Tuesday, October 25, 2022 - 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.

Session E

E1 Planning for Uncertain, Unprecedented, and Unpredictable Times

Presenters: Jesse Booher, Chief Operations Officer, and Jenifer Jarriel, President and CEO, DePelchin Children's Center

Strategic planning in the dynamic environment of Child Welfare is always challenging and requires a comprehensive approach and dedicated focus. In this session, participants will hear directly from members of the Executive Team at DePelchin as they share the process used by the organization to craft a strategic direction that would withstand change and uncertainty. DePelchin, a 130-year old social service organization with locations in several cities in Texas, spent a year engaged in an intense scenario-based strategic planning process. The “north star” of this work was developing a consistent strategic direction that would be strong enough to remain relevant despite changes to the operating environment yet be responsive enough to absorb sudden systemic shocks. This session will include an outline of key steps in effective scenario-based planning, description of lessons learned, and provide a roadmap for organizations seeking to build more impactful strategic plans.

E2 Superhero Therapy: Changing the Trauma Narrative from "Broken" to "Empowered"

Presenter: Dr. Janina Scarlet, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Founder, Superhero Therapy Superhero Therapy

This workshop will focus on specific skills that can help people learn to understand and process their trauma narrative through the lens of self-empowerment, using fiction and narrative writing exercises as vehicles for fostering posttraumatic growth. Individuals exposed to trauma, especially prolonged and complex trauma might be more likely to avoid treatment or to drop out of treatment prematurely. Nearly 40% of trauma survivors are purported to drop out of therapy because they find it “too distressing” (Alpert, et al., 2020). Many also might struggle with being able to trust their therapist or to find a way to express their traumatic experiences. Helping clients to change the narrative of their trauma has been shown to be helpful not only in people with PTSD, but also in those with complex PTSD, such as survivors of mass violence (McPherson, 2012). Many trauma survivors struggle to confide in other people but might find an emotional connection in fictional characters, like Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Avengers, and Supernatural, which might become surrogate friends or a support group to the trauma survivor. This workshop will focus on specific skills that can help people learn to understand and process their trauma narrative through the lens of self-empowerment, using fiction and narrative writing exercises as vehicles for fostering posttraumatic growth.   

 

 

E3 Going Beyond Pre-Service Training: Ethically Preparing for Meeting Children’s Diverse Needs

Presenter: Ryan Hanlon, President and CEO, National Council for Adoption

This session provides an ethical framework for considering appropriate training and ongoing development of child welfare professionals. The wide diversity of needs and differences among children mean that we cannot possibly equip ourselves all the tools needed to be successful with pre-service training. Drawing on new research, attendees will learn tools to set appropriate expectations and to identify training resources specific to a child’s developmental, social, and other presenting needs with the mindset, knowledge, and skills to continue to receive ongoing training and support throughout their service. 

E4 Community & Workforce Wellbeing: Lessons and Strategies from the Fort Bend County Trust-Based Relational Intervention® Collaborative

Presenters: Shannan Stavinoha, Executive Director, Parks Youth Ranch, Inc., Connie Almeida, PH.D. Licensed Psychologist; Michelle Hallack, Department Trainer, Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department; and Metoyer Martin, MSW, CASA Program Director, Child Advocates of Fort Bend; and Jennifer Roberts, Ed.D., LPC-S and CSC, Director of Student Services, Lamar Consolidated ISD

As caregivers and professionals working with children and families impacted by trauma, it is critical that communities understand how trauma affects child development, how we can best support children to heal, and how our organizations can use trauma-responsive strategies to support the wellbeing of our workforce in the process. Panel members from the Fort Bend County Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI) Collaborative will share insights and lessons learned about the benefits of facilitating a continuum of trauma-informed TBRI® training, support, and resources to equip a broad range of community-based child and family-serving professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to best serve children and to transform our organizations and communities to be collectively more trauma-informed. The Fort Bend TBRI® Collaborative will specifically highlight early indicators that utilizing TBRI® principles within an organization may lead to positive outcomes associated with employee job satisfaction and retention. 

E5 Skill-Building Workshop for Working with and Supporting LGBTQ+ Teens in Foster Care

Presenter: Kevin Haggerty, Emeritus Professor University of Washington, School of Social Work, and Kym Ahrens, University of Washington Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Seattle Children’s Hospital

LGTBQ+ youth in foster care need unique support and acceptance; however, few case workers and caregivers receive specialized training. To address this, the Connecting: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) eLearning was developed.Participants will learn about the importance of gender affirming care for adolescence. They will also learn about the free online resource for caregivers and social workers offered by the State of Washington Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence. The resource is available to caregivers in Texas as well.

E6 Understanding Elopement: A Strengths-Based Approach to Mitigating Elopement Risk in Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth

Presenters: Sarah Hall, CSEY Project Manager, Texas Alliance of Children and Family Services, and Erin Argue, Support Services Director, Partnerships for Children

Elopement is composed of both push and pull factors for youth — factors that serve to push them away from treatment and factors that pull them back into the world, thus increasing their risk for commercial sexual exploitation. In this training, we look at the push and pull factors for both GROs and CPAs serving youth at risk of exploitation to see what brings youth to a higher risk level for elopement. We couple this with using a strengths-based approach for reducing each of those factors, thus reducing overall risk. Administrators know that there is a high rate of elopement amongst youth, especially those who have previously experienced commercial sexual exploitation. Elopement is composed of both push and pull factors for youth — factors that serve to push them away from treatment and factors that pull them back into the world, thus increasing their risk for commercial sexual exploitation. In this training, we look at the push and pull factors for both GROs and CPAs serving youth at risk of exploitation to see what brings youth to a higher risk level for elopement. We couple this with using a strengths-based approach for reducing each of those factors, thus reducing overall risk. Participants will stay engaged in this session through dialogue with presenters, featuring interactive pieces around what helps them and the youth they serve feel safe. Licensed child care providers will benefit from learning about program elements and principles of connection that they can incorporate into care, whether in GROs or CPAs, that will assist them in reducing elopement risk for those youth who are most at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.  

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