Conference Schedule Subject to Change

2012 Fostering Strategies for Change: Children, Families & their Communities

Tuesday  October 9th, 2012

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.    Registration/Continental Breakfast/Exhibitors Hall        

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.   Introductions/Orientation 

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Session “Our Past, Our Present, Our Future"  Session sponsored by the Barry Bartholomew Fund

·         Foster Youth Panel

Panel Discussion Facilitated by Kathy Prell, Cornerstones of Care Foster Care Program Manager

Youth in care tell social workers, foster parents, and guardians ad litem their ideas about improving the system for all children in care.  Youth will tell their stories about coming into care and then share through panel discussion what they feel they need from the professionals that work with them in order to make permanent safe connections so that they can have successful outcomes when they leave care.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Exhibitors Hall/Resource Fair

10:30 a.m. – Noon   Breakout Sessions


1.  Healthy Transition for Youth/Young Adults Within Four Jackson County Mental Health Centers

·         Marcia Dutcher, Senior Research Specialist Missouri Institute of Mental Health

·         Nikayla MorrisTMC participant of the HTI project and is the chair of HOPE, the Futures Program Youth Advisory

Four community mental health centers in Jackson County, Missouri are changing the way youth and young adults ages 16 years to 25 years access outpatient mental health services. In an initiative called Healthy Transitions--Uniting Pathways, Comprehensive Mental Health Services, ReDiscover Transitional Youth Living Program, Swope Health Services and Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health Futures Program are working to ensure that youth and young adults are engaged in services in a manner that is appealing to them and consistently respects their voice and choice in the decisions that affect them.

2.  Teaching Kids to Survive - Preparing Children to Survive in a Society Where Race, Gender and Other Factors Will Confront Them

·         Ty Murrell, Foster Parent/Public Relations Specialist

Walking with a bag of Skittles and a can of tea can have an adverse consequence if your child is in a neighborhood were they are percieved as not belonging.

As parents we must prepare our children to survive. Even in the 21st Century people are often judged not on their charcter but on external factors and prejudices by others.

  • That we must teach our children that everyone does not view them as their families (adoptive/foster) do.  So they must learn how to get past the obstacles that will confront them.
  • Learn to accept each person for who they are based on their own deeds not the deeds of someone else that may have similar external features.
  • You cannot judge a book by its cover.

3.  Using a Peer Review Model to Improve Service Through Evaluation
  • Rebecca Gillam, LMSW, Project Coordinator for the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service
  • Stephanie Wallio, PhD
  • Mary Hess, MA

This session will describe a Peer Review Model for community-based participatory evaluation. Peer Review is an effective evaluation approach that: improves service delivery systems, prioritizes systems change, ensures availability and quality of services, increases accountability and credibility of application of funds, provides feedback to programs and funders, and targets areas for technical assistance. The model is a comprehensive process designed to develop staff capacity as evaluators, to determine the efficacy of the program, and to support staff in ongoing quality improvement efforts. The model has also been effective in building relationships across programs and agencies, leading to collaborative efforts and shared resources to further support the grantees’ work.

4.  Make KC ACE’s FREE

·         Lesa Chandler – Director of Professional Development, Cornerstones of Care

Learn how various communities are using the ACEs study and emerging knowledge about the brain to improve their communities by reducing the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences and minimizing the traumatic impact on individuals.  The potential for community impact lies in safer neighborhoods, improved mental and physical health, better educational outcomes, increased productivity in the workforce, and more. While many trauma-informed efforts are beginning in the metro area, come be a part of the initiative to combine our efforts to Make K.C. ACEs Free!

Make K.C. ACEs Free © 2012 Cornerstones of Care

5.   cancelled

Noon – 1:00  Exhibitors Hall/Resource Fair & Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.   Breakout Sessions

6.  Reducing the Use of Psychotropic Drugs Part 1
  • Dr. Brent Wilson, Child Welfare Collaborative
The high usage of psychotropic medication treatment for children in foster care has captured the attention of mental health professionals, child welfare professionals, state and national policymakers, and the general public. Recent studies consistently document higher rates of utilization in the foster care population than are seen in the overall youth population and comparable populations of Medicaid-eligible youth. Polypharmacy is also more common among children in foster care, particularly combinations involving antipsychotic medications. These trends are disturbing because the safety and effectiveness of many of these medications has not been established, particularly for use with children. Potential side effects of over use of psychotropic medications could include weight gain, high cholesterol levels, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in the short term, while longer term health impacts for over use of these medications with children are mostly unknown.

7.  Transitioning Older Youth
    • Catherine Brown, CEO of Children with a Purpose

So you want to be released? It’s your choice.

The workshop will help youth, placement providers, case managers and service provider’s with hands on experiences that will prepare youth to venture into the world feeling confident.  Children with a Purpose and Love & Logic techniques are suited to teens emphasizing healthy communication and use the consultant approach which is paramount with the emerging independence of a teenager.

-       N 2 me I see:

-       Building relationships with youth in foster care; taking the time to go into the world of a teen that is in foster care and embracing them for being the resilient youth that they have become through the process.

-       I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means?:

-       The youth will be able to see the things that they need to do and know in order to become successful.

-       Creating strategies in implementing the skills needed to help young people succeed.

8.  Working Together: Incorporating NAMI-KCs Programs and Services to Educate Parents, Youth & Staff

    • Jen Boyden, Program Director National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Kansas City

Learn about NAMI-KC's Programs & Services and how you can utilize them to educate & support parents, youth and the community.

-       Learn programs and services available from NAMI-KC

-       Learn how to incorporate & refer to  NAMI-KC's programs & services to educate/support families, youth & professionals

-       Learn opportunities to partner with NAMI-KC to offer support and education services.

9.  Understanding Trauma: Nurturing Healthy Attachment and Bonding in Foster Care and Adoption

·         Heidi Elmore, MS Parenting Coach

·         Mark Elmore, LPC

·         Sarah Anderson, Foster Parent & Mentor

Understanding Trauma: Heidi will present the numerous traumas, which can be incurred by the child in the foster/adoption process. Sarah will present the traumas, which can be incurred by the parent through the foster/adoption process. Mark will present the psychological and neurological effects of trauma.  Sarah and Heidi will show how trauma manifests in behavioral problems for the child. Mark will explain different attachment styles seen in both children and parents.

10.   LGBTQ Foster Youth Panel
  • Lynn Barnett is a licensed social worker in both Kansas and Missouri
  • Panel of Older Foster Youth
  • A panel of 18 and over LGBT youth who have experienced bigotry and prejudice in their families of origin, foster homes, or on the streets if they have experienced a period of homelessness. These youth have found ways in which to overcome their circumstances and have risen above to achieve stable homes and jobs. They will talk about their experiences to the audience to impart the difficulties they have experienced in being gay in today's child welfare system.  Each youth will tell their story in short speeches and then questions will be posed by the audience.

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Exhibitors Hall/Resource Fair

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

11. Reducing the Use of Psychotropic Drugs Part 2
      • Dr. Brent Wilson, Child Welfare Collaborative
In this 2-part workshop series will first focus on training child welfare workers and other frontline care givers regarding proper psychiatric treatment for children, exploring medication usage related to diagnosis and other individual child and family factors.  During the 2nd workshop in the series, we will discuss macro level system changes that can be implemented to improve the psychiatric care for foster children and reduce the over use of psychotropic medication. 

12.  School-to-Home Connections for Foster Children and Families

      • Lucas Shivers , Researcher, Teacher, Foster Parent (University of Kansas)

In this presentation, participants will learn about the distinctive aspects of school connections within foster care, with a lens of exploring teacher family relationships. To build successful school-to-home connections, foster families, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders can learn to communicate to make decisions together. Teachers and foster parents can learn to solve problems to close the achievement gap of students in foster care. 


13.  Maintaining Birth Family Connections in Adoption
  • Joseph N. Beck, MSW, LCSW
In the age of technology there is no bout about an adoptee locating their birth family. This workshop will discuss strategies to assist adoptive parents in facilitating healthy connections between their children and birth parents.  We will explore the positives and negatives of maintaining birth family connections, and develop a greater understanding of how maintaining a healthy relationship with birth parents can improve the outcome for your adoptive children.

14.  Children’s Enhancement Project: Developing Multisystem Collaborations

      • Amy Mendenhall, Assistant Professor University of Kansas
      • Susan Frauenholtz
      • Terry Cunningham

Developing multisystem collaborations in children’s mental health is challenging work.  This presentation introduces participants to a regional initiative in Northwest Missouri to develop a collaborative program, the Children’s Enhancement Project (CEP), and the concurrent evaluation of CEP being conducted to strengthen CEP and measure its effectiveness.  CEP utilizes a strengths-based philosophy of care utilizing a team approach to create individualized, family and child-focused services and natural community supports for youth at risk of institutionalized care.  The evaluation of CEP is multifaceted and comprehensive, with a focus on early community and organizational implementation, and clinical and cost outcomes.  By attending this presentation, participants will be better prepared to develop multi-system collaborations and a targeted, concurrent evaluation in their own communities.

15.  What You Should Know About Working with Children of Prisoners and Their Families
  • Dr. Toni Johnson, Ph.D., LMSW  Associate Professor University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare
  • Ashley Richard, BSW Student University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare

Dr. Johnson will provide characteristics of inmate parents incarcerated at the state and federal level and will present an overview of the effects of incarceration on the family with a specific focus on the children. A ific focus on the children. A review of nationally developed “best practices” used with these children will be followed by a facilitated discussion of interventions being used in across the state of Kansas and the Nation. This presentation will usebrief lecture, small & large group discussion, video clips, and interactive experiences to engage workshop participants in discussion and activities designed to build skills in working with and advocating for children of prisoners.

Wednesday – October 10th, 2012

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast/Exhibitors Hall           

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.  Introductions/Awards Ceremony

8:30-10:00 “Unadoptable is Unacceptable”

      • Rita Soronen, President & CEO of Dave Thomas Foundation

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, through its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) initiative, is challenging the notion that any child is unadoptable.  A recently released rigorous five-year national evaluation of the program shows children served by WWK are more likely to be adopted, with the program’s impact even stronger among older youth and those with mental health disorders.  The Foundation is now committed to increasing the resources and partnerships necessary to take the program to scale, to encouraging evidence-based activities when designing programs for children, and to insisting that “unadoptable” is unacceptable.”

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Exhibitors Hall/Resource Fair

10:30 a.m. – Noon Breakout Sessions 

16.  Caring for Older Children From Foster Care through Permanency

· Mark Leavell LCSW Dietchman, Leavell and Associates, LLC
Caring for Older Children, from Foster Care through Permanency examines the special issues encountered by older children who become involved with the child welfare system. Older children experience foster care in ways that differ, in many ways, from the experiences of younger children. Events and milestones that are considered by many to be rites of passage for teens, including driving, class rings, proms, dating and others may be impacted, delayed, or not occur at all if a child is in foster care. This presentation focuses on the special issues older children face, and explores strategies for meeting these children’s needs, and connecting them with lifetime relationships and supports.

17. Reducing Resistance Through our Language: Behavior Intervention Support Team
· Linda Hosman, BSEd & CJ Educational/Behavioral Consultant
This workshop will address ways to reduce resistance by using specific language that has been proven effective to de-escalate children, rather than initiating a power struggle where no one wins. Children currently in foster and adoptive placements struggle to have skill set(s) that many of us take for granted. Children born to us have a trust-base that provides them with an innate ability to more easily learn how to respond appropriately to everyday situations. Children in care and who are adopted often respond in ways that get them in trouble. They cannot make good choices when they are mad or worried, when they do not like what others say or do, or when they just plain do not want to do something (like follow a rule).

18. Trauma Informed Treatment & Therapeutic Homes Utilizing the Sanctuary Model ®
· Michelle Graff,  Director of Training and Program Development, Gillis
This presentation will provide an overview of Gillis’s experience implementing trauma-informed treatment in a therapeutic foster home setting based on the Sanctuary model. The overview will include program description, model components and sanctuary tools. Participants will gain an understanding of how trauma, chronic stress and childhood adversity impacts neurodevelopment and what approaches can best promote healing and healthy development. Participants will also be introduced to trauma informed tools that can be implemented in a home setting. This presentation will include a combination of lecture and interactive activities.

19. Implementing Effective Programs
· Rosalyn M. Bertram, PHD University of Missouri Kansas City
· Rachel Geary LMSW

Careful consideration of clients and proven frameworks for implementation of service models will improve program outcomes and sustainability. This workshop offers examples from Kansas City and Houston to aid staff, supervisors, administrators and funders to more efficiently achieve improved client outcomes.
Implications for specific program improvement will then be discussed with the audience.

20. The Parent Partner Approach: Parents Empowering Parents to Strengthen Families, Communities and Systems
· Cathy Edwards 2012 MSW Graduate of the UMKC School of Social Work
JoAnna Davis, Parent Partner Trainer
Efforts on behalf of child welfare professionals to meaningfully engage difficult or hard-to reach parents who are involved in child protection cases are hampered by an array of individual, family, caseworker, organizational, and policy-related barriers. Additionally, the involuntary nature of family involvement and the additional stressors associated with the possibility of termination of parental rights strain the intended helping relationship between caseworkers and the families they serve. As a result, the families most in need of services are frequently the least likely to engage in them which can result in a host of negative outcomes for children, families, and the communities where they reside.

Attendees will learn about Parent Partners, a community-based, peer-support model for engaging parents and strengthening families, communities, and systems to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for children.

Noon – 1:00 Exhibitors Hall/Resource Fair & Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
21.   Foster/Adoptive Identity: The Journey from Foster Care to Adoption
  • Erin Boyce, MSW University of Denver
  • Dr. Michele Hanna from the University of Denver
Older children and adolescents in foster care are in need of permanent homes and understanding how they view their overall experience from removal to adoption is important in helping to provide them with a healthy environment in which to continue to develop their personality and identity. This session will provide both foster and adoptive parents as well as child welfare and adoption professionals with an in-depth look at the experiences, outcomes, and identity development of young adults who are adopted from foster care after the age of 8.

22. Creative Mentoring: Beyond a Day at the Movies
· Michelle Pendzimas, MS, LPC
In a climate where systems are redefining how children in foster care should be mentored, learn the different ways in which mentoring naturally occurs for children residing in your community residential treatment centers. Creative Mentoring is more than a day at the movies. It involves intentional activities and relational moments that strengthens a child’s well-being, purpose and belief in community.

23. Developing Natural Mentoring Supports

·Nathan Ross, Director of Youth Services MFCAA

The MFCAA CARES Program is a free and local program created in response to the need for youth in the foster care system to have a consistent role-model they can look to for guidance in preparing for adult life while building lasting relationships. Youth who age out of foster care are seven times more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system before they’re 30. Research shows that quality mentoring can help change those statistics. The CARES program helps reduce first-time drug and alcohol use, increase regular school attendance, improve grades and benefit caregiver and peer relationships.
Youth who age out of foster care are seven times more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system before they’re 30. Research shows that quality mentoring can help change those statistics. Our CARES program helps reduce first-time drug and alcohol use, increase regular school attendance, improve grades and benefit caregiver and peer relationships.

24.   Promoting Effective Collaboration Between Social Workers and Foster Parents

·         Cynthia Blair, LBSW - Case Manager Children's Division, Platte County

This presentation is to share the outcomes of a research project performed to examine the relationships between foster parents and the state system in place to protect children. This system includes foster parents, case workers, service workers, and circuit management. The framework of this presentation will follow the Council on Social Work Education Ten Core Competencies and will incorporate a strengths- based and person-centered approach to support effective collaboration between foster parents and social workers.

25. Change Behavior by Changing Your Grocery List: Help with ADHD and Related Problems

· Leslie Carlisle - Foster Parent, Feingold Association Volunteer

Did you know that the brand of ice cream, cookie, and potato chip you select could have a direct effect on how you feel, or how your children behave, or their performance in school?   Leslie Carlisle  will take you on an entertaining safari through the supermarket jungle, and will show you how to find the foods your family enjoys, but without the worst of the additives.  Most people pay high prices for low quality food -- and then they pay again in the form of behavior, learning or health problems! 

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Exhibitors Hall/Resource Fair

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.   Breakout Session

26.  Enhancing the Parent-Child Relationship Through Care Skills

· Lisa Polka, Family Therapist & Julie Gettings, Family Therapist/CARE Workshop Coordinator Childrens Mercy Hospital


Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a type of treatment designed to improve the relationship between a caregiver and his/her child.  PCIT is also one of the most effective, evidence-based treatments known for children with behavior problems between the ages of 3 and 7 years old and up to age 9 with some modifications.  Parent-Child Interaction Therapy consists of 16-20 sessions and focuses on two basic interactions:  Child Directed Interaction (CDI) where caregivers are taught the PRIDE skills including Praise, Reflect, Imitate, Describe, Enthusiasn.  Caregivers learn to follow the child’s lead while ignoring annoying or obnoxious behavior and controlling dangerous behaviors.  During the second phase of treatmen,t called Parent Directed Interaction (PDI), caregivers learn to use effective commands and specific behavior management techniques as they play with their child.  Parents are taught how to manage children’s behaviors in real-world settings.  The Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) Workshop modification uses specific PCIT skills for general usage by parents or non-clinical adults who interact with children in a variety of setting (foster care, case managers, home visitation providers, etc.).  This session will provide an overview of both Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE).

27. Strategies for Supporting Families to Chart a New Life Course

·         Michelle “Sheli” Reynolds, M.O.T., Ph.D.

Over the last century, the provision of services and supports to individuals and families has undergone a rapid transformation. Systems originally designed to ensure health and safety are now focusing on supports that foster self-determination, build social capital and have access to opportunities to build assets that ensure self-sufficiency. As this transformation continues, it is important that individuals, their families and the systems that support them work together to create opportunities and to connect to possibilities for the future. This session will provide an overview of this transformation and how, by working and dreaming together, starting early and continuing throughout the life course, anything is possible.

28. Helping Caregivers Have “The Talk”…Again..and Again…and Again.

·         Kathleen Welton, BS Ed, Clay County Public Health Center, Liberty, MO

Caregivers want to talk to their children about sex but worry about giving the child too much, too little or the wrong kinds of sexuality information.  This session will provide helpful hints for helping caregivers have “The Talk”, share accurate internet resources and an overview of a successful Parent Child Sexuality Education Program.

29. Creating Connections Out of Chaos

·         Susan Peach LSCSW, LCSW Lifeworks Family Treatment Group

It’s normal to not always have that “loving feeling” towards kids who are resisting connection. With the tools discussed at this workshop, and a healthy dose of effort, patience, and love, it is possible repair attachment challenge

30.  Where Attachment and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Meet

·         Lynn Barnett LCSW, Mid America Family Treatment Center

Where Attachment and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Meet looks at the issues that impact foster and adoptive families in their day to day functioning.  Children affected by prebirth alcohol brain damage have evidenced dysfunction that ranges from profound mental retardation and birth defects to the more difficult to diagnose fetal alcohol effects of poor cause and affect thinking and poor impulse control issues. 

With the additional problems of attachment and bonding that often occur with children who have experienced inconsistent care, abuse, or neglect, parenting is made more difficult, for the child and for the family.  Strategies for managing behaviors and parenting using empathic, love based methods will be presented

Please be sure to fill out all conference evaluations so we can make 2013 an even better experience!