Public Sector-Focused Workshops A
Thursday, April 26
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
A1 – Virginia Children’s Services Practice Model Implementation Study
This session will highlight a policy, practice, research partnership from inception of practice profiles to evaluation of implementation. The practice profiles were developed in partnership with local child welfare agencies “innovators” and rolled out to innovator agencies and other “early adopters,” in preparation for full-scale dissemination to all state agencies. Presenters from the Virginia Department of Social Services will discuss the process used for development and implementation, including use of coaching in supervision. The workshop will also feature the findings from a mixed-methods study of implementation contexts, strategies, and lessons learned for dissemination of the practice model to all agencies.
Presenter(s): Carl E. Ayers and Anne Kisor, Virginia Department of Social Services, Richmond, VA; and Kerrie Ocasio, Rutgers University School of Social Work, New Brunswick, NJ
A2 – Let’s “Age Out” the Practice of “Aging Out:” Ensuring Relationships that are Safe, Nurturing, and Enduring
Everyone needs skills to transition to adulthood but these skills should not replace the need for human relationships. Young people in foster care should not be prepared for their transition to community living with participation in an independent living program as their final destination. This workshop challenges participants to identify strategies in which agencies, caregivers, and communities work together with young people to connect them with nurturing adults who can help them thrive in their communities as successful adults.
Presenter(s): Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Manhattan Beach, CA
A3 – Embracing ICWA’s Best Practices for Serving American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Families Involved with Child Welfare
With the recent issuance of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Guidelines and the ICWA Regulations, state child welfare agencies have been working in partnership with the tribes in their state and other relevant stakeholders to examine existing policies and practices and incorporate the best practices embedded in the guidelines and regulations. The State ICWA Managers have had a critical role in this work. During this session, participants will hear what the states have been doing to implement the best practices. Sufficient time will be allotted for question and answers.
Presenter(s): David Simmons, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland, OR; Alisa A. Lee, Utah Division of Child and Family Services, Salt Lake City, UT; Stacey Tadgerson, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Lansing, MI; and Nadja Jones, Oregon Department of Human Services, Portland, OR
A4 – A New Way of Removing Barriers to Permanency: Minnesota’s Northstar Care for Children
In 2015, Minnesota implemented Northstar Care for Children, which was both a redesign of its foster care and adoption assistance programs and an opt-in to the federal Guardianship Assistance Program. Northstar Care for Children was meant to equalize foster care, adoption assistance, and guardianship assistance benefits for children ages 6 and older so as to reduce the time to permanency and stabilize families post-permanency. This workshop will provide an overview of the redesign efforts, implementation strategies, and lessons learned, as well as review data and outcomes related to Northstar Care for Children goals.
Presenter(s): Heidi Ombisa Skallet, Jody McElroy, Cynthia Shypulski, Mical Peterson and Kathleen Hiniker, Minnesota Department of Human Services, St. Paul, MN
Public Sector-Focused Workshops B
Thursday, April 26
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
B1 – Innovative Strategies to Strengthen and Support the Successful Child Welfare Workforce
This session will be co-facilitated by representatives of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and a community provider, and will focus on stabilizing the child welfare workforce. The presentation will cover hotline screening operations, the use of technology to strengthen the frontline staff, quality assurance, addressing secondary trauma in the workforce, and will speak to stabilizing the workforce through special initiatives and leadership development to contribute New Jersey’s attrition rate of less than 7%.
Presenter(s): Mary Sunder, Nancy Carre-Lee and Robyne Jiles, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ; and Cherie Castellano, Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare, Piscataway, NJ
B2 – Social Media and Technology Challenges: Risk Factors When Serving Youth in Diverse Settings
Public agencies serve youth in a variety of programs, such as family preservation, family foster care, kinship care, group homes, and residential treatment. Wherever young people live, they have access to the internet with all the benefits and risks it entails. CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare establishes standards concerning technology, internet, and social media risks for children and youth. This workshop builds upon the National Blueprint standards by challenging participants to identify strategies to address the risks and provide safety and well-being for youth.
Presenter(s): Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT
B3 – Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare Staff
Working in the child welfare field is a demanding and high-stress job. Not only does staff face burnout from a high-demand job, but also Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) due to working with individuals and families who are dealing with trauma in their lives. This often leads to the question: Is it burnout or STS? This workshop will look at the impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and ways to differentiate STS from burnout. Looking at the process and signs of STS, and ways to not only help individuals deal with STS, but how organizations can build processes to help monitor and alleviate STS. Presenters will discuss and explore how participants can implement the ABCs of prevention both individually and organizationally.
Presenter(s): Stan Waddell, Cenpatico, Wolfforth, TX; and Mary Armstrong, Cenpatico, Dallas, TX
B4 – Painting Pathways to Prevention
In the past five years, the volume of incoming reports for child maltreatment has increased in the United States. It is evident that the success and health of children cannot fully rely on child welfare workers, home visitors, medical professionals, and/or educational professionals that typically see children daily, but everyone has to be involved in building stronger families to prevent child maltreatment from ever occurring. This workshop will allow participants to experience a child’s life as they live with a parent who is unable to meet their needs. Participants will gain a perspective of what a child may endure while they are in a home of abuse and neglect, and outweigh building avenues to connect with a child that has been maltreated. Participants will understand how their daily professions and contact with community members provides them an opportunity to offer support and education for children and families that are affected by maltreatment so they do not have to go through it alone. Presenters will share avenues to connect to help identify local trends of child maltreatment so participants can learn to paint pathways toward prevention in their own communities.
Presenter(s): LeCole White, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR
Friday, April 27
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm
C1 – Disproportionality: The Child Welfare Nexus
Delivering child welfare services involves multiple decisions regarding the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and their families. Unfortunately, some decisions result in disproportionate numbers of children of color being placed into out-of-home care, with many never returning to their families of origin. Because the values, skills, principles, and biases of individual caseworkers can guide these decisions, it is important to understand the impact of disproportionality on children, families, and their futures. This session will introduce the concept of disproportionality, its prevalence in child welfare and other child-serving social services, and its impact across the nation.
Presenter(s): Deborah Wilson Gadsden, Family Design Resources, Inc., Harrisburg, PA
C2 – Leading with Evidence: Moving Towards 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. Initial thinking related to the framework was presented at the CWLA 2017 conference and feedback from public and private agency participants was collected.
In the ensuing year, CWLA has completed a review and analysis of the literature and jurisdictional studies related to caseload and workload calculation and management. Recent innovative approaches to workload management were also examined. This workshop will highlight key findings from the final CWLA report, Child Welfare Caseload and Workload: A Synthesis of the Evidence Base, Current Trends and Future Directions, that will be available at the conference. Come hear about the key findings and how they relate to the input from 2017 conference participants. Attendees will have opportunity to engage in a discussion regarding the implications 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 served. Participants will also have opportunity to provide input into the issues and questions that will inform a meeting with child welfare researchers and experts as well as hear about next steps and how they can continue to provide input.
Presenter(s): Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC; and Vicky Kelly, CWLA Board of Directors, Millsboro, DE
C3 – Building Organizational Resilience through a Racial Equity Team
This workshop is designed to give participants the opportunity to explore and discuss the process for establishing a racial equity team at their organization. Participants will receive guidelines for creating a strategic plan for workforce development and organizational change that addresses issues of inequity and inclusion using an evidence-informed analysis and action framework. Tools that lead to the successful implementation of a racial equity strategic plan will be examined by exploring the journey of a racial equity team at a community-based child and family services agency for youth and families involved with child welfare in San Francisco, CA.
Presenter(s): Sharon Kollar, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Albany, NY; and Kimberly Bradley, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Berkeley, CA
C4 – Developing Outreach Programs for Child Maltreatment and Children in Foster Care in Geographic Shortage Regions
This workshop will review an established approach regarding the development, in shortage areas, of an outreach clinic for child maltreatment and foster care evaluation. Discussion will be held regarding challenges needed to bridge across multiple agencies (medical, child protective services, legal) to offer a complete “Medical Passport” that provides the child, biologic family, foster family, and CPS (in working with the medical staff) a comprehensive care plan to better serve the needs of the child and family. Presenters will discuss the challenges, which include financial struggles, limited services, and communication problems that are often faced by the multiple agencies involved in care for these children. The discussion will demonstrate how this approach is able to cast a safety net over a large region because of the coordinated and cooperative efforts by multiple agencies for these children that offers both short-term as well as long-term benefits in the care of these children.
Presenter(s): Arne Graf and Alison Larson, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
C5 – Complex Challenges and Complex Solutions: A Continuum of Response to Human Trafficking Survivors in the Child Welfare System
Human trafficking is an inherently complex problem and, thus, requires a complex solution. Saint Francis Community Services (SFCS), a private child welfare agency in Kansas, has developed internal resources and engaged external resources in order to advance the cause of identification, treatment, and secondary prevention of human trafficking (HT). This workshop explores the underlying vulnerabilities of youth in foster care, the SFCS coordinated response to HT, and effective therapeutic strategies in supporting the healing of minor survivors. Participants can expect a dynamic and interactive workshop, designed to engage attendees in understanding the SFCS model of response to HT, as well emerging needs being identified.
Presenter(s): Melanie A. Miller Garrett, Saint Francis Community Services, Salina, KS; and Vickie McArthur, Saint Francis Community Services, Wichita, KS
C6 – Global Youth in America: Policy Review, Immigration Trends, Fostering Resiliency
At the helm of a national network of foster care providers, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has remained nimble and proactive in the changing landscape of American immigration policy. Session attendees will receive a history of the federally funded Unaccompanied Children (UC) foster care program; an overview of the administration’s impact on the UC’s served by the LIRS foster care network; and LIRS’ response to this impact at individual, programmatic, and national levels. Presenters will dive into practical examples of the resilience found in the children in care, the agencies serving them, and the national policies shaping the landscape.
Presenter(s): Julia Hutton and Caitlin O’Donnell, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Baltimore, MD
C7 – Now is the Time: Developing a Comprehensive Kinship System of Care
Kinship care practice and policy has progressed over the years with laws, regulations, and services that have supported kinship families and the children and youth in their care. Dynamic attention to current kinship care policy and practice issues was demonstrated during the CWLA 2014 National Kinship Conference in New Orleans and the 2017 CWLA special issue of Child Welfare journal, “Kinship Care and Child Welfare: New Directions for Policy and Practice.” Just as kinship care reflects family history, this session will focus on how kinship care evolved over the past 30 years and, most importantly, the direction for the future. Presenters will discuss the current realities of kinship policy and practice, and engage participants in answering the question: What should be a comprehensive response to the needs of all kinship families to create a system of care?
Presenter(s): Gerard Wallace, NYS Kinship Navigator, Delmar, NY; Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work California State University, Long Beach, CA; Alison Caliendo, Foster Kinship, Las Vegas, NV; Bob Ruble, OC Kinship & Support Org, Buena Park, CA; and Marla Spindel and Stephanie McClellan, DC KinCare Alliance,Washington, DC
C8 – Promising Ways to Serve Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders: Improving Outcomes by Infusing Effective Family Drug Court Strategies into Child Welfare and Dependency Court Systems
Research and practical experience has established the prevalence of parental substance use disorders (SUD) among families in child welfare systems. The Family Drug Court (FDC) Model serves as a promising approach to improving outcomes for children and families affected by parental substance use disorders and is based on 7 Essential Practices. This presentation will explore the FDC movement and the opportunities for serving more families affected by substance use disorders, keeping families together, and reducing child maltreatment by infusing effective FDC strategies into dependency court and child welfare systems.
Presenter(s): Phil Breitenbucher, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA
C9 – Supporting Older Youth: What’s the Brain Got to Do With It
Adolescent brain development research provides clear evidence that adolescence is a unique period of time, different from both early childhood and adulthood, ripe with opportunities for skill building, healing and growth. This interactive session is designed to translate adolescent brain science concepts into daily practice guidance for those who work with and support young people. Presenters will share relevant research on the importance of authentic engagement; the interconnection between risk-taking and reward-seeking; and opportunities to promote healthy adolescent development especially for young people who are in or transitioning from foster care.
Presenter(s): Leslie Gross and Alexandra Lohrbach, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD
C10 – The Atlas Project: How Trauma-Informed Practice Can Improve Outcomes for Children in Foster Care
Increasingly, child welfare providers are looking to become “trauma-informed” in an effort to more effectively address the impact that abuse, neglect and other adversities have had on the children and families they serve. There is less consensus, however, about what trauma-informed child welfare practice consists of, how agencies can become trauma-informed, and its impact on child outcomes. This workshop will share findings from a project focused on implementing trauma-focused practices with treatment family foster care programs in New York City and provide strategies and tools that can be implemented in a range of child welfare settings.
Presenter(s): Erika Tullberg and Bonnie Kerker, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
C11 – Using Employee Engagement and Strength-Based Leadership Strategies to Support the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Children and Families
The leadership style of supervisors is an important consideration for determining organizational effectiveness and employee job satisfaction. Employee performance, morale, and job satisfaction may directly relate to the culture of leadership within the organization. Given that turnover rates of child welfare social workers increase the level of vulnerability for children who have been abused and neglected, it is critical for social work administrators to employ engagement strategies to increase the retention and engagement of social work staff. The goal of the workshop is to provide effective strengths-based employee engagement strategies that support the strategic outcomes of an organization.
Presenter(s): Marie Brown-Mercadel, Sandy Howard, Charity Douglas, Derrick Perry and Jennifer “Linn” Ramirez, Riverside County-Department of Public Social Services, Riverside, CA
C12 – A Roadmap for Success: Managed Care Strategies That Work for Children, Youth, and Young Adults
Anthem (Amerigroup) specializes in population health management and has been the managed care partner of the Georgia child welfare system since 2014. Together with state partner DFCS and other state agencies, including Juvenile Justice, Education, Behavioral Health and Medicaid, Anthem has seen a marked change in outcomes in serving 27,000 children, youth and young adult’s each day. The outcomes reflect the results in health, well-being and independence outcomes for young members along with positive pharmacy trends, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility transitions to family-based care and permanency. Presenters will share a step by step approach to serving and supporting the children, youth and young adults in foster care, adoption and juvenile justice from a Medicaid fee-for-service into a single statewide, integrated managed care approach under one organization.
Presenter(s): Mark Washington and Manny Arisso, Anthem, Washington, DC
C13 – Agile/Scrum: Building Organizational Resilience
Agile/Scrum is a method of project management and implementation born of the software development field that has migrated to organizational change management in a variety of industries. Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the first agency to embrace this methodology and apply it to child welfare. A tragic high profile case in 2013 highlighted the need for DCF to make dramatic, sustainable agency improvement. Presenters will explain Agile/Scrum, recount DCF’s learning curve and adaptations, discuss the benefits and challenges, report the significant contributions of Agile/Scrum to building the agency’s resilience, and summarize data that demonstrates this effective model for quality improvement.
Presenter(s): Linda Spears, Ruben Ferreira, Lian Hogan, Ryan FitzGerald and Marcia Roddy, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, Boston, MA
C14 – How Child Welfare and Fatherhood Programs Can Work Together to Improve Child Well-Being
This interactive session will provide an introduction to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) and how to access its related resources. Participants will learn about how child welfare agencies and staff can partner with federal, state, and locally funded fatherhood programs to improve child and family outcomes. Presenters will share background information on lessons learned from child welfare agencies who have successfully engaged fathers and what strategies they used. The session will also include an overview of the NRFC’s Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit, which features a chapter on child welfare and fatherhood partnerships as well as facilitation strategies, downloadable activities, and programmatic design tips.
Presenter(s): Eugene Schneeberg and Nigel Vann, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, Fairfax, VA
Saturday, April 28
8:45 am – 10:15 am
D1 – Supporting Permanency Outcomes through Diligent Recruitment and Segmented Marketing
This presentation and interactive discussion offers attendees the first-hand opportunity to learn how “diligent recruitment,” specifically segmented marketing, implemented by the federally funded Florida Intelligent Recruitment Project has impacted outcomes for three of Florida’s Community Based Care lead agencies. Project leadership will discuss strategic marketing campaigns developed by project partner, Gold and Associates, and demonstrate how the plans, as well as other components of diligent recruitment, have strengthened their approach to recruiting foster and adoptive parents, specifically for older youth in care. The workshop will present project objectives and research findings related to implementation strategies, return on investment, and child-specific outcomes.
Presenter(s): John Cooper, Kids Central, Inc., Wildwood, FL; David DeStefano, Strategic Solutions, Lafayette, IN; and Keith Gold, Gold & Associates, Inc., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
D2 – Weaving Safety into the Fabric of the Community: Challenging the Narrowing Mandate of Child Protection
Brant Family and Children’s Services in Ontario, Canada, is a child welfare agency providing an innovative community-based program model that integrates community capacity building with child protection. Early help strategies combined with partnerships within the community enhances opportunities to build relationships and mitigate risk. This strength-based approach builds community cohesion, improves accessibility to supports and strives to prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families. As child welfare mandates narrow, this framework weaves social work values and philosophical underpinnings into the everyday work. A shared responsibility of child well-being belongs to the community and child welfare is part of that community.
Presenter(s): Sarah Robertson and Jill Esposto, Brant Family and Children’s Services, Brantford, Ontario; and Andrew Koster, Child Welfare League of Canada and Brant Family and Children’s Services, Brantford, Ontario
D3 – Recognizing and Honoring the Burden and Dignity of Difference: Putting Mindfulness Into Practice
Westchester Building Futures (WBF) is a federally funded, multi-year initiative, awarded to the Westchester County Department of Social Services (WCDSS), that seeks to eliminate homelessness among youth/young adults who are at risk and have child welfare/foster care histories. This presentation will highlight WBF’s culturally-responsive work focused on building and fortifying relationship wealth with those served, and within professional teams through the lens of recognizing and honoring the burden and dignity of difference. Presenters will facilitate an engaging, crucial conversation with workshop participants centered on the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, culture, and other “-isms.” The objective of this interactive workshop is to offer concrete tools that professionals can use as we all work to advance culturally-responsive interactions and outcomes.
Presenter(s): Tara Linh Leaman, Westchester County Department of Social Services, White Plains, NY
D4 – What Comes Next? Understanding How Child Welfare Workers and Domestic Violence Agencies Collaborate for Change
Experience and data tell us that the overlap of child abuse and domestic violence is not only a reality but also an imperative needing attention. This workshop focuses on the overlap of child welfare and domestic violence with a focus on solutions and how to improve family outcomes. Presenters will review how states are addressing this gap and how this information informed a larger programmatic evaluation. Presenters will also discuss what is occurring currently in the state of New Jersey through the Domestic Violence Liaison program (DVL). This workshop will also share the successes and challenges experienced with partnering organizations, what factors they believe have made the collaboration successful, and how participants can take these lessons back to their home agencies.
Presenter(s): Catie Buttner and Judy Postmus, Center on Violence Against Women and Children, New Brunswick, NJ; and Allison Blake, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ
D5 – Applying A Code of Ethics as an Advocacy Strategy to Strengthen Family Foster Care Services
When parents cannot keep children safe and kinship care isn’t an option, child protective services “outsources” care of these children to foster parents. Loss and trauma histories of these children require special parenting skills, but foster parents also need system supports. The National Foster Parent Association supports foster parents in achieving safety, well-being and permanency for children in their care. Using a Code of Ethics for Foster Parents is an advocacy strategy that can strengthen family foster care. This workshop demonstrates this strategy is commensurate with CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence and can be replicated nationwide.
Presenter(s): Irene Clements, National Foster Parent Association, Pflugerville, TX; Peggy Kirby, Louisiana Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, Monroe, LA; Eshele Williams, CWLA, Altadena, CA; Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work California State University, Long Beach, CA; and Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT
D6 – Reconciling Parental Substance Use, Child Safety, Housing First, and Harm-Reduction Principles
Working to keep child welfare involved families safely together can be overwhelming when faced with complex intersecting familial challenges such as parental substance use and family homelessness. This session will highlight collaborative practice approaches between the fields of substance abuse treatment, child welfare, and juvenile courts and explore the applications to helping families find success in child welfare, housing, and treatment. This session will engage the audience in a discussion about innovative approaches to serve highly vulnerable families with a housing-first and harm-reduction approach to child welfare services coupled with supportive housing.
Presenter(s): Andrew Johnson, CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing), San Diego, CA; and Phil Breitenbucher, Children and Family Futures, Inc., Lake Forest, CA
D7 – A Focus on Healing: A Trauma-Informed Team Approach Supporting Commercially Sexually Exploited Children
This presentation will follow the case of a commercially sexually exploited minor from identification, to court, through social service interventions and aftercare, highlighting the nuances of this work, the need for partnership, and challenges of maintaining a trauma-sensitive culture while creating safety for victims. The Honorable Judge Lori A. Dumas, who presides over a diversion court for commercially exploited youth, and Salvation Army staff will share their roles in this process, the philosophy behind the diversion court, and how the shared values of trauma-informed care lay the foundation for this innovative and important work.
Presenter(s): Susan Brotherton and Jamie Manirakiza, The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and The Honorable Judge Lori A. Dumas, Philadelphia Family Court, Philadelphia, PA
D8 – Tailoring Multisystemic Therapy for Child Welfare Preventive Populations: Reports on an In-Progress Adaptation
This session will provide an overview, description, and preliminary outcome data for an in-progress adaptation of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) known as MST Prevention. This pilot project is a partnership between The Children’s Village, MST Inc., and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. This case study will describe the process of tailoring and adapting evidence-based interventions developed in other human service fields to the needs of child welfare populations through a collaborative process involving funders, providers, model developers, and the public. This new adaptation is designed to help keep families together, disrupt the school to prison pipeline, and keep children safe in their homes and communities.
Presenter(s): David Collins, and Daphne Torres-Douglas, The Children’s Village, Dobbs Ferry, NY
D9 – Kinship Caregivers and Parent-Child Reunification
As child welfare agencies have increased reliance on kinship caregivers as the preferred option to care for children who must be separated from their parents, discussion of permanency for children has focused primarily on the kinship caregiver as the permanency solution that is assuming guardianship or adopting the children. However, parents and children do not lose their right to resolve issues that resulted in separation of children from parents and to reunify when children are cared for by kin. Kinship caregivers are uniquely qualified to help children and parents realize this right due to their family relationships and knowledge of the child welfare system. This workshop will focus on the role kinship caregivers can fulfill in promoting reunification with parents. Strategies for navigating complex and difficult intra-family relationships, assuring the safety of children, and supporting healing and growth of parents will be addressed.
Presenter(s): Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL; and Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ
D10 – Strategies for Implementing Greater Normalcy for Youth in Out-of-Home Placement: Normalcy Toolkit, Current Projects and Education PSA from the New England Youth Coalition (NEYC)
The New England Youth Coalition (NEYC) is a partnership of six public child welfare agencies that has been meeting since 2008. Following their creation and approval of the Normalcy Bill of Rights and Normalcy Definition, the group has created a Normalcy Toolkit which will be presented. Participants will also learn about the three new projects that were developed from strategic planning during their annual Regional Youth Leadership Conference which include: (1) “Driving to Success” – ensuring youth obtain a driver’s license; (2) “Project Stability” – extending foster care; and (3) “Normalcy Implementation” – expanding the Normalcy toolkit online.
Presenter(s): Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky, New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors, Boston, MA
D11 – Building Communities of Hope: Lessons Learned from Community Support Programs
Can we effectively lead and share the responsibility of caring for and protecting children, families and communities? This presentation will explore the way in which communities across the country are successfully partnering to provide innovative preventive and supportive services. A collective impact approach has been utilized with a shared goal of stabilizing families. Information on bold and innovative collaborative efforts and the effective strategies used will be shared. Join presenters for an interactive session highlighting the journey and lessons learned from jurisdictions across the country that are redefining how communities share a vision of hope to assure that children and families are safe and thrive.
Presenter(s): Paul DiLorenzo, Casey Family Programs, Bala Cynwd, PA; and Kary A. James, Mainstruct Consulting, LLC, Waldorf, MD
D12 – Works Wonders: A Youth Participatory Approach to Improving Employment Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care
In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the five elements of Works Wonders, evaluation results, and replication efforts of this innovative model to help youth in foster care to meet the next century’s needs. Participants will develop mastery of the youth participatory philosophy and approach, which are critical for fidelity to replication. Participants will learn how to build resiliency for youth and for program sustainability, by blending funding beyond typical child welfare proper funding sources. Participants will understand how to leverage public/private partnerships through inclusion of an evidence-informed model that changes the trajectory of outcomes for youth who are vulnerable.
Presenter(s): Kat Keenan and Bernadette Tavares, Foster Forward, East Providence, RI
D14 – Building and Maintaining a Resilient Workforce
Explore the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute’s Workforce Development Framework. The Framework offers a comprehensive and innovative approach to recruiting, developing and retaining a committed, competent and culturally responsive workforce. Discover the key steps and core components you need to address your agency’s workforce challenges. Learn about the Tool Kit and Facilitator Guide available to help comprehensively assess and strategize around workforce improvements. Participants will experience the highly interactive MyNCWWI website, generate ideas to close the gaps, and learn of critical resources. Bring your electronic device to the session for real-time polling and an online learning portal demonstration.
Presenter(s): Carole Wilcox, Butler Institute for Families, University of Denver, Denver, CO; and Sharon Kollar, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Albany, NY
Saturday, April 28
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
E1 – Take the Guesswork out of a Trauma-Informed Care Wellness Training for Staff
Want to nurture your staff? Create team harmony and foster an atmosphere of trust and caring? Learn how to integrate wellness into staff meetings by using the Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Wellness Guide. Teach staff to recognize the widespread impact of trauma, integrate knowledge of trauma in treatment, and promote healing. To support staff wellness and help employees build TIC into their daily routine, this guide offers 52 TIC tips—one for each week of the year. Broken into six categories, come ready to participate in learning a TIC concept, how to elaborate, reflect and summarize each week’s training.
Presenter(s): Stacey Roth, Samira Vishria, and Andrew Cantalano, Hillsides, Los Angeles, CA
E2 – Using Data and Storytelling to Advocate for Children’s Services – CANCELLED
E3 – Is It All About Drugs? How the Opioid Crisis Impacts Foster Care Caseloads
After more than a decade of sustained declines in the national foster care caseload, beginning in 2011 the number of children entering foster care began to rise. While many believed parental substance use was the primary cause of the increase, there was little empirical evidence to support this assertion. This mixed-methods study, including both quantitative and qualitative analyses, was conducted to better understand how substance misuse and use disorders relate to the changing trend in foster care caseloads. The quantitative portion of the study examines the strength of the relationship between the prevalence of opioids in a county, the drug overdose death rate, and the number of children entering into foster care. The qualitative portion of the study, based on site visits to 11 communities around the United States, provides rich, contextual information. It documents the perspectives and experiences of child welfare administrators and practitioners, substance use treatment administrators and practitioners, judges and other legal professionals, law enforcement officials, and other service providers—the local experts—who on a day-to-day basis work with families struggling with substance use disorders. Combined, the quantitative and the qualitative results describe how the child welfare system interacts with community partners to serve an increasing population of parents whose substance use disorders have impaired their parenting and placed their children at risk.
Presenter(s): Laura Radel, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Health and Human Services (HHS); and Melinda J. Baldwin, Children’s Bureau, HHS
E4 – Embracing a Model of Practice to Develop and Support Foster and Adoptive or Resource Parents as Team Members in Child Protection and Trauma-Informed Care of Children
The ongoing challenge to recruit and retain foster or resource parents is being more successfully addressed by agencies that recognize the benefit of having a model of practice to provide the consistent use of best practices by all staff who engage with these essential team members. While recruitment, preservice training, mutual family assessment (home studies) and approval or licensing are critical steps, much stronger efforts must be made to support these families once they bring children who have experienced loss and trauma into their families. Two primary goals of the workshop are to ensure that all work in support of resource families is true to agency mission and that the skills developed by prospective resource families are reinforced and enhanced through these families’ tenure with their respective agencies. A particular focus will be on disruption prevention and ensuring that birth children of resource parents also are supported in the fostering and adopting process.
Presenter(s): Theresa Broome and Michael McHugh, Children and Families First, Wilmington, DE; Linda D. Brooks and Alfred R. Steward Jr., Virginia Beach Department of Human Services, Virginia Beach, VA; Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT; and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work California State University, Long Beach, CA
E5 – Trauma-Responsive Information Sharing: Key Lessons Learned with Specialized Courts and Multi-Disciplinary Teams Supporting CSEC Youth
With more than 30,000 youth in foster care, and a significant issue with commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), Los Angeles, CA, has had to develop some unique approaches and policies to sharing information in order to create efficient services, collaborative courts, and partnerships with non-government organizations. The lessons learned from these policies allow the youth access to support they need. This session will review how to best work with information-sharing guidelines to allow multidisciplinary teams to support children with a collaborative model.
Presenter(s): Amber Davies, Saving Innocence, Los Angeles, CA; Jenny Cheung-Marino, Children’s Law Center, Los Angeles, CA; and Maria Griglio, Los Angeles County Counsel, Monterey Park, CA
E6 – Serving Immigrant Children in the Child Welfare System
This workshop will provide attendees with information on the common forms of immigration relief that immigrant children in the child welfare system may be eligible for, so that field staff and attorneys involved in the child welfare system are able to recognize a child’s potential eligibility for various forms of relief. Presenters will also highlight the steps the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has taken in the area of immigration to more effectively and efficiently serve its immigrant population base, and share successful implementation strategies for agencies to consider in the area of immigration.
Presenter(s): Meredith Pindar, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ; Randi Mandelbaum, Rutgers University Law School, Newark, NJ; and Joanne Gottesman, Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ
E7 – Building Resilience in Teenagers: An Evaluation of the Community-Wide Implementation of Reaching Teens©
In 1999, Fort Worth, TX, suffered a community tragedy after an armed gunman entered a place of worship and fatally injured seven innocent teens and adults and injured seven others before taking his own life. This tragedy was the catalyst for an in-depth examination of the city’s mental health system and the creation of the Mental Health Connection (MHC). For the past 17 years, the MHC has spearheaded opportunities for collaborative problem solving, networking, access to collaborative funding opportunities, coordinated training and education on the latest research informed practices, and formed many successful collaborations that has brought about a collective impact in Tarrant County. This workshop will highlight one of many community collaborations of the MHC, a 3-year pilot project and evaluation of the evidence-informed manual Reaching Teens© which was developed to build a more trauma-informed and resilient community.
Presenter(s): Patsy Thomas, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX; Sonya Mosley and Stacey Lewis, Lena Pope, Fort Worth, TX
E8 – Identifying and Addressing Secondary Trauma in Child Welfare Settings
Through their daily work with children and family members that have been impacted by trauma, child welfare staff are at particularly high risk for developing secondary trauma reactions, which can mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder and impair personal and professional functioning. Additionally, child welfare staff often experience primary trauma as part of their work, and work within organizations whose cultures are negatively shaped by trauma. This workshop will describe efforts to better understand and address such trauma within a large, multi-service agency, and provide attendees with strategies they can apply with their staff.
Presenter(s): Erika Tullberg, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY; and Georgia Boothe, Children’s Aid Society, New York, NY
E9 – Healthy Connections
Early brain development is relationship-based. Every infant/toddler being raised in a family struggling with substance use should have the opportunity to build a healthy brain through healthy relationships with caregivers. Family members need support in both recovery and parenting. This presentation will describe the development of Healthy Connections, an innovative family-centered, model for enhancing development and building healthy relationships with families with newborns exposed to the effects of substance abuse in utero. Presenters will share lessons learned and specific strategies related to building a supportive community response to the treatment of mothers struggling with addiction and the well-being of their families.
Presenter(s): Louis Nieuwenhuizen, Marshall University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Huntington, WV; and Jo Dee Gottlieb, Marshall University, Huntington, WV; and Todd Davies, Marshall University Clinical Research Center, Huntington, WV
E10 – Supervision: An Effective Practice Tool for Supporting Staff Development and Service Goal Achievement
This workshop will examine the function of supervision in the delivery of child welfare services and its role in supporting child welfare staff. The quality of supervision has an impact on the achievement of enhanced family, child, and youth service outcomes, and staff development and retention. This interactive workshop will explore evidence-informed approaches to supervision, six key functions of supervision, and organizational structure that supports effective supervision. Two primary goals of the workshop are to enhance skill development in the application of key supervisory functions, and promote the view that effective supervision is a partnership that depends on mutual respect and a collaborative approach.
Presenter(s): Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ; and Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL
E11 – Improving Access to Healthcare and Reducing Costs for Transition-Aged Youth with Behavioral Health Problems
This workshop will describe findings from an implementation, outcomes, and cost study of a program designed to link transition-aged youth with behavioral health problems in foster care to community services and supports including access to primary and reproductive health care, education, employment and life skills. COACHES, initially supported by a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to a private/public partnership between Amerigroup, an insurance provider, and Families First, a private family services provider, is now sustained by state and insurance funding. Presenters will share the initial implementation plan and findings, revisions to the approach based on preliminary findings, health care cost savings, successful sustainability and plans for continued monitoring and evaluation.
Presenter(s): Michael Rodi, Families First, Atlanta, GA
E12 – Family Link: Building a Comprehensive Model for Shared Parenting between Birth and Foster Parents in the District of Columbia
Family Link is the District of Columbia’s unique shared parenting initiative, designed to build supportive relationships between birth and foster families. Family Link was developed through the strong partnership of the Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, a local foster parent advocacy group, and DC’s Child and Family Services Agency. Family Link has created a significant systemic and culture shift in how families relate to each other and how the system supports these relationships. This interactive session will cover the partnership’s philosophical framework; the importance of the partnership in this effort; current resources and tools; and successes and challenges with systemic integration.
Presenter(s): Latasha Carroll, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC; and Donna Flenory and Blaire Crumbley, Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, Washington, DC
E13 – Trauma-Informed Approach: Transforming Your Organization One Step at a Time
This presentation will provide attendees with foundational knowledge about adopting a trauma-informed approach, share practical ways in which providers can collaborate with community partners to make foundational changes, and highlight critical success factors for promoting sustainable organizational change. Presenters will also share their experience participating in the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community, an effort to assist organizations in planning, implementing, and maintaining trauma-informed care and a trauma-informed approach throughout the agency and to create safe environments for children and families to receive services, as well as the successes and failures they encountered in promoting organizational change.
Presenter(s): Jacey Coy and Theresa Lindberg, Casa de los Ninos, Tucson, AZ
E14 – Including Fathers in Service Delivery to Children and Families to Ensure Their Well-Being: Rethinking the Social Service Model
This workshop session will address the benefits derived when social service agencies engage fathers to become involved or increase their involvement with their children. The need for agencies to develop strategies and increase their skills in locating and engaging fathers to promote positive family outcomes will be discussed. Presenters will focus their presentations on: R.E.A.L. Fatherhood Innovations: Improving the Social Capital of Fathers; and Including Father in “FAMILY”: Intentional Fatherhood Work in Child Welfare. This workshop session will be a precursor to the Fatherhood Engagement Training Institute session which will highlight fatherhood empowerment strategies that reinforce the importance of improving the well-being of children and families. Attendees will benefit from both sessions independently.
Presenter(s): Kevin M. McGuire, Westchester County Department of Social Services, White Plains, NY; and Alan Michael-Graves, Project Fatherhood, Children’s Institute, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Friday, April 27
10:30 am – 11:30 am
LL1 – Early Support Beyond Educational Walls: Professionals and Parents Collaborating for Youth
This presentation will be from both a professionals and parents perspective of children that experience behavioral health challenges between the ages of birth to 8-years old. The presenters will focus on behavioral early intervention and support for families, and share their own professional and personal experiences. As leaders in The Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, the presenters will also share information about resources and various supports, including agency, groups and peer support, as well as understanding acronyms and important definitions pertaining to behavioral health care. Additionally, the presenters will highlight the importance of parents and professionals working hand and hand to strengthen parents, families and children, and/or students.
Presenter(s): Monique Jackson, Early Steps Family Resources, Dacula, GA; and Teresa Wright Johnson, Younger Years & Beyond, Decatur, GA
LL2 – The Complementary Roles of CASA/GAL Volunteers, Children’s Counsel, and Child Welfare Professionals in Court
This session will provide an overview of the complementary roles of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers, children’s counsel and child welfare workers in child abuse and neglect proceedings. Children’s counsel provides legal representation throughout the often long and complex court process. CASA/GAL volunteers advocate for a child’s best interest by providing critical information to judges about the child’s needs and well-being. Child welfare professionals play an integral role as representative of the agency legally charged with the care of the child and efforts to help the child achieve permanency. In a time of diminishing resources, the effective collaboration of partners is essential to assure support of and advocacy for children and families.
Presenter(s): Sally Wilson Erny, National CASA Association, Washington, DC; and Diane Nunn, National CASA Association, Seattle, WA
LL3 – From Child Welfare to Child and Family Well-Being: Integrating a Child and Family Well-Being Framework Into Child Welfare Practice by Implementing Evidence-Based Assessments and Interventions That Improve Long-Term Child and Family Outcomes
Evidence-based assessment can effectively provide a better understanding of a child and family’s needs, which can lead to more targeted and timely service delivery. This presentation will provide an overview of a well-being practice framework and how evidence-based well-being assessments were integrated into child welfare services in order to improve child and parent functioning. The presenter will outline the process of identifying assessments and interventions that align with current child welfare practice and family well-being needs. Future directions for expanding assessment and intervention catalog and use of predictive analytics will be discussed.
Presenter(s): Luke Waldo, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
LL4 – 21st Century Strategies for Outcomes Driven Continuous Quality Improvement
Continuous quality improvement (CQI) responsibilities often remain the purview of CQI units within child welfare agencies. Frontline workers and middle managers feel that CQI happens “to” them rather than an agency-wide process that involves them. Executive leadership review data and make decisions disconnected from policy to practice feedback loops. This session will present strategies for creating an integrated approach to CQI for purposes of improving outcomes. Core strategies include: (1) having a measurable set of priority outcomes; (2) establishing an organization-wide governance structure oriented toward outcomes improvement; and (3) building CQI capacity at all levels of the organization.
Presenter(s): Yolanda Green-Rogers, Krista A. Thomas, and Khush Cooper, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
LL5 – Right-Time Risk Taking
Since 2008 and passage of Fostering Connections to Success Act, “successful advocacy” has been restricted to “cost neutral” proposals–that is, any expansion of needed child welfare services must cut funding from other child welfare services. Yet during this same time frame, our field has provided more data about what works to prevent or ameliorate poverty on child well-being, opioid and addiction crisis and treatment, violence, and trauma-based behaviors and dysfunctions. Presenters will examine challenges and barriers to our work of healing families, politically and fiscally. Participants will be encouraged to brainstorm new ideas for advocacy around prevention and intervention services.
Presenter(s): Dr. Laura Boyd, Family Focused Treatment Association, Norman, OK; and John Sciamanna, CWLA, Washington, DC
LL6 – Show Me Strong Families
This session will share challenges, successes, and strategies from three different urban home visiting programs in St. Louis, Missouri (the Show Me State) working with a targeted population (teens, single parents, foster parents, grandparents parenting, incarcerated parents). Presenters will share how their own experiences coupled with the evidence-based curriculum help them partner, facilitate, and reflect with their families.
Presenter(s): Dallyda Tatchi-Banda and Randall Hinton, Parents as Teachers National Center, St. Louis, MO
LL 7 – Preserving Families through Partnerships
Preserving Families through Partnerships uses five years of successful Regional Partnership Grant experience to share prevention and permanency outcomes in rural and urban populations. Results are achieved through partnering with the state child welfare agency in using the Signs of Safety Child Protection Practice Framework quickly partnering with families to address their identified needs. Using experiential activities to demonstrate the effectiveness of both the RPG and Signs of Safety models, this session will share examples of what works most effectively with rural vs. urban populations. Emphasis is placed on how intensive case management, peer mentoring, and supported transitional housing impact families.
Presenter(s): Beverly Long and Mary Turner, Preferred Family Healthcare, Springfield, MO
LL8 – Fostering Sibling Connections: Legal, Policy, and Practice Strategies to Support Siblings in Foster Care
Presenters will explore the legal, policy, and practice landscape relating to the rights of siblings in foster care ten years after enactment of Fostering Connections to Success. This session will include: an overview of the literature demonstrating the importance of the sibling connection to positive outcomes for foster youth; a discussion of the federal and state laws addressing the rights of siblings to joint placement, visitation, and post-adoption contact; and positive practice developments that have demonstrated success in supporting sibling bonds. Presenters hope to include a youth formerly in foster care and a foster parent who can share personal experiences.
Presenter(s): Leecia Welch and Anna Johnson, National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA; and Lily Colby, California CASA, Oakland, CA
LL9 – The Executive Coaching Model of Mentoring Youth who are At Risk
The Executive Coaching model of mentoring offers a focused, goal-oriented strategy for mentoring youth who are at risk—especially high school dropouts—with the objective of helping them develop a career interest and a plan of action to achieve that objective. The model utilizes volunteer mentor-coaches recruited from companies whose professional workforce is motivated to “give back” and who are also able to provide hands-on work experience through job shadowing and internships. An additional benefit to the program is the opportunity to engage employers in a meaningful way. Pre- and post-tests document gains in optimism about the future and perceived quality of life.
Presenter(s): Bob Stewart and Carolyne Ouya, Access, San Diego, CA
LL10 – Prevention Network for the Ortenaukreis in Germany
The Prevention Network Ortenaukreis, PNO, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, aims to promote physical and mental health as well as social inclusion of 3- to 10-year old children and their families in the Ortenau district. Within a period of four years starting November 2014, a community network will be established. Presenters will share all essential components of the network.
Presenter(s): Sarah Henschke , Landratsamt Ortenaukreis, Offenburg, Germany
LL11 – Expanding Proven Program Models Through Public-Private Partnerships
Allegheny County Department of Human Services recently launched YVLifeSet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through a partnership with Youth Villages. YVLifeSet is designed to help young people aging out of care to live successfully through intensive, individualized services. In 2015, MDRC released findings of a randomized control trial which showed that YVLifeSet produced positive outcomes in multiple domains. Through joint funding from a Youth Villages grant and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and its private partners, in addition to collaboration in planning and implementation, this public-private partnership has been successful in bringing a proven and effective service model to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Presenter(s): Katja Russell, Youth Villages, Memphis, TN; and Courtney Lewis, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pittsburgh, PA
LL12 – Building Better Outcomes for Transitioning Youth through the Homeless Youth Legal Network
This session will focus first on how child welfare stakeholders must insure that transition planning for youth in foster care prioritizes the prevention of homelessness and must be knowledgeable about legal issues that can impact a youth beyond the dependency case and can contribute to homelessness. Second, the session will highlight the launch of the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network. HYLN is mapping all available legal services to this population, whether in a traditional legal aid office, or a law school clinic, or an incubator program, or through pro bono services provided by a law firm or bar association. It has identified twelve model sites of legal services programs for homeless youth. HYLN is working to build best practices for the delivery of legal services to this population, to mentor and expand existing programs, to develop programs where none exist, and, finally, to address policy issues consistent with the prevention of homelessness.
Presenter(s): Linda Britton, American Bar Association, Washington, DC
LL13 – Staying Online: Blended Learning and Leadership for Today’s Workforce
This presentation will focus on effective and creative ways to utilize blended learning to motivate and inform the diverse needs of staff in the residential treatment milieu. Evidence-based research in online learning will be discussed. Strategies to best devote live training time to the development of leadership for a stable and upwardly mobile workforce will be explored. While today’s training and learning platforms offer a multitude of options for online education, time and attention span is at a premium. The question is, how do we make the most efficient use of our time to develop leadership excellence?
Presenter(s): Sarah Ruback, St. Christopher’s Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY
LL14 – Gender Matters: Meeting the Needs of Youth in Multiple Systems through Evidence-Based, Gender-Responsive Programs
This session will focus on utilizing gender-responsive programs to improve strategies for building safety and respect, reducing risk factors, and increasing protective factors while providing services to meet the needs of children, youth, and families. The session will present three nationally recognized gender-responsive program models implemented across all cultures, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses—specifically Girls Circle®, The Council for Boys and Young Men®, and Mother-Daughter Circle®. Presenters hope to provide participants with the foundational guidelines for implementing these highly effective evidenced and research-based models in child welfare, schools, juvenile justice, mental health, and community-based settings.
Presenter(s): Victoria Mahand, One Circle Foundaiton, San Rafael, CA
Friday, April 27
11:45 am – 12:45 pm
LL15 – Child Care and Child Welfare: An Innovative Service Collaboration for Children who are Vulnerable
Child care and child welfare systems are both concerned about the safety and well-being of young children and yet rarely collaborate in a systematic way. This new strategy for providing child care services to young children placed in foster care, foster parents, and kinship providers will help meet their complex needs. The Los Angeles Child Care Resource Center, the University of Southern California, and the Department of Children and Family Services present a unique collaborative model based on their own research, data-sharing, and months of work. This model has implications for child welfare and child care policy throughout California.
Presenter(s): Ellen Cervantes and Serena Bezdjian, Child Care Resource Center, Los Angeles, CA; Adrienne Olson, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Van Nuys, CA; and Jacquelyn McCroskey, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
LL16 – Building Safe, Resilient Communities
Achieving sustainable change requires developing comprehensive strategies which address the many factors that create toxic stress in families, neighborhoods and communities and keep them from realizing their potential for success. This session focuses on strategies for working with partners and communities that increase safety, resiliency and the potential for success using the At-Promise Youth and Family Center which opened in August 2017 and serves the highest crime area in Atlanta, Georgia. Partners include: The Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Public Schools, CHRIS 180, Atlanta Urban League, Street Smart Youth Project, the Boys and Girls Club, and local neighborhoods.
Presenter(s): Kathy Colbenson and Cindy Simpson, CHRIS 180, Atlanta, GA
LL17 – Building Resilience in Changing Times Through Pursuit of Cultural Competencies: Enhancing Child Welfare Worker Education and Retention
Public child welfare workers and administrators often contend with politicized agendas that can cause practice dissonance impacting client outcomes and contribute to workforce issues. Client-centered practice becomes minimized in favor of standardized interventions that unintentionally stereotype and prejudice outcomes contributing to racial disproportionality. Ineffective interventions then decrease worker efficacy leading to turnover or job disengagement. With attention to diversity, this presentation seeks to help practitioners realize challenges as pro-active opportunities to build a resilient workforce through cultural humility competencies reflected in social work education. Models of cultural humility and resiliency are presented in this session.
Presenter(s): William Wong, Cal State LA School of Social Work, Los Angeles, CA; and Retchenda George-Bettisworth, University of Alaska- Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK
LL18 – JCCA’s Health Home Campaign: Using a “Sprint” Management Model to Effect Service Delivery
This workshop will present the use of an innovative management technique called a “sprint.” A “sprint” is a short-term, rapid-paced effort to resolve an ineffective or challenging process that can negatively impact services to clients. JCCA used this management technique in order to meet the challenge of a shift to Medicaid managed care business model in New York State. The technique served to rally the JCCA workforce around specific, short-term goals that would have a deep impact on our ability to effectively serve the families and children in our care.
Presenter(s): Joanna Kibel-Gagne, Tracy Jenkins and Ronald E. Richter, JCCA, New York, NY
LL19 – Increased Father Involvement: A Key Component to Child and Family Outcomes
You’ve probably heard it before: “Father absence contributes to poor outcomes for children.” But how exactly does it affect children, and what can you do about it? Learn the latest research on the effect of father absence on children, the benefits of father involvement, and how the evidence-based fatherhood program 24/7 Dad® and other fatherhood resources help to address the 5 protective factors. Presenters will provide an informative and energetic session presenting data from the 24/7 Dad® Fatherhood Program. Results demonstrate that the 24/7 Dad® program had a positive impact on young fathers and effectively improved their beliefs on partnering roles, fathering knowledge and overall attitude towards co-parenting and fathering. Presenters will also share impact statements and success stories from their work with fathers and families which help to establish the significance of what happens when clients make a meaningful shift in their perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs around fatherhood.
Presenter(s): Carter W. Patterson, UIH Family Partners, Trenton, NJ
LL20 – Financial Resilience: Surviving a Perfect Storm of Challenges in Funding for Nonprofit Agencies
Since the economic downturn in 2008, nonprofit agencies have been facing a combined set of new challenges that threaten their continued existence and ability to provide effective services for families and children. This presentation will share ideas and strategies that allow nonprofits to adapt to the changing economy and support new strategies that can help them strengthen their financial infrastructure, and create a stronger basis for future sustainability. It will include options to strengthen Board engagement and policies, creating agency investment/endowment options, developing other fundraising tactics, along with marketing ideas to better compete for limited funding.
Presenter(s): Rush Russell, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
LL21 – A Unique Community Partnership to Serve Families Experiencing Homelessness
This presentation will discuss the unique public/private collaboration between Social Services, the Family Care Network, and Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, along with realtors/property managers, and community members working together to create housing for families that are experiencing homelessness. This will include strategies and activities for reunifying youth in foster care, prevented due to family homelessness, and early intervention and prevention strategies for housing TANF-eligible families, coupled with providing skill building, services and supports to promote successful independence. Presenters will also discuss the use of public funding to leverage additional resources and community integration to secure housing.
Presenter(s): Devin Drake and Tracy Schiro, San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, San Luis Obispo, CA; Jim Roberts and Jon Nibbio, Family Care Network, Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA; Scott Smith, Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA
LL22 – All Children – All Families Framework for Improving Practice with Youth who are LGBTQ and their Families
This session will provide attendees with a foundation of knowledge on youth who identify as LGBTQ, their families, and their experiences within the child welfare system. Participants will explore key concepts and terminology, research on families with LGBTQ parents or guardians, and experiences of youth in foster care who are LGBTQ, as well as the steps every child welfare professional can take to welcome and affirm these youth and families within the walls of their agencies and beyond. The HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families framework for practice improvement will be explained, including best practice policies and staff training in order to ensure LGBTQ-inclusive practice settings. The program’s free, online innovative tools for agency self-assessment will be explained. Attendees will walk away with clear ideas for both short- and long-term goals related to LGBTQ practice improvement.
Presenter(s): Alison Delpercio, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Washington, DC
LL23 – Measuring Resilience of Youth in Treatment
The IARCA Outcome Measures Project has evolved over the past 20 years to include strength-based assessment tools. The Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) is a widely recognized resilience tool. The project is one of the largest users of CYRM globally (2016, N = 3,200). CYRM is user friendly and easy to complete. It assists in treatment planning and yields useful outcome data to providers at both youth and program levels. This presentation will overview the integration of the tool, outcome analysis, and comments from executives and clinicians regarding utilization of the tool, outcome measures, and benefits to providers.
Presenter(s): Mark L. Hess, Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy (IARCA), Indianapolis, IN; Steven J. Butera, Dockside Services, Inc., Highland, IN
LL24 – Supporting Permanency Options Through Social Security
Financial constraints may be a significant barrier to permanency for many youth in foster care. For youth who are eligible, obtaining Social Security benefits is one strong and stable mechanism to financially assist youth in foster care, support placements with relatives, and pay for necessities. This session will identify the three main types of Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), and Social Security Survivor Benefits (SSSB). Presenters will discuss eligibility criteria, how Social Security funds can be used, and highlight a current partnership in Delaware to ensure that Social Security is used to help support youth in foster care and promote permanency.
Presenter(s): Trenee Parker, Delaware Division of Family Services, Wilmington, DE; Eliza Hirst, Office of the Child Advocate, Wilmington, DE
LL25 – AMPlementation: Implementing Achieve My Plan (AMP) Inside Five Rural Departments of Social Services to Improve Outcomes for Youth who are Transition-Aged
Thrive@25 (thrive25md.org) is an effort across five rural departments of social services in Maryland to design, implement, and evaluate an intervention to improve outcomes and reduce homelessness for transition age youth in foster care. The intervention is an individualized, youth-driven, strengths-based transition planning process, employing Achieve My Plan (AMP), an evidence-informed practice to increase youth engagement in team planning. Presenters will share the process of modifying an evidence-informed intervention for child welfare, including training and coaching methods. Presenters will also discuss strategies developed to address unexpected challenges in effecting system change, examine approaches to ensuring sustainability, and explore policy implications.
Presenter(s): Deborah Harburges and Sara Bowman, The Institute for Innovation & Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD; and Linda Webb,Talbot County Department of Social Services, Easton, MD
LL26 – “Putting the Pieces Together” at Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc.
This presentation will provide information on how a supervisor training series was implemented at Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. Presenters will provide distinct perspectives on their roles and experiences in the program and the unique opportunity it presented to shift the current paradigm within the participating agencies. Discussion will include an overview of the program model, supervisor feedback based on personal experience and focus group data, the importance of mentoring in supporting supervisors, and the sustainability of the training initiative. A particular focus will be placed on the evaluation strategies utilized, performance data collected and results of measurable outcomes.
Presenter(s): Adrienne Celaya and Denise Gil-Perez, Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc., Miami, FL; and Carole Wilcox, University of Denver’s Butler Institute for Families, Denver, CO
LL27 – Keeping Families Intact: A New Approach to Helping Mothers with Addiction
Presenters will highlight a new program in which Maryville Academy has partnered with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) of Illinois, as well as the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA). The Moms Recovery Home is dedicated to keeping families intact and offering mothers and their children a safe and stable environment to live while the moms are newly sober and entering into the recovery process. As an alternative to automatically removing children from the care of their mothers who are struggling with addiction, Maryville has partnered with DCFS and DASA to provide a treatment model that is focused on holistic healing and keeping families together. The Moms Recovery Home offers supports and services that are focused on parenting, trauma recovery, addiction and sobriety, and mental health.
Presenter(s): Sarah Melgarejo, Donita Jackson and Fred Smith, Maryville Academy, Des Plaines, IL
LL28 – Building Leaders through E-Learning: One Agency’s Experience with the Leadership Academy for Supervisors
Learn how you can implement the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute’s Leadership Academy for Supervisors (LAS) in your organization—what it takes and how it supports your supervisors’ resilience, growth, and leadership development. Presenters will share how the Connecticut Department of Children and Families adopted the LAS as a regular part of its training for supervisory development. Presenters will also discuss how to prepare for and deliver the LAS and how e-learning design strategies were used to maximize outcomes for LAS participants. Learn how this free supervisory leadership development program can support your agency’s need for effective supervisors and future leaders.
Presenter(s): Gretchen Robbins and Crystal French, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, University of Southern Maine, Augusta, ME; and Marshall Soloway, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Augusta, ME; and Tim Monahan, Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ Academy for Family & Workforce Knowledge Development, Hartford, CT