Session Descriptions

Jump To Session:

Plenary Session – July 8, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Session 1 – July 8, 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Session 2 – July 9, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Session 3 – July 9, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

General Session – July 9, 1:00 – 2:15 PM

Session 4 – July 9, 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Session 5 – July 9, 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Session 6 – July 10, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Plenary Session – Monday, July 8, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“We Are Living Proof: You Are Built for Something More”

Lucas Daniel Boyce, Assistant to the County Administrator, Orange County Florida Government

Lucas Daniel Boyce currently serves as the Assistant to the County Administrator for Orange County Florida Government, as well as an advisor to the Financial Aid Network, LLC and the Global Institute of College Planning.

Previous to working for the Orange County Florida Government, Mr. Boyce served in various different roles with the Orlando Magic, and the White House. During his time at the White House, he served in the Office of Political Affairs, and the Office of Public Liaison, acting on behalf of the President on different issues throughout diverse communities.

Currently serving on the advisory board of the National Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), Mr. Boyce has also served on numerous nonprofit boards on the national, state, and local level, and is the author of “Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.”

Mr. Boyce earned his Bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communication from the University of Central Missouri and graduated with his Executive MBA from Rollins College in May 2013.

In his keynote address, Mr. Boyce will discuss his journey to overcome significant obstacles to achieve three once in a lifetime goals. Personal history or external conditions outside of our control don’t have to determine our future trajectory, success and/or fulfillment. While some may view past and present conditions as an eternal harness and cause for inaction or paralysis, Lucas shares why our obstacles and limitations become irrelevant when we understand our life purpose and are willing to yearn for something more. It doesn’t matter at what station of life we find ourselves, we are built for something more. We are meant to succeed. Lucas shares how everyone is “Living Proof” of this principle. He shares his perspective on what it takes to overcome, stand up, and stand out.

Session 1 – Monday, July 8, from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Child Welfare Policy

Innovating Child Welfare: Family First Prevention Services Act and Kinship Navigation

Larry Cooper, Chief of Prevention and Intervention Services, Children’s Home Network & Dr. Kerry Littlewood, President, AAJ Research and Evaluation, Inc.

This session will offer an overview and insight on what we know about the federal legislation on the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and kinship care. Presenters will identify key components to building a community Kinship Navigation model to support relative placements, the implementation of an evidenced-based Kinship Navigator program, and what the new legislation means for the future of Florida’s child welfare system. This breakout session will be interactive, informative and pragmatic for successfully implementing the CHN Kinship Navigation Model and readying your system of care for these significant changes.


Clinical & Mental Health

Working with Families in the Critical Post-Adoption Period

Barbara Defazzio, Vice President of Outpatient Clinical Services, Circle of Friends Services

Adoption is not a single event; it is a lifelong journey that involves the child, the adoptive family, and the biological family. All too often, adoptive families underestimate the impact that the core issues of adoption will have on their ability to forge a strong family unit. This session will explore the various reasons why adoptive families sometimes struggle to successfully integrate together. It will also explore how unrealistic expectations on all sides can contribute to adoption failure, the ways to reverse this, and how to form a successful integrated family unit.


Direct Care

The Art of Family Engagement: A Customer Service Approach to Child Welfare and Safety

Beverly Goodman, Tri-County Community Resource Center Manager, Partnership for Strong Families & Amanda Elliott, SWAG Family Resource Center Manager, Partnership for Strong Families

This session will examine how effective customer service principles impact family engagement as an integral component of Florida’s child welfare practice model. Engagement begins immediately upon a family’s initial interaction with the child welfare system, and must be maintained throughout by consistent contact with child welfare professionals, and other service providers. The breakout session will examine how everyone, from reception staff to front line workers to administrators, play a vital role in family engagement. Using an interactive approach, attendees will experience and process common mistakes and best practices that influence engagement, will discover how strength-based, family-centered, and trauma-informed customer service can maximize family engagement, and promote child safety with limited time and resources.



Women in Leadership: What We Can Learn from a Disney Princess

Jenn Petion, Director of Administration and External Affairs, FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview

Child welfare has more women in leadership roles than most sectors, but some women still are unsure how best to navigate their career path without bumping into the proverbial glass ceiling. This workshop will explore the changing trends of being a “girl boss” and leadership principles that apply regardless of gender. Just for fun, we will see what a few of the Disney princesses can teach us – right or wrong – about being a leading lady!



Family-Based Aftercare Support for Youth Departing Residential Care: Applying Research to Practice

Patrick Tyler, Boys Town, Director of Research Translation and Alexandra Trout, Ph.D., Research Professor, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which recently passed as part of the United States Bipartisan Budget Act (2018), requires six months of family-based aftercare support for youth who receive services in qualified residential treatment programs. This session will present the results of an 11 year project focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of an aftercare intervention called, “On the Way Home,” which is currently on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse. Findings will include input from youth, parents, teachers, attorneys, and agency providers on designing aftercare supports, as well as the results from two randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact ‘On the Way Home’ had on home/school placement stability and family empowerment.



Guardians of Child Welfare Heroes: Leadership Lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy

Trisha Dees, Program Development Specialist, FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview & Lindsey McGriff, FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview, Policy Development Specialist

This session will use multimedia elements to take attendees on a leadership journey accompanied by the Guardians of the Galaxy; attendees will compare the Guardians’ challenges to their own and discuss how they parallel one another. Topics of exploration will include how to establish a leadership culture, inspire motivation, resolve conflicts, effective communication, overcoming barriers, and self-care.

Session 2 – Tuesday, July 9, from 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM


Child Welfare Policy

Domestic Child Sex Trafficking

The Honorable John Romero, President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Children who have a history of child sex abuse, been in the child welfare, or been through the juvenile justice system, are at a heightened risk for becoming victims of trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation. Juvenile and family court judges have an enormous responsibility for the children and youth under their court jurisdiction. When these already vulnerable children run away or go missing from a placement, the stakes are very high. Through a coordinated response, judges, law enforcement and child welfare and juvenile justice agencies can work together to increase the effectiveness of all justice and child-serving systems in identifying child victims of domestic sex trafficking and exploitation at the earliest state possible and to provide services necessary for victims to heal from trauma and related harm.


Clinical & Mental Health

Choosing to See Individuals and Families Through a Trauma Lens

Linda Wilson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Lutheran Services Florida Health System & Maggie Cveticanin, Lutheran Services Florida Health System, Child Welfare Integration Manager

Through this session, attendees will learn how to see individuals and families they serve through a trauma lens. This includes practicing the efficacy of conceptualizing “What happened to you?” vs. “What’s wrong with you?” This breakout session will include concrete examples of acute, chronic, historic, and system related trauma. Attendees will be able to apply trauma-informed practices and gain resources and information on evidence-based screening and assessment and participate in an interactive scenario.


Direct Care

Trauma-Informed Interventions

Graham Perkovich, Child Welfare Trainer, Sunshine Health & Dr. Chad Sedam, Child Welfare Trainer, Sunshine Health

When we understand our fundamental processes that underlie traumatic stress, it opens the door to an array of interventions. Participants will learn various intervention strategies for youth in child welfare, as it relates to their trauma/attachment, and key principles of self-regulation. Participants will learn how to co-regulate, and become the relational anchor for youth in child welfare, while still maintaining routine, structure, and limit setting. The importance of social engagement, considering the child’s history from his/her point of view, and how to create an environment of physical and emotional safety.



Creating a “Movement” and “Connecting Communities” to Your Community of Care: Panel Discussion

Panelists: Maureen Brockman, Vice President, Embrace Families Foundation, Patty Carroll, Director of Community Relations and Recruitment, Partnership for Strong Families & Christina Kaiser, Director of Community Relations, Communities Connected for Kids, and Cheri Sheffer, Chief Operating Officer, Communities Connected for Kids

Moderator: Allison North Jones, Chief Executive Officer, North

Florida’s unique system of care is increasingly becoming a model for innovations in the care of our children and consistently improving outcomes. Much of that success is a direct result of Florida’s unique community-based system of care which cultivates local ecosystems of community-based and provider agencies, regional DCF staff, child protection teams, caseworkers, judges, foster families, and so many other partners. However, while many in this ecosystem may be familiar with the agencies serving their communities many other community partners, businesses, lawmakers, and others may not be familiar with your agency or the critical services being provided every day, or the ongoing need for support, resources and additional funding. Does your agency’s branding and marketing help tell that story to your local community and other potential partners? Is it time for an update? Is there an engaging community campaign that can help further your efforts and at the same time raise awareness? In this interactive panel discussion, you’ll hear from marketing and external affairs leadership who have executed several innovative campaigns or branding efforts at key times for their agencies to further support for their services. This session will also provide attendees with some tips for how you can assess your own agency’s brand or identify opportunities for unique campaigns to enhance community engagement and fundraising.



An Introduction to the Sanctuary Model

Caroline Vinyard, Chief Operating Officer, Hibiscus Children’s Center & Robin Turner, Sanctuary Model Training Specialist, Hibiscus Children’s Center

This session will provide tools for group home providers to build cohesive teams using a trauma-informed approach with their staff and children. The tools provided in the session are based on the Sanctuary model, a non-hierarchical, highly participatory‚ trauma-informed and evidence-supported‚ operating system for human services organizations. The model helps providers function in a humane, democratic and socially responsible manner, thereby providing effective treatments for clients in a clinical setting.



Effective Screening to Prevent Sexual Abuse and Crossing of Sexual Boundaries with Children and Teens

Dr. Bret White, Chief Executive Officer, Abel Screening, Inc.

Approximately 10 percent of children and adolescents are sexually abused by adults caring for them outside the home. Criminal background checks are currently the most common method for screening applicants for staff, volunteer positions, and prospective foster and adoptive parents; however, studies show criminal background checks identify less than one percent of applicants as having child sex offense histories. This session will examine a scientifically valid, computerized, screening tool that has proven effective at screening applicants for sexual risk to children and teens. Attendees will learn about the screen’s validity and reliability, as well as explore the experiences and dilemmas of programs using “The Diana Screen.”

Session 3 – Tuesday, July 9, from 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM


Child Welfare Policy

Florida’s Path Forward: Post Title IV-E Waiver and Family First Prevention Services Act

Melissa Jaacks, Chief Executive Officer, Jaacks Consulting LLC

Since 2006, Florida has operated under a Title IV-E waiver that allows flexibility in the funding of child welfare services. This waiver will expire on September 30, 2019 and Florida will return to operating under the traditional Title IV-E provisions. Additionally, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) was signed into federal law by President Trump on February 9, 2018, requiring substantial changes to current child welfare practices. In this session, the speaker will discuss Florida’s “Path Forward,” including strategic initiatives currently underway to address the expiration of the Title IV-E waiver and preliminary implementation of FFPSA.


Clinical & Mental Health

Service Provision for Trauma Survivors in Community Based Programs: Panel Discussion

Kimberly Lincoln, Dually Served Youth and Families Program Manager, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Christin Edwards, Mobile Crisis Services Manager, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Casi Knowles, DELTA Clinical Coordinator, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Erin Wirsing, DELTA Program Manager, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Within the child welfare system of care, specialized support and services are needed to address the unique needs of youth and promote stabilization and success. This panel will address emotional and behavioral needs that are a direct result of trauma and share proven methods to address trauma-related symptoms and achieve placement stabilization, therefore reducing the need for more costly services. Practical solutions for parents and caregivers will be shared to implement and support the child welfare system, including an overview of resources available and how to access. Case examples will be shared from panel members serving youth in community-based settings through a specialized program for survivors of sexual exploitation, mobile response therapeutic support services, and a program for youth dually served in the child welfare and juvenile justice system.


Direct Care

Placement Stability for Children in Foster Care

Jennifer Anan, Kids Central Placement Manager, Family Support Services of North Florida & Brandy Leo, Licensing and Resource Director, Family Support Services of North Florida

This session highlights the current barriers for placement instability in foster care by comparing the barriers at both the state and local levels. The presentation will discuss training initiatives, in-home foster parent and youth support services, and teen enrichment programs that were utilized for placement stabilization and enhanced child well-being to decrease behaviors and educational barriers that hinder permanency and increase child safety risks. The session will explain how these programs and initiatives can be expanded and how they are now being transferred to the kinship population in preparation for the Guardianship Assistance Program.



Family First Prevention Services Act on the Horizon: Leading through Change

John Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Kids Central

This presentation will provide tools necessary to lead a team of dedicated employees through change as we navigate changes as a result of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Led by lead agency, Kids Central’s CEO John Cooper, this presentation is directed toward executive leadership teams.



Youth Panel

Dennis Maneja, Administrative Director, St. Augustine Youth Services

The objective of this session and panel discussion is to provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about life in residential group care as a panel of youth and young adults share their life stories and experiences of living in group homes. The session will discuss various aspects of group care including daily living, challenges, benefits, and the impact it has had on the lives of these panelists. The panel will consist of youth representing various group home providers including Hands of Mercy Everywhere, Children’s Home Network, St. Augustine Youth Services, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Devereux, and Florida United Methodist Children’s Home.



From the Greenbook to Family First – Building Bridges at the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Welfare

The Honorable Ramona A. Gonzalez, President-elect, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge, State of Wisconsin 

Achieving safety and well-being for families experiencing domestic violence continues to be a challenge, and professionals have called for elements of child welfare practice that the Greenbook (NCJFCJ 1999) did not fully explore, including the implicit bias and systemic racism impacting families of color, the need for total family engagement (including fathers), and the need for fuller understanding of protective factors in these cases. The Family First Prevention Act (FFPSA) presents courts and communities an opportunity to do community-based prevention work to take up these important issues.

General Session – Tuesday, July 9, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

“The Art & Science of Attachment”

Allison Davis Maxon, Executive Director, National Center on Adoption and Permanency

Allison Davis Maxon is a clinician, educator, and advocate specializing in adoption/permanency, attachment, and trauma. She is passionate about creating systems of care that are permanency-competent and strength-based.

She currently serves as the executive director of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and was the foster care consultant for the Paramount Pictures movie, Instant Family.

She is co-author and master trainer of Kinship Center’s “ACT: An Adoption and Permanency Curriculum for Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals” and co-author and master trainer of “Pathways to Permanence: Parenting the Child of Loss and Trauma.”

In 2017, Allison received the Congressional Coalition’s ‘Angels in Adoption’ Award.

Attachment is both an art and a science. Humans are social-emotional beings with an innate need to connect and form meaningful attachment relationships. Every interpersonal skill that is required in order for us to be successful in creating and sustaining these relationships is learned.

Our earliest attachment experiences are encoded implicitly into the limbic structures of our brain. If the dance of attachment goes well, a child feels deeply connected, valued and loved. Trauma, neglect and placement disruptions negatively impact the dance of attachment teaching the child to defend (not cooperate) and avoid (not connect).

In fact, many children develop defensive strategies to avoid the intimacy of attachment. In order to heal the complex emotional and behavioral wounds these children have suffered, parents need to be able to create and strengthen the parent-child attachment relationship. Experiences shape and reshape the neural circuitry of the brain. It is the dance of attachment that offers children the most intense form of therapeutic intervention/healing.

Session 4 – Tuesday, July 9, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.


Child Welfare Policy

Family First Prevention Services Act: A Look at Implementation Nationally

Lyman Letgers, Senior Director, Strategic Consulting, Casey Family Programs & Victoria Vangalis Zepp, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy and Research Officer, Florida Coalition for Children, David DeStefano, Consultant

It is important that child welfare systems throughout the country have a full understanding of the impacts and potential new limitations that may result from the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. From impacting accreditation requirements to eliminating state’s Title IV-E waiver funding, as well as changing eligibility for reimbursement for current and future prevention, treatment and family-focused services — this new law has broad implications for child welfare systems and service providers.  This session will discuss implementation, timeline and current guidance for FFPSA and what systems of care — policymakers, agency officials and providers —  all should be doing to prepare.


Clinical & Mental Health

Creating HOPE for Challenging Teens

Adam Cohen, Clinical Director, BAYS Florida & Jody Grutza, Principal, Grutza Consulting

This session will provide an overview of the success stories within Project HOPE, a best practice successfully serving dually involved teens in foster care to include strategies that have worked with youth in the juvenile justice population. The session will be interactive, utilizing audience member experience to explore additional ideas and best practices for working with this population. The session will explore creative solutions for this challenging population to include placement options with family and fictive kin.


Direct Care

Self-Care: The Most Important Thing You Rarely Do

Katie Langer, MSW, Training Specialist, FamiliesFirst Network

Working in the Child Welfare field can yield immense satisfaction…and exhaustion. A high stress, high emotion work environment can take a toll on the physical, mental, and emotional health of workers and caregivers. Many individuals in this field are givers: they give their time, energy, and passion to the families and children we serve each day. Yet, often we forget the most important person to give back to—ourselves. Together, we will explore protective factors to help YOU take care of yourself, so you can continue helping others.



On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: Accelerating Adoption Matching for Florida’s Waiting Children

Elizabeth Wynter, Executive Director, Selfless Love Foundation & Thea Ramirez, Founder & CEO, Adoption-Share

Want to reduce the time to adoption placement for children without identified families? Join us for an interactive session and panel discussion on how to accelerate adoption matching for “special needs” children and discover ways to reduce time to permanency using the 4 P’s: process mapping, pipeline management, predictive analytics, and family-centric practices.



High Fidelity Wraparound Improving Outcomes for Youth in Residential Care

Shari Thomas, Director of Youth and Family, Henderson Behavioral Health, & Ann Wing, Network Coordinator for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Big Bend Community Based Care

The High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) process has been implemented widely across the United States for several reasons, including its documented success in promoting shifts from residential treatment and inpatient options to community-based care. Through the Theory of Change for HFW, the wraparound evidence base, and the nature of wraparound implementation in the United States, this session will demonstrate the model’s ability to impact residential placement and other outcomes for youth with complex needs.



The Family Support Services Children’s Connection

Clensy Warren, Training Specialist, Family Support Services of North Florida

The Family Support Services Children’s Connection training was developed for the biological children of foster parents to address the impact of foster children living in the family home. Attendees will learn how to facilitate a Children’s Connection training or program for their agency or association, but will also gain an understanding of the importance that support of those often forgotten household members holds in the long term success of the family and the placement stability for everyone involved. The presenter will share the program content that focuses on the importance of the collaborative family approach and educating the children on the trauma associated with the youth that come into their homes.

Session 5 – Tuesday July 9 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


Child Welfare Policy

Level One Kin Caregiver Program: Giving Relatives a License for Care

Jenn Petion, Director of Administration and External Affairs, FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview, and Teri Saunders, Chief Executive Officer, Heartland for Children

A year ago, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to open up a federal program and associated funding to offer relatives and non-relatives the opportunity to become licensed foster parents and create a tiered level system for foster care licensing. Since then, the Florida Coalition for Children and DCF Leadership have worked together closely to develop a program framework that is “grandma friendly” and ensures as many relative caregivers as possible will qualify and take advantage of the program. The Kin Caregiver program is a necessary precursor to the GAP program eligibility and offers relatives and fictive kin the opportunity to receive additional financial assistance and support. This session will discuss the main program parameters, legislative requirements and the importance of framing the opportunity to our target audience so that not one relative or non-relative placement is lost.



Clinical & Mental Health

The Impact of Social Determinants on Opioid Use

Paula Lupton, LCSW, Child Welfare Trainer, Sunshine Health

Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age that affect their health; understanding these is central to the history and practice of public health. This session describes the current evidence-based facts about opioid use disorder for special populations, including social determinants of opioid use. Topics covered during this session will include: prevalence & distributions of opioids, medication management of withdrawal, treatment engagement strategies, behavioral treatment approaches and maternal & fetal risks associated with opioid use disorders.


Direct Care

Safe or Unsafe: Does Your Safety Plan and Assessment Go Far Enough?

Connie Pierre-Antoine , Director of Professional Development, Partnership for Strong Families & Mia Jones, Placement Manager, Partnership for Strong Families

This session will challenge the child welfare professional’s definition and understanding of a “safe child.” The challenge to describe safety and create safety for children who have been abused and neglected has always been defined at a federal level, state level or by well-meaning child welfare professionals. Safety is not a place, nor is it the absence of abuse and neglect. In this session, we will  invite the child welfare professional to deepen their understanding about the complex needs of safety for children who have been abused or neglected and engage participants with stimulating discourse and exercises that promote critical questions that must be addressed when assessing and creating child safety. The foundation for this session is derived from the concept termed “Felt Safety,” taken from the trauma-informed care model, Trust Based Relational Intervention.



The Group Care Quality Standards Assessment: Preliminary Findings from the Statewide Pilot and Next Steps

Shamra Boel-Studt, Assistant Professor, Florida State University & Zandra Odum, Project Management Consultant, Florida Department of Children and Families

The Group Care Quality Standards workgroup was convened by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) in April of 2015. The aim of the workgroup was to develop quality standards for DCF licensed residential group homes to ensure that children receive high quality, evidence-supported services that surpass the minimum thresholds assessed through licensing. Drawing upon published research and the expertise of the workgroup, the Group Care Quality Standards were finalized in August of 2015. In collaboration with DCF and the workgroup, the Florida Institute for Child Welfare developed and pilot tested a multidimensional assessment designed to assess the extent to which practices in Florida’s group homes align with the standards. In this presentation, we will discuss the Group Care Quality Standards Assessment and preliminary findings from the statewide pilot. We will also discuss next steps for the statewide validation study and implications for providers.



National Accreditation for Beginners and the Newly Accredited

Don LaBrecque, Director of Quality Improvement, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, Avril Dennis, Regional Administrator, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, & Leslie Ellis-Lang, Managing Director of Child and Youth Services, CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International

This session is designed for non-accredited residential organizations who are investigating national accreditation options. Attendees will receive tips for organizations who are in the accreditation process but are seeking tips and methods for maximizing their efforts in achieving a successful accreditation. The primary bodies discussed include the CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) and the Council on Accreditation (COA).



Post Reunification Support Services: “A Reunification Safety Net”

Shani K. Cephas, Associate Director of Family Preservation, Daniel & Timothy Decker, Case Management Organization Director, Daniel 

The Daniel Post Reunification Support Program provides a preventative program of comprehensive and intensive services for families that have been recently reunited and benefits both these families and our case management organizations (CMOs) by reducing an agency’s foster care recidivism rate. This session will explore this new, innovative program that serves to equip families with the knowledge and resources necessary to thrive within their respective communities, while maintaining their own autonomy through the availability of post reunification coaches. The program services are strength-based, culturally-competent, and family-centered, which means that caregivers are engaged in the design of all aspects of their respective individualized service plan. The session will explore the benefits and logistics of the program’s implementation and its emphasis placement on case management, parent education, life skills development, and family planning.

Session 6 – Wednesday, July 10, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Child Welfare Policy

Advocacy 101

Megan Branham, Vice President of Policy & Advocacy Programs, North Public Relations

Advocacy comes down to three things: deciding what to say, determining ways to say it and knowing who/when to say it to! This session will focus on tips and tools (Voter Voice, FCC Member Portal) to improve your advocacy effectiveness and help tell your story. Participants will learn about the legislative process in Florida as well as key players within the legislature and cabinet. Participants will receive a preview of the 2020 Rally in Tally and how the FCC legislative team is working to advance child well-being issues during the next legislative session.


Clinical & Mental Health

Getting Ahead of the Storm: Using Trauma-Informed Care and Behavior Management to Address Crisis Before it Occurs

Hannah Buck, Associate Residential Director of Campus Life, Children’s Home Network & Ariana Drew, Associate Residential Director of Clinical Operations, Children’s Home Network

This session will highlight the benefits of integrating care and behavior management practices in residential settings. We will provide tools to help you implement these practices in your own setting, and discuss how it is possible to implement these practices without a therapist or behavior analyst on your campus. The discussion will highlight the benefits of incorporating these best practices to address the needs of not only your youth, but your staff as well.


Direct Care

Self-Care for CPIs, Case Managers, and Caregivers

Myra Henry, Training Manager, Family Support Services of North Florida

It’s essential to have a self-care plan that is regularly applied in the field of child welfare. This session addresses the daily mental and physical exhaustion many professionals face as they serve the children and families of our communities. Identifying the indicators of fatigue can prevent burnout and will assist with feeling overwhelmed. Fatigue touches many professions throughout the system of care, including: attorneys, child protective investigators, case managers, guardians ad litem, substance abuse providers, domestic violence advocates, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and many more! Understanding the impact of the challenging work we do in child welfare is a great start to self-care.



Engaging with Your Agency as a Board Member

Kurt Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Florida Coalition for Children

Serving on a child welfare agency board can be rewarding, but it can also present unique challenges. How do you engage as a board member serving a child welfare agency? What do you need to know about Florida’s system of care in order to be well educated on the issues? During this session, you will hear from FCC CEO, Kurt Kelly, as well as a board member of both a lead community-based care agency and a provider agency on how to make your service to a child welfare agency as a board member effective and leave a lasting impact on Florida’s community-based care system.  



National Perspective on Family First Implementation: What’s New and What’s Next?

Lisette Burton, Vice President of National Advocacy and Public Policy, Boys Town

States across the country are working hard to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act. The federal Children’s Bureau has provided program instruction clarifying many aspects of the law, and the Family First Prevention Services Clearinghouse is established, but questions remain. What can we learn from current state efforts and recent communication from the federal government and how will the law impact your planning and service provision moving forward? Whatever your role, this session will provide you with critical information and an opportunity to ask questions as you prepare for the ongoing challenges and opportunities.



Quality By Design: Game Changing Standards in Management and Care

Michele Boguslofski, Executive Director, Teaching-Family Association

This session will provide attendees with an engaging and energizing experience as the concepts and practices that develop exceptional leaders, coaches, managers, and supervisors are explored. Every attendee will be led to the knowledge they need to inspire, motivate, and create better employees and outcomes while improving satisfaction for staff and clients alike. Attendees will learn established strategies that work for all levels of experience and how to implement processes so that staff can spend time improving lives, being creative, and enjoying the important work of managing staff, teams, cases, and entrenched culture. This breakout session will provide authentic and practical hands-on application and direction that will immediately start to make positive and long-lasting change regardless of the environment or issue.