Detailed Schedule

Key: L = Leadership Track; T = Trauma Track; E = Ethics; V = Virtual Option

CEUs: All sessions were pre-approved by Texas Health and Human Services Licensed Administrator Division for LCPAA and LCCA continuing education credits except where noted. 

In-Person Schedule

Monday, Sept. 30

Optional Pre-Conference Sessions

10-11am: HHSC RTC Project Updates

The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) Project is a partnership between the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) and Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to provide treatment support for families with a child who may be placed into DFPS conservatorship because of their mental health care needs.

 

11-12pm: A Conversation with State Agency Leadership

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Texas Health and Human Services Residential Child Care Licensing Executive Leadership Teams will provide an overview of the short and long-term priorities, current issues and goals for the child and family well-being system. Agency Leadership

Opening Keynote: Stephanie Foo
12:30-2PM

The Power of Storytelling: How to Empower Children, Youth, and Families to Heal (V)

Child care professionals come from a position of power and influence. The story we tell about children, youth, and families determines how they define and see themselves. Attendees will learn ways they use the power of storytelling and surrender power in working with clients and and help them tell empowering stories about themselves and their experiences. This keynote is designed for childcare professionals at all levels

Click the session title to view the full description.

Breakout Session A | 2:15-3:45pm

A1: Building Your Leadership Bench Strength (L)

Each year, CK Family Services nominates, interviews, selects, and teaches 12 people-leaders and high-potential team members who take part in the CK Leadership Academy (CKLA). In a 10-month cohort, instructors assess current leadership potential and design a learning path using foundational leadership theory and application techniques. Cohorts read three to four select books, perform research assignments, deliver individual and group sessions, and discuss critical applications to solve existing issues in our programs and services. CKLA promotes transformational, empathic, and servant leadership principals within a cohesive group of directors, managers, and supervisors to create bench strength for todays and tomorrow’s leaders, according to CK’s mission to enhance the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of at-risk children and families. The session will present the curriculum and teaching methods for the CKLA via MS PowerPoint. 

Presenter: James Dominey, Ph.D., MBA, former COO at CK Family Services, Executive Consultant 

A2: Creating Circles of Compassion: Holistic Support for Traumatized Children (T)

Children who are traumatized often display very challenging behavior both at home and at school. In this session, we will share our Circle of Compassion, a framework that provides understanding and guidance to address the physical, emotional, relational, and educational needs of children to help them develop self-regulation and self-compassion. Our Circle includes both background learning for the adults in a child’s life, and specific, practical interventions that can be implemented to support the child. We will also provide a format that families, mental health professionals, educators, and agency personnel can use during meetings to collaborate and develop effective plans to move forward.

Presenters: Anne Martin, Educational Consultant, Anne Martin Consulting, and Dyana Squire

A3: Teaming Up for Greater Impact (V)

Join us to discover the importance of engaging community stakeholders comprised of churches, businesses, and other partner nonprofits within your community to help enhance program support, outcomes, and brand awareness. This session will include the “how” to engage, the “why” to engage, and “benefits” of engaging as well as the importance of fostering those relationships. The session will define the steps and structure of quality collaboration including risks vs. rewards. Attendees will build a Collaboration Plan/Matrix (who do you want to meet and who do you know that can introduce you?) and will have an opportunity to discuss in groups what type of partnerships they currently have while brainstorming on ways to expand those moving forward.

Presenters: Dior Burns, Executive Director, and Shelly Smith, Executive Director for East Texas, Buckner Child & Family Services

A4: Diving In to Perfect Your CPA’s Provisional Verification Standards Processes (V) *LCPAA Only

In June 2021, Provisional Verifications were added to Texas Minimum Standards to permit continued care of foster children in a verified foster home when a family is transferring from one child-placing agency to another. This standard has become increasingly helpful when an agency is closing or when an SSCC (Single Source Continuum Contractor) is beginning stage one in a DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) Legacy Region. Learn how to utilize the Provisional Verification and develop a process with your agency to utilize this useful Standard. The presenters will review all Provisional Licensing Standards and breakdown the understanding of each through a PowerPoint. Once the Standards have been reviewed, the attendees will be asked to share their experiences with the group on how the provisional verification process has worked for their agency. Arrow will also ask one of our Regional Directors to contribute pros and cons experienced with post provisional verification and what resolution was made if a family is not a fit for the CPA, cannot meet the time frame, etc. The presenter will review and discuss how Arrow has developed processes over the last three years and share the breakdown of the workflow and documents created to help a family navigate through the licensure process.

Presenters: Scott Baston, Associate Vice President of Capacity Development, and Katie Winn, Family Home Developer Manager, Arrow Child and Family Services

A5: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Cultural Considerations when Working with African American Youth Survivors of Sex Trafficking

African Americans are 1.5 to 10 times more likely than other races to be confirmed sex-trafficking victims. This session is designed to provide a relevant and up-to-date understanding of the intersectionality of the increased victimization of African American girls within the realm of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and the role that systemic racism, poverty, and educational barriers play in contribution to this victimization. Moreover, the presenter will discuss best practices for service providers to deliver adequate care to this population through the lens of intersectionality and cultural norms and ways in which to impact the trajectory of further victimization on a macro level.

Presenters: Hannah Counter, MA, LPC, Youth Program Director, and Rana Amini, Adult Program Director, New Friends New Life 

A6: Rising to the Challenge: Involving Families to Support and Care for Kids

Engaging families amid their struggles while caring for their kids can be difficult to navigate. This session will highlight efforts to overcome this gap and create more positive trajectories for the kids in care and their families. Practical strategies to spur attendees’ creative problem solving will be presented along with plenty of examples from our combined experiences.

Presenters: John Hazle, LCCA, VP for Youth Services, and Chloe Hewitt, Assistant Administrator for Homelife, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch 

A7: Raising the Bar: Transforming Care Standards for Children, Youth, and Families Through Accreditation

This session explores how national accreditation supports the delivery of quality care for children with high-end needs, including those requiring Texas Child Centered Care (T3C) residential services. Experts from Accreditation Guru, CARF International, COA Accreditation (a division of Social Current), and The Joint Commission will delve into critical areas such as suicide screening, trauma-informed care, medication management, and special behavioral interventions, emphasizing the elimination or minimization of physical restraints. Attendees will gain insights into implementing best practices and evaluating staff qualifications to strengthen support for children, youth, and families within their communities.

Presenters: Jennifer Flowers, Founder & CEO, Accreditation Guru, Inc.; Joe Perrow, Network Growth Manager of Accreditation Services, Social Current; Leslie Ellis-Lang, Managing Director, CARF International; and Melinda Lehman, Executive Director of Business Development, The Joint Commission

Breakout Session B | 4-5:30pm

B1: Taming Dragons: Principles and Practice for Resolving Conflict (L)

Too often we see conflict as a win-lose situation; we must slay the dragon or be destroyed by it. This session will offer options to see dragons in a different light and apply principles and practices to resolve conflict and achieve mutual benefit and coexist with. This is a session of the principles of conflict resolution and their application. Attendees will see a PowerPoint presentation with examples of how the principles are put into action. In this interactive session, attendees will be offered the opportunity to apply what they have learned to their everyday practice to benefit them and the children they serve them.

Presenter: Larry Hampton, President/CEO, Satori Learning Designs

B2: Harnessing the Healing Power of Ethical Relationships (T, E, V)

Promoting relational health and connection is a simple intervention with profound outcomes. This session will explore what we know about the neurobiology of relationships to include which neural systems are involved in how we develop and maintain ethical relationships. Discussion will focus on the current landscape of relationships and connection in our modern world and with the children and families we work with. Attendees will learn about a relational health approach that can be implemented in all areas of practice from direct work with children and families, to leadership, and in our individual lives. This session will include a discussion of ethical considerations.

Presenters: Samantha Thompson, LCSW-S, Senior Program Coordinator, and Samantha MacCallon, Community Coordinator, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing 

B3: Game Changers: Tackling Educational Barriers for Children in State Custody

Join us for an insightful panel session exploring the critical need for continuity and support for children in state custody within the educational system. Led by a panel of expert educators and residential care experts, this session will delve into the challenges faced by these vulnerable students and offer practical strategies for creating a village of support within schools and communities. The increasing numbers of children entering state custody pose significant challenges for educational systems. Many of these children face instability and trauma, causing them to fall through the cracks of an already strained system. In this panel discussion, we will explore the critical need for continuity and support to ensure the academic success and overall well-being of these vulnerable students. Drawing on the expertise of our panel of educators and residential facility professionals, we will discuss strategies for creating a collaborative network between facility staff and educational teams to build a village of support for our most vulnerable students. 

Presenters: Deanna Burt, Deputy Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, Anissa Geeslin, Director of Behavior Supports and Student Transition, and Sarah McDowell, Executive Director of Counseling and School Leadership, Paint Rock ISD; Marcy Collins, Academic Coordinator, ACH Child and Family Services Wedgewood Campus; and Ryan Lynn, Vice President of Texas Residential and Treatment Services, Blue Skies

B4: Healthy Habits for Healthy Teams!

In the pursuit of an organization’s most important goals, the most pivotal factor lies in the health of its teams. Teams serve as the foundation of any organization, and their well-being profoundly influences performance, organizational culture, and goal attainment. This session dives into the crucial habits that empower teams to elevate their working dynamics. Attendees will gain insights into cultivating team priorities, mastering the art of running effective meetings, fostering a culture of feedback, and skillfully transforming tensions. By embracing these essential habits, teams can revolutionize their approach, paving the way for enhanced collaboration and productivity.

Presenters: Shaun Lee, CEO, Co-Founder, and Joel Olwig, COO, Co-Founder, 6 Levers

B5: Unlocking Impact: Making Numbers & Stories Play Nice (V)

Whether for internal planning, fundraising, or external communication, you want to know if your program is making a difference for those it is meant to serve. You keep hearing the importance of “data” and that you are supposed to collect it, but where do you even start and how do you avoid getting overwhelmed? This session will take you through basic concepts of logic models/theory of change to produce key metrics to define success, and the importance of stories and tracking information over time on how to understand and communicate your impact. Learn through an example of how one organization does it and by actively applying the learnings to your organization.

Presenter: Audria Choudhury, Program Impact Manager, Miracle Foundation

B6: Cheering Everyone On: Engaging Foster & Adoptive Families with Bio Kids, Too

This session lays the foundation for understanding and working with foster and adoptive families who also have children by birth. This session combines presented material with interactive discussion and tangible takeaways. Attendees will stay involved by actively engaging with the content at various points throughout the session. This session will benefit licensed childcare providers in Texas by inviting them to better understand the families that they serve, and by providing them with knowledge of applicable resources for children and families. When the entire foster family is well cared for, children in care are better cared for. 

Presenter: Daniela Coats, LMSW, Be Still Counseling & Consulting, Co-Founder of With Siblings 

B7: Critical Insights from a National Study on Domestic Minor Familial Sex Trafficking

This session will present the results of a national study on the prevalence and characteristics of domestic minor familial sex trafficking. This 2021 study included a sample of over 3,500 child trafficking cases as identified by justice professionals. In 2021 the Institute for Shelter Care conducted a national study to examine the prevalence, characteristics, and challenges associated with the commercial sexual exploitation of minors where the exploiter is a family member to the victim. Over 3,500 cases of child exploitation across 24 states were represented in the study. In this session you will learn the results of this national study and the unique considerations of familial trafficking cases.

Presenter: Jeanne Allert, Ph.D. Counseling & Psychological Studies; Founder, Executive Director, Institute for Shelter Care

Conference Reception | 5:30-7pm

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Click the session title to view the full description.

Breakout Session C | 8:30-10am

C1: Turbocharging Trauma-Informed Care in the Modern Workforce: A New Leadership Framework (V, L)

Trauma-informed care and training have revolutionized the way many residential and other out-of-home placement settings create healing environments for youth. However, challenges in recruitment, retention, and burnout of staff pose significant barriers to the maintenance of effective system-wide, trauma-informed frameworks. Key to the success of these frameworks is the provision of structured, high-quality supervision, often to increasingly younger and less experienced direct care staff, many of whom have their own histories of trauma. This leadership-level session will review best practices in effective supervision, using a trauma responsive, emotion coaching intervention designed to help staff develop self-regulation skills as a backdrop. Key takeaways will include ways to structure and scaffold staff in order to accelerate the steep learning curve needed to create healing relationships and environments for youth.

Presenters: Jessica Linick, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, The Lionheart Foundation; and Daniel Pectol, Director of Residential Services, ACH Child and Family Services Wedgwood Campus

C2: Enhancing Care: An Innovative Interdisciplinary Approach for Children with Complex Psychiatric, Medical, and Psychosocial Needs (T)

This session discusses the unique challenges of caring for children and adolescents presenting complex psychiatric, medical, and psychosocial needs. Drawing from our evidence-based approaches to treatment and clinical experience in treating patients in our integrated medical, psychiatric, and physical rehabilitation model at Nexus Children’s Hospital, we will discuss the efficacy of a collaborative care model, as well as the challenges and barriers that exist. The session will provide practical clinical strategies and highlight the transformative effects of an integrated interdisciplinary approach in meeting the diverse needs of these young patients and their families.

Presenter: Dr. Jason James, M.D., Nexus Health Systems 

C3: Crafting Compelling Needs Assessments & Measurable Outcomes for Program Success

Increasingly, nonprofits are being called upon by their stakeholders to provide “proof” that their programs are successful. In addition, organizations must demonstrate need and share how their program will address this clearly defined need. While most nonprofit leaders agree that collecting data and measuring success is important, the ability to clearly define needs and document tangible outcomes remains elusive for many organizations. Building on an established program planning framework, attendees will learn how to: (1) clearly define the four types of needs within a needs assessment, (2) create a compelling needs statement, (3) draft detailed goals and objectives linked to specific program outcomes, and (4) locate the tools needed to measure.

Presenters: Colton Strawser, Ph.D., President & CEO, and Carla Storey, Vice President of Consulting Services,  Colton Strawser Consulting

C4: Let’s Talk: A Best Practices Panel on Bridging Gaps Between Foster Care & Adulthood (V)

Youth transitioning out of foster care face many challenges. Up to half are at risk of ending up homeless within two years. Luckily, Texas has several organizations devoted to helping young adults with a history of foster care obtain housing, find employment at a livable wage, learn valuable life skills, address mental health needs, and enhance their social connections. In this session you will learn about current research related to these challenges and hear from organizations that specialize in helping this population achieve successful, independent futures.

Presenters: Ted Keyser, CEO, Selfless Love; Courtney Laverty, CEO, THRU Project; Amy Lowery, Partnerships Manager, Miracle Foundation; Brian Meza, Petra Cares 

C5: Championing Kinship Family Bonds

Speakers have lived experience growing up in a kinship home. Through a passion for speaking, training, and foster care & adoption advocacy, speakers will discuss the benefits of kinship connections and how connections impact children who enter the child welfare system. They will also explore how professionals can bridge gaps to create better services for kinship families and children. The speakers will engage the audience by sharing personal kinship stories and will share the Texas Permanency Outcome Project (TXPOP) practice model to help attendees strengthen kinship programs and services. The session will include a PowerPoint with a video featuring families who share personal stories and perspectives on kinship care. Handouts will include statistics on kinship care and listings of other digital resources.

Presenters: Jeanette Willis, LCPAA, CEO, Advantage Adoptions; and Nelkasia Graves, Permanency Resource Specialist, Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services

C6: Excellence Breakthrough: The Human Trafficking & Texas Child-Centered Care (T3C) Continuums

Texas Child-Centered Care, or T3C, represents a complete transformation of the foster care system. There are new opportunities that this modernized system will breakthrough for children, youth, and young adults living in foster care who are in any phase of the human trafficking continuum. This session will provide an overview of the human trafficking continuum and how the T3C System will align high-quality residential care and supportive services for children and youth who have been found to be, or are at risk of becoming, sex trafficking victims. Attendees will gain insight into the Department of Family and Protective Services’ development of the Universal Human Trafficking Prevention Training required under T3C, the training’s core components, and its intended use to support providers’ knowledge and readiness for T3C.

Presenters: Ada McCloud, Prevention Practitioner, Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation, Blanca Denise Lance, Director, Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation, and Carrie Wright, Human Trafficking Specialist, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

C7: Behavioral Health Services for the Win!

Behavioral Health Services Targeted Case Management positively helps children and teens in maintaining placement and helps them move toward permanency. The services provided help the children and teens learn skills to help regulate behavior in all settings and how these services are being provided by Qualified Mental Health Professionals in a wide background of settings all over Texas. This session will cover how services are obtained and delivered and the benefits of having Behavioral Health Services as an added service and how it complements other treatment such as counseling. The session will be interactive with at least three presenters with a PowerPoint and other interactive components such as a live role play, a game and give-away items. This training will benefit LCCP’s by helping them understand the need for Behavioral Health Services and the wide variety of ways this service can be provided to clients, caregivers, RTC’s, GRO’s and other types of providers across the state.

Presenters: Nikki Villarreal, Regional Director of Behavioral Health Services, Brittany Sanchez, Clinical Supervisor, and Brianna Cartwright, Clinical Supervisor, Arrow Child and Family Ministries

Breakout Session D | 10:20-11:50am

D1: Promoting Cultural Humility in Childcare Leadership: Strengthening Ethical Services for Diverse Children and Families (V, L, E)

This session focuses on an ethical approach to promoting cultural humility in child welfare leadership and staff. Attendees will explore the importance of self-reflection, learning, and understanding diverse cultures to promote the practice of cultural humility to enhance services to children and families. Through interactive discussions and activities, attendees will learn practical strategies for fostering an organizational culture which embraces the ethical practice of cultural humility to strengthen their ability to effectively work with diverse populations.

Presenters: Mosley Hobson, M.A., Disproportionality Manager, and Sharibeth Neihaus, State Disproportionality Manager, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

D2: Navigating Identity: The Challenges & Triumphs of Adolescent Adoptees (V, T)

In this session, attendees will learn about the challenges and triumphs of adolescent adoptees. The task of adopted adolescents ‘identity development is often more difficult and includes questions about the biological family, why they were placed for adoption, what became of the birth parents, whether the adolescent resembles the birth parents in looks or in other characteristics and where the adolescent ‘belongs’ in terms of education, social class, culture, peer group, and more. Some adoptees know nothing about their families and their whereabouts. This can be a trigger for the adoptee which in return, can cause a mental breakdown and discomfort. Being adopted can also be a traumatic event. Being adopted should be regarded as a traumatic event. The loss of birth parents because of adoption sets the stage for the feelings of loss and abandonment that many adopted persons experience at some point in their lives. Adoptees struggling with learning problems is significantly larger than that of non-adoptees. Often, adoptees can also struggle mentally and emotionally. Identity is also an important thing as the child begins to mature. Once adoptees transition throughout adulthood, he or she will wonder what their parents or other family members look like.

Presenter: Ereka Howard, Adoptee; Professional Speaker, Trainer, Advocate

D3: Elevating Awareness: Disrupting Adultification Bias Impacting Black Girls

Throughout this dynamic session, attendees will delve into the intricate layers of adultification bias, gaining a deep understanding of its impact on Black girls in various spheres of life. Through interactive discussions and experiential activities, attendees will learn to recognize and challenge biased perceptions, fostering a culture of inclusivity and equity. By the end of the session, attendees will emerge equipped with actionable insights and tangible tools to actively champion the intentional protection and empowerment of Black girls in their communities and beyond.

Presenter: Angel Carroll, Director of Advocacy, Measure 

D4: Supervising for Safety: Essential Abuse Risk Management Skills for Administrators (V)

Supervisors and administrators have critical roles in promoting a culture of safety within their organization, including the development, implementation, and enforcement of abuse prevention practices. Praesidium will share fundamental abuse risk management knowledge and skills to equip child welfare leaders in defining and enhancing their own organizational safeguarding efforts. “Supervising for Safety: Essential Abuse Risk Management Skills for Administrators” is designed for management staff and administrators. Attendees will learn specific skills and strategies that they can quickly implement in their organizations to help prevent abuse against vulnerable populations like youth in care, protect staff or caregivers from false allegations, and protect organizations from financial and legal liability. Through the session of Praesidium’s framework for preventing organizational abuse, the Praesidium Safety Equation®, attendees will learn research-based abuse risk management to create and maintain a culture of safety within their programs. through specific monitoring and supervision practices. This session and discussion will guide attendees through identifying risks specific to their organizations and help them develop practical risk reduction plans.

Presenter: Laura Hardin, LMSW, Senior Risk Consultant, Praesidium

D5: Ready, Set, Go! Breaking the Norm to Fuel Breakthrough Relationships (V)

This session will show the importance of partnership between birth parents and those who are caring for their children while they navigate the child welfare system. This will be an interactive session, where attendees will hear the session, be able to ask questions, and learn through role play how to break through barriers to engaging families, break through barriers that keep the birth parents separate from the resource parents (those caring the children), while strengthening the relationship between the two, to create a larger support system for the children being served. This will benefit licensed childcare providers by providing a better way to keep birth families and resource families connected to create an atmosphere that healthily supports the children. 

Presenter: Paula Bibbs-Samuels, LPC, BPNN, BFPP, Parent Liaison (Texas), Texas Parent Fellow, Thriving Families, Safer Children, PAC Member, Generations United 

D6: Prioritizing Family Preservation: A Look at the Evidence-Based Family Check-Up Model (V)

This training is designed to benefit agency leadership involved with family preservation by providing information about an evidence-based program, the Family Check-Up (FCU). As a result of this session, attendees could choose to implement the Family Check-Up to address the needs of children and families in their communities, by helping them build positive, healthy relationships and positive family functioning. The training will include brief descriptions of the elements and steps of the Family Check-Up model, along with video and live demonstrations of FCU sessions with families. Attendees will be actively engaged via practice activities and group discussion. They will practice implementing parts of sessions in small groups, with feedback from the trainer. They also will participate in group discussion of the benefits of developing parenting intervention goals and steps via a parent-led, empowering, assessment-driven process that is grounded in Motivational Interviewing strategies.

Presenter: Lisa Reiter, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, COO, Northwest Prevention Science

D7: Developing a Resilient Board: Building, Removing, & Rebuilding for Success (V)

Good board governance does not happen by accident. Just like hiring for excellent staff, the job of “hiring” the volunteers for a nonprofit board, onboarding them, and helping them to be successful for your organization involves time, mentorship, and nurturing the relationship by the executive and board leadership alike. At some point, you may need to reimagine/reassemble the board to accomplish the organization’s strategy and goals. This course addresses ways to ensure good board governance. This interactive session will include discussion and problem solving by and with the audience. As a leader of an organization with a volunteer board, if someone has not faced difficulties with a board, this session will help the leader to work more effectively with the board and possibly prevent future problems from hijacking the organization’s work. For those who have experienced an ineffective, dysfunctional, or even toxic board member (or board), this session will offer suggestions for successfully maneuvering from weakness to strength. Take heart, headwinds are hard, but a plane (or even a kite) is only able to achieve flight by taking off into the wind. This session will offer leaders the confidence to face their own headwinds and use the struggle to take flight into a successful future for the organization and the communities they serve.

Presenters: Heidi Bruegel Cox, Executive Vice President, and Mark Melson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Gladney Center for Adoption 

Lunch Keynote: SaulPaul
12pm-2pm

Be The Change: Embracing Resilience, Overcoming Adversity, and Transforming Lives (V)

SaulPaul went from foster care and poverty to community and prosperity, but he is no different than the youth that cycle through the system everyday. SaulPaul looks forward to sharing his story and his music in a keynote like none other as he shares what it took for him to Be The Change. Learning objectives include: understanding the concept of resilience and its importance in navigating challenges and setbacks; exploring psychological theories and frameworks related to overcoming adversity; learning practical strategies for building resilience and coping with adversity, including cognitive reframing, stress management techniques, and seeking social support; identifying personal strengths and resources that can be leveraged during difficult times; examining a real-life case study and example of an individual who has overcome significant obstacles and learning from their experiences; understanding the role of self-care and self-compassion in resilience-building; developing a personalized action plan for building resilience and overcoming adversity in both personal and professional contexts.

Click the session title to view the full description.

Breakout Session E | 2:15-3:45pm

E1: Up Your Game: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge (V, L)

Attendees will learn how to leverage a positive and healthy influence among their co-workers and peers. The most influential people do not always have a title or position of authority. Attendees will learn the characteristics of an Ideal Team Player – Humble, Hungry, and Smart. The Ideal Team Player will emulate the core values of their agency or company. Attendees will learn the high value of Self Leadership. The leadership of self is the foundation for present and future leaders. Employees will learn they are responsible for their personal growth and professional development. Attendees will learn the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and how to bring out the best in others. It takes a special skill to empathize with people, serve them with love and courage, then empower them to their next level of greatness.

Presenter: Vincent Duran, MSW, President/CEO, Boys & Girls Country of Houston 

E2: Healing Through Care: An Interview with Therapeutic Child Care Specialists (T)

A panel of highly skilled and knowledgeable Therapeutic Child Care Specialists (TCCCS) from Helping Hand Home for Children (HHHC) will be interviewed by HHHC’s Director of Residential Services, Chris Janawicz, LCCA. Topics covered will be how the TCCS apply trauma informed care and attachment theory in the daily milieu of HHHC helping the children in their care to begin the healing process from the chronic and complex trauma they are experiencing from their abusive and neglectful pasts. HHHC cares for children whose levels of care are evaluated at Specialized, Intense, and Intense Plus and has a high success rate of returning children to family settings where they stay and have no need for further RTC or psychiatric placement. Specific scenarios with responses and approaches by the TCCS that are in line with HHHC’s treatment philosophy will be explored.

Presenter: Chris Janawicz, LCCA, Director of Residential Services, Helping Hand Home for Children  

E3: Pathways to Independence: Supporting Youth Exiting Foster Care (V)

Evidence from studies over the last three decades demonstrates that youth exiting foster care are at a much higher risk to face a multiplicity of challenges than their peers who are not in care. These challenges result in negative outcomes, such as high rates of homelessness, under-education, unemployment or under-employment, poverty, mental health issues and post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and early pregnancy or parenthood. Young people, especially young people who have experienced out-of-home placement, need additional support as they enter and navigate the first years of adulthood. This session will discuss the needs of young adults exiting care and review an Independent Living Program model that addresses eight relevant needs of this population: Education, Workforce, Housing, Community Supports, Client Supports, Social Supports, Healthcare, and Mental Health/Counseling.

Presenters: Traci Wagner, LCCA, LCPAA, Vice President of Programs, and Marissa Smith, Assistant Vice President of Programs, Methodist Children’s Home

E4: Boosting Kinship Caregivers Through Informed Support Networks *LCPAA Only

To best serve the needs of these children and their families, an informed approach is needed. Informed support begins with identifying community resources, providing education to volunteers and staff, and creating internal support. Across the state grandparents and other kin caring for family members in either a formal setting through Child Protective Services or informally. These caring family members are faced with emotional challenges, and we can provide critical support. The CPA may also provide tangible support to the children, biological parents, and family members. To best serve the needs of these children and their families, an informed approach is needed. Informed support begins with identifying community resources, providing education to volunteers and staff and creating internal support.

Presenters: Andi Harrison, LMSW, LCPAA, Regional Director for Foster Care & Adoption, and Nicky Locker, Regional Director, Buckner Children & Family Services

E5: Introducing the Outcomes for Human Trafficking Survivors Instrument: An Implementation & Best Practices Conversation

Through NIJ (National Institute of Justice) grant funding, RTI developed the Outcomes for Human Trafficking Survivors Instrument (OHTS): a free, Microsoft Excel based tool that case managers and service providers can use to evaluate outcomes objectively and comprehensively among child trafficking victims. This session will provide an overview of the OHTS instrument development and testing; provide a brief demo of the OHTS instrument; and discuss OHTS instrument implementation guidance and best practices. The OHTS instrument was developed to support comprehensive service provision for survivors of human trafficking. Presenter will: describe why collecting outcome data is important for service provision, program refinement, and documenting impact; describe how and why the Outcomes for Human Trafficking Survivors (OHTS) Instrument was developed; describe key features of the OHTS instrument; and describe OHTS implementation guidance and best practices.

Presenter: Stacey Cutbush Starseed, Ph.D., Senior Scientist & Director, Violence Prevention and Harm Reduction Research Program, RTI International 

E6: Shaping the Future: Exploring Prevention Strategies for Positive Family Outcomes (V)

This session will explore the history of prevention, current evidence-based practices, and future opportunities that we can shape into successful outcomes for all families along the continuum of child welfare. We will include experiential learning to guide attendees on a journey through the prevention world. This session is designed to take attendees through prevention-focused concepts involving family systems through the years. We will review prevention models and therapeutic techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, Family Centered Treatment, family empowerment, and sustainable change. The concluding section of the session will focus on research and evidence-based practices that are promoting progress and enhancing positive outcomes. We will discuss preventing out of home placements and how to intervene at the earliest sign of risk.  Attendees will question the following: Where can we make immediate change? Where can we make changes in the next year? Where do we see ourselves in Texas, in 5-10 years? This training will benefit Licensed Childcare Administrators by providing needed information about prevention advances through the years and how we can continue to build on those positive outcomes.

Presenters: Hailey Lathom, LCSW, Regional Vice President of Prevention & In-Home Services, and Laura Bownds, Texas Director of Prevention Programs, Saint Francis Ministries; and Poletta “Shay” Cunningham, Implementation Director, Family Centered Treatment Foundation

Attendees will be engaged through several methods. The session will include videos of families and children discussing the importance of achieving legal permanency. Attendees will also go through a group exercise to brainstorm ways to address specific reasons why older youth say no to permanency and how to address these individual fears focusing on the youth’s needs. Attendees will receive additional resources, including Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s “Texas Legal Brief” and a “7 Common Fears Children in Foster Care Have About Being Adopted” brochure. Attendees will be asked questions about their experiences with the child welfare system and encouraged to participate throughout the session. 

Presenters:  Melinda Haggerty, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Natalie Adams, Senior Manager, Training, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Breakout Session F | 4-5:30pm

F1: Building & Sustaining a High-Performing Dream Team (L)

Hiring and developing a high performing team is the single most critical strategic goal that a leader can have for their organization. This session will focus on how to strategically think about your talents, experiences, skills, and role and how to build a team of professionals that not only support the work of the organization but support your vision. This session will touch on diversity, equity and bias mitigation in the hiring process, succession planning, retention of staff, difficult hiring situations and the onboarding and engagement of new hires. This session will be interactive and will invite attendees to ask questions and provide examples of hiring challenges they have experienced. The session is designed to engage administrators and hiring managers and will teach best practices for hiring the best possible staff for your team – and how to keep them. Attendees will leave with ideas for how to design their hiring process but also with actionable next steps so that they can achieve their goals of a high-functioning team that leads their organization to the next level.

Presenter: Erin Hall, B.A, former CEO of the Palmetto Association for Children & Families; currently a consultant with Spelman Johnson

F2: The SAFE Futures Model: Integrating Domestic Violence & Child Welfare Trauma-Informed Care (T)

Attendees will discover the transformative impact of the SAFE Futures model and unlock the know-how to bring this collaborative approach of domestic violence and child welfare to communities. Through seamless integration of domestic violence and child welfare systems, SAFE Futures prioritizes family safety and unity. Explore evidence-backed strategies empowering families and enhancing your ability to provide effective support and interventions in a domestic violence-informed manner. Learning objectives include identifying new strategies to promote cross-systems collaboration; challenging personal biases, feeling more confident partnering with survivors; understanding unique challenges survivors navigating child welfare systems, and learning how to support families impacted by domestic violence.

Presenter: Lindy Hall, B.A, Criminal Justice, Community Impact Trainer, SAFE Futures

F3: Gold Medal Strategies for Increasing Safety and Reducing Restraints & Seclusions (V)

This session will fully describe the journey of one behavioral healthcare provider with a restraint and seclusion problem. Through an initiative to manage physically aggressive behavior safely while minimizing restraint and seclusion, a problem became an invention and an opportunity to assist other organizations/schools. Attendees will understand that it is possible to manage physically aggressive behavior safely without utilizing restraint or seclusion; gain an ability to describe the benefits of utilizing a trauma-informed approach; and identify the return on investment to organizations and systems through minimizing restrictive practices.

Presenter: Kim Sanders, COO, Grafton Schools, Inc., inventor of Ukeru Systems 

F4: From Stress to Strength: Addressing Organizational Chronic Stress from the Inside Out

What trauma is to a person; organizational chronic stress is to an organization. In this session we will dive into the complexities of organizations and making systems that support the humans who work there. This session will give us a deep understanding of how trauma affects organizations at every level by exploring three key concepts of organizational chronic stress, collective disturbances, and parallel process. Explore how social/emotional learning, relationship-building and strong communities can mitigate the negative impacts of toxic stress. Key Objectives: Give and/or refresh attendees on the trauma-informed framework while highlighting the impact individuals can have on change within an organization; introduce the trauma-informed paradigm shift concept; discuss and learn about collective disturbances, how to recognize them, and what can be done; discuss and learn about parallel processes and how to negate negative and increase positive ones; the handout will be on an organizational assessment of trauma-informed values.

Presenter: Shenandoah Chefalo Award-Winning Author, Founder and Lead Strategist of Chefalo Consulting

F5: Balancing Act: Nurturing Foster & Adoptive Parent Wellbeing

This session is tailored to the unique journey of supporting the wellbeing of foster and adoptive parents. Attendees will discover practical supportive strategies that can help caregivers harmonize responsibilities, integrate self-care practices and build a supportive community. Attendees will also learn more about mindful parenting approaches, how to support caregivers to set compassionate boundaries, and how to routinely celebrate milestones; including how to create a personalized plan for balance and well-being to nurture a resilient and nurturing environment for both parents and the children in their care.

Presenter: Chenita Tayborn, Founder, Youth Be Known, Foster/Adoptive Parent 

F6: Cultivating Connection: Insights from Arrow's Employee and Communication Engagement Process (V)

If the culture of the organization is the soil by which everything either lives or dies, then the engagement of employees within that culture is how that soil is fertilized. Employee engagement is how the relationship between employees and an organization is measured. Arrow serves children and families across two states and employs close to five hundred staff in special education, child welfare, clinical services, and support teams. In this session, attendees learn about Arrow’s Employee and Communication Engagement process from survey to plan development to implementation. Lessons learned, successes, and tools for engagement will be shared. Attendees can anticipate using the elements of Arrow’s plan to strengthen their own employee culture and engagement.

Presenters: Emily Riley, Chief Administrative Officer, and Jennifer McGlothlin-Renault, Senior Vice President of Operations, Arrow Child and Family Ministries

F7: Forging Critical Collaborations: The Texas Workforce Commission Foster Care Initiative

Youth impacted by foster care experience many challenges because of unnecessary barriers. Our session will focus on partnerships TWC has developed to leverage services and improve access to resources for this marginalized population. TWC Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services recognize that youth impacted by foster care experiences a higher rate of disability due to trauma than their peers who are not affected by foster care. They do not access many resources available to them for many reasons. During this session, we will highlight many resources that are left on the table. We will also highlight what we have done as an agency to build relationships with key stakeholders and ways we have identified to leverage services. A central part of this initiative includes our VR Counselors who serve as Subject Matter Experts (SME) and work directly with these students. The SME offers stability for the youth as we realize they are a transient population. 

Presenters: Laura Villarreal, M., Ed., Program Specialist for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Gabriela Martinez, Program Specialist, and Katherine Martinez, Texas Workforce Commission

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Keynote: Shenandoah Chefalo
8:30-10am

Crossing the Finish Line When It Keeps Moving (V)

Trauma is one of the most significant challenges to families and family support services. Neglect, abuse, and traumatic events cause insecure attachments, developmental delays, and very real physical and mental health consequences in children and youth. As a foster care and juvenile justice survivor, Shenandoah Chefalo speaks from a unique perspective, combining her lived experience and professional expertise. She is a trauma-informed coach, consultant, and author who addresses the unique challenges of America’s broken foster care system and presents poignant trauma-informed solutions that support major cultural shifts when it comes to caring for our youth. Shenandoah will share first-hand experiences of living in foster care from the point of view of a survivor; provide an overview of resilience, including development and ongoing factors; and increase attendees‘ understanding of key trauma-informed change topics, such as organizational chronic stress and the paradigm shift.

10:15-11:15am | General Supersession: Licensing, Contracts, and Investigations (V)

Updates from Residential Child Care Licensing, Contracts, and Investigations.

 11:30am-12:30pm | General Supersession: Texas Child Centered System of Care (T3C) (V)

Texas Child Centered Care (T3C) is a transformative project that will better define the foster care service continuum, modernize the methodology that goes into calculating the cost of foster care, and collectively establish a new foster care system in Texas. The system was designed to improve outcomes for children, youth, and young adults by meeting the needs of the foster care population and compensating caregivers for delivering high-quality services that incentivize effective and individualized care. This session will provide an overview and update on rollout and implementation.

Presenters: Kristene Blackstone, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services; and Kaysie Taccetta, T3C Project Manager, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Virtual Schedule

Monday, Sept. 30

Opening Keynote | 12:30 -2pm

The Power of Storytelling: How to Empower Children, Youth, and Families to Heal

Presenter: Stephanie Foo 

Click the session title to view the full description.

Breakout Session A | 2:15-3:45pm​

A8: Pathways to Independence: Supporting Youth Exiting Foster Care

Evidence from studies over the last three decades demonstrates that youth exiting foster care are at a much higher risk to face a multiplicity of challenges than their peers who are not in care. These challenges result in negative outcomes, such as high rates of homelessness, under-education, unemployment or under-employment, poverty, mental health issues and post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and early pregnancy or parenthood. Young people, especially young people who have experienced out-of-home placement, need additional support as they enter and navigate the first years of adulthood. This session will discuss the needs of young adults exiting care and review an Independent Living Program model that addresses eight relevant needs of this population: Education, Workforce, Housing, Community Supports, Client Supports, Social Supports, Healthcare, and Mental Health/Counseling.

Presenters: Traci Wagner, LCCA, LCPAA, Vice President of Programs, and Marissa Smith, Assistant Vice President of Programs, Methodist Children’s Home

A9: Diving In to Perfect Your CPA’s Provisional Verification Standards Processes

In June 2021, Provisional Verifications were added to Texas Minimum Standards to permit continued care of foster children in a verified foster home when a family is transferring from one child-placing agency to another. This standard has become increasingly helpful when an agency is closing or when an SSCC (Single Source Continuum Contractor) is beginning stage one in a DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services) Legacy Region. Learn how to utilize the Provisional Verification and develop a process with your agency to utilize this useful Standard. The presenters will review all Provisional Licensing Standards and breakdown the understanding of each through a PowerPoint. Once the Standards have been reviewed, the attendees will be asked to share their experiences with the group on how the provisional verification process has worked for their agency. Arrow will also ask one of our Regional Directors to contribute pros and cons experienced with post provisional verification and what resolution was made if a family is not a fit for the CPA, cannot meet the time frame, etc. The presenter will review and discuss how Arrow has developed processes over the last three years and share the breakdown of the workflow and documents created to help a family navigate through the licensure process.

Presenters: Scott Baston, Associate Vice President of Capacity Development, and Katie Winn, Family Home Developer Manager, Arrow Child and Family Services

A10: Turbocharging Trauma-Informed Care in the Modern Workforce: A New Leadership Framework (L)

Trauma-informed care and training have revolutionized the way many residential and other out-of-home placement settings create healing environments for youth. However, challenges in recruitment, retention, and burnout of staff pose significant barriers to the maintenance of effective system-wide, trauma-informed frameworks. Key to the success of these frameworks is the provision of structured, high-quality supervision, often to increasingly younger and less experienced direct care staff, many of whom have their own histories of trauma. This leadership-level session will review best practices in effective supervision, using a trauma responsive, emotion coaching intervention designed to help staff develop self-regulation skills as a backdrop. Key takeaways will include ways to structure and scaffold staff in order to accelerate the steep learning curve needed to create healing relationships and environments for youth.

Presenters: Jessica Linich, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, The Lionheart Foundation; and Daniel Pectol, Director of Residential Services, ACH Child and Family Services

Breakout Session B | 4-5:30pm

Attendees will be engaged through several methods. The session will include videos of families and children discussing the importance of achieving legal permanency. Attendees will also go through a group exercise to brainstorm ways to address specific reasons why older youth say no to permanency and how to address these individual fears focusing on the youth’s needs. Attendees will receive additional resources, including Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s “Texas Legal Brief” and a “7 Common Fears Children in Foster Care Have About Being Adopted” brochure. Attendees will be asked questions about their experiences with the child welfare system and encouraged to participate throughout the session.

Presenters: Melinda Haggerty, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Natalie Adams, Senior Manager, Training, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

B9: Cultivating Connection: Insights from Arrow's Employee and Communication Engagement Process

If the culture of the organization is the soil by which everything either lives or dies, then the engagement of employees within that culture is how that soil is fertilized. Employee engagement is how the relationship between employees and an organization is measured. Arrow serves children and families across two states and employs close to five hundred staff in special education, child welfare, clinical services, and support teams. In this session, attendees learn about Arrow’s Employee and Communication Engagement process from survey to plan development to implementation. Lessons learned, successes, and tools for engagement will be shared. Attendees can anticipate using the elements of Arrow’s plan to strengthen their own employee culture and engagement. 

Presenters: Emily Riley, Chief Administrative Officer, and Jennifer McGlothlin-Renault, Senior Vice President of Operations, Arrow Child and Family Ministries

B10: Teaming Up for Greater Impact

Join us to discover the importance of engaging community stakeholders comprised of churches, businesses, and other partner nonprofits within your community to help enhance program support, outcomes, and brand awareness. This session will include the “how” to engage, the “why” to engage, and “benefits” of engaging as well as the importance of fostering those relationships. The session will define the steps and structure of quality collaboration including risks vs. rewards. Attendees will build a Collaboration Plan/Matrix (who do you want to meet and who do you know that can introduce you?) and will have an opportunity to discuss in groups what type of partnerships they currently have while brainstorming on ways to expand those moving forward.

Presenters: Dior Burns, Executive Director, and Shelly Smith, Executive Director for East Texas, Buckner Children and Family Services

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Breakout Session C | 8:30-10am

C8: Up Your Game: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge (L)

Attendees will learn how to leverage a positive and healthy influence among their co-workers and peers. The most influential people do not always have a title or position of authority. Attendees will learn the characteristics of an Ideal Team Player – Humble, Hungry, and Smart. The Ideal Team Player will emulate the core values of their agency or company. Attendees will learn the high value of Self Leadership. The leadership of self is the foundation for present and future leaders. Employees will learn they are responsible for their personal growth and professional development. Attendees will learn the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and how to bring out the best in others. It takes a special skill to empathize with people, serve them with love and courage, then empower them to their next level of greatness.

Presenter:Vincent Duran, MSW, President/CEO, Boys & Girls Country of Houston

C9: Shaping the Future: Exploring Prevention Strategies for Positive Family Outcomes

This session will explore the history of prevention, current evidence-based practices, and future opportunities that we can shape into successful outcomes for all families along the continuum of child welfare. We will include experiential learning to guide attendees on a journey through the prevention world. This session is designed to take attendees through prevention-focused concepts involving family systems through the years. We will review prevention models and therapeutic techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, Family Centered Treatment, family empowerment, and sustainable change. The concluding section of the session will focus on research and evidence-based practices that are promoting progress and enhancing positive outcomes. We will discuss preventing out of home placements and how to intervene at the earliest sign of risk Attendees will question the following: Where can we make immediate change? Where can we make changes in the next year? Where do we see ourselves in Texas, in 5-10 years? This training will benefit Licensed Childcare Administrators by providing needed information about prevention advances through the years and how we can continue to build on those positive outcomes. 

Presenters: Hailey Lathom, LCSW, Regional Vice President of Prevention & In-Home Services, and Laura Bownds, Texas Director of Prevention Programs, Saint Francis Ministries; and Poletta “Shay” Cunningham, Implementation Director, Family Centered Treatment Foundation

C10: Navigating Identity: The Challenges & Triumphs of Adolescent Adoptees (T)

In this session, attendees will learn about the challenges and triumphs of adolescent adoptees. The task of adopted adolescents ‘identity development is often more difficult and includes questions about the biological family, why they were placed for adoption, 

what became of the birth parents, whether the adolescent resembles the birth parents in 

looks or in other characteristics and where the adolescent ‘belongs’ in terms of education, 

social class, culture, peer group, and more. Some adoptees know nothing about their families and their whereabouts. This can be a trigger for the adoptee which in return, can cause a mental breakdown and discomfort. Being adopted can also be a traumatic event. Being adopted should be regarded as a traumatic event. The loss of birth parents because of adoption sets the stage for the feelings of loss and abandonment that many adopted persons experience at some point in their lives. Adoptees struggling with learning problems is significantly larger than that of non-adoptees. Often, adoptees can also struggle mentally and emotionally. Identity is also an important thing as the child begins to mature. Once adoptees transition throughout adulthood, he or she will wonder what their parents or other family members look like.

Presenter: Ereka Howard, Adoptee; Professional Speaker, Trainer, Advocate

Breakout Session D | 10:20-11:50am

D8: Promoting Cultural Humility in Childcare Leadership: Strengthening Ethical Services for Diverse Children and Families (L, E)

This session focuses on an ethical approach to promoting cultural humility in child welfare leadership and staff. Attendees will explore the importance of self-reflection, learning, and understanding diverse cultures to promote the practice of cultural humility to enhance services to children and families. Through interactive discussions and activities, attendees will learn practical strategies for fostering an organizational culture which embraces the ethical practice of cultural humility to strengthen their ability to effectively work with diverse populations.

Presenters: Mosley Hobson, M.A., Disproportionality Manager, and Sharibeth Neihaus, State Disproportionality Manager, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

D10: Ready, Set, Go! Breaking the Norm to Fuel Breakthrough Relationships

This session will show the importance of partnership between birth parents and those who are caring for their children while they navigate the child welfare system. This will be an interactive session, where attendees will hear the session, be able to ask questions, and learn through role play how to break through barriers to engaging families, break through barriers that keep the birth parents separate from the resource parents (those caring the children), while strengthening the relationship between the two, to create a larger support system for the children being served. This will benefit licensed childcare providers by providing a better way to keep birth families and resource families connected to create an atmosphere that healthily supports the children. 

Presenter: Paula Bibbs-Samuels, LPC, BPNN, BFPP, Parent Liaison (Texas), Texas Parent Fellow, Thriving Families, Safer Children, PAC Member, Generations United

D11: Developing a Resilient Board: Building, Removing, & Rebuilding for Success

Good board governance does not happen by accident. Just like hiring for excellent staff, the job of “hiring” the volunteers for a nonprofit board, onboarding them, and helping them to be successful for your organization involves time, mentorship, and nurturing the relationship by the executive and board leadership alike. At some point, you may need to reimagine/reassemble the board to accomplish the organization’s strategy and goals. This course addresses ways to ensure good board governance. This interactive session will include discussion and problem solving by and with the audience. As a leader of an organization with a volunteer board, if someone has not faced difficulties with a board, this session will help the leader to work more effectively with the board and possibly prevent future problems from hijacking the organization’s work. For those who have experienced an ineffective, dysfunctional, or even toxic board member (or board), this session will offer suggestions for successfully maneuvering from weakness to strength. Take heart, headwinds are hard, but a plane (or even a kite) is only able to achieve flight by taking off into the wind. This session will offer leaders the confidence to face their own headwinds and use the struggle to take flight into a successful future for the organization and the communities they serve.

Presenters: Heidi Bruegel Cox, Executive Vice President, and Mark Melson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Gladney Center for Adoption

Lunch Keynote | 12-2pm

Be The Change: Embracing Resilience, Overcoming Adversity, and Transforming Lives

Presenter: SaulPaul 

Breakout Session E | 2:15-3:45pm

E8: Prioritizing Family Preservation: A Look at the Evidence-Based Family Check-Up Model

This training is designed to benefit agency leadership involved with family preservation by providing information about an evidence-based program, the Family Check-Up (FCU). As a result of this session, attendees could choose to implement the Family Check-Up to address the needs of children and families in their communities, by helping them build positive, healthy relationships and positive family functioning. The training will include brief descriptions of the elements and steps of the Family Check-Up model, along with video and live demonstrations of FCU sessions with families. Attendees will be actively engaged via practice activities and group discussion. They will practice implementing parts of sessions in small groups, with feedback from the trainer. They also will participate in group discussion of the benefits of developing parenting intervention goals and steps via a parent-led, empowering, assessment-driven process that is grounded in Motivational Interviewing strategies.

Presenter: Lisa Reiter, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, COO, Northwest Prevention Science

E9: Let’s Talk: A Best Practices Panel on Bridging Gaps Between Foster Care & Adulthood

Youth transitioning out of foster care face many challenges. Up to half are at risk of ending up homeless within two years. Luckily, Texas has several organizations devoted to helping young adults with a history of foster care obtain housing, find employment at a livable wage, learn valuable life skills, address mental health needs, and enhance their social connections. In this session you will learn about current research related to these challenges and hear from organizations that specialize in helping this population achieve successful, independent futures.

Presenters: Ted Keyser, CEO, Selfless Love; Courtney Laverty, CEO, THRU Project; Amy Lowery, Partnerships Manager, Miracle Foundation; Brian Meza, Petra Cares

E10: Harnessing the Healing Power of Ethical Relationships (L, E)

Promoting relational health and connection is a simple intervention with profound outcomes. This session will explore what we know about the neurobiology of relationships to include which neural systems are involved in how we develop and maintain ethical relationships. Discussion will focus on the current landscape of relationships and connection in our modern world and with the children and families we work with. Attendees will learn about a relational health approach that can be implemented in all areas of practice from direct work with children and families, to leadership, and in our individual lives. This session will include a discussion of ethical considerations.

Presenters: Samantha Thompson, LCSW-S, Senior Program Coordinator, and Samantha MacCallon, Community Coordinator, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing

Breakout Session F | 4-5:30pm

F8: Gold Medal Strategies for Increasing Safety and Reducing Restraints & Seclusions

This session will fully describe the journey of one behavioral healthcare provider with a restraint and seclusion problem. Through an initiative to manage physically aggressive behavior safely while minimizing restraint and seclusion, a problem became an invention and an opportunity to assist other organizations/schools. Attendees will understand that it is possible to manage physically aggressive behavior safely without utilizing restraint or seclusion; gain an ability to describe the benefits of utilizing a trauma-informed approach; and identify the return on investment to organizations and systems through minimizing restrictive practices.

Presenter: Kim Sanders, COO, Grafton Schools, Inc., inventor of Ukeru Systems 

F9: Supervising for Safety: Essential Abuse Risk Management Skills for Administrators

Supervisors and administrators have critical roles in promoting a culture of safety within their organization, including the development, implementation, and enforcement of abuse prevention practices. Praesidium will share fundamental abuse risk management knowledge and skills to equip child welfare leaders in defining and enhancing their own organizational safeguarding efforts. Supervising for Safety: Essential Abuse Risk Management Skills for Administrators” is designed for management staff and administrators. Attendees will learn specific skills and strategies that they can quickly implement in their organizations to help prevent abuse against vulnerable populations like youth in care, protect staff or caregivers from false allegations, and protect organizations from financial and legal liability. Through the session of Praesidium’s framework for preventing organizational abuse, the Praesidium Safety Equation®, attendees will learn research-based abuse risk management to create and maintain a culture of safety within their programs. through specific monitoring and supervision practices. This session and discussion will guide attendees through identifying risks specific to their organizations and help them develop practical risk reduction plans. 

Presenter: Laura Hardin, LMSW, Senior Risk Consultant, Praesidium

F10" Unlocking Impact: Making Numbers & Stories Play Nice

Whether for internal planning, fundraising, or external communication, you want to know if your program is making a difference for those it is meant to serve. You keep hearing the importance of “data” and that you are supposed to collect it, but where do you even start and how do you avoid getting overwhelmed? This session will take you through basic concepts of logic models/theory of change to produce key metrics to define success, and the importance of stories and tracking information over time on how to understand and communicate your impact. Learn through an example of how one organization does it and by actively applying the learnings to your organization. 

Presenter: Audria Choudhury, Program Impact Manager, Miracle Foundation

Wednesday, Oct. 2

8:30-10am |  Keynote: Crossing the Finish Line When It Keeps Moving

Presenter: Shenandoah Chefalo

10:15-11:15am | General Supersession: Licensing, Contracts, and Investigations

Updates from Residential Child Care Licensing, Contracts, and Investigations. 

 11:30am-12:30pm | General Supersession: Texas Child Centered System of Care (T3C)

Texas Child Centered Care (T3C) is a transformative project that will better define the foster care service continuum, modernize the methodology that goes into calculating the cost of foster care, and collectively establish a new foster care system in Texas. The system was designed to improve outcomes for children, youth, and young adults by meeting the needs of the foster care population and compensating caregivers for delivering high-quality services that incentivize effective and individualized care. This session will provide an overview and update on rollout and implementation.

Presenters: Kristene Blackstone, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services; and Kaysie Taccetta, T3C Project Manager, Texas Department of Family and Protective Servcies