Learning Community Sessions/Workshops
Wednesday, September 17
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Promising Practices for Engaging Kinship Families
Four Kinship Navigator Programs will describe different promising practices to engage with formal and informal kinship families such as: innovative ways to explain the foster parent licensing process to caregivers; how online platforms can be used to assist caregivers; how an interdisciplinary team process model can be used to provide wraparound services to kinship caregivers; and how to build an effective referral and collaborative system with the child welfare agency. Presenters will engage session participants in a discussion of best practices in navigator service delivery.
Wednesday, September 17
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
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A1 - An Update on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
A2 - Building and Restoring Coparenting Relationships with Mothers in Jail and Kin Caring for their Children: Results of a Pilot Study
This workshop presents results of a two-year pilot test of a coparenting intervention with mothers detained for substance abuse related crimes and relatives caring for their children. The intervention is designed to facilitate the mother’s successful return to the community, support relatives who care for children while the mother is detained and following release, ensure stability and facilitate the well-being of children, and reduce relapse, recidivism, caregiver burden and stress, and family disruption. This presentation describes all phases of the intervention using illustrative case examples, presents results of standardized assessments, and encourages participation of workshop participants in assessing study implications.
Presenter(s): James P. Gleeson, Faith Johnson Bonecutter and Qiana Cryer-Coupet, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL
A3 - Caring for Our Own: An Educational Group Support Program Model
Many states require kinship caregivers to become licensed foster parents and participate in programs designed for potential foster/adoptive families. Since kinship caregivers are typically already parenting the child, the traditional pre-service programs do not address the unique challenges for relative placements. Caring For Our Own provides group support that looks at how the families can manage transitional reactions, trauma, and life changes prevalent in kinship situations. The goals and outcomes for this program will be discussed along with the similarities and differences between traditional foster care and kinship services.
Presenter(s): Denise Gibson, Children's Alliance of Kansas, Topeka, KS and Zelma S. Smith, ZS Smith & Associates, LLC, Stone Mountain, GA
A4 - Kinship Care: Managing Risk Factors Resulting from Changes in Family Dynamics, Roles, and Relationships
Stable and sustained kinship family arrangements require recognition that family dynamics, roles, and responsibilities change. Identifying and understanding indicators of change is important in addressing related risk factors that impact kinship caregiver, birth parent, and child well-being. This workshop will explore changing family dynamics, roles, and relationships between the birth parents, kinship caregiver, and the child. How these changes can result in risk factors impacting a caregiver's ability to provide protection, well-being, and permanence for children in their care will be discussed. Goals and interventions for assisting caregivers in anticipating and managing risk factors will be covered through an interactive exchange between the presenters and the audience. Workshop participants will have opportunity to identify implications for practice and how they might modify their individual practices and services to kinship families.
Presenter(s): Joseph Crumbley, Trainer, Consultant & Therapist, Jenkintown, PA and Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ
A5 - Effective Outreach and Engagement of Birth Fathers, Male Kinship Caregivers and Male Foster Parents
This workshop will explore the role of men serving as caregivers. By working with the emotional and psychological experience of men, we work to stabilize the children in their care. The presentation will include techniques for support system development, with special focus on the merits of group therapy, and the skills that men can use in their interactions with children in their care. We will explore how gender, culture, race, and ethnicity affect the experiences of the children in kinship care as well as experiences to trauma, loss and separation, fear of intimacy, and inability to form trusting relationships.
Presenter(s): Alan-Michael Graves, Anthony Young and Andre Feijoo, Children's Institute, Los Angeles, CA
A6 - Evaluation of Kinship Navigator Programs: Everything You Always Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask
This presentation introduces the evaluation approaches of three different kinship navigator federal demonstration projects, including: Kin-Tech (Children’s Home, Inc.), Kinship Support Network Navigator Program (Edgewood Center for Children and Families) and the online 211-iFoster Kinship Navigator projects (United Ways of California). No topics are off limits in this open discussion format of evaluation issues, including: study design, institutional review boards, avoiding respondent burden, data sharing, capturing the dose of intervention, handling control conditions and past project impact, recruitment of study participants, and capturing all program nuances. Presenters will provide lessons learned and allow participants to discuss their own evaluation issues.
Presenter(s): Michelle Rosenthal, Edgewood Center for Children and Families, San Francisco, CA; Kerry Littlewood, School of Social Work, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; Larry Cooper, The Children's Home, Tampa, FL; and Dr. Abhishek Pandey, Department of Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
A7 - South Los Angeles Child Welfare Initiative Support Group Program
Using a Peer Education and Support Network modeled after the National Alliance for Mental Illness’ Peer to Peer and Family to Family models, South West Los Angeles Child Welfare Initiative’s Kinship Project offers Caregiver Peer Support Groups and resources that inform caregivers of their choices, which allows them to have a meaningful role in the systems that impact the lives of their families and the children in their care, and that improve their ability to access services for their children. Presenters will share the Kinship Project model for peer-facilitated groups, how they’ve worked with and trained the Caregiver Facilitators, and the caregivers’ experience as facilitators.
Presenter(s): Joseph Devall, Community Coalition, Los Angeles, CA and Frances Crawford, Kinship Specialist, Los Angeles, CA
A8 - Supporting Caring Families: Approaches in an Australian Context
Kinship care is the fasting growing and predominant form of out-of-home care in Australia. It has evolved in a particular cultural context, including the influence of Indigenous culture, and in the last decade and a half it has been adopted and prioritized within the statutory child protection system. In this workshop, two researchers will reflect on the current practices, issues and new thinking in kinship care in Australia, particularly in the State of Victoria, and will each discuss their research projects which are focused on improving the conceptual, policy and practice framework for working with kinship families. There will be an interactive exchange between the presenters and the audience, and an opportunity for discussion about ideas and examples of best practice.
Presenter(s): Jennifer McConachy, Senior Training Officer, Berry Street (Take Two Program), PhD Candidate, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and Juliette Borenstein, PhD Candidate, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Thursday, September 18
8:15 am – 12:15 pm
Moving Towards Excellence
(Special track of sessions designed for executive level staff from CWLA Member public and private agencies; Separate registration required; Limited availability; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details)
CWLA and the Children’s Mental Health Services Research Center have teamed up to provide a six-hour intensive workshop featuring, the ARC Organization Strategy. ARC is the only organizational intervention that has repeatedly improved organizational cultures and climates in empirically-driven, randomized trials of organizations around the nation. This organizational intervention will help agencies improve their performance and achieve the standards outlined in the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare. The workshop will introduce key concepts and tools that are employed during the ARC process intervention that has successfully improved numerous organizations across the nation in becoming top-tier agencies. This will include helping leaders to deeply grasp the cultures and climates of top-tier organizations, to delve into key concepts and organizational principles that they will have to embed to have a top-tier organization, and to explore changes to their own leadership behaviors and organizational systems to establish top-tier cultures and climates. (Continued Friday, September 19, 8:15 am - 10:15 am)
Presenter(s): Dr. Anthony Hemmelgarn, Children’s Mental Health Services Research Center, University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN and Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC
Thursday, September 18
9:00 am –10:30 am
B1 - Culturally Sensitive Practice with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth in Kinship Care and LGBT Caregivers
This workshop will provide training on building the capacity, awareness and skills of kinship caregivers and child welfare professionals to better serve and respond to the needs of LGBTQ youth in kinship care. The workshop will also address discrimination and challenges faced by LGBT kinship caregivers and affirm their capability and value as a resource for youth in care. Participants will explore their personal views and values regarding these populations, and develop strategies to balance personal views and professional responsibilities when the two are in conflict. Participants will also explore in greater depth many of the issues LGBTQ youth and LGBT caregivers encounter as they interface with child welfare systems and focus on best practices to serve these populations through small group discussions, role-plays, learning labs, and a discussion of CWLA’s LGBTQ practice guidelines.
Presenter(s): Currey Cook, Lambda Legal, New York, NY
B2 - Challenges and Successes of an Innovative Cross-Systems Collaboration to Address Citywide Needs and Struggles of Kin Caregiving Families
This workshop will provide practical information on effective cross-system collaboration for social workers, attorneys, case workers, community advocates, and other providers working with kin caregivers. Participants will learn about cross-system collaborations in NYC and the impact these partnerships have had on improving city-wide policies. We will share experiences in leading a Task Force of advocates and describe the challenges and successes of collaborating with local departments of social services, child welfare agencies, the NYC Housing Authority, Department for the Aging, schools and family courts,. We will highlight efforts to collaborate on a state wide level through the NYS Kincare Coalition. Attendees will take part in a discussion on strategies for implementing similar and effective collaborations in their communities.
Presenter(s): Deborah Langosch, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, NewYork, NY and Sara Wood, MFY Legal Services, New York, NY
B3 - Discovering What Works: Best Practices and Findings from the Grandparent Family Apartments
The Presbyterian Senior Services/West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (PSS/WSF) Grandparent Family Apartments, the first residence built specifically for grandparents raising grandchildren, opened in the South Bronx in 2005. What distinguishes this 50-unit residence is the depth of its programs. From support groups for the grandparents to after-school for the youth, PSS staff have over eight years of tested, proven experience in addressing the needs of this population. Being one of the first kinship residences, many programs evolved through creative problem solving, hard work, and trial and error. Overtime, staff have adapted programs as the families changed. Our goal is to share best practices and discuss what worked. Attendees will also hear about outcomes corroborated by independent researchers.
Presenter(s): Rimas Jasin and Katherine Martinez, Presbyterian Senior Services, Bronx, NY
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B4 - Finding and Building Claiming Communities for Children
B5 - Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) for Kinship Caregivers: Empowering Families to Overcome Conflict
This workshop will demonstrate how The Children's Home Society of New Jersey (CHSNJ) has used the Family Group Decision Making model with a voluntary population of kinship families. This model utilizes a strength- based family-focused approach to empower families to address family issues which impact family functioning and that may put the child/ren at risk for placement. Presenters will discuss how they have overcome the following challenges: engaging voluntary families in the process, guiding families to have a productive discussion, and facilitating the development of a realistic and relevant family plan. Family Group Decision Making is a service available within CHSNJ’s GrandFamily Success Center.
Presenter(s): Leonard Feldman, The Children's HomeS ociety of New Jersey, Trenton, NJ; Dolores Ijames-Bryant and Tonya Powell, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, Lawrenceville, NJ
B6 - Findings from the 2013 National Survey of Children in Nonparental Care
This session will present findings from the 2013 National Survey of Children in Nonparental Care, which recently collected nationally representative information specifically on children living in households in which neither parent reside. The 30-minute telephone survey of over 1,300 caregivers in all 50 states covered topics that include health and well-being of these children and their caregivers; living arrangements and custody issues; continuing parental roles; relationships with siblings and kin; and service accessibility. The presentation will include analyses comparing kinship care households that are and are not involved with the child welfare system.
Presenter(s): Laura Radel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation, Washington, DC
B7 - The Kinship Care Paradox – Why We Provide Less Support for Youth in Placements Where We Most Want Them and What We Can Do to Fix It
A primary goal of our child welfare system is to keep children with family where they are more likely to thrive. Another is to meet children's individualized needs with appropriate services and supports. Yet when children are placed with relatives, hey often receive the least support even though kinship families often need the most support. This workshop will overview a 50-state survey assessing differing approaches to supporting youth in kinshipcare, discuss innovative strategies to leverage critical resources to improve outcomes for children placed with relatives, and detail ongoing advocacy efforts to ensure equitable support for youth in kinship care.
Presenter(s): Angie Schwartz, Alliance for Children's Rights, San Francisco, CA; Brian Blalock, Bay Area Legal Aid, Oakland, CA; and Jennifer Miller, Child Focus, Inc., Warwick, RI
B8 - Navigating the System: Outcomes for Kinship Families in San Diego County
In this session, presenters will provide an overview of the research summary of the YMCA Kinship Navigator Federal Demonstration Project including evidence-based outcomes achieved. Presenters will also provide an overview of the systems level change achieved through the formation of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Workgroup and Handbook for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children, a tool being widely distributed to kinshipcaregivers throughout San Diego County.
Presenter(s): Melissa Brooks,YMCA Youth & Family Services, San Diego, CA
Thursday, September 18
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
C1 - Finding Kinship Resources Across International Boundaries
When a young foster child's family was deported due to criminal charges related to abuse and neglect, Alexandria's Department of Community and Human Services began an international search for suitable relatives. This presentation will use this case study to illustrate a discussion of the broader issues raised when the search for kinship resources leads abroad. Topics to be explored include: the ethical issues around placing a child of US birth in another country, the practical problems of obtaining a home study from another country, and the multiple levels of legal and administrative approval needed to make such a placement.
Presenter(s): Stephanie Morrow & Diana Tracey, Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services, Alexandria, VA
C2 - Families Incubator: Working with Teen Parents in Colaboration with Grandparents to Make Social and Emotional Connections in the Family
The workshop will have visuals of all of the services that Proyecto Nacer’s program provides; from education, preventive health care, activities, early intervention for the infants and toddlers, spiritual service, economic incentive, among others. The session will also share how the program achieves connections with the grandparents and the premature family as well as testimonies of teen parents that received services.
Presenter(s): Mayra N. Lopez Carrero, Anayra Túa López, Carlos Velazquez and Eunice H. Pike, Proyecto Nacer, Inc., Bayamon, PR
C3 - Effective Support Services for Foster and Adoptive Kinship Families
In this session, presenters will share the results of research on effective support services for foster and adoptive kinship families. Adopted, foster, and kinship care families often need specialized support as they raise children who have experienced trauma. Across the country, a number of agencies are providing comprehensive services—including case management, peer support, training, mental health care, and respite care—that help families meet their children’s needs. We will explore themes and commonalties across effective programs, with a particular emphasis on respite programs.
Presenter(s): Diane Martin-Hushman, AdoptUSKids/North American Council on Adoptable Children, St. Paul, MN; Ruth McRoy, AdoptUSKids/ University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, Austin, TX; and Mary Boo, North American Council on Adoptable Children, St. Paul, MN
C4 - Innovations in Kinship Navigation – Technology Advanced Models
Kinship navigation is a critical component of supportive service delivery for kin families. In 2012, seven grantees were awarded demonstration grants from the Children’s Bureau. Two of these grants developed innovative, technologically enhanced models of kinship navigation: 1) iFoster, United Ways of California and 2-1-1 California and 2) The Children’s Home, Inc. in Tampa, FL.This presentation will highlight these programs, with a special emphasis on community collaboration and service coordination. Presenters will provide practical information on the advantages of innovation and the challenges they’ve experienced along the way. Future directions and implications for research will also be examined.
Presenter(s): Larry Cooper, The Children's Home, Inc.,Tampa, FL; Serita Cox, iFoster Inc., Truckee, CA; Kerry Littlewood, School of Social Work, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; and Michelle Rosenthal, Edgewood Center for Children and Families, San Francisco, CA
C5 - Locating & Engaging Fathers Toolkit
The Locating & Engaging Fathers Toolkit is an engagement tool that seeks to enhance the ability of child welfare workers to identify, locate and engage the absent parent who often is the father. A review of the barriers that discourage fathers from being involved will demonstrate how there are a number of levels to overcome. Yet once located, an understanding of the gender differences in learning, socializing, and parenting will help strategize how to define methods to engage, including defining the benefits of father involvement.
Presenter(s): Will Henry, Center for Development of Human Services, New York, NY
C6 - Kinship Care: Child Welfare Workers’ Perspectives
This workshop will provide findings from a review of the literature onc hild welfare workers' thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions towards kinship care. There has been limited attention devoted to this topic. Kinship research tends to focus on children in care, families, and caregivers. Understanding that decisions and opinions that impact kinship care are not made in isolation, we will discuss the implications of child welfare worker’s attitudes in kinship advocacy. Finally, a review of the literature further suggests the need for continuous worker training and education to meet the unique challenges of kinship care families.
Presenter(s): Gardenella Green, Norfolk State University, Richmond, VA
C7 - Will Grandma Get Lost in Probate Court? Supporting Kinship Caregivers Seeking Legal Guardianship
This workshop will focus on assisting kinship caregivers who seek legal guardianship of children. Through interactive exercises and use of a self-assessment tool, participants will identify barriers kinship caregivers face in their local jurisdictions, and resources and strategies to overcome these barriers (including court-based self-help centers, workshops, partnerships between the courts, legal community and social service providers, etc.). The workshop will also include discussion of policy issues concerning 'kinship diversion' (the practice of directing kin to seek guardianship to avoid child welfare system involvement).
Presenter(s): Martha Matthews, Public Counsel, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, September 18
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
D1 - The Needs of Children Know No Borders: The Challenges and Opportunities of Kinship Care in Ethiopia
Kinship care is the primary form of care for children in need of parents worldwide. The life circumstances creating the need for extended family care are similar across cultures although the environmental circumstances vary widely. In Ethiopia, kinship care is the only widely used mechanism for care of children when parents cannot provide care. This workshop will present research findings regarding the experiences of kinship care providers in Ethiopia including their challenges and opportunities. This session will provide a rich cross-cultural experience of kinship care with material presentation, and group discussion and activities.
Presenter(s): Meseret Kassahun Desta, School of Social Work, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and Donna D. Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL
D2 - It’s All About Family—Family Finding and the Importance of Kinship Care
Family connectedness is essential to healthy child development, but many youth in out-of-home care lack these essential connections. The six-step Family Finding model establishes a lifetime network of support by identifying and engaging family members and other supportive adults who are willing to become permanent connections for the youth. This interactive workshop will introduce the Family Finding six step model, provide an overview of how to locate and engage family members, and share the successes and challenges experienced in implementing Family Finding for youth in our services over the past three years. Participants will also learn how to connect with incarcerated parents, and the importance of these connections for youth in care.
Presenter(s): Tess Mahnken-Weatherspoon and Michelle Belge, Hillside Family of Agencies, Rochester, NY
D3 - Grandfamilies: Legal Relationship Options and Available Resources
This workshop will review the various legal options available for grandfamilies to establish a legal relationship with a child, including custody, guardianship, medical and educational consent. We will explore the pros and cons of informal and formal kinship care relationships outside and within the child welfare system. We will provide information on programs that exist to help caregivers address various challenges and secure supports in a variety of areas such as health, mental health, education, housing, and financial assistance.
Presenter(s): Heidi Redlich Epstein and Cristina Ritchie Cooper, ABA Center on Children and the Law, Washington, DC; Ana Beltran, Special Advisor, Washington, DC
D4 - Kinship Care Accreditation Standards: Promoting Accountability to Families
The Council on Accreditation’s new Family Foster Care and Kinship Care Standards were developed with the input of subject matter experts and stakeholders around the country in order to reflect a range of kinship care models, account for future movement in the field, and emphasize cross-cutting effective practice approaches with kinship families. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to review the new standards, discuss methods of implementation, and learn about the policy structures and research that guided the development of the standards.
Presenter(s): Katie Bourgault, Council on Accreditation, New York, NY
D5 - Family Partnership Meetings: Strengthening the Kinship Bond for Lifelong Connections
Through the exploration of four child welfare cases and testimonials, this presentation provides an overview of the role of family partnership meetings (FPMs) in supporting kinship caregivers as a collaborative approach in the decision making process. This presentation focuses on specific kinship populations served by FPMs (i.e. fathers, immigrant populations, families with infants and toddlers, and older youth) to identify key issues faced by these families, challenges encountered by the agency in engaging families in FPMs, and the specific outcomes of the FPM process for each of the four families.
Presenter(s): Jo Rutledge and Cathy Cooper, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Fairfax, VA
D6 - Managing With Data – A Framework for Using Data to Inform Practice in Kinship Care and Child Welfare
The workshop will provide participants with a standardized approach for using data to inform child welfare practice and achieve better outcomes. The framework was developed by the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRC) in collaboration with a peer to peer team of state child welfare data and program managers. The NRC has used the framework with individual states and in a series of roundtables with a handful of volunteer states using the framework to address a state specific issue. The workshop will focus on how the framework can use data to address kinship care issues.
Presenter(s): John McInturf, National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology, Spring Hill, TN and Kate Hjelm, National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology, Eau Claire, WI
D7 - Trauma Informed Practice in Kinship Care
This workshop will present an overview of trauma and its impact on children, adults and families related to the placement of children in kinship care. It is designed to assist professionals, kinship caregivers and biological parents to collaborate to address the needs of the child(ren) in placement from a trauma informed perspective. Utilizing the ARC (Attachment, Self-Regualtion and Competency) Treatment Model developed by Dr. Margaret Blaustein and Kristine Kinniburgh, LICSW this workshop will offer a treatment framework for dealing with complex/developmental trauma. The presenter will also offer a framework forc ollaboration amongst caregivers, parents and professionals from a child welfare perspective.
Presenter(s): Alfred W. Baptista, Jr., Baptista Consulting and Training, Taunton, MA
D8 - Finding and Building Claiming Communities for Children
Finding forever families for children in foster care has long been child welfare's Holy Grail. Today, through practice, policy and systemic reforms most children are able to move out of the child welfare system and into stable, loving families with biological parents, kinship caregivers, and adoptive parents. Despite these successes, we know that more work is needed to understand how children actually fare once permanent placements are made. This workshop will address the question of well-being for children in permanent families through a new framework called Claiming Communities. Coined by CWLA and the Adoption Exchange, Claiming Communities looks beyond child placement considerations and post permanency service needs to consider the social and community factors that lead to successful well-being outcomes for children.
Presenter(s): Dixie Davis, The Adoption Exchange, Aurora, CO and Linda Spears, CWLA, Washington, DC
Friday, September 19
8:15 am – 10:15 am
Moving Towards Excellence
(Continued from Thursday; Special track of sessions designed for executive level staff from CWLA Member public and private agencies; Separate registration required; Limited availability; E-mail email@example.com for details)
CWLA and the Children’s Mental Health Services Research Center have teamed up to provide a six-hour intensive workshop featuring, the ARC Organization Strategy. ARC is the only organizational intervention that has repeatedly improved organizational cultures and climates in empirically-driven, randomized trials of organizations around the nation. This organizational intervention will help agencies improve their performance and achieve the standards outlined in the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare.
Presenter(s): Dr. Anthony Hemmelgarn, Children’s Mental Health Services Research Center, University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN and Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC
Friday, September 19
8:30 am – 10:00 am
E1 - Moving Beyond the Ivory Tower: Creating a Practice-Based Research Agenda for Kinship Carers and Practitioners
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E2 - CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare
E3 - Grandparents as Parents (GAP), A Legacy of Learning and Advocacy: How to Grow a Sustainable Kinship Support Organization
If you are hoping to create a kinship advocacy and support organization, if you have but need help to thrive, or if you are an outcomes-achieving organization providing services for kinship caregivers, please come to this workshop. Presenters will discuss strategies to create and sustain visions and missions, ensure boards that govern effectively, have paid and volunteer staff who are mission-driven, and have collaborations with stakeholders and even competitors. This workshop provides an opportunity to come together to discuss issues broader than specific service delivery but, instead,s hare strategies for organizational development, sustainability, fund-development, public relations, and more.
Presenter(s): Sylvie de Toledo, Madelyn Gordon and Esther Torrez, Grandparents As Parents, Canoga Park, CA
E4 - Resilience – The Art and Science of Healing from Trauma
This workshop looks at resiliency and the ability of individuals to bounce back from traumatic experiences. Families and children who have been through trauma can overcome the negative effects of the traumatic experience. Resiliency is the ability to overcome traumas, and this workshop looks at ways we can develop and enhance resiliency. Participants will be given practical steps to build resilience, as well as look at how others have successfully survived traumatic experiences.
Presenter(s): Stan Waddell, Cenpatico, Lubbock, TX
E5 - Why Did it Take so Long to Contact Us? Exploring the Strengths and Struggles to Successfully Implementing a Kinship Search Program in a Child Welfare Agency
The Kinship Team at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto has frequently heard kin families say, “Why did it take so long to get in touch with us?” This presentation will provide the results of a recent mixed-method evaluation that compares beginning searches when children first come into care with those children who have been in longer term care. The facilitators will also discuss how to “debunk” myths that prevent workers from referring for kinship searches and how to engage workers in participating in the success of finding placements and life long connections for children and youth.
Presenter(s): Sharon Cabrera and Deborah Goodman, Children's Aid Society of Toronto, ON
E6 - Making It Work: Using the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) to Close the Permanency Gap for Children in Foster Care
This workshop will highlight the survey findings from the collaborative report, "Making It Work." This report was based on a survey conducted with the states that have taken the Title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Programe stablished through the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. The report examines the benefits and best practices of Title IV-E GAP, and is a valuable resource for agency staff and stakeholders in states that have not yet decided to apply for GAP funds and for those in states that are currently implementing GAP and want to enhance the reach of the program.
Presenter(s): Stefanie Sprow, Children's Defense Fund, Washington, DC; Elizabeth Jordan, Child Trends, Bethesda, MD; and Ana Beltran, Special Advisor, Washington, DC
E7 - Trauma-Informed Kinship Care Foster Parent Licensure Model
Homes for Black Children in Detroit, MI implemented a Kinship navigation program. The Building Kinship Bridges Foster Home Licensing model is to provide intensive case management and trauma informed supports to relative's kinship families to ensure that families can become licensed foster parents. The Project's goal is to license 30 kinship families in Detroit within 120 days of referral. The child welfare agency sends referrals of families that have previously been waived for foster parent licensure. The primary intervention strategy is to engage families through interactive monthly Konnection meetings, derived from the concept of kinship: Konnection, Inspiring, Networking, Serving, Helping, Individualized and Permanency. Kinship caregivers mentor families through the licensure process.
Presenter(s): Linda Lipscomb and Sandra Hicks, Homes for Black Children, Detroit, MI
E8 - Kinship Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice
Join CWLA’s kinship team and national advisory committee members to overview CWLA’s Kinship Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice. The model features the dynamics that differentiate kinship care from family preservation and family foster care; how to address legal, financial, health and mental health, child behavior, and family relationships challenges; and how to ensure fair and equal access to services. We are highlighting how to create a combined support group/training opportunity and help relatives and agency staff mutually assess relatives’ willingness, ability and resources to protect and nurture their younger family members and provide nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime. A model of practice means that kinship services are delivered based on shared values, strengths-based language, and evidence-informed/based practices.
Presenter(s): Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach, CA; Donna D. Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL; and Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ
E9 - An Update on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
This presentation will provide a quick refresher on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 including the reasons for its passage, the reasons for its continued importance, and a summary of the Acts major provisions. This presentation will also provide an overview of the case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (known in the media as the Baby Veronica Case) and a discussion of its implications on future practice with American Indian and Alaska Native children and families in private adoptions, and the child welfare system.
Presenter(s): Adrian Smith, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland, OR
Friday, September 19
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
F1 - Protecting Parental Rights and Promoting the Best Interest of Children During and After Immigration Enforcement
This session will focus on protecting the best interest of children, and ensuring appropriate parental and kinship involvement in permanency planning when a parent or child is, or has been, detained or deported. The session will highlight relevant data, outline best practices for handling these cases, and share necessary resources available to: 1) assist families who become separated by immigration enforcement, 2) allow parents and extended family members to participate in hearings, family team meetings or engage in virtual visitation with their children, and 3) conduct needed services including home studies and background checks to facilitate permanency planning.
Presenter(s): Felicity Sackville Northcott and Haley Beech, International Social Services-USA, Baltimore,MD
F2 - What it Takes to Collaborate: Lessons from the New York State Kinship Navigator and County DSS Collaboration Project
The New York State Kinship Navigator County Collaboration Project is a three-year demonstration project funded by Children's Bureau Family Connection Grant. This workshop describes project implementation and presents preliminary findings. The process of engaging community around needs of, access to and resources for kinship families will be covered first followed by our experiences engaging Local Departments of Social Services in a collaborative referral process for kinship families. Next, the evaluation will be described, including following-up with caregivers and gathering administrative child protective services data from the Office of Child and Family Welfare. Lastly, preliminary evaluation results will be presented.
Presenter(s): Gerard Wallace, NYS Kinship Navigator, Rochester, NY; Lara Kaye, Center for Human Services Research, University at Albany, NY; and Eunju Lee, School of Social Welfare,University at Albany, NY
F3 - KinFirst: Making Relatives First Choice for Children
This KinFirst presentation is aimed at providing participants with innovative methods of supporting kinship families through the development of a comprehensive robust service array that supports kinship foster families and those kinship caregivers that care for children outside of the formal foster care system. The stability of the kinship family system is contingent upon the level of support provided. The District of Columbia’s Child Welfare System operates from a “whatever it takes” standard. Through this practice standard, participants will gain insight on how to remove barriers in order to maintain family connections.
Presenter(s): Robert L. Matthews, Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC
F4 - The Evolution of the New Jersey Kinship Navigator Program
The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (CHSNJ) Kinship Navigator Program has been in existence since 2001. CHSNJ is one of four agencies providing information and referral services to kinship families in the state of New Jersey along with a five hundred dollar stipend to eligible families to assist them in providing for the children in their care. The New Jersey model is considered ‘cutting edge’. This workshop will provide the participants with information on how to go about setting up a navigator program in their area and the lessons learned about what works and what does not.
Presenter(s): Isabel Barreiro, The Children's Home Society of New Jersey, Lawrenceville, NJ
F5 - The Importance of Sibling Connection and Supporting Kinship Families
Kin families with all its strengths and complexities, is a cornerstone of American culture. For generations, relatives have stepped forward to raise children when parents are unable to do so. It may be difficult when there are large sibling groups. Sometimes siblings are separated and placed with multiple relatives or in foster care. Maintaining and supporting sibling relationships is essential to the healthy development and well-being of children, especially for children who are living in out of home care. This workshop will examine the importance of sibling connections, the consequences of separation, common myths, and support that is needed to encourage placement and connections. A Kinship family will discuss how their family dealt with siblings living in separate homes and how they maintain sibling bonds. Participants will also learn what support services are provided to the families.
Presenter(s): Sharon McKinley and Cynthia Peterson, Child Welfare Information Gateway, Fairfax, VA; and Debbie Rock, LIGHT Health & Wellness Comprehensive Services, Inc., Baltimore, MD
F6 - Strengthening Outcomes for Support Groups: Results from the Grandfamilies Outcome Workgroup (GrOW) Support Group Survey Development and Implementation
Support groups are the most widely used intervention to support grandparents and other relatives raising children. Although both popular and low cost, very few measures are available to examine support group effectiveness. This presentation will showcase the development and implementation of the Grandfamilies Outcome Workgroup (GrOW) Support Group Survey, including: 1) review of literature and existing measures, 2) development and implementation of a matrix to capture variability and common attributes of groups, and 3) development, implementation, and refinement of GrOW Support Group Scale. Presenters will provide future practice and research implications.
Presenter(s): Kerry Littlewood, School of Social Work, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; Deborah Langosch, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, New York, NY; Anne L. Strozier, Florida Kinship Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; Larry Cooper, The Children's Home, Tampa, FL; and Donna B. Fedus, The Consultation Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
F7 - Using Our Knowledge about Trauma and the Brain to Transform This Kinship Placement into a Permanent Home
Our current knowledge of trauma and brain development can be effectively utilized to help kinship parents better understand the child’s behavior, explore past experiences that impact the family, and effectively promote healing for all. This workshop will include tools and techniques for promoting permanency through training, brain development techniques and trauma-informed support of families.
Presenter(s): Patricia Wilcox and Christine Keys, Klingberg Family Centers, New Britain, CT
F8 - CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare
CWLA is excited to share the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare. The CWLA National Blueprint presents a vision for the future of child welfare that all children will grow up safely in loving families and supportive communities. This means that although the formal child welfare system has a specific role to play as it relates to children who have been or are at risk of abuse and neglect, responsibility for the well-being of children and youth extends well beyond traditional child welfare organizations and services. While achieving the well-being of children and youth begins with their families, everyone - families, communities, providers, and organizations - has a responsibility for ensuring the safety, permanency, and well-being of all children and youth. Come hear what providers, communities, states, and national organizations are doing to implement the principles and standards detailed in the National Blueprint. This interactive workshop is designed to provide participants with a greater understanding of what is in the CWLA National Blueprint as well as asses their readiness to implement it’s key concepts.
Presenter(s): Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC and Andrea Bartolo, CWLA, Acton, MA