Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System

Workshop Descriptions: Youth Services Conference

Pre-Conference Summit May 6th Sessions

1:00 – 5:00 PM: Pre-Conference Workshops

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Advancing Your Skills in Motivational Interviewing

Laura Saunders

Session Description:

This institute is for participants who have learned about MI and have a little to a lot of experience trying it out in their practice setting. We’ll work together to move your skills from where they are at the start of the workshop to a place further down the proficiency continuum. Through didactic discussion, small and large group work, and audio examples, participants will be invited to learn more about assessing MI practice, giving and receiving practice feedback, and other practice exercises aimed at improving your practice of this evidence-based method.

Session Objectives:

  • Recall basic MI practice terms from previous trainings
    Practice using MI skills; OARS, ECT, EPE, Softening sustain talk and responding to discord
    Develop an individualized plan for taking MI skills to the next level

Presenter Bio:

Laura A. Saunders, MSSW, is the Great Lakes ATTC, MHTTC, and PTTC: State Project Manager for Wisconsin. Her position is housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she’s worked since 1988. Since 2001, Laura has provided Motivational interviewing training to physicians, nurses, medical students, psychologists, specialty addiction treatment providers, social workers, physical therapists, health educators and staff who work in correctional settings. Laura designs, facilitates, and delivers training and coaching in person, online, and via distance learning in the fields of health care, human services, public health, public safety and criminal justice. She has delivered over 120 beginning, intermediate, advancing skills and coding workshops. She has provided feedback and coaching to hundreds of participants who are interested in using MI to fidelity. She joined the International group of Motivational Interviewing Networkof Trainers (MINT) in 2006 (Sophia, Bulgaria) and is an active member of the International MINT and the Wisconsin MINTie group.

Implicit Bias as a Habit

Patricia Devine

Session Description:

Implicit bias refers to bias that is subtle, unconscious, or hard to pin down. We might think that we’re making decisions based on the objective facts of the situation, but biases could be creeping in. Implicit bias can be likened to a habit. Like any habit, becoming aware of the habit and being motivated to change are necessary first steps. Come learn some concrete strategies to overcoming your biases.

Session Objectives:

  • Increased awareness of one’s own personal biases
    Increased levels of internal motivation to respond without prejudice
    Increased equity self-efficacy
    Enhanced positive equity outcomes expectations

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Patricia Devine has been a social psychology professor at UW-Madison since 1985, and is internationally recognized as an eminent expert in the scientific study of stereotyping, prejudice, and intergroup relations. The very notion of “implicit bias” or “unintentional bias” originated in her early work (Devine, 1989; cited 6279 times). Devine conceptualizes prejudice reduction as a process of “breaking the prejudice habit,” which requires awareness and concern about bias and one’s own role in perpetuating bias, motivation to overcome bias, and tools to aid or guide one’s efforts to reduce bias. Whereas previous models of prejudice suggested that prospects for true change were dim, Devine’s model offers encouraging prospects for true reductions in prejudice.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Elysse Chay and Jeremy Triblett

Session Description:

This abbreviated Youth Mental Health First Aid training introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help
an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis, select interventions and provide initial help, and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling-–rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan. This session is intended for adults that work with young people ages 12-18. Please be aware that some topics may be a trigger for some participants, including death by suicide.

Session Objectives:

  • Identify evidence-based risk and protective factors of mental health challenges that are common among adolescents
    Use the Youth Mental Health First Aid five-step action plan to support youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge

Presenter Bio:

Elysse Chay (formerly Wageman) is a consultant supporting nonprofits in a variety of areas, including systems change through collective impact, reaching out to audiences without relying on jargon, developing project implementation/evaluation plans and managing a portfolio of sub-grantees. Elysse recently led the Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative, coordinating funding, training and technical assistance for 11 projects seeking to support adolescent well-being. Elysse has earned two degrees in political science and has worked in a variety of Milwaukee nonprofit organizations for over 15 years, including Public Allies Milwaukee and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.

Jeremy Triblett came to the Public Policy Institute as a youth work professional, national professional development trainer, and coordinator of citywide initiatives for more than 18 organizations. As the Public Policy Institute’s Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Jeremy combines his experience in project coordination, collective impact strategies, professional development training, and organizational development to advance the work of youth- and family-serving organizations. Previously, Jeremy served as the Resource Coordinator at the Public Policy Institute through ReCast MKE. Jeremy began his career as a Public Ally placed at Urban Underground as the Program Coordinator. Urban Underground is an after-school program designed to help teens develop their leadership skills through civic engagement. During this time, Jeremy developed his training methodology that incorporates micro learning, kinesthetic learning, and reflective teaching. He moved on to serve as the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Center for Youth Engagement and lead strategist for Beyond the Bell MKE. He guided 20 youth-serving after-school organizations through the nationally validated Youth Program Quality Intervention. At this time, Jeremy began establishing himself as a dynamic motivational speaker and keynote speaker for conferences, community events, and executive-level forums. As founder of Anapto Branding & Presentation Design Jeremy consults nationally to spark a fire in businesses and professionals with branding and designs that inspire the world.

May 7th Sessions

8:45 – 9:45 AM: Keynote

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The Resilience Breakthrough: 3 Keys to Unleashing Resilience in Children and Adults

Christian Moore

Session Description:

Grit. Fortitude. Determination. Resilience. No matter what you call it, teachers and administrators nationwide agree that there has never been a greater need to teach our students how to thrive in school and in life. Studies have shown that students who score higher on resilience measures have improved social skills, higher grades, a greater love of learning, and better decision-making skills. The breakthrough idea of this presentation is that resilience can be taught. In fact, it’s something we are all born with – from the homeless person on the street to the brightest Harvard professor. Most of us ― including many of our schools’ most struggling students ― just haven’t learned how to access what’s already inside. In this presentation, participants will learn about the vital skills of resilience found in WhyTry Founder Christian Moore’s book, “The Resilience Breakthrough: 27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action.” This engaging presentation will empower participants to deliver these skills to students of any background and learning style.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will know how to build a belief in students that they can change their circumstances, no matter how hopeless
    Participants will gain strategies to transform pain and adversity into fuel
    Participants will recognize and know how to utilize the resources for resilience that exist around them

Presenter Bio:

Christian Moore is an internationally renowned author, speaker, licensed clinical social worker, and advocate for at-risk youth. Coming from a blended family of 12 children, Christian spent most of his childhood years on the streets. In a neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C., he was exposed to a wide array of social problems, which opened his eyes to the many injustices that exist in our world today. The WhyTry program poses the question, “Why try?” then provides the tools for students to learn the answer for themselves: opportunity, freedom, and self-respect. WhyTry’s multi-sensory approach caters to every learning type. Over 3 million students have been taught with WhyTry in over 25,000 schools and organizations worldwide.

 

10:00 – 11:15 AM: Workshop Session #1

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Fostering Resilient Families

Dominic Alvarez, Jeanine Glass, Jessica Godek, Sherry Jordan, Angela Moegenburg, and Jamaal Wagner

Session Description:

Jefferson County developed a new Youth Justice program model in 2018 that incorporated Functional Family Case Management and robust incentives plans into our work with each of the families we serve. Follow us on our journey as we explore the decisions that were made which prompted us to revamp our whole program and the barriers and successes we faced along the way. We’ll present an overview of the program in its entirety, what we are doing for data collection, and some preliminary outcomes. We’ll wrap up with lessons learned, talk a bit about what’s next, and open it up for questions.

Session Objectives:

  • Creating a new program – barriers, bumps and successes; what worked and what didn’t
  • What is Fostering Resilient Families Youth Justice Program?
  • Data collection talking points and preliminary outcomes of the program

Presenter Bio:

Jessica Godek is the Youth and Family Services Supervisor at Jefferson County where she has been working since 2004. She has worked with children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbance and mental health issues since 1996. Through her work as a SAAS Counselor in rural Southern Illinois, an adoption and post adoption worker in Central Illinois and Madison and in the CCS and Youth Justice programs at Jefferson County Human Services, she has gained vast knowledge and experience about what works and doesn’t work with this unique population. She has additional training in trauma informed parenting, dual status youth and is a Motivational Interviewing Coach for Jefferson County. She has a Master of Science in Community Mental Health and is a part of the Wisconsin Juvenile Justice Leadership Network. Jessica and her husband Dave are also parents to two teenagers and have fostered 17 children since June of 2013.

Foster Youth Informed, Involved and Independent-Part 1

Ashley Foster-French

Session Description:

What are the challenges to youth participation in their case plan? How can youth leaders, professionals, courts, and caregivers support youth to participate and as they plan for life beyond foster care? Check out FosterClub’s recently redeveloped tool, the FYI Binder, which assists youth in keeping track of important documents, contacts, and resources. Concepts presented include youth participation in their case plan, self-advocacy, and navigation of the system. (This is the first part of a two-part session, you must also attend Part 2 in Workshop #2)

Session Objectives:

  • Use the FYI Binder as a youth engagement tool
  • Understand unique challenges foster youth may face when seeking independence

Presenter Bio:

Ashley Foster-French is FosterClub’s Training and Education Manager. In her role, she focuses on the design and development of FosterClub’s Evidence-Based SPARK Curriculum and additional training materials, training modules, teaching aids and more. She also coordinates events, trainings, and conferences geared towards current and former foster youth, supportive adults, foster parents, and child welfare professionals across the United States; assisting FosterClub Young Leaders in sharing their valuable perspective and expertise.

Program Evaluation for the Real World

Kristen Slack

Session Description:

This presentation will provide an overview of the different approaches to program evaluation in social service settings. While some focus is given to the value of rigorous gold-standard techniques for evaluating the impact of interventions and services, most of the presentation will be dedicated to exploring alternative approaches to evaluation involving smaller, manageable steps. Common obstacles to evaluation will be presented and guidance for selecting the most appropriate evaluation strategies will be offered.

Session Objectives:

  • To explore different program evaluation approaches in practice settings
  • To understand the strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation approaches
  • To address common misunderstandings about program evaluation

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Slack is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has over 20 years of experience in child maltreatment research. Her primary line of research focuses on identifying risk and protective factors for maltreatment and child protective services events. She has co-developed several large-scale surveys focused on populations at-risk for maltreatment, and has been involved with the design, implementation, and evaluation of multiple child maltreatment prevention programs.

Onramps to Employment

Darla Burton, Gregg Curtis, Sarah Lincoln, and Becky Yang

Session Description:

Do you face challenges finding appropriate transitional employment and training for youth? Are you interested in finding resources that are available based on the customer needs versus a school calendar? In this session, you’ll learn from a panel of experts how to identify career interests, use stackable employment and training resources and available supports to maximize employment outcomes while assisting the employer in training a valuable employee.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will understand different services that are available for WI youth
  • Participants will recognize the intersection of the state services available for at-risk youth

Presenter Bio:

Darla Burton is a Policy and Program Advisor for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, in the Division of Employment and Training-Youth Apprenticeship Program.  She has worked in the Human Services field for 25 years in private, nonprofit and government agencies and brings ten years of field experience as a Regional Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator. Her focus is to increase the enrollment of students of opportunity and with IEPs in Youth Apprenticeship.

Dr. Gregg Curtis is in his 7th year as the School Counseling Education Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Gregg graduated from the University of Iowa in 1988 with an elementary education degree. After ten years as a middle school teacher in rural Iowa, Gregg returned to the UI; receiving a master’s degree in school counseling degree that he used to work as a middle school counselor. Following his work as a school counselor, Gregg returned once more to the UI and received his doctorate in Counselor Education with a minor in the Social Foundations of Education in 2008. Prior to joining DPI, Gregg spent 6 years as a lecturer and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; working to prepare graduate students to work as counselors in schools, community mental health agencies, and institutions of higher education.

Sarah Lincoln is a Program and Policy Analyst for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Sarah has 18 years of experience working in the field of disability and employment. She also co-leads statewide transition activities and initiatives for DVR. Prior to working for DVR she worked for the WI Department of Health Services in the Employment Initiatives on disability employment related programs including the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG), WisTech, WisLoan, and Project SEARCH.

Becky Yang is a Program and Policy Analyst at the Department of Children and Families, Division of Family and Economic Security. In her capacity, she led the implementation of subsidized employment programs designed to help parents and foster youth with barriers to employment transition to unsubsidized employment. Becky has over ten years of experience with programs providing employment preparation services and case management to low-income families. Her focus is identifying and developing approaches to subsidized employment planning and creating policies and processes that define how programs operate.

Resilience Can Be Taught! 10 Tools to Motivate ANY Student

Christian Moore

Session Description:

What if you could give ALL of your students―even the most unmotivated―the skills they need to be resilient in the face of life’s challenges? The breakthrough idea of this presentation is that resilience can be TAUGHT! In fact, there are 10 specific tools you can use TODAY to bring its life-changing power to students of any background or learning style. Whether you work with youth in one-on-one, small group, or classroom settings, once you’ve been given these tools, you won’t want to go another day without using them! Studies have shown that students who learn resilience have improved social skills, higher grades, a greater love of learning, and better decision-making skills. Teachers and counselors who apply these skills see fewer behavioral problems and an increase in student motivation and engagement. This fun and informative presentation will completely change the way you approach your job―don’t miss it!

Session Objectives:

Ultimately, this presentation will provide the audience with tools to help students in any tier answer the question, “Why try in life?” by providing tools around the 3 objectives below:

  • Learn how to speak the language of today’s youth using relevant multimedia, physical activities, and visual metaphors
  • Learn how youth can take the challenges they face in life and channel them in a positive direction
  • Learn how to guide youth in building positive support systems

Presenter Bio:

Christian Moore is an internationally renowned author, speaker, licensed clinical social worker, and advocate for at-risk youth. Coming from a blended family of 12 children, Christian spent most of his childhood years on the streets. In a neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C., he was exposed to a wide array of social problems, which opened his eyes to the many injustices that exist in our world today. The WhyTry program poses the question, “Why try?” then provides the tools for students to learn the answer for themselves: opportunity, freedom, and self-respect. WhyTry’s multi-sensory approach caters to every learning type. Over 3 million students have been taught with WhyTry in over 25,000 schools and organizations worldwide.

 

Transforming Change Conversations through Co-Planning with Youth and Families*

Monica Caldwell

Session Description:

As youth serving professionals, we are frequently engaged in behavior change conversations with students and their families. When asking youth to attend school more consistently, improve study habits, address high-risk choices, or improve classroom behaviors, we wonder how to best motivate youth for change. Often, we remind students of the rules and tell them the steps they should take to overcome their problem. In co-planning, this approach is turned upside down, and youth and families are included in exploring motivation, identifying what works for them, setting goals, and identifying sources of support. Two specific practical strategies will be demonstrated that are inclusive, respectful, are getting great results, and can be used by staff to improve coordinated care.

Presenter Bio:

Monica Caldwell is an Education Consultant with the Department of Public Instruction.  She has been a social worker for thirty years, with half of her career in child welfare/mental health positions, and the other half in schools. She is a strong advocate for youth and family-driven practices that encourage all of us to have greater impact through collaboration at all levels.  She is currently a Project Coordinator for Project AWARE, a large federal SAMHSA grant focused on school mental health, safety and climate. She is excited about DPI’s new School Mental Health Framework that will guide districts and their partners to provide a continuum of supports that will enhance the well-being and resilience of children and families.

11:30AM-  12:45PM: Lunch and Keynote

 

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Going the Extra Mile

Courtney Smith

Session Description:

Ms. Smith will share how seemingly small service hacks can make a huge impact in a young person’s life. As the executive director of the Detroit Phoenix Center, she leads the team that provides a continuum of services for youth at-risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. Learn how they provide resources and supports to build community connections and increase the self-esteem of youth.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will know how to create a sense of community for the youth they serve
    Participants will be able to strategize how to benefit from the power of connections

Presenter Bio:

There are people who see shortcomings in our society and feel overwhelmed or apathetic. Then there are people like Courtney E. Smith who roll up their sleeves and fill in the gap. Courtney has dedicated her career to advocating for the underserved and underprivileged. Through her efforts to implement solutions to break the cycle of poverty in Detroit, she has distinguished herself as an industry leader and a champion for youth. Born and raised in Detroit, Courtney knows the struggle of housing insecurity all too well. It is her experience as an overcomer that led her to create the Detroit Phoenix Center (DPC) in 2016 which provides critical resources and a nurturing environment for youth ages 13 – 24 experiencing homelessness. Under her visionary leadership as founder and executive director, DPC opened Detroit’s first drop-in facility meeting the emergent needs of youth in crisis, launched a scholarship fund, and tripled its operating budget to expand its programs and services. “We would like to become a model that different cities can use to solve youth homelessness,” Courtney says. Courtney has garnered recognition in publications including USA Today and Katie Couric’s talk show as well as being named to Crain’s Detroit prestigious “Twenty in Their 20s” list, received the Detroit City Council’s Spirit of Detroit Award twice, won the Comcast NBC Universal Social Impact Award and was awarded the 2018 Community Champion of the Year courtesy of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. Outside of being a dynamic civil servant, Courtney enjoys reading, writing, singing and theatre.

1:00-2:15 PM: Workshop Session # 2

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Examining Our Worldview: Challenging Our Perspectives in Ending Gender Based Violence

Stephanie Ortiz and Cody Warner

Session Description:

In this workshop, we will examine our worldviews and challenge the perspectives we hold about ending gender-based violence. We will facilitate an interactive activity, engage participants in dialogue, and share some of the work we are doing at End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. We hope this workshop will allow participants to explore the dynamics of ending gender-based violence and learn new strategies for successful prevention.

Session Objectives:

  • Examine worldviews and challenge perspectives
  • Explore the dynamics of ending gender-based violence
  • Learn new strategies for successful prevention

Presenter Bio:

Stephanie Ortiz is the Director of Prevention & Outreach at End Domestic Abuse WI, the State Director of Outreach at Women’s March WI and the Co-Founder of Black Lives United – Green Bay. She became a 1st Generation college graduate from UW- Green Bay, obtaining a Bachelor’s in Democracy & Justice Studies with a Women’s Studies emphasis. Following college, she worked for 4 years as a Rape Prevention Education Specialist at Wise Women Gathering Place coordinating and facilitating prevention programming for Native Youth grades 6-12 in the community she grew up in. Her work at the statewide level now includes providing training and technical assistance to programs throughout WI that are engaging youth in anti-violence work. She is a tireless advocate in building spaces where people of color can see themselves reflected in leadership and the services they navigate through. Stephanie is passionate about helping programs and people understand the importance of engaging young people, intersectional and abolitionist feminism, addressing root causes and working to end oppression in all its forms.

Cody Warner is the Children & Youth Outreach Coordinator at End Domestic Abuse WI. Graduating from UW-Platteville with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services. After college, he worked for 4 years as the Youth Services Coordinator at Family Advocates, Inc. coordinating all children and family services needed for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence and sexual assault and all trainings & community events revolving around healthy relationships; intimate partner violence and sexual assault. His work at the statewide level now includes providing training and technical assistance to programs throughout WI engaging with families and LGBTQ identified victims and survivors. He creates safe and brave spaces for youth and for LGBTQ identified folx to build leadership in the movement to end gender-based violence. Cody is passionate about helping programs and people understand the importance of engaging youth, the importance of representation in services, and addressing the root causes of violence to end oppression in all forms.

Fostering Collaboration to Achieve Educational Success for Students in Out-of-Home Care

Emily Coddington, Julie Incitti, and Kyle Peaden

Session Description:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), effective December 2016, changed the way child welfare agencies and local education agencies partner to ensure the success of students in out-of-home care. ESSA and educational stability will be discussed in the context of improving outcomes for children in out-of-home care. The presentation will also focus on the collaborative roles of school and child welfare staff including information on how to share pupil records, data, and necessary case related information. An overview of tools and resources for building a successful collaboration across child welfare and local education agencies will be provided.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will gain an understanding of the law and policies due to ESSA and other federal laws in regard to students in out-of-home care
  • Participants will learn about the relationships between child welfare caseworkers and school social workers and how and what information may and should be shared between them
  • Participants will walk away with tools and resources to utilize in practice

Presenter Bio:

Emily Coddington is currently employed with the Department of Children and Families as the Section Manager for the Bureau Youth Services. Emily is also the state point of contact for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and partners closely with individuals from the Department of Public Instruction to implement the ESSA requirements and improve outcomes for students in out-of-home care. Emily holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has devoted her 20 year social work career to serving children, youth and families connected to the child welfare and youth justice systems.

Julie Incitti is the school social work consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Her areas of focus include professional ethics and boundaries, child welfare, attendance and truancy, educational records, school mental health, trauma-sensitive schools, and school discipline. Julie received her MSW from the University of Wisconsin – Madison before working as a school social worker in the public school system. Julie served as the president of the Wisconsin School Social Workers Association (WSSWA). Her work has focused on developing policies and procedures that best serve students and school districts at multiple systems levels.

Kyle Peaden is an education consultant on the Title I Team and has worked in public education for over 10 years as an educator and leader. Along with Out-of-Home Care he works with Title-I-A and the Title I-D Neglected and Delinquent program.

 

 

Foster Youth Informed, Involved and Independent

Ashley Foster-French

Session Description:

What are the challenges to youth participation in their case plan? How can youth leaders, professionals, courts, and caregivers support youth to participate and as they plan for life beyond foster care? Check out FosterClub’s recently redeveloped tool, the FYI Binder, which assists youth in keeping track of important documents, contacts, and resources. Concepts presented include youth participation in their case plan, self-advocacy, and navigation of the system. (This is the second part of a two-part session, you must also attend Part 1 in Workshop #1)

Session Objectives:

  • Use the FYI Binder as a youth engagement tool
  • Understand unique challenges foster youth may face when seeking independence

Presenter Bio:

Ashley Foster-French is FosterClub’s Training and Education Manager. In her role, she focuses on the design and development of FosterClub’s Evidence-Based SPARK Curriculum and additional training materials, training modules, teaching aids and more. She also coordinates events, trainings, and conferences geared towards current and former foster youth, supportive adults, foster parents, and child welfare professionals across the United States; assisting FosterClub Young Leaders in sharing their valuable perspective and expertise.

Looking Through the lens of Native or Ethnically Diverse Perspectives

Gyasi Ross

Session Description:

This workshop will help us step back and take the perspective of viewing our youth as people, nothing more and nothing less. The key to success for youth is to be able to relate and connect to the adults helping them. One of the most important aspects of relating to youth is that of respect. Respect is one of the basic teaching that are common among all Native cultures, respect for family, ancestors, yourself, the environment, others and future generations. Honestly addressing race can lead to better, stronger and more resilient connections. Learn to have the uncomfortable conversations that lead to connection.

Session Objectives:

  • Practice discussing sensitive issues and “sit with  discomfort”
  • Have the opportunity to continue to learn, challenge and change your attitudes
  • Demonstrate awareness, knowledge and skills of inclusion

Presenter Bio:

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation of the Port Madison Indian Reservation where he resides. He is a father, an author, a speaker, a lawyer and a filmmaker. TV, radio and print media regularly seek his input on politics, sports, pop culture and their intersections with Native life.

 

Ross, who has written for Huffington Post, Indian Country Today, Deadspin and Gawker, as well as appeared on various talk shows and news programs, confesses that although he wasn’t always the best student when he was younger, he was still a smart kid. “I was seen as very intelligent, but underachieving,” Ross recalls. “My family just didn’t have a history or legacy of educational attainment, so I wasn’t really concerned with trying to get good grades or what I was going to do after high school.” Yet, despite his early educational struggles (he attended six colleges, including two tribal colleges, before graduating from Columbia Law School), Gyasi continued in the family business of working within the community and telling his people’s stories.

Gyasi released his second book, How to Say I Love You in Indian, in early 2014.  “I come from a family of storytellers. My family tells long stories, drinking coffee and blowing smoke in your face. It just fit for me to tell stories, and then I started writing them. My standard for writing stories is, if I can’t explain it to my niece or nephew, or my grandpa who dropped out of school then I need to understand this topic better. People have a love affair with over-academicizing things.”

New 5-day Basic Intake Worker Training: Changes and Updates

Nicki Laudolff

Session Description:

Have you heard the news? In July 2018, the Basic Intake Worker Training was updated! The new format is separated into 3 days of in-person training and lecture, followed by 2 days of practical application approximately 4-6 weeks later. The training curriculum has been updated to include: brain development; trauma and its effects on behavior; the importance of service matching and individualized case planning; research around removal from the home, separation from family, and placement in detention; skills in engaging with families, children, and youth; and the benefits of alternatives to the formal court process. Training also covers techniques in navigating Wisconsin State Statutes, including Chapter 48: The Children’s Code, and Chapter 938: The Juvenile Justice Code. Adult learning methods are incorporated, to create a fun and engaging environment while also encouraging learner retention. Please come see what is new to the Basic Intake Worker Training in this brief overview presentation!

Session Objectives:

  • Gain a working knowledge of the motivation for the changes made
  • Familiarize and understand the ideas and philosophy of what is being taught
  • Recognize the principles of adult learning incorporated in the training
  • Learn what topics and areas are covered by basic intake training and which topics are not covered

Presenter Bio:

Nicole (Nicki) Laudolff has been working in the youth justice field since 2002.  She started as a Youth Counselor at Southern Oaks Girls School for the WI Dept. of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Corrections.  After promoting to Youth Counselor – Advanced, she moved to the Madison area and became a Juvenile Probation and Parole Agent. Nicki then promoted to Corrections Field Supervisor, which entailed supervising Juvenile Probation and Parole Agents and Youth Counselors, as well as running The Grow Academy in its first 3.5 years.  The Grow Academy is a non-secure, short term residential program for male youth in the state. At the beginning of 2018, Nicki accepted the position of Youth Justice Curriculum Coordinator through the Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System in the School of Social Work at UW-Madison. Nicki has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Family Studies and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Counseling and a specialization in Children and Adolescents.  

Nicki has a passion for working with youth and families that are working through past trauma and striving towards a more positive and safe future.  She works on the weekends with youth and their families as a Community Coach, supporting and advocating for them as they work through their court ordered supervision. She enjoys spending time training her dog, Nala, to become a Therapy Dog, so they can visit youth in shelter homes and detention.

Wisconsin Talks About Trafficking

Lisa McCormick, Rachel Monaco-Wilson ,and Nancy Yarbrough

Session Description:

This workshop will help participants understand the basics of youth sex trafficking—who is most vulnerable, why it happens, why removal from trafficking situations is challenging, and how professionals can respond. Statewide resources from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families will be shared, including a documentary video highlighting survivors’ stories that is designed for educational use in schools. (This is the first part of a two-part series, you must also attend the session in Workshop #3)

Session Objectives:

  • Have a deeper understanding of resources available to identify and assist youth who have experienced sex trafficking
  • Learn ways to have an honest conversation about sex trafficking to prevent youth from getting involved

Presenter Bio:

Lisa speaks on the topics of sex trafficking, drug addiction, bullying, acceptance, and her faith
throughout her personal journey as a parent of a sex trafficking victim. She educates groups to
encourage them to know for the signs of at risk youth, to not be afraid to talk to them and show them you care, and to give them someone to trust. Jeffrey McCormick, Lisa’s son, was a 17 year old boy from rural Wisconsin recruited into a sex trafficking ring out of Madison and exploited until his death in September, 2016. Lisa has made it her life’s purpose to share her family’s story so others understand trafficking and how easily our vulnerable children can get caught up in it. Lisa walks alongside parents, grandparents, caregivers and all others, giving hope that they are not alone in this journey. Lisa is a member of the Wisconsin Anti Human Trafficking Advisory Council and is featured in the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families documentary film on youth sex trafficking in Wisconsin to be released in 2019. She is a frequent speaker throughout Wisconsin for educational and professional organizations as well as at schools, churches and public awareness events.

2:30 – 3:45 PM: Workshop Session # 3

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Authentic Youth Engagement

Courtney Smith

Session Description:

This workshop will communicate the importance of youth voice as a key approach to fostering civic engagement amongst homeless & high-risk youth. Ms. Smith will share practical tools on how to effectively engage youth across the social service sector.

Session Objectives:

  • Provide tools to equip youth to foster resilience, develop leadership skills and engage in community service.
  • Elevate the voice of youth facing challenges in program and policy development.

Presenter Bio:

There are people who see shortcomings in our society and feel overwhelmed or apathetic.  Then there are people like Courtney E. Smith who roll up their sleeves and fill in the gap. Courtney has dedicated her career to advocating for the underserved and underprivileged. Through her efforts to implement solutions to break the cycle of poverty in Detroit, she has distinguished herself as an industry leader and a champion for youth. Born and raised in Detroit, Courtney knows the struggle of housing insecurity all too well. It is her experience as an overcomer that led her to create the Detroit Phoenix Center (DPC) in 2016 which provides critical resources and a nurturing environment for youth ages 13 – 24 experiencing homelessness. Under her visionary leadership as founder and executive director, DPC opened Detroit’s first drop-in facility meeting the emergent needs of youth in crisis, launched a scholarship fund, and tripled its operating budget to expand its programs and services.  “We would like to become a model that different cities can use to solve youth homelessness,” Courtney says. Courtney has garnered recognition in publications including USA Today and Katie Couric’s talk show as well as being named to Crain’s Detroit prestigious “Twenty in Their 20s” list, received the Detroit City Council’s Spirit of Detroit Award twice, won the Comcast NBC Universal Social Impact Award and was awarded the 2018 Community Champion of the Year courtesy of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. Outside of being a dynamic civil servant, Courtney enjoys reading, writing, singing and theatre.

Creating a Network of “Educational Champions” for Youth with Foster Care or other Out-of-Home Care Experience

Gail Mentzel and Angie Ruppe

Session Description:

There are over 400,000 youth in foster care in the United States, and the numbers are growing. This session will review the history of the Fostering Success program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the integration of Fostering Success into Student Support Services. We will provide statistics related to college access, retention, and graduation for youth formerly in foster care; discuss family privilege, trauma informed care, and strategies related to supporting this population through graduation at Stout. Youth from our program will be present to share their stories and the role of Fostering Success at UW-Stout.

Session Objectives:

  • Learn strategies and resources for supporting youth with foster care and other out of home placements in higher education
  • Understand trauma informed care practices for faculty, academic staff and advocates in higher education
  • Learn how to create a network of champions and develop a program of support

Presenter Bio:

Gail Mentzel, ASPIRE/Fostering Success Advisor for Student Support Services at the University of Wisconsin-Stout since fall 2015. Prior to her position with TRIO in Student Support Services at UW-Stout, Gail’s experience in higher education included: academic advisor, admissions counselor, financial aid processor, and instructor for college level course. Gail earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from UW-Eau Claire and her Master’s degree from UW-La Crosse in College Student Personnel. In her TRIO position, Gail has had the privilege to advocate and support first-generation, income eligible youth served by Student Support Services.  In April 2018, the Fostering Success program transitioned to the SSS area and Gail is the primary advisor for the youth formerly in foster care. Through daily connections with the youth and ongoing training, the Fostering Success program strives to provide informed support, access, retention and graduation for youth in the Fostering Success program. Ensuring the talented, resilient, innovative, creative youth have access and support to earn college degrees is a driving force in Gail’s work.

Angela Ruppe, TRIO Student Support Services and Fostering Success Director at the University of Wisconsin Stout. Prior to Angela’s position with TRIO in Student Support Services and Fostering Success at UW- Stout, her professional experience included work in higher education, community services, and healthcare in administration, counseling, teaching and advocacy. In Angela’s current position with TRIO she has had the privilege of working with and for students who are first generation, students who meet low-income criteria, students with disabilities and students who are former foster youth. Angela believes that education is the great equalizer and is consistently inspired by the hope and promise of our students. Her work involves providing authentic, supportive relationships and timely resources to students, which is often the key to success for students who face barriers in an environment or system that is not always designed for them and their success.

 

The Pact

Ashley Foster-French

Session Description:

Participants will gain an understanding of how to help young people understand and prepare for permanency. A fun, interactive session filled with discussion and stories regarding the rewards and challenges of permanent relationships. Understanding youth perspectives about permanency will help participants better engage and prepare youth to find and maintain lifelong relationships.

Session Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Engage youth in a conversation about permanency
  • Understand the importance of the facilitator in the Permanency Pact process
  • Understand how to help youth identify the difference between positive and negative supports
  • List several ways a transitioning youth could benefit from the support of an adult
  • Understand unique challenges (internal and external) foster youth may face when trying to secure permanence
  • Know how to access and create a Permanency Pact

Presenter Bio:

Ashley Foster-French is FosterClub’s Training and Education Manager. In her role, she focuses on the design and development of FosterClub’s Evidence-Based SPARK Curriculum and additional training materials, training modules, teaching aids and more. She also coordinates events, trainings, and conferences geared towards current and former foster youth, supportive adults, foster parents, and child welfare professionals across the United States; assisting FosterClub Young Leaders in sharing their valuable perspective and expertise.

Transforming Change Conversations through Co-Planning with Youth and Families*

Monica Caldwell

Session Description:

As youth serving professionals, we are frequently engaged in behavior change conversations with students and their families. When asking youth to attend school more consistently, improve study habits or address high risk choices, or improve classroom behaviors, we wonder how to best motivate youth for change. Often, we remind students of the rules and tell them the steps they should take to overcome their problem. In co-planning, this approach is turned upside down, and youth and families are included in exploring motivation, identifying what works for them, setting goals, and identifying sources of support. Two specific practical strategies will be demonstrated that are inclusive, respectful, are getting great results, and can be used by staff to improve coordinated care.

Presenter Bio:

Monica Caldwell is an Education Consultant with the Department of Public Instruction.  She has been a social worker for thirty years, with half of her career in child welfare/mental health positions, and the other half in schools. She is a strong advocate for youth and family-driven practices that encourage all of us to have greater impact through collaboration at all levels.  She is currently a Project Coordinator for Project AWARE, a large federal SAMHSA grant focused on school mental health, safety and climate. She is excited about DPI’s new School Mental Health Framework that will guide districts and their partners to provide a continuum of supports that will enhance the well-being and resilience of children and families.

Wisconsin Talks About Trafficking-Part 2

Lisa McCormick, Rachel Monaco-Wilson ,and Nancy Yarbrough

Session Description:

This workshop will help participants understand the basics of youth sex trafficking—who is most vulnerable, why it happens, why removal from trafficking situations is challenging, and how professionals can respond. Statewide resources from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families will be shared, including a documentary video highlighting survivors’ stories that is designed for educational use in schools. (This is the second part of a two-part series, you must also attend the session in Workshop #2)

Session Objectives:

  • Have a deeper understanding of resources available to identify and assist youth who have experienced sex trafficking
  • Learn ways to have an honest conversation about sex trafficking to prevent youth from getting involved

What’s Happening in Youth Justices

Roger Shapiro

Session Description:

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has been working hard to implement the Youth Justice strategic plan developed in 2017. Join us for an interactive session on the current initiatives underway in youth justice and a preview of what is to come.

Presenter Bio:

Wendy Henderson is the Director of the Bureau of Youth Services at the Department of Children and Families. She has been an active child advocate for many years in the areas of child welfare, juvenile justice, special education and vocational rehabilitation. She worked with county human services on performance enhancement through the use of data and worked directly on behalf of youth to improve education plans and outcomes. Wendy has a BA from Wesleyan University and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

4:00 – 5:00 PM: Keynote

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Trauma: Moving Past Describing the Water

Gyasi Ross

Session Description:

History has profound effect on us all. The trauma the youth of our nation have experienced is systemic. What can we do to embolden and empower youth to reflect the power that history has on us today? How can youth use that history to make a better tomorrow? We have all the tools, capabilities and potential within our own communities to move beyond merely surviving to thriving.

Session Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the unique historical circumstances faced by Native and black people in the past and present
  • Gain an understanding of the Native American historical context and the effect it has on today’s youth, families, and communities
  • Discover and examine ways to transform our community environments into places that nurture the spirit and foster high-level engagement and achievement for American Indian youth

Presenter Bio:

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation of the Port Madison Indian Reservation where he resides. He is a father, an author, a speaker, a lawyer and a filmmaker. TV, radio and print media regularly seek his input on politics, sports, pop culture and their intersections with Native life. Ross, who has written for Huffington Post, Indian Country Today, Deadspin and Gawker, as well as appeared on various talk shows and news programs, confesses that although he wasn’t always the best student when he was younger, he was still a smart kid. “I was seen as very intelligent, but underachieving,” Ross recalls. “My family just didn’t have a history or legacy of educational attainment, so I wasn’t really concerned with trying to get good grades or what I was going to do after high school.” Yet, despite his early educational struggles (he attended six colleges, including two tribal colleges, before graduating from Columbia Law School), Gyasi continued in the family business of working within the community and telling his people’s stories. Gyasi released his second book, How to Say I Love You in Indian, in early 2014. “I come from a family of storytellers. My family tells long stories, drinking coffee and blowing smoke in your face. It just fit for me to tell stories, and then I started writing them. My standard for writing stories is, if I can’t explain it to my niece or nephew, or my grandpa who dropped out of school then I need to understand this topic better. People have a love affair with over-academicizing things.”

May 8th Sessions

8:45 – 9:45 AM: Keynote

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Transformative Healing

Amelia Franck Meyer

Session Description:

In youth services, we come face-to-face with the need for healing on a daily basis. Children and youth often interact with adults who don’t have an understanding of, or tolerance for, pain-based behaviors. Adults think youth should listen because we say so, and that their behavior is willful and intentional. We need to change our mindset. Adults should start each interaction with curiosity and ensure safety for everyone. Youth need to belong and experience community to thrive. We need to figure out how to do things differently.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will know how to build a belief in students that they can change their circumstances, no matter how hopeless
  • Participants will gain strategies to transform pain and adversity into fuel
  • Participants will recognize and know how to utilize the resources for resilience that exist around them

Presenter Bio:

Amelia Franck Meyer is CEO of Alia a national nonprofit focused on transforming how child welfare is done in this country. As the former CEO of Anu Family Services she transformed the organization through a cultural and practice transformation which is producing nationally-recognized child permanence and placement stability outcomes for children in out-of-home care and is on the leading-edge of promoting and measuring wellbeing. Amelia has presented nationally and internationally on topics including understanding grief, loss and trauma for children living in out-of-home care, child well-being, child permanence and placement stability, change management, social work leadership, management, supervision, and many other topics. Amelia has consulted through Casey Family Programs to provide training and consultation on child welfare practices in counties and states throughout the country.

10:00 – 11:15 AM: Workshop Session #4

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Benefits of Using Risk/Need Assessments in Youth Justice*

Dr. Vincent

Session Description:

Most jurisdictions around the country have adopted risk/needs assessment for dispositional planning in Youth Justice. This workshop will review the research support for using risk/need assessment, such as the YASI, in youth justice settings and explain why this is a preferred and evidence-based practice for case planning. This workshop will review best practice steps in the quality implementation of risk/needs assessment to maximize outcomes, such as decreasing formal processing, reducing costly out-of-home placements, avoiding referrals to services for youth who do not need services, and guiding case-planning to reduce chances of future delinquency and violence while still protecting public safety.

Session Objectives:

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the principles of risk, need and responsivity.
  • Understand the principles of adolescent development that support use of risk/needs assessment.
  • Integrate at least three methods for quality implementation into their youth justice practice.

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Gina Vincent, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Director of Translational Law & Psychiatry Research in the Center for Mental Health Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. She is also the Co-Director of the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project (NYSAP), one of the national technical assistance centers for the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative – a national juvenile justice reform effort. Dr. Vincent has a young investigator’s award from NIDA and has received funding from NIMH and the MacArthur Foundation for studies relevant to risk for reoffending, mental health problems, and substance abuse among youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

 

Collaborating Across Systems for Better Results

Casey Schleisman and Andrea Sonnett

Session Description:

Have you ever thought, could we address housing instability and employment at the same time? Could child protection increase capacity to better serve minors experiencing homelessness? Come find out more about how Hennepin County is integrating services and increasing youth well-being. In this session, Hennepin County, MN and the MN Department of Human Services will share experiences collaborating across internal and external systems with and on behalf of youth experiencing homelessness (15-26 year olds). Prepare to step away from this session with ideas to bring back to your community.

Session Objectives:

  • To learn more about collaborative efforts across sectors
  • To understand how collaborations meet the needs of young people in their community
  • To brainstorm opportunities ready for action within your community

Presenter Bio:

Casey Schleisman is a Youth and Family Principal Planning Analyst with Hennepin County’s Office to End Homelessness. Casey has more than 15 years of experience providing advocacy and leading efforts in a variety of social service settings. Prior to joining Hennepin County, Casey oversaw teams providing services and housing for youth experiencing homelessness at both Catholic Charities and the YMCA. Casey’s varied background in foster care services, therapeutic settings, juvenile justice and youth homelessness has provided the foundation for Casey to support systemic planning efforts to reduce the number of youth and families experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County. Casey is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and holds her Masters in Social Work from Aurora University.

Andrea Simonett works at the Minnesota Dept of Human Services (DHS) where she oversees the administration of the Homeless Youth Act grant program, evaluates the effectiveness of homeless youth programming and services, works on housing policy as it relates to youth homelessness, and provides technical assistance and training to youth programs statewide. Ms. Simonett also works as part of the Office to End Homelessness team where she supports the implementation of youth-related strategies and actions in the MN State Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Prior to working at DHS, Andrea held direct service and administrative positions at several nonprofit organizations serving youth and families experiencing homelessness. Andrea has a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs with a Social Policy Concentration from the University of MN-Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

 

Maintaining and Building Connections: Key Components of Resiliency

Kate and Rob Bauer

Session Description:

The bond between brothers and sisters is unique and integral to forming one’s identity—it is the longest lasting relationship most people have, longer than the parent/child or husband/wife relationship. The sibling relationship helps to build social skills, gain awareness in conflict resolution and helps to create attachments that reinforce compassion and empathy. Kate and Rob will discuss how placement in foster care and sibling separation leads to isolation and it’s negative effects on individuals. They will talk about the importance of maintaining sibling connections.

Session Objectives:

  • To allow participants to not just learn about the importance of keeping siblings connected but to feel on an emotional level the impact of separation
  • Participants will learn that maintaining and building sibling relationships enhances resiliency
  • Participants will learn how Camp To Belong programming is a catalyst for maintaining and building connections

Presenter Bio:

Kate and Rob Bauer are Co-Directors of Camp To Belong-Wisconsin (CTB-WI) which they founded in 2013. Prior to creating CTB-WI they volunteered for 12 years at other CTB camps throughout the country. CTB-WI is a non-profit organization that reunites siblings who have been separated by foster care. In 2015 they held their inaugural camp season at Camp Anokijig in Plymouth, WI. The 100% volunteer run organization continues to grow and serves youth from all 72 counties in Wisconsin.

Rob is a SW Supervisor for Fond du Lac County and has worked in child welfare since 1998. Kate graduated with her Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Professional Counseling in  May, 2018 and is a Counselor for the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in Fond du Lac.

Self-Injury & Suicide: What You Need to Know for Prevention

Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp

Session Description:

Recent national reports indicate the prevalence of suicide attempts and engagement in self-injury (e.g., self-cutting, burning) among youth remains elevated, and in some populations may be rising. This session will provide an essential update on the latest science describing the connection between non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide, emphasizing factors to monitor for escalating risk. A framework for understanding why these behaviors co-occur and how to intervene with youth will be shared along with specific strategies for building resilience and reducing risk related to both behaviors.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe specific features of NSSI that are associated with increased likelihood for attempting suicide
  • Participants will be able to identify at least two strategies to help build resilience and reduce risk for engaging in self-harm

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Muehlenkamp is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She received her doctorate from Northern Illinois University after completing her clinical internship at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, specializing in adolescent Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Dr. Muehlenkamp is an internationally renowned expert on self-injury and suicide; having published over 100 research articles and book chapters on the topic of assessment, treatment, and risk & protective factors. She is a co-author of two books (Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Eating Disorders and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Advances in Psychotherapy) and is a regular consultant to mental and behavioral health professionals in her region. Dr. Muehlenkamp’s work has been honored with awards from the American Association of Suicidology, Self-Injury Awareness Network, and has been featured in local media outlets, the American Psychological Association and Suicide Prevention and Resource Centers’ newsletters. In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Muehlenkamp is the director of UWEC’s suicide prevention initiatives.

Strengthening Connections with Schools to Support Students with IEPs

Jessica Nichols

Session Description:

Do you support youth receiving special education services? Ever wonder what all those acronyms in schools mean? Or why a student receives the services and supports he or she does? Come to this session for an overview of special education law including topics of eligibility, discipline and shortened school days. You’ll also walk away with a tool or two to use in your work as you strive for meaningful collaboration with your school partners!

Session Objectives:

  • Learn state and federal law applicable to students with disabilities so that you can effectively advocate for youth you serve and collaborate with schools
  • Learn how to locate pertinent resources for your future reference
  • Learn how to access and use a free tool designed to support regulation

Presenter Bio:

Jessica Nichols serves the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as an Education Consultant on the Special Education Team. Her work supports students with social and emotional needs including students with autism and students with emotional behavioral disabilities. Jess has extensive experience promoting positive outcomes for students with IEPs as a teacher, coach, consultant and trainer. She has a passion for early intervention and meaningful family engagement and is committed to promoting a deeper understanding of the myriad of factors impacting youth in Wisconsin’s public schools. She is a firm believer that, as Dr. Ross Greene says, “Kids Do Well If They Can,” and that we as educators have the capacity and influence to support all learners as they achieve their dreams. When not supporting teachers and students, Jess spends time with her family who love all things outdoors including mountain biking, boating, kayaking, hiking and skiing. At the end of the day she loves to unwind fireside with a good book.

Workplace Wellness

Amelia Frank Meyers

Session Description:

The outcomes of those we serve depend, in large part, on our ability to deliver the service in a reliable, healthy manner. We do not build “widgets”; rather, we are the tool. If we are not healthy, we do harm. Current research supports that youth serving systems cannot produce the desired outcomes for children and youth without stable, healthy helpers. Resilience and well-being can be practiced and learned. Learn how the system can support our resilience.

Presenter Bio:

Amelia Franck Meyer is CEO of Alia a national nonprofit focused on transforming how child welfare is done in this country. As the former CEO of Anu Family Services she transformed the organization through a cultural and practice transformation which is producing nationally-recognized child permanence and placement stability outcomes for children in out-of-home care and is on the leading-edge of promoting and measuring wellbeing. Amelia has presented nationally and internationally on topics including understanding grief, loss and trauma for children living in out-of-home care, child well-being, child permanence and placement stability, change management, social work leadership, management, supervision, and many other topics. Amelia has consulted through Casey Family Programs to provide training and consultation on child welfare practices in counties and states throughout the country.

11:30AM-  12:45PM: Lunch and Keynote

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A Call for Community Over Incarceration

Hernan Carvente

Session Description:

Youth prisons have not been shown to be effective. Mentors, counselors, or someone who can listen. Job training healthcare housing things that allow communities to thrive. Invest in youth, not prisons. Policy makers should engage with youth What the youth are saying is the most valuable information we can get. We need to make youth people empowered. We need to create partnerships. Building genuine relationships and Debate and collectively argue, artists activists agents of change.

Session Objectives:

  • Elevating awareness about the negative impacts of incarcerating youth
  • Creating a dialogue about the need to invest in alternatives, not incarceration for youth
  • Working with youth and families to build a critical mass of Americans calling for change

Presenter Bio:

Hernan Carvente is the National Youth Partnership Strategist for the Youth First Initiative. He manages the Youth First Youth Voices Network, which provides young emerging leaders with the training and tools to lead the fight against youth incarceration. Previously, he served as a Program Analyst for the Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he worked on policy analysis, program development, and elevated the voices and needs of youth and families in statewide policy reform. Mr. Carvente has served on state-appointed boards including the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and the Citizens Policy and Complaint Review Council. Through these appointments, he participated in the development and implementation of New York’s federal juvenile justice plan and helped ensure that local correctional facilities were treating individuals fairly and humanely. He has also served as National Youth Chair for the National Youth Committee of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice as well as an advisor to the National Academies of Science and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Utilizing his experiences, Mr. Carvente trains policymakers, researchers, students, and professionals in probation, child welfare, juvenile justice and corrections on ending youth incarceration and moving toward more holistic, community-based, trauma-informed programs for young people. He was awarded the “Spirit of Youth Award” by Coalition for Juvenile Justice and the “Next Generation Champion for Change” award by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is a first-generation Mexican-American and the first male in his family to graduate from college, earning a degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College.

1:00-2:15 PM: Workshop Session # 5

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Benefits of Using Risk/Need Assessments in Youth Justice if there is Quality Implementation

Dr. Gina Vincent

Session Description:

This workshop will provide the research behind risk/need assessment such as the YASI as well as explain the benefits of using risk/needs assessments to identify youth’s risk levels and needs for case planning and service matching. Dr. Gina Vincent, President of the National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners will present the research evidence for why jurisdictions around the country have adopted risk/need assessment into their practices. Dr. Vincent and Ms. Elizabeth Fritz, Chief Probation Office from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania will explain the importance of a quality implementation process and how successful implementation of a risk/need assessment and case planning module can reduce costly out-of-home placements, avoid referrals to services for youth who do not need services, guide case-planning to reduce chances of re-offending and violence (or delinquency in general) while still protecting public safety.

Session Objectives:

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of risk, need and responsivity
  • Understand the research evidence and benefits of using a risk/need assessment in case planning
  • Understand the methods for ensuring the quality implementation of an assessment and case plan

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Gina Vincent, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Director of Translational Law & Psychiatry Research in the Center for Mental Health Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. She is also the Co-Director of the National Youth Screening & Assessment Project (NYSAP), one of the national technical assistance centers for the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative – a national juvenile justice reform effort. Dr. Vincent has a young investigator’s award from NIDA and has received funding from NIMH and the MacArthur Foundation for studies relevant to risk for reoffending, mental health problems, and substance abuse among youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

 

Hmong Youth: Bridging the Culture Gap

Mai Zong Vue

Session Description:

Mai Zong Vue, a Hmong folk story teller and bridge builder, will share the Hmong history in Wisconsin as well as the culture clashes of Hmong youth assimilating in Wisconsin. In media and in public perception, Hmong Americans are stuck in the stories of their past. Ms. Vue  will share tools to help promote culturally responsive learning to support youth in developing strong identities.

Session Objectives:

  • Develop skill at relating to youth in a cross-cultural setting; and
  • Build resilience in youth by promoting cultural identity.

Presenter Bio:

Mai Zong has been a tireless advocate for the poor for the past 30 years, developing the Hmong Language and Cultural Enrichment Program, the Hmong and refugee women non-profit agencies in Wisconsin and Georgia to provide human service, health and women’s empowerment/leadership services for refugee women in the 1990’s.  Mai Zong received a MSSW from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 and a bachelor degree in Business Administration from Lakeland College in 1990. Mai Zong’s volunteer work ranges from being a former board president for Hmong National Development, Inc., a national non-profit agency based in Washington, D.C. advocating for Hmong in America; a former board member with Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children in New York; Co-founded the Refugee Women’s Network, a national non-profit agency based in Atlanta, GA; Co-founder, co-producer and host of the Hmong American cable TV show in Appleton; to locally serving as a board member for the Overture’s Community Advisory Board.   To institutionalize Hmong American experiences in Wisconsin, Mai Zong led the community advocacy effort for the development of Hmong Studies since 2000. She currently works for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as the Outreach Coordinator for the Underserved Populations.

Improving Support for Transition-Age Youth Through System Collaboration

Rania Haralampopoulos

Session Description:

The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth and Project YES (Youth Empowered Solutions) will provide respectful, appealing and effective ways of walking alongside young people as they work through life’s challenges during this transitional time.

 

Leveraging the Wisdom of Youth and Families

Hernan Carvente

Session Description:

Hernán Carvente will combine his lived experiences with the justice system with the tools of policy analysis, stakeholder training and program development to elevate the voices of youth and families in statewide policy reform. He will share his work in the Youth First Initiative that works to end youth incarceration, close youth prisons, and invest in community-based programs, services and opportunities for youth.

Session Objectives:

  • Elevating awareness about the negative impacts of incarcerating youth.
  • Creating a dialogue about the need to invest in alternatives, not incarceration for youth.
  • Working with youth and families to build a critical mass of Americans calling for change.

Presenter Bio:

Hernan Carvente is the National Youth Partnership Strategist for the Youth First Initiative. He manages the Youth First Youth Voices Network, which provides young emerging leaders with the training and tools to lead the fight against youth incarceration. Previously, he served as a Program Analyst for the Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he worked on policy analysis, program development, and elevated the voices and needs of youth and families in statewide policy reform. Mr. Carvente has served on state-appointed boards including the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and the Citizens Policy and Complaint Review Council. Through these appointments, he participated in the development and implementation of New York’s federal juvenile justice plan and helped ensure that local correctional facilities were treating individuals fairly and humanely. He has also served as National Youth Chair for the National Youth Committee of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice as well as an advisor to the National Academies of Science and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Utilizing his experiences, Mr. Carvente trains policymakers, researchers, students, and professionals in probation, child welfare, juvenile justice and corrections on ending youth incarceration and moving toward more holistic, community-based, trauma-informed programs for young people. He was awarded the “Spirit of Youth Award” by Coalition for Juvenile Justice and the “Next Generation Champion for Change” award by the John D. and Catherine T.

PROMISE Lessons Learned: Transitioning from School to Work

Dr. Ellie Hartman and Reyna Saldaña

Session Description:

Come hear the highlights of the lessons learned through the PROMISE grant. Although the grant has ended you can still make use of the many resources developed to help youth and families in the transition to self-sufficiency. Wisconsin PROMISE has demonstrated that more youth receiving Supplemental Security Income can be connected to employment than typically have been through services as usual. Youth with disabilities continue to show their skills, strengths, and potential can help build a better workforce in all local communities. Models that empower youth and their families while at the same time provide the needed disability related supports and connection to paid work can increase employment outcomes and ultimately self-sufficiency.

Presenter Bio:

Ellie Hartman, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Senior Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI) and is the Wisconsin PROMISE Project Manager at Wisconsin’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).  She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota and her Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. Dr. Hartman is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate (BCBA-D).

Reyna Saldaña is a 20-year-old high school graduate and 15-year graduate of the of the child welfare system, to include a three-year broken adoption. Many of those years were spent in mental health, correctional and group care facilities with numerous short term but unsuccessful foster care placements sprinkled between. Reyna participated in the PROMISE Wisconsin and was able to gain skills to gain employment and financial stability.  

Another Chance to Make a Difference

Greg Markle

Session Description:

A discussion of the hard and soft skills youth learn as they transition into the workplace. This includes a review of employment options, career assessment and planning and prerequisites for work and first steps on career ladders.

Presenter Bio:

Greg holds a Masters in Public Administration and has over 20 years in nonprofit and government management positions including over 7 years serving as Executive Director for Operation Fresh Start and eight years as Executive Director for Literacy Network, three years as a key member of the Office of Prevention in the Department of Children and Families for the State of Wisconsin. Current and past community service includes member of Madison Common Council, Alderperson, Madison Public Library board, Madison Equal Opportunities Commission.  Mr. Markle has dedicated his professional life to providing long term opportunities for diverse populations in Dane County and Wisconsin.

 

Psychological Trauma: Definitions, Consequences, and Services

Dimitri Topitzes

Session Description:

This workshop will explore various definitions of trauma. In addition, the training will cover several different approaches to understanding the consequences of trauma exposure. Whether trauma takes place during childhood or adolescence, a number of common symptoms, developmental insults, and/or functional impairments can emerge. The presenter will then discuss a way in which these various post-traumatic effects can be interpreted within a unifying framework. Subsequently, the presenter will examine effective approaches to caring for trauma-affected youth. A distinction will be drawn between trauma-sensitive, trauma-informed, and trauma-focused work. Principles of effective trauma services will then be discussed. Throughout the workshop, attendees will be invited to engage in

Session Objectives:

Upon completion of the workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify different and sometimes competing definitions of trauma.
  • Understand trauma consequences with a comprehensive yet unifying framework.
  • Identify central principles and common elements of effective trauma services.

Presenter Bio:

James “Dimitri” Topitzes, Ph.D., LCSW, is an associate professor of Social Work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). As a researcher, he designs, implements and tests programs intended to prevent or treat psychological trauma. He is also a licensed clinical social worker specializing in trauma-focused treatments. Dr. Topitzes created the Trauma-Informed Care Graduate Certificate at UWM, directing the program from 2013-2016. Recently, he co-founded the Institute for Child and Family Well-being, where he serves as Clinical Director.

2:30 – 3:45 PM: Workshop Session # 6

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Believe and Follow Their Lead!

Brad Schlaikowski

Session Description:

Too often, we have our “grown-up hats” on. We have ideas, suggestions, goals and expectations. Too often, we don’t step back and think, why am I creating this for them? In this session, you will hear how Courage MKE went from an idea in 2015 to Wisconsin’s first home for displaced LGBTQ+ youth! This session is designed to be a conversation, to challenge the norm together, and find better practices to use with the youth that we serve while teaching them life skills, responsibilities and what community means. Let’s all share how we follow their lead and watch them flourish. How do we make our youth to feel like they are a part of the community? Better yet, how do we show them the community wants them to be part of the community just the way they are?

Session Objectives:

  • Listen to listen and then show them that you heard
  • Do we (as adults) really know more than them?
  • Empower them and mean it

Presenter Bio:

Brad and his husband Nick were foster parents of teens and learned of their stories of rejection, fear and survival. They welcomed multiple homeless LGBTQ+ youth into their home. It is because of their tenacity, they started Courage MKE in their honor in December 2015. Brad serves as Executive Director of Courage MKE. This past February, they opened Wisconsin’s first home for displaced LGBTQ+ youth. The Courage House is a safe haven, a HOME where LGBTQ+ youth can feel treasured and respected for who they are. The Courage House teaches life skills, introduces them to what being part of a family means, and provides counseling programs, transportation, identity appreciation programs, and meal programs for children in the community. Their family lives in Wauwatosa, with their four children, and all of their pets. Their family enjoys camping all summer long. (They are counting down the days!)

Education & Employment Opportunities through ACP & Pathways Wisconsin

Kristin Long and Jenny Wagner

Session Description:

Wisconsin has taken great strides to connect traditional academic learning in schools to student goals and passions through the mandated Academic and Career Planning (ACP) process. As school staff infuse more career exploration and development activities into classes, students become aware of the variety of options available to them while still in high school, moving from graduating high school as an end point to graduating high school as a launching point. Moreover, the current Pathways Wisconsin project makes the process even more transparent for career ladder access to high skill, high demand occupations! All students benefit, but students with little direction or resources can benefit even more by connecting directly to supportive services in their region.

Session Objectives:

  • Understand the ACP and Pathways process used in K12 schools, including opportunities for high school work-based learning options.
  • Discuss methods to ensure support of ACP in your service delivery for your clients.
  • Connect your service provision to the regional K12 collaborative to support student success.

Presenter Bios:

Kristin has been partnering with DPI as the Regional Career Pathways Director in the Madison Area to develop regional collaboration to implement career pathways. She previously served as the Career Education Coordinator for the Madison Metropolitan School District and prior to that served as the Career Pathways Coordinator for Madison College in the Center for College and Career Transitions. Kristin has a background in school counseling and has expertise in youth apprenticeships.

Jenny serves as the Regional Career Pathways Director in the Moraine Park Area of the state. She came to this after acting as the Learning Design Consultant at the Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation, Worldwide Instructional Design (WIDS), and prior to that served as the K-12 Partnership Coordinator at Moraine Park Technical College. She has experience managing career pathway development and curriculum revision and alignment with K-12 partners.

Motivational Interviewing + Cultural Humility

Shawn Smith

Session Description:

MI + Cultural Humility: Explore the Integration of Motivational Interviewing and Cultural Humility. Leverage your skill in MI as a culturally reverent style of communication. Learn how we, as individual service artists, can communicate in ways that heal, guide and exhibit deep respect for the heritage and values of a served person.

Session Objectives:

  • Learn a definition of Cultural Reverence and how we can use the 4-Principles of Cultural Humility to be culturally reverent.
  • Use of active listening skills to explore values
  • Develop discrepancy to evoke behavior change

Presenter Bio:

Shawn Smith is the co-founder of the Alma Institute, a human services professional development organization based in Milwaukee, WI and a Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) Member. Alma’s goal is to guide professionals in learning how to engage with people struggling with the impact of trauma in ways that support them choosing to heal and transform their trauma. Shawn has 20+ years of applied and practical experience as a direct service provider, program director, and agency leader in residential treatment, criminal justice, education, youth services, and workforce development settings. Shawn has trained thousands of human service professionals in these service contexts. He is an early adopter of Cultural Humility. He coordinated the first trainer of trainers of Cultural Humility in Wisconsin with Dr. Melanie Tervalon, co-creator of Cultural Humility.

The Power of Music and Performing Arts to Disrupt Health Inequities and Promote Positive Youth Development

Dr. Jasmine Zapata

Session Description:

According to the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, Positive Youth Development (PYD) is defined as “an intentional , prosocial approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes and enhances young people’s strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.” Join Dr. Zapata in this dynamic and engaging workshop to learn more about how music and performing arts can be utilized as a powerful positive youth development tool for disruption and social change. She will discuss how she has personally incorporated this strategy into her public health work locally and internationally, and how you can too. Dr. Zapata is an award-winning author, pediatrician, singer/songwriter, social entrepreneur, and public health strategist who is passionate about utilizing innovative methods of health promotion to heal, uplift and inspire.

Session Objectives:

  • Explore the link between adverse childhood experiences and brain development, decision making, emotional development, and other health related outcomes.
  • Define and discuss the concepts of positive youth development and healing centered engagement as strategies to move beyond trauma informed care.
  • Using 2 case examples, discuss the role of music and performing arts as a positive youth development strategy to combat toxic stress, ignite social change, and disrupt various public health inequities.

Presenter Bio:

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH is a dynamic author, physician, health educator, speaker, youth empowerment specialist, and community leader known both locally and internationally. She is a board certified pediatrician as well as a preventive medicine/public health doctor. Her focus is on ways to get outside the clinic walls to impact health outcomes for children and families on a community based level. Her research and community work focuses on racial inequities in infant mortality, upstream determinants of health, youth resilience, and innovative methods of community engagement and health promotion. She received her BS in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University and her doctorate in Medicine from the University of WI School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH). She also completed her Pediatrics Residency, Preventive Medicine/Public Health Residency, and Master’s in Public Health at UWSMPH where she currently works as a clinician, researcher, and Centennial Scholar. Outside of the hospital, she is the founder of the Beyond Beautiful International Girls Empowerment Movement and the Madam Dreamers Online Premed Academy. She is also co-founder of the Madison Inspirational Youth Choir among numerous other community roles. She is a 4-time author and her advocacy and community work has been featured on live national TV outlets, such as the Today Show. She is extremely passionate about mentorship, diversity in medicine, and community capacity building. Her ultimate mission is to use her infectious energy, gifts, and passions to “heal, uplift and inspire”.

Reimagining the Youth Justice System

Professor Cecelia Klingele

Session Description:

Changing kids’ behavior is a major goal of youth justice interventions. Too often, however, our methods ignore basic behavioral principles about what facilitates change, and our definitions of success overlook evidence of real progress by court-involved youth. This session will explore what we know about how change happens, and what workers in the youth justice system can do—and avoid doing—to encourage positive and lasting change.

Presenter Bio:

Cecelia Klingele is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she teaches courses in criminal law, Constitutional criminal procedure, policing, and sentencing and corrections. She is also a faculty associate of the Frank J. Remington Center, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and the Institute for Research on Poverty.

Professor Klingele’s academic research focuses on criminal justice administration, with an emphasis on community and institutional corrections. She served as Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code: Sentencing revision (2012-2018), External Co-Director of the University of Minnesota Robina Institute’s Sentencing Law & Policy Program (2013-2018), and co-chair of the Academic Committee of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section (2009-2013).

After receiving her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2005, Professor Klingele served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Judge Susan H. Black of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Associate Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.  She returned to the University of Wisconsin in 2009 as a visiting assistant professor, and has been a permanent faculty member since 2011.

Professor Klingele and her husband live in Madison. They have three grown children, and six more at home who ensure life is never boring.  

Specializing in High Risk Youth Programming

KC Graveen, Hannah Keller, Makya Kirchner, Dillon Lehrer, JR Wynne, and Manda Young

Session Description:

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) evidence-based board-certified Art, Music therapists to provide art and Music, Carey Guides Brief Intervention Tools (BITs) and Robotics to our Juvenile Justice Youth in Portage County.

Session Objectives:

  • Achieving progress toward the desired Outcomes of greater ability to process feelings related to trauma/negative influences
  • Use self-expression as a coping strategy, and;
  • Introduce education/career options with hand on programing

Presenter Bio:

Kc Graveen strongly believes in the healing and therapeutic benefits of alternative approaches to therapy. As an art therapist, Kc strives to adapt to the specific needs of her clients. She works from a person-centered approach, meeting each individual where they are physically, mentally and emotionally. Kc works alongside each individual and aids them in reaching their goals. Incorporating the use of art therapy at the Boys and Girls Club to provide a positive outlet for negative emotions, healing through self-expression, improved self-confidence by mastery of materials and developing healthy communication skills that promote positive relationship building through active art making and sharing in a group setting. Being an artist and an art therapist, Kc views each encounter as a collaborative art piece, working together until the piece is complete.

Makya Kirchner, Weekend Diversion Program director is responsible for all weekend functions including, but not limited to, staffing/scheduling, community service, meal planning, diversion activities/ lesson planning and school / homework management. This program is essentially a referral only program and can serve the purpose of an alternative to a 72 hour hold and serves ages 12-17.

Dillon Lehrer, Director of Gateway VEX Robotics Program is responsible for instructing members on engineering, coding, and planning skills to complete various tasks with VEX Robotics.

JR Wynne, Director of Guidance Program Operations is responsible for providing leadership, management, and administration for the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County’s Guidance Programs including Gateway Report Center, Portage County Truancy Abatement Program and Community Service as well as for other organizational initiatives that support the mission of the Boys & Girls Club.

 

 

4:00 – 5:00 PM: Keynote

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Youth Panel

Session Description:

Young people from the DCF Youth Leadership Teams and Youth Advisory Councils from across the state will share their personal experiences with and perspectives on the youth justice and child welfare systems. They will share their ideas about what works and what does not, and the type of youth justice and child welfare systems that they want to help create. These inspiring young people will share specific guidance for individuals working in the social services field and partner agencies about how to best engage and work most effectively with youth.

Session Objectives:

  • Introduce and Identify the YAC’s and YLT’s priorities and objectives
  • Have professional staff see examples of meaningful youth engagement and feel more confident engaging youth in their own practices
  • Have professional staff hear directly from those most impacted by the Child Welfare and Youth Justice systems; connect their professional practice to young people’s experiences