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Innovative Family Support Practice & Policy

Sessions may focus on areas such as advancing equity for families, supporting the whole family’s healthy development and mental well-being, connecting families to resources, supports and services, enhancing parenting skills, increasing school readiness and educational success, preventing child abuse, engaging fathers, supporting healthy marital, couple, and co-parenting relationships, and promoting family economic stability and success.  Sessions will reflect a multi-generational, strengths-based, family-centered approach in either of these categories:

• Programs/Direct Service - successful program and direct service-level innovative work with       


• Systems/Policy - successful policy and systems-level innovations, such as municipal, county,      

   provincial/state, regional, or national initiatives and strategies supporting families to thrive.

Integrating Family Voice, Partnership, & Leadership

Through this track, participants will gain insight into unlocking the rich potential of partnership with families to strengthen programs and systems in the family support field, advance equity, and promote well-being for families and communities.  The track will feature intentional and innovative work raising and listening to family voice, engaging parents and young people as partners, and integrating parent leaders into all levels of work.  Sessions may focus on supporting parent leadership development, including parents and young people in decision-making spaces, and leadership sharing at the program or system level.  Sessions may highlight the engagement of specific groups, such as fathers, immigrant and refugee families, extended family and kin caregivers, and others. 

Widening Access to Concrete & Community-Based Supports to Narrow the Door to Child Welfare Intervention
Both concrete supports addressing economic challenges and strong collaborations between community-based organizations (CBOs) and Child Welfare Services (CWS) are essential to decreasing the likelihood of families entering the child welfare system. This track will highlight intentional and innovative services, collaborations, initiatives, and systems-level changes that are leveraging concrete supports and/or CBOs to reduce families’ involvement in the child welfare system and maintaining children safely in their homes. Sessions may focus on sharing progr
am development processes, methods used to overcome challenges in multi-agency and CWS collaborations, and community involvement. 


Track sessions may also include the following theme or frameworks: 

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