Workshop Title: A Hidden Secret That We Discovered About Foster Youth & Relationships
Speaker: Sixto Cancel
Workshop Description: Thousands of youth between 18 and 21 age out of foster care each year with no connection to family or a supportive network and very poor life prospects. Longitudinal studies across the United States show very high rates of homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, and lack of access to health care among former foster youth. These outcomes are disproportionately worse for Black, Native, and Brown youth, as well as Queer and Trans youth. Despite the incredible investment of time and resources in recent decades, poor outcomes for youth who age out of foster care persist. Think of Us went on a journey to understand how the child welfare system continues to fail youth who age out of care. They have partnered with Bloom Works to conduct in-field discovery sprints in five locations across the US and interviewed 206 current and current & former foster youth, child welfare staff & leadership, supportive adults, foster parents, and others. In addition, they have identified themes to help youth build a supportive network. In this session, attendees will learn what insights and themes were discovered to build a supportive adult network, how technology can further these connections, innovations that we have seen, and how to center kin in the process.
Workshop Title: Maintaining Parent Wellness & Self-Care
Speaker: Vernisha Crawford
Workshop Description: This workshop will educate parents and guardians about the impact of trauma and provide tools to help create environments that will foster healthy brain development and mitigate childhood adversity. The workshop will discuss the challenges that come with parenting and explore how those challenges impact our physical and emotional well-being. Attendees will also be provided with resilience and wellness tools that can be used by both parent and child.
Workshop Title: Understanding Transracial Adoptions
Speaker: April Dinwoodie
Workshop Description: Using our country's history and the current climate surrounding differences of race, class, and culture as a backdrop, April Dinwoodie will share her personal experiences as a transracially-adopted person and facilitate a robust and candid discussion surrounding the ongoing racial tensions that continue to surround us. This workshop will discuss the need for parents and professionals to be actively engaged and tuned in to current events in order to protect the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of transracially adopted persons and foster youth.
Workshop Title: Adoption Tax Credit
Speaker: Becky Wilmoth
Workshop Description: This session will help you understand how the Adoption Tax Credit works, how it can help you, and who qualifies to use it. Each state has different criteria to determine what qualifies as special needs and attendees will learn how to locate that information. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of when the credit can be used, how to use it, what documentation you need, and how to respond if additional documentation is requested by the IRS.
Workshop title: Understanding and Supporting LGBTQ Youth
Speakers: O'Neale Atkinson IV, LCSWA; Danielle Willis, LCSWA; Sarah Mikhail, LMSW
Workshop Description: This workshop aims to provide participants with a foundational understanding of the lived experiences and unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Presenters will utilize current statistical data to illustrate the challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, review common language utilized by members of the LBGTQ community, and provide effective strategies for affirmative interventions.