3rd Annual Virginia Adoption Conference: Lifting Youth Voices: Engaging Children and Youth in Achieving Permanency.
Lifting Youth Voices: Engaging Children and Youth in Achieving Permanency
Brought to you by the Virginia Department of Social Services and NewFound Families Virginia
Join us November 20-21, 2019 for a FREE two-day conference that will cover a variety of foster care and adoption topics to meet the diverse needs and levels of experience of adoptive and foster parents, child welfare professionals, and people who were adopted or in foster care. The conference will kick off with an evening reception on November 20, 2019 and continue on November 21st with a full day of informative, engaging workshops.
Joshua Christian, who spent 18 years in the State of Indiana’s foster care system, is a dedicated advocate for foster youth and child welfare reform at the local, state, and national level. He has established quarterly meetings with the Indiana Department of Child Services executive team and partnered with local communities to raise awareness on the unique needs of foster youth. He also worked to help create the Foster Parent Bill of Rights and pass legislation extending foster care services to age 23 in the state of Indiana.
During the summer of 2019, Joshua was selected as one of twelve foster care alumni advocates from across the country to participate in the Congressional Coalition Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship Program® in Washington, D.C. During his time at CCAI, he served as a legislative intern on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee under the leadership of Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley. At the end of the summer, he authored and published an in-depth federal child welfare policy report, titled Improving Educational Outcomes for School-Aged Children in Foster Care, which was presented to the U.S. Congress, Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the private and public sectors.
Due to his commitment to advocacy for foster youth, Joshua received the “Outstanding Young Leaders” award from FosterClub and the “Adoption Excellence” award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2018. Joshua is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in social work at Marian University and anticipates to graduate in May 2020. He aspires to become a lobbyist in an effort to help as many foster children as possible and inspire others with his story.
(This agenda is tentative and subject to change)
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Registration
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Reception
Thursday, November 21, 2019
8:00 AM Registration
9:00 AM Welcome by Stan Phillips, Vice-President, NewFound Families Virginia
Message from the Governor of Virginia
Keynote Speaker - Joshua Christian
10:00-10:15 AM BREAK
10:15-11:30 AM WORKSHOPS
A. 1-1 Adoption Process: Working with the Attorney and the Court
Stanton Phillips, JD, Adoption Attorney
A. 1-2 Adoption Assistance: The Basics and More
Josh Kroll, North American Council of Adoptable Children
Tara Gilbert, Northern Region Adoption and Family Recruitment Consultant
Shelly Latoski, Eastern Region Adoption Negotiator
In this session, you will learn the basics of adoption assistance for children adopted from foster care. Topics include eligibility, benefits, taxes, and more. Participants will receive state specific information and will come away with concrete information and strategies to better advocate for foster and adopted children with special needs. There will also be an overview of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit.
A. 1-3 On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: Accelerating Adoption Matching for Virginia’s Waiting Teens
Whitney Zatzkin, Family-Match
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, pipelinemanagement, predictive analytics, and family-centric practices.
A. 1-4 Disability Services: VA’s Medicaid Waivers & Social Security
Tammy Burns, PEATC
Keri Peko, PEATC
Families with special needs children need to have an understanding of government benefits available to them. Navigating the world of disability benefits can be tricky, time consuming and overwhelming. This workshop will help make the process easier. Join us as we discuss in clear, understandable language: What are VA’s Medicaid Waivers, what are Social Security benefits, who is eligible, and how do I apply.
11:30-12:45 PM Lunch & Youth Panel - The Voices of Youth - a panel discussion by Youth
Kevin Jackson, PhD, facilitator, NewFound Families Virginia
12:45-1:00 PM BREAK
1:00-2:30 PM WORKSHOPS
B. 1-1 Unpacking the “No” of Older Youth Adoption
Chauncey Strong and CASE
B. 1-2 Adoption Best Practices at Local Departments
Kelly Edmonson, Montgomery County DSS
Shirley Bowie, Hampton DHS
Ben Mauro, VDSS; and Carrie Thompson, VDSS
B. 1-3 Understanding Special Education
Keri Peko, PEATC
This presentation will help attendees navigate special education in Virginia bye, defining the terminology used in the special education, reviewing strategies to create, develop, and maintain a collaborative relationship with the local education agency (LEA), and explaining how IDEA's 2004 language of high expectations and the parent's role in creating an Individualized Education Program (IEP) impacts this complex process. The audience will gain an understanding of the steps required in receiving special education services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
B. 1-4 Black & Brown Skin: Supporting Transracial Families with Children from the African Diaspora
Michelle Collins, LCSW-C, C.A.S.E.
Mari Itzkowitz, LCSW, C.A.S.E
This workshop is for transracial foster and adoptive parents and professionals supporting transracial families with African-American, Caribbean, and African children. By discussing the African diaspora, differences in cultural values across the diaspora, history of hair and skin care, and how racial tension manifests in adoptive and foster families, parents and professionals will feel competent in building tool kits of success to address race-based challenges and create healthy family relationships.
2:30-2:45 PM BREAK
2:45-4:15 PM WORKSHOPS
C. 1-1 We all have a Story – Building Families Requires the Work of Clarification & Integration Tasks to Actualize Relational Readiness
Darla Henry, Darla Henry & Associates, Inc.
We all have a story that frames our life experiences recognizing the people who have been integral to our development and understanding of who we are. Who was there when you needed comforting, how were your feelings and events affirmed, who listened to you, what assured your sense of safety? 7 skills will be practiced as they related to ‘real time’ response to the “stories of hurt and pain” that adoptive children bring with them into family relationships.
C. 1-2 Waze No More: Empowering Families Raising Children & Youth With Special Needs to Pull Out Their Own Road Map
Kelly Henderson, PhD, Formed Families Forward
Lisa Mathey, Formed Families Forward
Post-adoptive families raising children, youth and young adults with special needs often face serious barriers to understanding and effectively leveraging the service systems designed to support them. This session offers child- and family-serving professionals a framework for supporting adoptive families in navigating health, education, independent living and transition services. A 5-point road map approach equips professionals with specific steps and strategies to support families and youth in setting goals, learning system basics, building relationships, managing information and creating their own support networks.
C. 1-3 High Fidelity Wraparound
Anna Antell, Office of Children's Services
Pamela Fisher, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Cristy Corbin, United Methodist Family Services
This presentation will provide participants with an overview of High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW), an evidence-based planning process for at-risk youth and families. Participants will leave with an understanding of the process and the potential benefits for DSS involved youth and their families as it relates to achieving and maintaining permanency.
C. 1-4 Tiger Taming – Empowering Self-Regulation
Amy Reamer, LMFT, RPT, Heart & Mind
Understanding the basics of how our autonomic nervous system works and how trauma/neglect/caregiver changes impacts that system is so helpful in healing and improving self-regulation. Behaviors related to being in survival mode are often viewed as negative and a sense of shame and negative self worth are often the outcome. The use of a simple vocabulary using animals can create a judgment free way of communicating about our current state and promotes co-regulation, self-regulation, healthy relationships and secure attachment. Come learn about Tiger Taming!
4:15-4:30 PM BREAK
4:30 PM Closing Session - Traci B. Jones, Adoption Program Manager, VDSS
Exhibit at the Adoption Conference!
We will have a select number of vendor tables available during the conference at the cost of $100 per table. Share your organization's important information with adoptive families and professionals from all over the Commonwealth! Be sure to select the Vendor Registration button while registering for the conference.
In your registration confirmation email, you will receive a reminder to mail a check payable to NewFound Families Virginia to P.O. Box 85, Ashland VA, 23005.
Venue Information - Omni Charlottesville Hotel
Please reserve you room using the link below. Rooms are $132 + tax and the room block expires October 31.
Room block for 3rd Annual Virginia Adoption Conference: