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Workshop Sessions

Workshop Sessions will be recorded so that you can access them later and explore as many sessions as you like.


Advancing Equity for Families Track

This track will convene conversations to promote racial awareness, diversity, equity, and inclusion in partnerships to strengthen families and enhance communities. Presenters share experience, expertise, and lessons learned, as well as strategies and approaches that participants can use to disrupt systems of oppression and co-create a more just and equitable future.

Leading with Cultural Competence and the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI)
The rapid and the unexpected of globalization, unprecedented cultural polarization, inequities and the necessity for collaboration, interdependence and cooperation have exposed our collective inability to solve problems creatively. “We cannot effectively lead in a multicultural world with monocultural mindsets. And, we cannot practice innovation, equity and inclusion without cultural competence and systems thinking.” Leaders and management must develop a critical understanding of self, of others, and of our socio-cultural-political and economic realities, then address issues on a systemic integrated basis. Business as usual is no longer an option. The IDI is designed and statistically validated as a “culture-general” measure of intercultural competence. This means that the IDI provides a powerful and accurate profile of respondents’ orientations toward a wide range of “other culture” groups, including nationality, ethnicity, gender and other diversity categories.
Ramón A. Pastrano IV, D.Min., MSM, MATS, ImpactLives, Inc.

Family Success Centers: A Vehicle to Access Those Disproportionately Affected by Social Determinants of Health
The presentation will address how the Child and Family Services Agency of Washington, DC is focusing further upstream in disproportionate neighborhoods using a place-based, holistic approach based upon the District's data on child abuse and neglect, healthy outcomes, and crime. The Families First DC initiative three goals are to empower communities and families, integrate services, and focus on upstream prevention through 10 Family Success Centers in the most 'at risk' neighborhoods. The presentation will provide a perspective and rationale on the developments of where we are and how we plan to implement and execute the initiative to increase the Protective Factors and for sustainability.

Presenter: Octavia Shaw, Dominique Griffin, and Kiara Streater, Families First DC

Applying CSSP’s Anti-racist Intersectional Frame to Family Support

The Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Equity, Inclusion and Justice team has spent the last year developing an Anti-racist Intersectional Frame, based on the work of Ibram X. Kendi and Sarah Maiter. This session will explore the frame, which is a conceptual tool to examine institutional and systemic oppression that people of color face because of both their race and other identities, while providing a guiding approach for working with and in communities and systems to create a more just and equitable society. Participants will grapple with elements of the frame in small groups and discuss how it applies to family support work, as well as brainstorm action steps.

Presenters: Azieb Ermias, and Ali Jawetz, Center for the Study of Social Policy

Supporting Transracial Adoption

This presentation is designed to support providers, family members and other interested parties in understanding the nuances of transracial adoption. The spirit of this session is to uplift and support the unspoken challenges that families face when speaking about race; moving them from being shame-based to strength-based. The presentation will begin with a brief historical review of transracial adoption in the United States according to scholarly articles. Participants will then be invited to understand some of the challenges that transracial adoptive families face as they progress through life stages of development. Lastly, the facilitators will share examples and positive narratives in navigating these challenges from their experience working first hand with families, support systems, and professionals involved in the care and wellness of transracial families, including medical professionals, adoption lawyers, and educators.

Presenters:  Anthony Pennant and Ashlyn Douthitt, Antioch University-Seattle

A More Perfect Union Parent Café

This interactive session will explore a multi-faceted approach to transformational conversations at the nexus of social justice and parenting in a complicated and often unjust world. Organized around the Strengthening Families Protective Factors, the talking points mobilize shared civic values of freedom, prosperity, safety, justice, and healing to assist parents in talking to their children about difficult issues and brainstorming how to keep their families safe.

Presenter: Sarita Sashington, Be Strong Families

It's Not All About Money!  Co-Creating Sustainable Family Strengthening Centers by Mobilizing Mutual Assistance

This session will provide an overview of sustainable approaches for Family Strengthening Centers.  The Pasadena Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL) will serve as an example of how a community can mobilize members and program participants as contributors to ensure sustainability. Currently, PACTL has more than 100 volunteers, who are in charge of the weekly food pantry and distribution of donated goods. Session registrants will learn: the methodology and approach for galvanizing skills and strengths of our participants; reciprocity as an indigenous value; and the approach of how reciprocity and mutual assistance work in a community setting. The benefits of this approach include opportunities for participants to strengthen leadership, ownership of the organization, and increased services in the community

Presenter:  Yoland Trevino, PACTL

Supporting Families with LGBTQ+ Children

This presentation will outline ways in which to support families with LGBTQ+ and gender expansive children. Current clinical research suggests that there are patterns in the way that both initially accepting, and non-accepting families move to places of acceptance and affirmation of their children, supporting them to become successful and happy adults. Family affirmation is important in the health of LGBTQ+ and gender expansive children and health care providers can play an important role in helping families be informed, be affirming and understand the importance of advocating for their children. Using real life examples and lessons learned in California and other states, the presentation will engage the attendees in a meaningful discussion on the need to support families through their journey. The presenter, who comes from a multi-cultural background and LGBTQ expertise, will specifically address the intersection of racism and sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in a challenging and eye-opening manner.

Presenter: Vida Khavar, MA, LMFT, getREAL CA & Youth Acceptance Project

Implementing the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening Track
This track will feature program and systems level implementation of the nationally-adopted Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support.

Our Journeys with the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support: Local and State Implementation Experiences

This session will provide a detailed look at how the New York Resilient Children and Families Community Services with its eight Family Resource Centers (FRCs) and the Kentucky Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers with its 850+ school-based FRCs have implemented the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support. The presentation will follow each step of the journey along the implementation continuum for both states from original interest in and adoption of the Standards to the ongoing training and professional development being provided. Presenters will share challenges, successes, lessons learned, and the benefits both entities discovered along the way. Program benefits have included increased involvement in parent leadership, increased funding, and increased connection with local, state, and the national networks.

Presenters:  Linda George, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc.; Mary Ann Jennings, Kentucky Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers

Georgia’s Family Support Network and Essentials for Childhood Initiative: A Collective Impact

This session will provide an introduction of the Georgia Family Support Network and of the Georgia Essentials for Childhood Initiative, both funded and staff-supported through the Prevention and Community Support, Georgia’s Children’s Trust Fund entity, which is located within the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.  Presenters will explain the details and background of the Essentials of Childhood Initiative, which originated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the related history and role of Strengthening Families Georgia. Participants will understand how the goals and objectives of the Initiative can be aligned with a Family Support Network’s goals and objectives, such as utilizing the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support to promote quality programming, using data to frame workplans, and aligning with a state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Plan.

Presenters: Deborah Chosewood and Laura E. Griggs, LMSW, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services

Utilizing the Strengthening Families Framework & Approach Track
This track will focus on ways that programs, communities, and states are supporting families to build protective factors using the Strengthening Families framework and approach from the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

The Power of Peer Support
As organizations work in their communities supporting families, peer support is the baseline for strengthening communities. In a fast-changing environment, providers need to find ways to help families to be connected, building spaces where they are supported, increasing their knowledge of parenting skills, and helping the development of their kids. PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) will share its program and its impact for families in different parenting stages during our 35+ years of work in the Seattle area. The session “ The Power of Peer Support” will showcase how organizations could offer a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and informative space for families; how offerings are evaluated to provide relevant programs, and how to adapt to the changing needs and environment collaborating with other organizations to meet the needs of our diverse communities.

Presenters:  Maria Alejandra Gomez,  Jennie Capron, and Polly Jirkovsky, Program for Early Parent Support 

What One Caring Adult Can Do

It takes more than just being there, it takes BEING there with kids and families for these results to be achieved. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has outlined evidence based trauma informed guidelines. In defining and understanding these guidelines, they can be attached to intentional everyday activities to not only promote a trauma informed approach, but resilience building in some of the most vulnerable children in vulnerable families. Participants will come away with a better understanding of simple neurobiology of trauma and specific intentional activities and interactions to shift the brain from trauma trigger and response. These activities will be demonstrated to fit well with the 5 Protective Factors and Principles of Family Support. Using a tool to crosswalk either of these approaches will help participants walk away with a tool box of ideas and understanding.

Presenters: Debbie Comstock, LCSW, Protective Factors for Utah Families; Barbara Leavitt, United Way of Utah County

Protective Factors: Strengthening Children, Families and Communities

The Five Protective Factors have been shown by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) to mitigate toxic stress associated with abuse and to help families keep their children safe. Beginning in 2013, Safe and Sound piloted CSSP’s Strengthening Families framework, that defines Protective Factors and offers a strengths-based approach to child abuse prevention as the starting point. Safe and Sound then operationalized the Strengthening Families approach by developing tools to apply the Protective Factors to assess multigenerational families’ strengths and areas of improvement, develop support plans, and assess client progress, as well as to assess the overall impact, focus, and effectiveness of our work. The workshop will provide (a) an overview of Safe and Sound’s approach and its impacts on families and policy; and (b) opportunities for participants to apply the Protective Factors framework in strengthening families as well as communities.

Presenters: Katie Albright and Malcolm Gaines, Psy.D., Senior Clinical Projects Director, Safe and Sound

Community Conditions that Strengthen Families

Within the Strengthening Families National Network, there is a growing interest in community-level interventions to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote child and family thriving. In this session, attendees will hear from the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the University of Oregon, and Safe & Sound about current work at the community level as well as recent and ongoing research about community conditions that strengthen families, including how protective factors are related to anti-racism across the social ecology. Participants will also have a chance to reflect with peers and share thoughts to help shape this work as it develops.

Presenters: Cailin O’Connor and Charlyn Harper Browne, Center for the Study of Social Policy; Jeffrey Todahl, University of Oregon; Katie Albright, Safe and Sound

Enhancing Family Support Practice Track
This track will feature program or systems level work with families that is reflective of a multi-generational, strengths-based, family-centered approach. 


Strategies and Action Planning to Intensify Family Engagement at Your Program
This workshop will explore strategies of a pilot program for intensive family engagement and discuss frameworks and action steps that practitioners can embed into practice to develop an inclusive program environment, build collaborative family partnerships, and explore concrete strategies for goal-setting and reciprocal learning.

Presenters: Anita Harvey-Dixon and Michelle Lee, Start Early, Educare Learning Network


Addressing the Needs of Children with Autism in Family Strengthening and the Prevention of ACEs 
This session for family-serving professionals examines statistical findings on the risk and predictive factors of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) for families of children with developmental disabilities and identifies evidence-based strategies for prevention of ACEs that strengthen families by tailoring the approach to building protective factors. Participants will receive tools and tactics to apply these strategies in the professional practice and family engagement.

Presenters: Amy Shapley Moseley, Shapley Consulting; Kate Chappell, Ph.D., MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC,
University of South Carolina


Promoting Positive Father Involvement: Review of Research Evidence and Policy Recommendations

This presentation will summarize the current research (2015-present), which reinforces earlier findings that positive father involvement (PFI) is strongly associated with positive outcomes for children, including their social and emotional wellness, academic achievement, physical health, and adjustment to becoming parents themselves. The presenter also will share information about populations that were not well-understood in the past as well as new information about understanding how both direct and indirect PFI impacts children’s lives; the effects of fatherhood on men’s wellbeing; the effects of PFI on children’s mental health outcomes; father involvement and gender equality; and the relationship between PFI and substance use/misuse in young people.

Presenter: Drew Soleyn, Dad Central Ontario


Engaging Parents: The Adaptability of the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program

“There are no perfect parents or perfect children or perfect people... We can only do our best, and we all need help once in a while.”

Developed in Canada, the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program aims to advance participants’ capabilities to improve and maintain the health of their children, aged 0-5 years. Participants will learn about this Canadian best practice, which has clear measured impacts on positive parenting. Nobody’s Perfect is offered in several other countries across the world as it can be readily adapted to other cultures.  This interactive session will provide participants with an overview of the Nobody’s Perfect program and demonstrate its effectiveness with parents.

Presenters: Carmen Paterson-Payne, Families Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada - Youville Centre; Connie Herman, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, Families Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada

Building a County-Wide Agenda to Strengthen Children & Families

The Ready Kid San Antonio (RKSA) Coalition is focused on convening partners to coordinate family support at a systems level. With organizational support from the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, RKSA was developed five years ago and is comprised of more than 140 leaders, stakeholder and community organizations focused on the vision of “Growing Happy, Healthy and Ready Children” beginning at prenatal through eight years of age (3rd grade). RKSA is committed to creating the first-ever Bexar County Children’s Agenda and Results Based Accountability scorecard to establish and display a set of shared results and to streamline family support services. The scorecard has been instrumental in helping funders to decide to invest in advancing the Children’s Agenda This session will focus on the key elements to building a county-wide agenda for young children, including lessons learned, platforms and tools utilized, and how to maintain momentum to achieve the results established.

Presenters: Jeniffer M. Richardson,  Katherine Filut, and Audrey Rost, Director of Grants, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

Advocacy Lessons from the Wizard of Oz: Educating Policy Makers and Telling Our Story

Advocacy can be intimidating, but it is crucial that policymakers hear from people who care about children. Using a fun approach based on the Wizard of Oz, this session features community organizing strategies to build grassroots support and advocate for policies effectively. The session will also include an overview of policies that strengthen families and help children thrive.

Presenter: Jim McKay, Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia/TEAM for West Virginia Children

Measuring the Return on Investment of Family Resource Centers: Outcomes, Challenges, and Opportunities

This presentation will highlight key findings from a Casey Family Programs study on Family Resource Centers. Discussion will focus on the outcomes of Family Resource Centers as well as the challenges and opportunities for measuring cost-savings and other Return on Investment (ROI) dimensions.

Presenters: Peter Pecora and Sara Munson, Casey Family Programs; Paul Bonfanti, Charitable Ventures; Robin Perry, Institute for Child and Family Services Research; Michael Scuello, Metis Associates

Exploring the Healthy Together Family Health Education Program

Healthy Together© is a program that brings families together to support healthy eating and physical activity as a pathway to healthy weights for children. Healthy Together is designed to be delivered in existing core service programs and is supported by facilitator training and program resources to support healthy lifestyles. To date, 29 community-based organizations across Canada have implemented Healthy Together. Supported offering the program to over 3,400 children, youth, and caregivers in diverse community settings. The workshop will provide (a) an overview of the Healthy Together program, strategies used to support implementation, and first-hand accounts of program experiences in short video segments; b) key findings from the evaluation of the program, and (c) an opportunity to discuss ways to increase the impact and reach of family-centered health promotion programs.

Presenters: Michele Hopkins, MSW, RSW, The Bridge Youth and Family Services, Joan L. Bottorff, Ph.D., RN, and Anne Huisken, MSc, Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at the University of British Columbia

State Innovations in Implementation of Strengthening Families

This session will highlight innovative ways that some states are reaching new audiences, shifting practice, and changing systems to better support families in building their protective factors. A panel presentation about efforts in Alabama and Wisconsin will be followed by small group discussion and Q&A.

Moderator: Cailin O’Connor, Center for the Study of Social Policy

Panelists: Sallye Longshore, Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention; Tish MacInnis, Alabama Partnership for Children; Connie Dunlap, Wisconsin Supporting Families Together Association; Becky Mather, Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board; and Taryn Yates, Idaho Children's Trust Fund

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