that can stem from multiple factors, ranging from scarce educational or income opportunities, to unsafe or unhealthy housing, to limited access to good hospitals and primary care. This workshop session will look at impacts of SDoH and interventions that the Centene Corporation is doing to improve health outcomes by addressing issues impacting the whole person.
Presenters: Stan Waddell and Roy W. Van Tassell, Centene Corporation, Lubbock, TX; and Jennifer Funaro, Centene Corporation, New York, NY
F7 – Healing Trauma: Applying Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®)
Families caring for children from trauma often experience challenges in understanding the complex needs of their children and addressing resulting fear-based behaviors. This presentation will orient participants to Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), an evidence-based, trauma-informed, developmentally respective, and attachment-based caregiving model aimed at healing and supporting attachment for children with histories of complex developmental trauma. Participants will learn tangible tools (and the “why” behind them) that they can use immediately to create a trauma-sensitive, healing environments within their homes as caregivers and their professional practice. TBRI® addresses relationship-based traumas such as abuse, neglect, multiple foster placements, and institutionalization.
Presenters: Jill Crewes and Brooks Kaskela, The Adoption Exchange, Aurora, CO
F8 – Implementing “Family Time:” Exploring a Public–Private Collaboration to Improve Visiting for Parents and Children in Foster Care
The importance of family and child visiting has been well documented in child welfare literature. Frequent, quality visits are highly, positively correlated with shortened stays in foster care and family reunification. The New York City Administration for Children’s Services embarked on an effort to broadly improve visiting for the just under 9,000 city children in foster care. Introducing “Family Time” to agencies like Children’s Aid, and working with partners in the parent advocacy community, such as RISE, led to creative reforms that translated into better, more supported visiting policies and practices for New York City children and their families.
Presenters: Michael W. Wagner, Children’s Aid, Bronx, NY; Andy Mandel, New York City Administration for Children’s Services, New York, NY; and Jeanette Vega Brown, RISE, Bronx, NY
F9 – This session will feature two presentations:
Strengthening Families Program For Parents and Youth 10-14: An Evidence-Based Approach
Presenters: Cathy Hockaday, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Family Strengthening Programmes: Local Community Involvement
Presenters: Julia Bernova, SOS Children’s Villages Russia, Mosow, Russia
F10 – This session will feature two presentations:
Exploring the Psychosocial Well-Being of Children Living with their Mothers who are Incarcerated: the Case of Bahir Dar Correction Center, Northwest Ethiopia
Presenters: Shambel Desale Gashaw, University of Gondar, Amhara, Ethiopia
SAFE START for Women and Babies
Presenters: Renea Makouk and Kay Souter, South West Sydney Local Health District, New South Wales, Australia
F11 – InstruMENtal: Exploring the Importance of the Male Role in Child Welfare
This interactive session is designed to discuss the importance of all 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 fatherhood engagement and learn about nationwide efforts for networking, advocating for, and supporting fathers in child welfare.
Presenter: Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT
Saturday, March 28
10:15 am – 11:15 am
Learning Lab Sessions G
G1 – Pulling the Pieces Together: Caring for Families with Autism and Special Needs
In this informative and interactive presentation, the “inside view” of life of families living with special needs (autism, anxiety disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities in particular), as well as those living with or who have survived trauma, will be explained in a very real and honest manner. The presenter will discuss the commonalities among diagnoses and co-occurring conditions, and talk about the shared experiences families encounter when they receive a diagnosis and need mental and behavioral health services. The presentation will also focus on resiliency, advocacy, and empowerment for the individuals, their families, and the treating staff and clinicians to help avoid burnout in care. This presentation, designed for youth advocates, families, direct care staff, professionals, clinicians, and physicians, is designed to leave its audience with an eye-opening view of these issues, as well as some practical “tips and tricks” that can be put to use immediately in treatment and care.
Presenters: Amy Kelly, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Malvern, PA
G2 – Essential Competencies in Engaging, Supporting, and Assessing Kinship Families
The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 mandates services to strengthen and support families. This approach requires inclusion of kinship caregivers for children separated from their parents. This session will share five competencies essential to engaging and supporting kinship caregiving families. This approach includes culturally competent mutual strengths/needs assessments. The session content and focus are based on CWLA’s Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Kinship Family Information, Support, and Assessment Trauma-Informed Model of Practice.
Presenters: Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Long Beach, CA; Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ; Eshele Williams, CWLA, Altadena, CA; and Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL
G3 – A Refocus on Education: Addressing Factors Outside of the Classroom to Promote Education
In 2017, the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC), in partnership with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, launched LEADS, an educational coordination for students in 7th-12th grade in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, Goergia.Working with 155 different schools, LEADS used strategic service coordination, simplified business processes, and identified factors outside of the classroom impacting education for these students experiencing foster care. Learn how LEADS took a Results Count, collaborative, data analysis approach to educational outcomes to minimize key factors impacting education, raising the graduation rates from 18% to 80%, and leading the way for systematic change.
Presenters: Heather Rowles and Victoria Salzman, Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC), Atlanta, GA
G4 – Improving and Enhancing Service Delivery to Unaccompanied Children for Successful Outcomes, Improving Well-Being, and Strengthening Families
This presentation’s target audience is front line workers, supervisors, and senior managers. The main goal of the session is to educate participants on initiatives that enhance program service delivery to meet the comprehensive needs of unaccompanied children and their families to produce better outcomes and improve child well-being. Presenters will share an overview of Catholic Charities’ programs for unaccompanied children and their families; review best practices; highlight Catholic Charities’ initiatives, collaborations, and strategies in its continuum of care; and review outputs and outcomes that inform decision-making.
Presenters: Sergio Cruz, Chanica Brown and Srimaya Gurung, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Houston, TX
G5 – Maryland Evaluation & Treatment Services System (METS): Leading Change in Juvenile Justice Through Innovative Design, Evidenced-Based Practices, and Continuum of Care
The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) and FEI Systems will provide a facilitated demonstration of the METS system and include a discussion of the process of system development. Each component of the system will be reviewed and discussed. Additionally, DJS will provide a demonstration of SafeMeasures and will demonstrate the reporting at all levels of system engagement. The session will provide an interactive discussion about the systems reform and automation, and walk participants through a process to help them identify how they can employ a similar process in their jurisdiction to develop information systems for juvenile justice, child welfare, behavioral health, and other systems.
Presenters: Kathleen Lester, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, Baltimore, MD; and Alicia Woodward, FEI Systems, Columbia, MD
G6 – Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Post-Adoption Services and Supports
Adoptive families face challenges and have needs that manifest at different times across the life course. Yet families often struggle to find appropriate help, particularly in rural areas or when problems arise years following the adoption. The presenters will share how the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) conducted a needs assessment for post-adoption services. Attendees will learn about: how the needs assessment informed the creation of a coordinated, comprehensive service strategy; the tools, products, and communications strategy developed to disseminate this information to relevant audiences; and how VDSS leveraged a revised funding structure to implement the new service array.
Presenters: Berenice Rushovich, Child Trends, Baltimore, MD; Allison Hebert, Child Trends, Bethesda, MD; and Traci B. Jones,Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Family Services, Richmond, VA
G7 – Engaging Clients who are Involuntary through Parental Programs — A Study on Services for Families in Taiwan who are High-Risk
To prevent child maltreatment, the Caring for Family at High-Risk program has been implemented for 15 years in Taiwan. It has reached more families with children facing physical, mental, social, and financial challenges every year. As the main service provider, Child Welfare League Foundation will share our experiences of program implementation and management. Presenters will focus on how they have supported the parents of these families, based on their studies, to improve parenting skills during home visits and community activities. Presenters will also share the collected personal experiences from service users and practitioners in order to increase evidence to support their studies and promote the program.
Presenters: Li-Fang Pai, Children Welfare League Foundation, Taipei City, Taiwan
G8 – What Will it Take? Permanency Strategies and Solutions for Older Youth in Residential Care
Plummer Youth Promise has transformed its approach to residential intervention and will share a blend of tried-and-true permanency best practices, evidence-informed, youth-guided, family-driven strategies, and tools that are advancing permanency for older youth. Presenters include a young adult with lived experience in congregate care, a milieu director supervising residential staff, and a clinical director, combining their unique perspectives on “what works” and “what it will take” to increase youth and family permanency opportunities and outcomes. Plummer’s residential transformation story, intervention and outcome model, and data and take-away permanency practice tools will be shared.
Presenters: Caryn Lister, Joshua Metcalfe and Jon Flores, Plummer Youth Promise, Salem, MA
G9 – Sleep Baby Safely: A Collaborative and Data-Driven Approach to Preventing Suffocation Deaths
The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County and a group of multidisciplinary partners launched a regional campaign, Prevent Needless Deaths, aimed at eliminating deaths of children under six from three leading causes: infant sleep-related suffocation, drowning, and inflicted head trauma. But when babies continued to die from sleep-related suffocation, we turned to the data to create a more targeted campaign: Sleep Baby Safely. Driven by local data, Sleep Baby Safely uses direct language, consistent messaging, and coordinated materials to deliver safe sleep education across family touchpoints. In year one, partners reduced the number of sleep-related suffocation deaths by 50 percent.
Presenters: April Putzulu and Rebecca Albert, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Clearwater, FL
G10 – Understanding the Dynamics of Parental Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment
By far, the majority of cases entering the child welfare system are driven by parental substance use and abuse. In spite of the high profile nature of these cases, as well as the significant media attention to the preponderance of specific types of drugs, the child welfare system has always been challenged by the intergenerational dynamics of addiction and child maltreatment. This session will feature an overview of the neuroscience and psychology behind addictions. Presenters will discuss the intersections between parental substance use and abuse and how that leads to poor parenting choices, and those intersections in the context of generational patterns specifically in the areas of relapse, recovery, and reunification. Presenters will also share how addictions are diseases of the whole person and the importance of creating a recovery-based casework approach to working with families.
Presenters: Paul DiLorenzo, Casey Family Programs, Bala Cynwyd, PA; and Judith Grisel, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
G11 – Then and Now: 50 Years of Advocacy in Child Welfare and Children’s Well-Being
In 1970, CWLA established our first formal advocacy efforts in Washington, DC. Ten years later, we held our first public policy conference on Capitol Hill, and in 1985 CWLA moved its headquarters to Washington, DC. For over 50 years, and even since our founding in 1920, CWLA has held an upfront view in both successes and ongoing challenges when it comes to improving outcomes for families and children. This workshop session will discuss the history of child welfare policies, and how past “breakthrough” legislation can inform future actions and the next set of challenges to make this a stronger country for children.
Presenters: John Sciamanna and Shaquita Ogletree, CWLA, Washington, DC
Saturday, March 28
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Learning Lab Sessions H
H1 – Fostering Hope and Healing: The Role of Resource Parents and Kinship Caregivers in Supporting Family Recovery and Reunification
This session will explore the important role of resource parents in supporting the family recovery and reunification process and how strengthening the relationship between resource parents and the biological parents positively affect child and family outcomes. The presentation will provide strategies to improve resource parent engagement and opportunities to change our thoughts and language regarding substance use disorders, trauma, and family relationships to facilitate quality and frequent family time, co-parenting with birth parents, and a trauma-informed approach.
Presenters: Russ Bermejo and Alexis Balkey, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA
H2 – National Child Protection Policy of Ethiopia: Strengthening Family and Community-Based Support Systems to Promote Child Well-Being
A policy analysis paper is presented to examine how the National Child Policy of Ethiopia addresses the issue of family strengthening and community engagement to promote child well-being. The Ethiopian constitution makes clear provision for social protection in Article 41.5 and Article 36 contains explicit provisions that are fundamental for the protection of child rights and welfare. Developed in 2017, the first National Child Policy articulates providing family support and care to strengthen the family, and creating a protective environment conducive for children and strengthening community-based sustainable care and support, values, and norms. The policy focuses on empowering families through parenting skills training and income generating activities to help them support children in difficult circumstances. The presenter will also share a case study of community-based child protection mechanisms as evidence of how engaging communities helps to promote child well-being. Community-based, informal social assistance that has evolved at the family and extended family level, and more widely at the community level, has a long tradition in Ethiopia. A qualitative case study was conducted to examine community-based child protection mechanisms of Awra Amba community. Observations, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were employed to collect data. The findings of the study posited that community members have strong solidarity for children.
Presenters: Ajanaw Alemie Desta, University of Gondar, Gondar, Amhara, Ethiopia
H3 – A Community-Led Approach to Prevention – New York City Experience
Communities That Care (CTC) is a prevention system designed to reduce levels of adolescent delinquency and substance use through the selection and use of effective preventive interventions tailored to a community’s specific profile of risk and protection. The New York Foundling, through our commitment to the community and children and families, has implemented CTC in East Harlem, New York. Join this session to learn how “upstream” prevention is having a greater return on investment for payers and for this community. Persetners will share how this approach can be generalized for other communities.
Presenters: Reina Batrony Cine and Mart Anderson, The New York Foundling, New York, NY
H4 – Family First: Keeping Families Together By Making Active and Reasonable Efforts
This interactive session will focus on prevention and reunification strategies to keep children safely in their homes. Presenters will identify and discuss key provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) designed to keep families together; and new opportunities and strategies under Family First to serve families in their home and prevent the trauma of a child’s removal. Presenters will also share how to provide evidence of Active and Reasonable Efforts to prevent a child’s removal from their home and to safely return a child as soon as possible.
Presenters: Connie Hickman Tanner and Judge Karen Howze (Ret.), National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Reno, NV
H5 – Relational Permanence Through Sibling Bonds: Overnight Camp as a Catalyst
When children enter foster care, they may be separated not only from parents but also from brothers and sisters, a significant resource for relational permanence. For the last 19 years, the Baltimore County Department of Social Services has spent a week each summer directing Camp Connect, Maryland’s initiative to reunify siblings using overnight camp as a catalyst to strengthen those important bonds. Presetners will review the significance of sibling bonds, share some of the “method to the madness,” describe successes and challenges, and discuss lessons learned. This session will inlcude time for questions and discussion, and participants will leave with a how-to guide for planning their own sibling camp or other sibling-centric experience.
Presenters: Susan Loysen, Baltimore County Department of Social Services, Baltimore, MD; Judith Schagrin, Baltimore, MD
H6 – Adult & Child Survivor-Centered Approach to Address Domestic Violence in Child Welfare Involved Families
In this interactive session, leaders from the Quality Improvement Center on Domestic Violence in Child Welfare will describe an innovative Adult & Child Survivor-Centered Approach to helping families who experience domestic violence. The Approach centers the interconnected experiences of child and adult survivors in collaborative, cross-agency efforts to increase safety, well-being, and healing of individuals and families. The Approach provides guidance about building protective factors that studies show lessen the impact of domestic violence on survivors, and about working with persons causing harm to both hold them accountable and provide meaningful pathways to positive change.
Presenters: Charlyn Harper Browne, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Washington, DC; and Juan Carlos Areán, Futures Without Violence, Boston, MA
H7 – 100 Trauma-Informed Care Tips to Improve Workforce Wellness
Want to improve workforce wellness? Create effective team harmony and foster a caring work environment? Learn 100 trauma-informed tips to mitigate barriers and obstacles to workforce burnout. Presenters will share how their agency, Hillsides, integrated wellness into staff meetings by using the Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Wellness Guide. Participants will have an opportunity to share barriers and these will be addressed using trauma-informed care principles. To support staff wellness and help employees build TIC into their daily routine, the 100 TIC tips are broken into six categories: TIC basics, managing stress, self-care, leadership, mindfulness, and community and communication.
Presenters: Stacey Roth, Joshua Mathieu and Samira Vishria, Hillsides, Los Angeles, CA
H8 – Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications as a Strategy to Enhance Decision-Making and Improve Child and Family Outcomes
Children in child welfare experience a variety of negative impacts related to their social determinants of health (SDOH), e.g., social relationships, mental health, trauma, education, community, and economic well-being. Technological innovations that support decision-making (i.e., placement matching, identifying social networks, social disconnection, risk factors) are a novel way to use technology to improve case practice. Social Impact AI Lab designed AI applications that weed through vast amounts of information in case notes and health data to find the most important information related to SDOH/risk factors and helps mitigate them through timely referrals by case/social workers to health care, education, and community-based services.
Presenters: Besa H. Bauta, MercyFirst, Brooklyn, NY; Martin Elisco, Augmented Intelligence, Smithtown, NY; Martin Duggan, Augmented Intelligence, Weybridge, United Kingdom; Carole Hussey, Augmented Intelligence Philadelphia, PA; Jim Lindstrom, Augmented Intelligence, Chicago, IL; Daniel Stein, Stewards of Change Consulting, Centerport, NY; Tom Castelnuovo, SCO Family of Services, Brooklyn, NY; and Arik Hill, The New York Foundling, New York, NY
H9 – Early Detection in Child Welfare: Connecting Families to Quality Prevention Treatment Services
In 2019, the Lafayette Family Preservation Court implemented the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol for families involved in child welfare in the hopes of identifying and appropriately treating parental substance use, depression, and risk of opioid overdose early on in the life of the case. The goals of the program were to prevent removals, decrease time to treatment, and decrease staff workload. A mixed-methods approach was utilized to analyze the effectiveness of the program, analyze trends in demographics, and stratify risk-scores and qualitatively document lessons. This presentation focuses on early lessons of the implementation process of the SBIRT protocol and practical lessons for replication.
Presenters: Philip Breitenbucher, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA; Keri-Lyn Coleman, Wellscreen Inc., Roanoke, VA; and Darce’ Byrd, 15th Judicial District Court, Family Preservation, Lafayette, LA
H10 – Parenting Practice or Policy and Procedure Mandate? Understanding the Impact of Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care on Birth and Previously Adopted Children
This session will address the impact of fostering, adopting, and kinship caregiving on birth and previously adopted children within the foster, kinship, and adoptive family. The session will explore the question, “Whose responsibility is it to assess and decide how to Acknowledge, Support, Advocate for, Include, and Protect (ASAIP) all children throughout the process of their parents fostering and/or adopting?”The presenters will briefly explore the need for ongoing assessment, education, resources, support, and ultimately protection from potential negative impacts throughout the fostering and adoption experience. There will be opportunities for participants to share strategies for addressing the challenges that birth/previously adopted children face in these families.
Presenters: Eshele Williams, CWLA, Altadena, CA; and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Long Beach, CA
H11 – Poverty – Risks, Challenges, and Policies: The Israeli Experience
This session will highlight poverty in Israel and the risk of poverty to families and children in Israel. Presenters will share data about the characteristics of living in poverty. They will also present findings from two innovative reunification and preservation projects intended to strengthen families who are poor by using the paradigm of “poverty-aware social work.”
Presenters: Yoa Sorek and Irit Aizik, Myers-Joint-Brookdale Institute, Jerusalem, Israel