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Pre-Conference | Monday, July 12, 2021

9:00 – 10:15                ACES 101 – Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences
                                    Presented by Dr, Carlian Dawson

1:00– 2:15                  Keynote: Dr. Julie Sweetland
                                   “Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches”

3:00 – 5:00                  Film Screening & Panel Discussion:
                                    “Dodging Bullets: Stories from Survivors of Historical Trauma”

5:00 – 6:00                  Happy Hour Virtual Networking


Day 1 | Tuesday, July 13, 2021

9:00 – 9:15                  Welcome

9:15 – 10:15                Keynote: Amelia Franck Meyer
                                    “Building a New Way — Together!”

10:15 – 10:45              break

10:45 – 11:45              Workshop A

11:45 – 12:45              break

12:45 – 2:00                Keynotes: Samantha Mellerson and Michael Finley
                                    “Understanding the Historical Context of Structural Racism
                                     and Current-Day Implications”

2:00 – 2:30                  break

2:30 – 3:30                  Workshop B

3:30 – 4:00                  break

4:00 – 4:45                  Day 1 Reflection Session               

5:00 – 6:00                 An Evening of Care presented by Free Arts for
                                    Abused Children of Arizona’s Caregiver Community


Day 2 | Wednesday, July 14, 2021

9:00 – 9:15                  Welcome

9:15 – 10:15                Keynote – Ruth Buffalo:
                                   “Creating Communities That Help Families Thrive”

10:15 – 10:45              break

10:45 – 11:45              Workshop C

11:45 – 12:45              break

12:45 – 1:00                Awards

1:00 – 2:15                  Parent Panel: “Creating a Culture of Parent Partnership & Support”

2:15 – 2:45                  break

2:45 – 3:45                  Workshop D

4:15 – 5:00                  Closing Reflection Session



Block A | Tuesday, July 13 | 10:45-11:45 am

A1 | From Prevention to Permanency: How Social Workers are Increasing Transparency and Trust in the Child Welfare System

Amy Steemke, Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, and Danielle Delgado, LMSW, Office of Public Defense Services

Learn about social work practices in Maricopa Juvenile Court from prevention to permanency. This workshop will explore the court’s Dependency Prevention Staffing program, the use of the Safety Framework in court processes, and parent social workers as part of a team-based parent representation model.


A2 | Who is Judging? Identifying Bias

Angie Burleson, Arizona Recovers

Implicit bias and stigma are pervasive and affect many of our interactions, creating barriers to living life to the fullest. Identifying what bias looks like in action is crucial in creating meaningful relationships and cultivating trust, especially if our role is a helper.


A3 | Trauma-Informed Primary Prevention (TIPP) 101

Jennifer Rauhouse and Jenesis Maldonado, Peer Solutions

In TIPP 101, we will discuss how to address the impact of historical trauma with empathy and compassion. We will share what is working, including normalizing safety, equity, and respect with individuals, relationships, community, and society. You will learn practical TIPP tools you can use today to prevent child abuse, including child sexual abuse, before it happens.


A4 | Be an Agent of Change in Nurturing Resilience and Regulation

Rebecca Leimkuehler, Cartwright School District, and Laura Wiggins, MA, LMSW, Arizona ACEs Consortium

This workshop will use a neurobiological perspective to look at techniques and strategies to build relationships, promote regulation, and foster resilience for Arizona’s children. Participants will learn about and apply the neuroscience behind these factors, and will take away techniques and strategies.


A5 | Circle of Trust: Healing in Motion

Robin Afinowich, MS, CARE 7

This integrative and progressive workshop is focused on restoring individual, family, community and cultural well-being through accessible trauma-informed practices and a holistic lens. Trauma makes it incredibly difficult to trust one’s sense of self and sense of belonging. It interrupts healthy development, identity, and community connection. Learn simple and effective strategies for implementing trauma-informed care to reinstate a sense of safety and trust, identity and belonging. This training is rooted in an Individual and a Community Wellness Wheel addressing the primary areas that create psycho-social development and resiliency.


A6 | Creating Safe Spaces: No Hit Zones

Kelly Dauk, MD, and Stacie Schrieffer LeBlanc, MEd, JD

The use of corporal punishment, a common form of discipline, is associated with many negative health outcomes. This workshop introduces No Hit Zones as a promising program in changing social norms related to spanking/hitting of children. The presentation provides resources for attendees to start their own No Hit Zones.


Block B | Tuesday, July 13 | 2:30-3:30 pm

B7 | Family Voice & Choice:  Building Resiliency Through Community

Paula Brunswick and Arianna Palumbo, Family Involvement Center

Learn to decrease isolation and build resilience for at-risk parents/caregivers by helping them find their voice, make connections, be heard and respected, and overcome obstacles. This workshop will use portions of the SFNG Parent Leadership Training to empower participants in aiding families.


B8 | Improving Psychological Safety in Your Agency to Cultivate Trust in Your Community

Layli Milden and Audrey Lenchner, DCS

Imagine a workplace in which there is no fear to speak up, even if you are wrong. Explore how to develop psychological safety in the workplace in order to cultivate trust in the communities you serve. This workshop will focus on learning about psychological safety and brainstorming actions you can take back to your organization.


B9 | Leadership That Creates a Culture of Trust in Youth Programming

Caitlin Alfonso, LMSW, Acornic Consulting LLC

Youth programs are everywhere: parks, schools, nonprofits, libraries, church groups, etc. Each environment is filled with ways to engage in ways that build and maintain trust in youth participants. However, many opportunities are lost. This workshop will explore, through a leadership lens, how to build a foundation of trust into program curricula and support trusting relationships between staff and youth participants.


B10 | Parents and Babies, Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery, and Plans of Safe Care

Kate Dobler, MEd, CPM, IMH-E, AHCCCS; Tara Sundem, Hushabye Nursery; and Sue Smith, DCS

Ready for cross-sector learning and collaborating to support pregnant and postpartum women (and their kids!) living with a substance use disorder? This session will provide an overview of Arizona’s SAMHSA-funded PPW-PLT project, and how it fits into our state’s response to the opioid epidemic.

Participants will be given plans of safe care to use with pregnant and parenting families, techniques to assist and engage parents with skill-building, services and supports through the lens of trauma-informed care, and parent voice. Come join the conversation and be part of changing the system.


B11 | Creating a Trauma-Informed Community to Support Children

Emily Brennan and Erin Marsh, Southwest Human Development

This workshop will define trauma-informed care and what it means to work from a trauma-informed lens. We will use this shared understanding to discuss barriers in establishing trusting relationships when working with families. We will also explore and reflect on root causes of these barriers, and identify strategies that professionals can use in order to create a community of support.


B12 | Resource Networking, Speed-Dating Style

Learn about 18 different programs and organizations in one hour! Agencies and providers will share what services and resources they offer in 2-½-minute presentations.


Block C | Wednesday, July 14 | 10:45-11:45 am


C13 | Building Communities Using Participatory Models

Jacelyn Salabye, MSW, and Tallerita Tunney Rogers, LMSW, MSW, MPA, Native Americans for Community Action

Engaging families requires that communities are also engaged. Creating “buy-in” can be achieved using community-based participatory practices. Native Americans for Community Action Inc. (NACA) utilizes Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) and other group facilitation tools to build community engagement.


C14 | Youth Leadership, Youth Voice

Jessica Woodruff, LCSW, JFCS Transition to Adulthood Program

This session will show that youths engage and participate when they are respected and valued. Learn about how to implement youth leadership into your community and the different events/activities that inspire youths’ interest.


C15 | In a Digital World 101: Technology and Addiction

Chris Panneton, Southwest Family Advocacy Center

Every time we receive a like, follow request, or response, the pleasure senses in our brain react. These “pleasure senses” are the same ones that are linked to addictions. This class will cover how our brains are impacted by technology through social media and gaming and discuss how we can build stronger relationships with our families, students, and community by better understand the struggles we face with addiction.


C16 | Behind the Burnout: Raising a Child With a Disability

Michele Thorne, DAMES (Differently Abled Mothers Empowerment Society)

This workshop will bring to light the pressures, stress, and anxiety that envelop parents who are raising a child with a disability. Those who attend will gain a deeper appreciation for the hardships that come with raising a special-needs child, and how to help parents through stressful situations, decreasing the likelihood of abuse.


C17 | Building a Help-Seeking Society One Family at A Time

Carly Burton, Sandra Vicars, Hannah Gunderson, Guillermina Gutierrez and Myrna Suchilt, Parents as Teachers/Arizona’s Children Association

Increase your understanding of the help-seeking process through a case study highlighting common barriers. Attendees will take away innovative tools to assist individuals through this process with a strength-based, culturally competent lens.


C18 | Resilience-Building Starts with You: Self-Care for Those Who Serve

Kelly Lubeck, MPH

More than ever before, changemakers, leaders and service providers need to build their own resilience with consistent and strong self-care, so they can serve from a full cup. Deep self-care builds your resilience and capacity to continue doing your meaningful work. It helps you be more capable, connected and supportive – for those you serve, your family, your community, and you. Learn simple but powerful techniques and leave with a plan to release stress and anxiety, increase compassion, lift your mood, and maintain “energetic hygiene” so you’re not taking the problems of the world home with you.


Block D | Wednesday, July 14 | 2:45-3:45 pm


D19 | Listen UP: Conversations that Elevate Communities

Sandi Cimino, The Well-Made Bed, LLC

Voice and choice are critical aspects of building trust and creating trauma-informed environments. This workshop will utilize the World Café model to engage participants in conversations that explore creating opportunities for challenging conversations that are UPfront, UPlifting and UPtempo. Lasting change is imperative. It happens one conversation at a time. And it starts with listening.


D20 | Building Bridges of Connection Through Empathy

Robin Blumenthal

Empathy is key to cultivating trust. Not only does it open the heart and the mind to learning, but the effective use of empathy builds a bridge of connection. When a safe and empathetic connection happens, healing begins, trust is built, hope is inspired, and life-change happens. Join us as we look at tools, resources, and reminders for the power of empathy.


D21 | Maximizing Family Stability and Child Well-Being Through Professional Mentoring

Carmi Brown and Erica Reid, Friends of the Children

This workshop will explore how Friends of the Children – a program that uses paid, professional mentors (“Friends”) who sustain relationships with youth and families over 12+ years – has leveraged the power of trusting relationships to strengthen supports for families. Friends of the Children is an equity-based social innovation driven by youth and caregiver voices, with decades of proven impact.


D22 | Working with Pregnant Youth – Cultivating Trust

Laura Pedersen, RN, MSN, and Sara Wildenborg, Arizona Youth Partnership

Serving and guiding youth toward successful outcomes has its challenges. Developing a trusting relationship is vital, as pregnant/parenting youths in your programs navigate their own challenges. A critical aspect needed in developing relationships with this population is checking your own attitudes and beliefs about those you are serving. We will help you explore any personal bias you may experience and offer useful approaches to guide those you serve toward successful outcomes.


D23 | Creating Communities of Civility, Respect, Equity and Inclusion

Erin Callinan, MSW, BLOOM365, and Yavapai College Chief of Police Jerald Monahan, MS

Explore community identity and gain insight into recognizing how bias, disrespect, and prejudice contribute to negative social norms and the acceptance of violence. The individuals, communities, systems and institutions that surround our youth all contribute to the risk and protective factors which either condone aggression and violence or promote equity, inclusion, civility and respect. Information will be presented on how each of us, not just formal community leaders, has a responsibility to contribute to the creation of social norms that protect children, youth and adults from violent behaviors. We will discuss safe bystander and upstander intervention and address interpersonal and community-based violence interventions.


D24 | Lean On Me AZ – Creating a Culture of Family Support

Claire Louge, MEd, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona

We may be mandated reporters, but can we also consider ourselves mandated supporters? Lean On Me AZ, a project funded by Casey Family Programs, is a movement to raise awareness about the factors that protect families from overwhelming stress, and offer strategies to help community members strengthen families in everyday ways. In this session, we will share community-generated tools, messages, and ideas about how we, as individuals, can create a culture of family support.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Julie Sweetland is a sociolinguist and a senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute, a think tank that equips mission‐driven communicators to lead productive public conversations. Her presentation will delve into recent guidance from the FrameWorks Institute for building the public understanding and political will needed to effectively prevent, identify, and address childhood adversity. Takeaways will include a list of framing strategies to avoid because they reinforce problematic understandings; practical techniques for making the concept of prevention come to life for non‐experts; and ways to connect child wellbeing initiatives to broader social concerns, like racism and poverty.

Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer, the founder and CEO of the national child welfare nonprofit Alia, will discuss the mounting evidence for child welfare system change and the inspiring efforts to work together to build a better way. We understand more now than ever what children need for healthy development: an uninterrupted sense of belonging. However, our child protection systems were not originally designed based on this knowledge, and it’s time for a change. Some call this new way of working a family well‐being system, or a family strengthening system. Together with families and communities, we can redesign a new way: one that keeps children safely with their family, not from their families.

Samantha Mellerson and Michael Finley are members of the Executive Leadership Team with the W. Haywood Burns Institute, whose mission is to reform juvenile justice systems across the country that disproportionately impact and incarcerate youths of color and youths in poverty. Their keynote will provide a historical perspective on the impact of structural racism on the development of human services work. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how we got here, and what we need to consider to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within systems.

Ruth Buffalo is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. She is originally from Mandaree. Ruth has served in various capacities focused on building healthy and safe communities. She has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and three master’s degrees: one in management, one in business administration, and one in public health. Ruth was elected into the North Dakota House of Representatives in 2018 and proudly serves her constituents.


Parent Panel

Isabel Regalado is a devoted single mother of two girls. A survivor of child abuse, Isabel struggled with substance abuse as a teen and adult. During recovery, she learned about generational dysfunction/addiction and realized she was raising her children just as she had been. Supportive resources empowered Isabel to break the cycle of abuse. Today, she is a Families F.I.R.S.T. Case Manager who is giving back what she received: acceptance and hope.

Edward Casillas, father of three children, is the co‐creator and co‐developer of the Parent Support Program at Aviva Children’s Services in Tucson. He is a positive role model for dads and works tirelessly to coordinate and implement programs to support fathers. Edward is a certified facilitator for the Nurturing Fathers evidence-based parenting program. The curriculum is geared to helping fathers expand their parenting skills, establish close relationships with their children and learn to nurture them as they grow.

Shrounda Selivanoff is the Director of Public Policy at the Children’s Home Society of Washington. She brings a fierce and passionate voice advocating for systemic change for parents and their children involved with the child welfare system. She was previously involved with the system due to a severe drug and alcohol addiction. Through life challenges, she has preserved. At present, she continues to learn more about the child welfare system from a kinship caregiver’s perspective with her grandson. 

LaCrisha Rose is a certified trainer for “Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work” through the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance. Her own personal experiences with parenting have inspired her to be an advocate for all children and families, representing parent perspectives and implementing peer‐to‐peer parenting support groups.