TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS 

Full Training Descriptions


I. STAFF AND FOSTER /ADOPTIVE PARENT TRAINING


1) Unpacking the “NO” of Permanency for Older Adolescents: Exploring Permanency for Youth in Foster Care: Family and life-long connections are crucial in achieving successful outcomes for youth in foster care. Unpacking the “NO” of Permanency for Older Adolescents Training addresses the importance of permanency using an adapted training developed by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections. This training will provide an overview of National and state data on older youth in foster care, major policy changes in foster care, the definition of permanency, the concept of permanency for youth, and strategies on how to change an initial “no” to permanency to “yes.” At the end of the training, the participant will understand what permanency and permanent connections are and why they are significant, understand how adolescent development relates to permanency, know how to talk to youth about permanency, and understand the importance of having youth involvement in permanency planning.


Permanency Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLrMqUVZZgG5A5OF-lL2lFYJ3-_eYoZZUw&v=j5qalXldRV8.

Permanency Webinar: http://www.nccwe.org/BPR/webinars/may/part-2.htm  


2) Bridging The Gap: Birth and Foster Families Working Together-This interactive training highlights the exciting work in the child welfare related to building and maintaining relationships and communication between birth parents and foster/adoptive parents. This workshop will help staff and foster parents better understand the importance of families working together, examines the benefits and challenges of these working relationships and explore strategies to ensure these working relationships are successful. Featured in Icebreaker DVD www.aecf.org/icebreakers .  


3) Effective Family Engagement: Family engagement is essential from the moment a family comes to the attention of the child welfare system. The experiences of youth who have been in foster care far too long lead us to search and engage families earlier and more intensely. The goal of this training is to introduce participants to Family Search and Engagement and understand concepts: children and youth’s need for family, connection to birth family and communities of origin; gaining the knowledge to conduct various types of search for family; and the initial skills to engage children, youth, and adults in exploring permanency and connectedness.


4) NEW: Helping Caregivers Effectively Address Trauma: Research informs us that most youth in the child welfare system have experienced some type of traumatic experience. We also know that long after they are over, traumatic experiences continue to take priority in the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of youth and if left unmanaged can have many negative consequences. Foster and adoptive parents, (and other caregivers), are in a critical and unique position to help youth deal effectively with trauma and even help them heal but we know this can be challenging. This training, based on several well-researched curriculums, will help teach caregivers and workers practical skills to effectively parent youth who have experienced complex trauma. Specifically, the training will address the impact of trauma for youth in foster care; help caregivers better understand trauma and how it impacts behaviors; how to help youth through trauma triggers; and help foster and adoptive parents take better take care of themselves to prevent burnout. This training is ideal for foster and adoptive parents and the workers that support them.


5) NEW: Effective Father Engagement: Research has shown a direct link between positive father involvement and a child’s well-being. The involvement of a father is critical to a child's growth and development but historically, child welfare agencies have not been the most effective in involving fathers in family work. It is becoming more widely accepted that effective father engagement is an essential component to successful child welfare practice. Increasingly, agencies are focusing on ways to engage and involve fathers and paternal family members to help achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for children involved in the child welfare system. This training will focus on the values and benefits of father and paternal relative’s engagement; strategies on effectively engaging fathers; and what makes a successful and sustainable father engagement program.


6) My Brother’s Keeper: The importance of sibling connections-Sibling connections are among the most significant and longest lasting relationships we will have in life. Yet many times siblings come into care and are separated and placed in different homes. This workshop is designed to highlight the value of sibling connections and suggest strategies to successfully address sibling issues.


7) Family Finding: Search and Engagement -Family engagement is important from the moment a family comes to the attention of the child welfare system. The experiences of youth who have been in foster care far too long leads us to search and engage families earlier and more intensely. The goal of this training is to introduce participants to Family Search and Engagement and understand concepts: children and youth’s need for family, connection to birth family and communities of origin; gaining the knowledge to conduct various types of search for family; and the initial skills to engage children, youth, and adults in exploring permanency and connectedness.


8) Understanding the Culture of Foster Care and Family Privilege: Alumni of foster care have expertise about the system that can only be gained by having lived through the experience. Bringing expertise as alumni and child welfare professionals, this interactive workshop focuses on understanding the culture of foster care and ensuring that all young people have access to ‘family privileges’. By understanding these concepts, we can help teens with the emotional transition from foster care to adulthood. This workshop includes content from Foster Care Alumni of America’s book FLUX: Life after Foster Care and a presentation from our national community art project. Featured in I am Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7-uhMgETYU Foster Walk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swywpCU5-QE 


9) Recruiting and Retaining Resources Families: Resource families, (Foster and adoptive parents), are our greatest assess in helping youth in foster care find a permanent family. In recent year the pool of available foster families has been in steady decline across the country and the resources families who are approved statistics show that 60 percent of them quit in the first 12 months. This training provides strategies and best practice in effectively recruiting and retaining permanency resources for youth in foster care.


10) Effective Teaming: Social Workers and Foster/Adoptive Parents Working Together The relationship between foster parents and social workers has a direct impact on the stability of children in foster care, but in too many cases these relationships can be conflicting, strained and end abruptly. This training focuses on the importance of the relationship between the foster parent and social worker and emphasizes developing a clear definition of roles and responsibilities in order to help stabilize relationships within the professional team to best benefit youth in care.


II. Youth Training and Motivational Speaking

1) FLUX: The Emotional Transition from Foster Care -This interactive workshop helps youth explore the emotional transition from foster care. Using a national curriculum developed from Foster Care Alumni of America’s book FLUX: Life after Foster Care it addresses issues of change and transition, labeling, sense of belonging and biological family.


2) My Life My Connections: This interactive workshop is designed to help teens in foster care explore the importance of connection as they leave the foster care systems. Topics cover connection through adoption, birth family and community.


3) Strategic Sharing: Talking about your foster care experience -Ideally sharing your personal experiences with the foster care system can educate, influences, inspire others. But if not well-prepared sharing your story can feel manipulative or exploitative and lead to negative outcomes. This workshop explores making good choices on sharing your story so that the message is effective, and your well-being is protected and helps youth in foster care and alumni of care share their story in a meaningful and safe way.


4) Motivational speaker to youth groups: Sharing personal and professional experiences in the child welfare system to encourage youth in foster care to be successful. Themes include succeeding in and after foster care, making positive choices and family and life-long connections. 


5) Keynote Speaker: Keynote address for child welfare conferences. Varies topics to include, permanency, trauma, supporting foster and adoptive parents, social worker and staff appreciation.


6) Foster and adoption parent appreciation lunches/dinners (Foster/Adoptive Parents) Foster/Adoptive Parent Appreciation lunches or dinners themes include; sharing my personal story, the importance of making a commitment to youth in foster care, the importance of family connections, and an appreciation to foster and adoptive parents for their work.


7) Child Welfare Panels (Moderator and Panelist): Moderator and served on numerous child welfare panels. Topic include; healthy life long connections, life after foster care, teens in foster care, effective permanency planning. Moderator and panelist for numerous foster care and adoption panels.

III. Consulting

• Currently- Consultant, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

• Currently- Consultant, Virginia Department of Social Services

• Currently- Consultant, Capacity Building Center for States

• Currently- Consultant, Wake County, NC Human Services

• 2016-2017- Consultant, AdoptUSKids Diligent Recruitment

• 2015-2016- CFSR Reviewer, JBS International, Inc.

• 2012-2014 Consultant, National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections


IV. Curriculum Development

• Sibling and Relative Connections -November 2017

• Placement Stability for Youth in Foster Care-November 2016

• Normalcy for Youth in Foster Care- November 2016

• Unpacking the No of Older Youth Permanency- October 2014

• Bridging The Gap: Families Working Together- June 2008


RECENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL CONFERENCES, TRAININGS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Keynote Speeches

November 2018 Adoption Day Celebration- Richmond, VA

Keynote: Celebrating Adoptions


August 2018 New Mexico Independent Living Youth Conference- Taos, NM

Keynote: Reaching Your Rainbow After the Storm


June 2018 Loudoun County DFS-Fatherhood Initiative Loudoun County, VA

Keynote: The Importance of Engaging Fathers


May 2018- Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families 23rd Annual Conference Groton, Connecticut

Keynote: If We Only Knew….. The life of a youth in foster care


March 2018 – Barker's 24th Annual Adoption & Foster Care Conference, Rockville, MD

Keynote: Adoption: Navigating the Challenges and Growing Stronger


March 2018- 2018 Peninsula Post Adoption Services Conference, Newport News, VA

Keynote: “Family Doesn’t Only Happen Genetically”


September 2017- New Mexico Annual Foster Parent Conference, Santa Fe, NM

Keynote: Preserving Sibling and Family Connections Is Helping to Preserve a Life


April 2017- Maryland CASA 11th Annual Conference, Annapolis, MD

Keynote: A Push Towards Permanency: A Family for Every Child


July 2016 – The ACEs and Community Resilience Summit, Richmond, VA

Keynote: Practice approaches to permanency and building resilience for youth in foster care


June 2016- City of Alexandria and Arlington County Youth Graduation, Arlington, VA

Keynote Speaker: Picture Your Future 2016


November 2014- Virginia Statewide CASA Conference, Richmond, VA

Keynote Speaker: Unpacking the “NO” of Permanency for Older Adolescents


Permanency

May 2018- Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families 23rd Annual Conference, Groton, Connecticut

Facilitator: Life in Limbo- A Role Play About Life in Foster Care


May 2018- Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families 23rd Annual Conference Groton, Connecticut

Presenter: Unpacking the “No” Of Permanency for Older Youth in Foster


January 2018- Children’s Law Institute, Albuquerque, NM

Featured Presenter: Unpacking the “No” Of Permanency for Older Youth in Foster Care


May 2017 Adoption Exchange Association Conference, La Vegas, NV

Facilitator: Life in Limbo- A Role Play About Life in Foster Care


February 2016 Prince George’s County DSS-Prince George’s County, MD

Trainer: Unpacking The “No” of Permanency


December 2015-University of MD School of Social Work-Continuing Professional Education

Trainer: Unpacking The “No” of Permanency


Families Working Together

October 2018- Foster Parent Training, Sandoval County, NM

Trainer: “It’s All Relatives”: The Importance of Family Connections


July 2018- Foster Parent Training, Hobbs, NM

Trainer: “It’s All Relatives”: The Importance of Family Connections


June 2018- Foster Parent Training, Albuquerque, NM

Trainer: “It’s All Relatives”: The Importance of Family Connections


May 2018 Shenandoah Valley Department of Social Services Verona, VA

Trainer: Bridging the Gap: Families Working Together


April 2018- Foster Parent Training, Espanola, NM

Trainer: “It’s All Relatives”: The Importance of Family Connections


September 2017- New Mexico Annual Foster Parent Conference, Santa Fe, NM

Workshop Presenter: “It’s All Relatives”: The Importance of Family Connections


August 2017- Train the Trainers, Albuquerque, NM

Trainer: The Importance of Relationships for Youth in Foster Care “It’s All Relatives”: The Importance of Family Connections


April 2017 Children’s Aid Society- Clearfield, PA

Trainer: Bridging the Gap: Families Working Together


April 2017- VA Family Engagement RoundTable- Richmond, VA

Workshop Presenter: Bridging the Gap: Families Working Together


October 2016- Northern Virginia DSS and Private Provider Training, Fairfax County, VA

Trainer: Bridging the Gap: Families Working Together


June 2015 National Foster Parent Association 45th Annual Conference Norfolk, VA

Workshop Presenter: Bridging the Gap: Families Working Together


Siblings Connections

October 2018- Staff Training, Sandoval County, NM

Trainer: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling


July 2018- Staff Training, Hobbs, NM

Trainer: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling


June 2018- Staff Training, Albuquerque, NM

Trainer: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling Connections


April 2018- Staff Training Conference, Espanola, NM

Trainer: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling Connections


January 2018- Children’s Law Institute, Albuquerque, NM

Featured Presenter: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling Connections


September 2017- New Mexico Annual Foster Parent Conference, Santa Fe NM

Workshop Presenter: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling Connections


August 2017- Train the Trainers, Albuquerque, NM

Trainer: The Importance of Relationships for Youth in Foster Care “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Family Connections


May 2017 AEA Conference, La Vegas, NV

Trainer: Exploring Life in Limbo- Siblings and Birth Family Connections


April 2017- Maryland CASA 11th Annual Conference, Annapolis, MD

Trainer: “My Brother’s Keeper”: The Importance of Sibling Connections


January 2017- Private Provider and CYFD Meeting Albuquerque, NM

Trainer/Consultant: Best Practices in Preserving Siblings and Relative Connections


Adoption

November 2018 Recruiting African American Families, Buford, GA

Workshop Presenter


November 2017- Virginia DSS Adoption Conference, Richmond, VA

Workshop Presenter: Why We Search: An Adoptee’s Journey


May 2017 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Summit- Columbus, Ohio

Workshop Presenter: Unpacking The “No” of Adoption


March 2017- The Barker Foundation 23nd Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference Rockville, MD

Workshop Presenter: I Chose Whom I Call Family: The Importance of Birth Family Connections


April 2016- The Barker Foundation 22nd Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference Rockville, MD

Panelist: The Undeniable Power of Family and After the Reunion– What happens next?


May 2015 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruitment Regional Trainings- Albuquerque, NM

Workshop Presenter: How to Talk to Youth about Permanency


April 2015 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruitment Regional Trainings, Charlotte, NC

Workshop Presenter: How to Talk to Youth about Permanency


Family Engagement and Father Engagement

June 2018 Loudoun County DFS-Fatherhood Initiative Loudoun County, VA

Panel Moderator: The Importance of Engaging Fathers


February 2017 Newport News Department of Human Services, Newport News, VA

Trainer: Effective Father Engagement


October 2016 Albemarle County DSS, Charlottesville, VA

Panel Moderator: VA Fatherhood Programs


September 2016 – Albemarle County DSS, Charlottesville, VA

Trainer: Effective Father Engagement


April 2016 - 8th Annual Community Commitment for Change Conference Family Engagement and Empowerment, Winchester, VA

Trainer: Partnering with The Family


February 2016- Albemarle County DSS, Charlottesville, VA

Trainer: Partnering with Families: Effectively Engaging Relatives


Trauma

November 2017- Adore Foster Parent Training- Arlington, VA

Trainer: Overview of ARC Reflection – Helping foster and adoptive parents work with children who have experienced trauma


October 2017-AEC Austin Convening- Austin, Texas

Panelist: Promising New Practices in Trauma-Informed Foster Parent Training


April 2017 CSA 6th Annual Conference- Roanoke, VA

Panel Moderator: ARC Reflections: A Trauma-Informed Training for Foster Parents


March-May 2016- Fairfax County DFS Foster Parent Training- Fairfax County, VA

Trainer: ARC Reflections: A Trauma-Informed Training for Foster Parents


Youth and Alumni Engagement and Transitions

August 2018 New Mexico, Independent Living Youth Conference- Taos, NM

Workshop Presenter: Strategic Sharing: Telling Your Story to Effectively Advocate for Change


April 2018 Youth Conference-Mount Zion Baptist Church, Arlington, VA

Workshop Presenter: Don’t let Negative Label Define You


April 2018 – Virginia Beach Department of Social Services, Virginia Beach, VA

Workshop Presenter: Youth Advocacy and Youth Advisory Board- Youth Workshop


March 2018 – Portsmouth Social Services, Portsmouth, VA

Workshop Presenter: Youth Advocacy and Youth Advisory Board- Using Your Voice


November 2017- Virginia DSS Adoption Conference, Richmond, VA

Panel Moderator: Adoption- In Our Own Words: Youth and Young Adult Adoption Panel


June 2017 Fairfax County Department of Family Services -Fairfax County, VA

Workshop Presenter: Strategic Sharing -Youth Workshop


February 2017- Maryland Youth Advisory Board-- Baltimore, MD

Facilitator: Focus Group -Improving services to youth and families


August 2016- Chesterfield, Henrico, and Richmond CASA

Resources and Realities for Older Foster Youth - Training Richmond, VA

Trainer: Flux: Life After Foster Care-Understanding the Emotional Transition from Foster Care


May 2016- Alumni Powerhouse Conference - Baltimore, MD

Panel Moderator: Improving Foster Care Outcomes and Sharing Successes


April 2016-VA Lawyers For Children- Training Leesburg, VA

Trainer: Helping Youth Successfully Transition to Adulthood