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Wednesday, September 23rd, Schedule
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Please note the following abbreviations are referenced throughout the schedule:
LEVEL: I = Intermediate, A = Advanced, S = Senior
TRACK: CLIN = Clinical, DMS = Directors, Managers and Supervisors, RES = Research and Evaluation, EX = Executive, FP = Foster Parents and Foster Parent Trainers
A Sessions - 1 Hour
11:45 a.m. EDT, 10:45 a.m. CDT, 9:45 a.m. MDT, 8:45 a.m. PDT, 7:45 a.m. AKDT

A 1 Transforming Family Game Night into Family Focused Interventions


Learn how a child’s brain responds to the combination of physical activity, such as playing games, and emotion regulation. Many games around your home have the ability to further a child’s brain development and overall emotional stability. This presentation will teach foster parents and staff how to turn fun games for kids into purposeful interventions.

Brittany Lukaszek, BSW, LSW, Ohio MENTOR, Inc.

A 2 Reflective Supervision in Enhancing Employee Engagement


The supervisor-supervisee relationship has been deemed one of the key indicators of job satisfaction and work place turnover. This session looks at the value of reflective engagement between the supervisor and supervisee in order to create a more welcoming work environment and promote employees’ sense of value and fulfillment, resulting in decreased staff turnover rate. Reflective supervision focuses on a supervisor’s ability to understand, interpret, and make sense of staff behavior by tuning into the thoughts, feelings, and motivation behind the behavior.

Viviane Ngwa, LCSW, ACSW, National Youth Advocate Program - Illinois

A 3 Evidence-Based Model for a Successful Transition to Adulthood


Youth Villages’ LifeSet is an evidence-based model designed to support young adults in the child welfare system transition to independence. LifeSet services are time-limited, highly individualized and youth-driven. Sessions involve hands-on interventions to ensure that young adults can apply their knowledge in the real world. We will discuss the unique public-private partnership to implement LifeSet in New York City, provide an overview of the model and illustrate how it can be implemented in the current child welfare context.

Rosemary Collazo, MPA & Freda Forbes, LMSW, The New York Foundling; Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez, New Yorkers for Children

A 4 Moving from Deficits to Strengths: Using Technology in Strengths-Based Placements


Relationships form the foundation of effective foster care and agencies have long tried matching families with youth to provide nurturing connections. Explore how technology can assist in addressing barriers to effective matching. We will review qualitative research with youth and families, engage in a facilitated discussion about matching families and youth based on strengths and interests versus deficits and behavior problems, and explore concrete strategies you can use in your own agencies.

Barrett Johnson, LCSW & Kristin Atwood, Binti

B Sessions – 1.5 Hours
1:30 p.m. EDT, 12:30 p.m. CDT, 11:30 a.m. MDT, 10:30 a.m. PDT, 9:30 AKDT

B 1 FFTA Responding to the Times 


FFTA will host a panel to review the current state of affairs. In March, COVID-19 hit the U.S. forcing widespread stay-at-home orders, changing the way we live and work. In May, an unarmed black man was murdered by police, setting off riots across the country. Society at large is struggling to reckon with entrenched, systemic, racism. FFTA leadership will review where we are as an industry and what steps we need to take to move forward.

Ryan Dowis, Family Focused Treatment Association

B 2 Using the Science of Safety to Create Connection in our Homes


Our awareness of the functioning of brains and bodies creates increased knowledge of conditions necessary for people to grow and thrive. We can use the work of Stephen Porges and Deb Dana to help both ourselves and our children recognize our bodies’ reaction to a sense of danger and connect with each other to return to feeling safe. The workshop will include practical strategies for both parents and youth to increase self-awareness and the ability to stay calm and connected.

Patricia Wilcox, Klingberg

B 3 Utilizing Parallel Process in the Supervisory Relationship to Promote Change


Presenters will deconstruct the use of countertransference and parallel processing with families and supervisees in order to further the treatment process, especially when feeling challenged or stuck. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in an experiential exercise to further explore and practice the steps involved in utilizing these skills in the supervisory context.

Ellen Kinoy, MFT, Lincoln

B 4 Drive Service Improvement with the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Tool


Join us for a candid and interactive session as we share our experience of implementing the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths at PATH. In this session, we will provide a brief overview of our implementation process and spend the majority of our time together reviewing CANS data from our TFC program. Importantly, we will explore how CANS data informs work on the front lines, program decision-making, and ultimately helps us tell our story more effectively.

Heather Simonich, MA, LPC & Jodi Duttenhefer, LBSW, MS, PATH North Dakota

C Sessions – 1 Hour
3:45 p.m. EDT, 2:45 p.m. CDT, 1:45 p.m. MDT, 12:45 p.m. PDT, 11:45 a.m. AKDT

C 1 Customer Experience: From Theory to Practice


The most successful private sector companies and cutting-edge public agencies recognize that how they provide services can be just as important as the services themselves when it comes to growth and customer loyalty. Moving past theory, awe will demonstrate how both public and private agencies can use a Customer Experience framework to increase program growth, as well as reduce costs, by building foster parent recruitment, retention and engagement strategies around what really matters to foster parents.

Michael Savenelli & Brandon Warner, Children's Community Programs of Connecticut  

C 2 Leadership on Steroids


CEOs and senior level leaders will learn how to leverage skills and knowledge to anticipate change, act on it, and create an organizational environment where people excel. You will be provided with a leadership assessment, tools that will help them anticipate change, and a roadmap to creating organizational excellence.

Susan Miklos, D.B.A., LSW, MSSA & Renay Crouse, LCSW, The Bair Foundation

C 3 Partnering for Success for TFC: Initial Practice Impact


Partnering for Success (PfS) is a multi-dimensional approach that enhances the collaboration between mental health and child welfare professionals in order to better meet the mental health needs of children and youth. PfS uses CBT+ - a publicly available integration of treatment elements addressing symptoms of depression, anxiety, conduct problems and trauma. PfS adapted its training for TFC parents by including a learning component to engage TFC parents and workers during home visits. Learn about the implementation of PfS and its impact on TFC parents.

Paul Brylske, MSW, LCSW-C, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Rochon Steward, MSW & Jessie Watrous, MPA, University of Maryland School of Social Work

C 4 Which KPI Metrics are Important for Managers and Why Should We Care?


High performing agencies often engage in activities that track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). When done well, these KPIs are aligned with an agency’s strategic plan and serve as valuable benchmarks to measure performance. By tracking KPIs, management teams develop increased conscientiousness and engage in activities that either improve or maintain established levels of performance. This presentation discusses the viable role of performance measures in human service agencies and how managers can become competent in using them.

Annette Trunzo, Ph.D., JusticeWorks Family of Services

D Sessions – 1 Hour
5:00 p.m. EDT, 4:00 p.m. CDT, 3:00 p.m. MDT, 2:00 p.m. PDT, 1:00 p.m. AKDT

D 1 Building Capacity and Stabilizing Family Placements to Meet Community Needs


Today’s providers are challenged to have the capacity of caregivers available in order to meet the needs of the diverse group of youth requiring placement, and effective recruitment strategies are not enough. It is essential to have caregivers who will be an appropriate match for youth, because without appropriate matches, placement breakdowns are inevitable. To think any provider can always have enough families that ‘match’ the various youth requiring placement, however, is a fantasy. This workshop explores ways to build capacity and stabilize placements.

Sue Evans, MS & Mary Frame, M.Ed, NCC, Walden Family Services, and Leslie Ellis-Lang, CARF International

D 2 Complex Trauma Among African American Women Involved with Child Protection


Over 90% of parents who become involved with child protection have complex histories of interpersonal trauma. We will share what we learned from a study that identified the common reactions that African American parents with histories of trauma employ to manage their involvement with child protection. Using a trauma-informed lens, we will examine these reactions and explore the ways child protective systems can provide a trauma-informed response to child welfare involved parents who have histories of trauma.

Joan Blakey, Ph.D., Tulane University

D 3 Using Coaching Methodology in the Social/Emotional Development of Teens


In order to do your job well, you must have the right tools. This especially applies to social workers, foster parents and clinicians who are trying to overcome the rapid disengagement of adolescents. Fortunately, as coaching methodology advances, we are rediscovering the power of questions and the acceptance among professionals for the effective application of questioning. We will explore the science behind questions and set you on the path to effectively help teens by becoming a better “asker.”

Jack Witt, Children First Foster Family Agency & Elevate Youth Solutions

D 4 ABCs of Developing the Pennsylvania Kinship Navigator Program


The presentation will provide an overview of all the do’s and don'ts of creating a new Kinship Navigator Program service from the ground up. It will cover critical areas including writing a compelling grant, working with State personnel, staffing appropriately, managing financial rules and regulations across multiple organizations, creating an advisory board, working with tech vendors, creating goals and strategies for the program, identifying scope of work for staff and effective communication of the scope, and assessing program success.

Tia-Maria Smith, MA, Pennsylvania KinConnector; Carmen Naugle, MS, The Bair Foundation/PA KinConnector; Desiree Weisser, PA Department of Human Services - Office of Children, Youth and Families

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