Amplifying Advocacy Conference

Amplifying Advocacy Conference 2021

growing better, together

September 17th & 18th at University Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville.

Come refresh, renew, and reignite your call to serve abused children and hurting families.

***Thank you to everyone who was a part of our 2021 Amplifying Advocacy Conference. Check back here in 2022 for updates on next year’s conference!***

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Keep reading for more information or register HERE.

Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul
than the way in which it treats its children.”

Those who pour into the lives of the community’s children often need a revival, a reminder, a revelation of the importance they play in building a safe and successful future for all. Whether one is a teacher, a peace officer, a social worker, a CASA advocate, or any number of other occupations which work to encourage children and to steer them towards a path of purpose; each individual needs to fellowship with other professionals and to refine skills needed to impact our youth.

Join CASA of Walker, San Jacinto, and Trinity Counties as we host Amplifying Advocacy: Growing Better Together – a two-day training conference held September 17th, 1:00-6:00pm and September 18th, 9:00am-7:00pm. Conference topics will include Human Trafficking, Medicating Children, Mental Health, CFE and MORE. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet and network with fellow advocates (not just from our program, bur from others around the state as well).

We are also pleased to announce that our 2021 Closing Keynote will be presented by award-winning speaker, Josh Shipp. Pulling from his own experiences, Josh will share how one caring adult can change the course of a child’s life forever. Josh Shipp is a one-of-a-kind speaker, and EVERYONE working with children and families will be reinvigorated by his captivating story.

Conference is open to all CASA advocates, social workers, teachers, peace officers, and any number of other occupations which work to encourage children and to steer them towards a path of purpose. Registration cost is $50.00 for all CASA-affiliated registrants (advocates, staff, board members) and $60.00 for non-CASA affiliated registrants. Late registration begins September 11th and will cost $70.00 for all registrants. Registration includes Saturday lunch, snacks, and all conference materials.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Friday, SEPTEMBER 17

  • 1:00 – Check-In
  • 1:30 – Welcome
  • 2:00 – Break-Out #1
  • 4:00 – Break-Out #2

SATURDAY, sEPTEMBER 18

  • 9:00 – Check-In and Breakfast
  • 9:30 – Welcome
  • 9:45 – Opening Keynote
  • 10:30 – Break-Out #3
  • 11:45 – Lunch
  • 1:00 – Afternoon Keynote Panel
  • 1:50 – Break-Out #4
  • 3:15 – Break-Out #5
  • 4:30 – Remarks & Networking Break
  • 5:30 – Closing Keynote with Josh Shipp

Break-Out #1:

“The Courtroom”

Sitting Judge Andrea James will present on the topics of best practices for CASA advocates from a Judge’s perspective. She will share what a Judge feels is helpful and unhelpful in testimony and will share examples to help demonstrate what she feels is important for CASAs to know and what has made the difference in cases.

ACES

The Adverse Childhood Study and decades of research illustrates how traumatic experiences, especially those that impact the parent/child connection, impact a child’s brain and future health outcomes.   In this presentation, participants will dive into the research around ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how the body and the brain are impacted by childhood trauma.  Participants will walk through how to enhance our practice to provide quality trauma focused care.

CFE Intro: Courageous Connections (Part 1) – Supporting Healing through Relationship for Children & Youth

Healing from trauma best occurs in positive and safe relationships, preferably relationships that can last a lifetime. Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) is an integrated approach to Family Finding that establishes a true team between CASA organizations and child protection professionals.  CFE aims to establish a community of support for young people in the foster care system with a trauma informed lens. Professionals working with children and families have a unique and important role in honoring and strengthening relationships for their clients. In this workshop we will discuss the impacts of trauma and participants will get an introduction to CFE tools that they can add to their case management/practice toolbox.

Break-Out #2:

Advocating for Teens

The presenter will discuss how to embrace and best advocate for teens. She will encourage those in attendance in recognizing our responsibility to foster an open, welcoming environment where the youth we serve can be their authentic selves and will encourage us to strive to acknowledge the complexity of intersecting identities by respecting the uniqueness of the teens whom we serve.

Special Education & Foster Care

Two presenters will be discussing the best ways to help children with disabilities reach their full potential, especially addressing how the program Headstart helps in this area. They will also share how reviewing and evaluating educational, medical, dental records and court records can help in exploring and accessing community resources.

CFE Intro: Courageous Connections (Part 1) – Supporting Healing through Relationship for Children & Youth

Healing from trauma best occurs in positive and safe relationships, preferably relationships that can last a lifetime. Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) is an integrated approach to Family Finding that establishes a true team between CASA organizations and child protection professionals.  CFE aims to establish a community of support for young people in the foster care system with a trauma informed lens. Professionals working with children and families have a unique and important role in honoring and strengthening relationships for their clients. In this workshop we will discuss the impacts of trauma and participants will get an introduction to CFE tools that they can add to their case management/practice toolbox.

Break-Out #3:

Advocating for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Like defusing a bomb, advocating for those on the Autism Spectrum presents unique challenges. Practical strategies will be offered to help all who work with children that have been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. The speaker will also share real-life examples of how these approaches have worked. The tools shared in this session will help all who want to be the best voice that they can for this specific and unique population.

Common Medical Issues

More information to come!

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Real Talk

This session explores Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in child welfare. Included in the session are DEI activities to explore your own awareness and inclusivity; sharing baseline information to level set our common DEI knowledge and information; data on disproportionality in child welfare; data on LGBTQIA+ and how to better support multiple identities; and a “keeping it real” conversation about not only what you can do to better DEI outcomes in your community but what we should and need to do to create fairer systems of equity.

Break-Out #4:

Games & Activities to Help Children Who Hurt

This workshop will give opportunities to explore real-world interactive play with ideas for practice supported by sound explanations of the “why” behind it all. Participants will be introduced to trauma-focused and trauma-sensitive activities that help children find workable solutions to their own problems, develop focus, improve impulse/self-control and practice better cause-effect thinking.

Child Sex Trafficking

More than 79,000 Youth have been sexually exploited in Texas alone. As sex-trafficking becomes more prevalent all around us, awareness of the problem and recognizing risk factors is becoming increasingly vital to understand. We will learn about the dynamics of Child Sex Trafficking and how to identify it in a vulnerable population including but not limited to those in foster care. We will discuss how to break down the misconceptions around sex trafficking and how we can take steps in prevention.

Courageous Connections (Part 2): Engagement and Searching Tools In this interactive workshop, participants will gain hands on practice with Collaborative Family Engagement tools. This will be a deep dive of tools discussed in Part 1 of the Courageous Conversations workshop.

Break-Out #5:

Medication Issues & the Foster Care System

The head foster physician at Texas Children’s Hospital will be speaking on the medication issues that children face, especially children in care.  

Advocacy Workshop

An Advocate Supervisor and longtime volunteer Advocate will cover a number of topics designed to help advocates make the most of resources and programs available. They will discuss the content on the DFPS website, the fostering to adoption process, Permanent Managing Conservatorship, and the Permanency Care Assistance Program. An overview of the Preparation for Adult Living Program (PAL) will be given and will also explain how CPS and Residential Treatment Centers determine and assign “levels of care” to children in foster care. The session will end with a Q&A session.

Courageous Connections (Part 2): Engagement and Searching Tools 

In this interactive workshop, participants will gain hands on practice with Collaborative Family Engagement tools. This will be a deep dive of tools discussed in Part 1 of the Courageous Conversations workshop.

 

Questions? Contact information@casaofwalkercounty.org