Check back as more workshops & coaching tables are added!

10 Principles for Effective Family Strengthening (Virtual Only)

We know that children belong in families, but the reality of our broken world is that millions of children live apart from family care. Frequently, families are not able to care for their children unaided, but would be able to do so with support. This can both prevent children from being separated from their families, and ensure child and family wellbeing during family reintegration. “Family strengthening” has become a popular term in the field, but exactly what does it me? Learn principles and practices that you can apply to support children in families right where you are.

CEUs Available: 1  (Delia Pop, Hope and Homes for Children & Kimberly Quinley, Step Ahead)

A Conversation on Global Engagement: How Our Church Can Help, Not Hurt (Deeper Dive)

Join us to evaluate church partnerships, pray together, and cultivate individualized next steps. Attending earlier workshop by same title is recommended but not necessary.

(Toni Steere & Jenny Sheets, Legacy685)

A Simple System for Inviting Givers Deeper into Your Cause (Coaching Table)

Leave this coaching table with a simple system to help you intentionally strengthen the relationship between givers and the cause you serve.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Michael Mitchell, CAFO)

Adoptee and Foster Alum (Meet-Up)

This private gathering is open to any adult adoptee or foster alum. Join for fellowship and conversation, to listen and share, to be with each other, and grow as friends. We can’t wait to meet you!

(Tony Mitchell, tmLeadership, LLC)

Aging Out: Post-Secondary Education & Career Development Solutions

The Alliance Aging Out Initiative offers a model bridge for healthy life transitions for youth aging out of the U.S. foster care system and international orphan care. In this interactive workshop, we will examine a key element of that bridge – career development via post-secondary education, vocational training, and more. We will explore the unique challenges and opportunities in helping young people navigate this vital life and career transition.

CEUs Available: 1  (Scott Brown, CAFO Aging Out Initiative; Robert Duke, Azusa Pacific University; and Rick Burslem, Sunrise Children’s Services)

América Latina, Juntos logramos Más/Latin America, Together We Can Achieve More (Meet-Up)

Impactemos juntos la vida de más niños, niñas y adolescentes en América Latina. Explora cómo podemos unirnos y ser una comunidad activa trabajando juntos en América Latina.

Let’s impact together the lives of more boys, girls, and adolescents in Latin America. Explore how we can unite and be an active community working together in Latin America.

(Hazel Cedeño & Philip Aspegren, Casa Viva)


Assistance for Your Adoption Financing (Coaching Table)

Since 2009, America’s Christian Credit Union (ACCU) has helped more than 2,000 families adopt children from around the globe. Through customized financing plans that fit the unique needs of each family, ACCU is removing the barriers to adoption affordability. Come chat with us to learn how we work with families, agencies, and law firms to bring children home.

(Natalie DePrat, America’s Christian Credit Union)

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

Attachment Training For Non-Literate Caregivers of Reintegrated Children

Examining the impact and outcome of the Attachment Theory (AT) Workshop pilots across countries. The AT Workshop was designed specifically for non-literate caregivers of children being reintegrated home, in order to equip parents with the understanding and skill needed to form healthy attachments with their children who have suffered various trauma. Two versions are now in play in Sierra Leone; one for caregivers, and one to train social workers to deploy the training with their own caregivers around the country. Versions are underway in Haiti and Uganda, while Tanzania has now moved onto the waitlist, with second sites in Haiti and Uganda right behind. Data collection seeks to measure its impact through pre/post survey data and Most Significant Change methodology will be shared as evidence of the efficacy of the workshop and its iterative, collaborative approach.

(Laura Horvath, Helping Children Worldwide and Julie Dellamattera, University of Maine)

Better Together: Refreshment, Renewal, and Refocusing on What’s to Come for International NGOs (Pre-Summit Intensive – CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Open only to CAFO Member Organizations’ leaders, staff, and volunteers working internationally. Join other CAFO leaders and staff serving around the world for this global mastermind session! Build relationships and connect with others who’ve experienced similar challenges during the uncertainty of the last 18 months. (Pre-registration required)

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 9:00am – 1:00pm


Both Sides of the Story: Perspectives on Foster and Adoptive Parenting from Parents and their Kids

Much effort is spent on recruiting more foster and adoptive parents. But what are the characteristics of great parenting and how do we help ourselves and others aspire to this greatness? Come engage in a discussion with former foster youth, and their foster/adoptive parents, to glean the most important lessons they’ve learned.

CEUs Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Johnston Moore, Writer, Speaker, & Advocate Joined by: Pam & Trent Taylor, Fost/Adopt Mother & Son and Bishop Aaron Blake & Diego Fuller, Fost/Adopt Father & Son)

Building a Prevention, Intervention, and Restoration Culture in Your Church’s Ministry

You recognize a variety of issues in your community that are impacting child and family welfare. While foster care is a significant point of engagement, there are other upstream factors contributing to the vulnerability and instability of families, and downstream results that are in need of restoration and renewal. Join us for a conversation about how to strategically engage the continuum of issues – from prevention, intervention, and restoration. You’ll walk away with fresh ideas and a keener sense of clarity for how you can begin to build this culture in your church.

(Gabriel Forsyth, Mosaic Church)

Building Teams with Thriving Souls

Nothing will more determine the fruitfulness of an organization than the health of the people within it. So, wise leaders will be as intentional about cultivating the health of their team as they are about their external work. In this workshop, we’ll each begin creating our own plan to do just that – drawing from CAFO’s “Strategic Plan for Thriving Souls.” Included will be simple ideas and small choices for cultivating the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and relational health of our teams.

(Jedd Medefind, CAFO)

Building Trauma-Informed and Resilience-Focused Kids and Student Ministry Teams

When foster and adoptive parents bring children into their families, they also bring them into their churches. Is your team prepared to provide safe, welcoming, and fun environments for all kids – regardless of their backgrounds and unique needs? Gain practical and proven ideas to create healthy environments where volunteers are empowered, kids can heal, and families feel welcome.

(Kim Botto, Found Village)

Caring for Children with a History of Sexual Abuse: Skills Caregivers and Parents Need to Know

This workshop will examine skills needed by parents, caregivers, or anyone who touches the life of a child with a history of sexual abuse.

CEU’s Available: 1  (David & Jayne Schooler, Community Impact Center)

Celebrating the Triad: An Adoption Conversation

Join three women who represent the adoption triad as they name the pieces and people in the collective adoption story including all of its brokenness, all of its beauty, all of its pain, and all of its possibility – and how all of it intersects and mingles together. You will listen to, talk with, and learn from one another – about how each part of the triad contributes to and impacts and needs the other two parts.  You’ll walk away with a deeper empathy for the adoption triad and a better understanding of your specific role and responsibility in working towards healing and wholeness – and a shared redemptive story of love.

CEUs Available: 1  (Carissa Woodwyk, Author & Therapist; Tona Ottinger, Memphis Family Connection Center; and Ashley Mitchell, Lifetime Healing Foundation)

Children of Shanghai: A Documentary Narrated by Bear Grylls (World Premiere Screening)

Join Matt Redman and the Children of Shanghai film crew to hear stories of the first children placed into family care over 20 years ago in China.  See how their lives were transformed by the love of a family – and the impact this is now having on child welfare reform around the world. (

(Matt Redman, Musician and Ilaria Chan, Tech Executive & Investor)

Church and State Partnerships in Foster Care: A More Than Enough Collaborative Workshop

Let’s be honest – whether you are a social worker, or a member of the faith community, you have at least some reservations about working with “the other side.” Learn from those who have seen great results from these vital partnerships and have lived to tell about it. Hear seasoned veterans talk about initial reservations, successes, and missteps – all of which will help you gain confidence as you move ahead for the sake of the kids.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Shelly Radic, Project 1.27 Joined by: Lauri Currier, The CALL; Mischa Martin, Arkansas Department of Human Services; Chris Combs, Coalition of Care; & Margie Weaver, Hamilton County Job and Family Services)

Clarify Your Message in Four Simple Steps (Coaching Table)

Can you clearly answer the question, “Why should I give to your nonprofit?” in 30 seconds or less? Leave this coaching table with a simple framework to help you quickly describe the work you do in an emotionally compelling way that tells givers why they should consider investing in your work.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Michael Mitchell, CAFO)

Clarify your Message with StoryBrand

Breaking through the clutter in the nonprofit and ministry space can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. In this workshop, we will teach you a repeatable framework to clarify your message and simplify your marketing using the proven StoryBrand method. You will see real-world examples of how nonprofits are using this framework to revolutionize their marketing.

(Shannon Litton & Jordan White, 5by5)

Collaborating with Success (Coaching Table)

The needs of vulnerable kids and families are complex and we need a collaborative response to effectively serve foster youth and families in crisis. At this coaching table, we’ll touch on the collective impact model, forming regional partnerships, and collaboration between faith-based and secular organizations.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Tiffany Loeffler, The Alliance: Defending the Cause of Kids & Families)

Come Tour the Hope Factory: Orphan Care in Action

Exclusive off-site tour opportunity! Join us for a tour of the Hope Factory™ – just one mile from Summit. Visitors will get a behind-the-scenes look at how volunteers help us care for 20,000 orphans and vulnerable children around the world, each and every day, through the production of Hope Boxes® containing food, water, and hope. Come with questions, meet new friends, and walk away with ideas for your own humanitarian relief projects! To join the off-site tour, meet us at the help desk.

Compassion Fatigue: How to Incorporate Fun into Your Workplace Culture

Child welfare workers are at risk for compassion fatigue. This training will explore how we can incorporate fun into our office culture, amid the stress of the work. In this workshop, we will share our own journey through compassion fatigue and how play and fun have retained our staff and lifted spirits. Come and be entertained – as well as to experience how fun can bring balance to the work! Think “Jimmy Fallon” but on a non-profit budget.

(Katie Bass, Olive Crest)



Creating an Effective PR and Communication Strategy (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

This workshop is designed to help your organization understand and explore how to fine-tune your messages and then share them with the world in a way that’s unique and impactful. Together, we’ll dive into how to develop a communication strategy that includes crisis prevention, social media, proactive public relations, and marketing.

(Herbie Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Creatively Engaging Your Community of People with Disabilities

This discussion will take a look at how to creatively engage with your local community of people with special needs through the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine event. Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. Over the past seven years, Night to Shine has become a worldwide movement and is helping change cultures and communities through a night of celebrating the God-given dignity, value, and worth of every person experiencing disability.

(Eliza Gulbransen, Tim Tebow Foundation)

Cultivating a Co-Missional Marriage (Pre-Summit Intensive)

Come join the Guckenbergers, married more than 25 years, and parents to 11 children (adopted, foster and biological) as they share their cautionary tales and best practices for a marriage to thrive. This day will be full of resources, discussion, instruction, invitation and challenge. It is not for a PG audience, as they will talk openly about conflict, communication and intimacy. (Pre-registration required)

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 8:30am – 2:30pm

(Todd & Beth Guckenberger, Adoptive Parents & Back2Back Co-Founders)

Cultivating the Strength and Character of Black Children in a Multi-Racial Family

Together, we’ll explore how parents can build confidence, faith, and wisdom in their children and teens of a different race – with special focus on black youth. We’ll look at ways we can help our children prepare for the unique gifts and challenges they may encounter as a result of visible differences…how we can nurture positive connections to their community and/or family of origin, and confidence in their own unique traits, including their race…while also helping them find a bedrock sense of belonging in family and, most of all, in their identity as a beloved child of God.

(Facilitated by: Tony Mitchell, tmLeadership, LLC Joined by: Bishop Aaron Blake, Harvest Family Life Ministries; and Sharen Ford, Focus on the Family)

CEUs Available: 1

Deinstitionalization: Mitigating Pitfalls & Maximizing Potential (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Deinstitutionalization is a hot topic around the world as countries move to connect the orphaned and vulnerable in family environments rather than large group care. More than a workshop, this is an honest discussion – and a call for unity, as ministries work together to provide appropriate care for all orphaned and vulnerable children as deinstitutionalization becomes a reality in more countries around the world. It is an opportunity to gain an understanding of what is happening, what is going well, and where governments, agencies, and nonprofits have fallen short so far – so that everyone is better equipped to offer lasting care.

(Mike Douris, Orphan Outreach)

Delight Your Partners Today, Tomorrow, and Always

The world changed in 2020. Has your fundraising kept up? What looks different? What’s stayed the same? How do you know when to push forward with existing plans, adapt, or change course entirely? Join us for this discussion in timeless ways to delight your partners and keep your organization on the upswing today, tomorrow, and always. This session is especially relevant for nonprofit staff, including organizational leaders and development staff, looking to grow in the nimble practice of the timeless principles of fundraising.

(Keith Howard, Circle of Care & JT Olson, Both Hands)

Discipleship and Foster Care

Even though foster care is not mentioned directly in the Bible, it is one of the greatest opportunities for churches in disciple-making. Come learn how a Biblical effort in your church can produce those who depend more on Jesus while also seeing transformation in communities. For child welfare practitioners, come learn how your efforts can partner with the church in a mutually benefiting relationship.

(Chris Campbell, 111 Project)

Discipleship and Leadership Development: Let’s Walk Together

Come learn how to care for the spiritual health of staff while caring for others – all while developing a healthy Christ-centered culture. We’ll discuss how the balance between being a disciple, and discipling others, can be overwhelming. In this workshop, we will explore common challenges and practical approaches, and you will acquire tools to empower you and yours for spiritual life.

(Juan Porto, Back2Back Ministries)

Discussion: ReFraming the Struggle (A Q&A Deeper Dive from Wednesday’s Workshop)

As a follow-up to the ReFraming the Struggle workshop, come ready to share your questions, thoughts, concerns, and hopes about your foster parenting or adoption journey. This is a safe space to be honest, connect with others, and find the encouragement you need to take your next best steps forward.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Don’t Give Up: Encouragement for Your Weary Soul

For anyone who needs an island in the sea, or a pit stop in the desert, to hold up the hands of the weary with encouragement to keep going. No matter how long you’ve been in the battle, or how high the waters feel around you, there is hope!  Come for prayer, respite, and a place to feel lighter!

(Eric Mills, Orphan Sunday)

Effectively Engaging Churches: Four Principles to Help Your Organization’s Church Engagement Strategy Thrive

The impact of your ministry is largely dependent upon your capacity to form strategic partnerships with churches. You believe the Church is the answer to the problem your organization is trying to solve, but you’re struggling to get the ear of a busy pastor, navigate through the complicated structures of various church ministry departments, or are just having a hard time helping churches see how they can truly make an impact through the work you are doing. We get it. Of course, there are more than four ways to approach churches – and certainly more than four principles to consider. But based on our work with organizations all around the country, we believe if you at least start with these four you’ll see a shift – not only in how churches are responding to your organization but perhaps more importantly, how your organization is approaching them in the first place. As a result, doors will open, conversations will happen, partnerships will form, trust will build, and impact will be multiplied over time.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO and Tiffany Loeffler, The Alliance: Defending the Cause of Kids & Families)

Emerging Foster Care Models in Majority World

Children do best in families, but sometimes children are unable to be cared for by their parents. In these situations, we strive for a spectrum of alternative family options, including foster care. Until recently, foster care was a foreign concept in many regions of the world. However, NGOs around the globe are leading the way to create innovative foster care programs in nations where the phrase has never existed. Join us to learn more about successes and failures, and how to pioneer foster care where you are.

(Facilitated by: Phil Darke, Providence World Joined by: Shoshon Tama-Sweet, Alliance for Children Everywhere; Ashlee Heiligman, Global Child Advocates; and Ian Anand Forber-Pratt, Children’s Emergency Relief International – CERI)

Expecting the Unexpected: How to Find Purpose in the Long Wait or Failed Adoption

The adoption journey is not for the faint of heart. The road twists and turns, sometimes leaving you scarred and disillusioned. What do you do when your, “Yes!” is answered with, “Wait” or even, “No?” Bring your own raw story and questions to this conversation focused on God’s purpose and faithfulness in the dark times of life.

(Jami Kaeb, The Forgotten Initiative)

Exploring Show Hope’s Medical Care and Adoption Aid Grants (Coaching Table)

Join the Show Hope team for a discussion on different grant opportunities for families to assist with pre and post-adoption related expenses.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Nathan Magness, Show Hope)

Faith & Stewardship: Impact Lessons Behind “Children of Shanghai”

To succeed, any great undertaking must unite an immense array of people and talents. In this workshop following the documentary “Children of Shanghai,” we’ll hear from remarkable individuals whose diverse gifts have each contributed to this work – together helping to transform the lives of more than a million orphans in China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Tech executive and investor Ilaria Chan will facilitate this “fireside chat” with several high-profile figures: Matt Redman (musician), Chris Maclellan (philanthropist, impact investor), Amy Celico (trade diplomat, business executive), and Larry Ross (public relations CEO). The panelists will share their hearts for mission, how their faith shapes the way they give and serve, how they select trustworthy charities to support, and their unique life stories from diverse sectors around the world. Don’t miss it!

(Facilitated by: Ilaria Chan, Tech Executive & Investor Joined by: Matt Redman, Musician; Chris Maclellan, Philanthropist & Impact Investor; Amy Celico, Trade Diplomat & Business Executive; and Larry Ross, Public Relations CEO)

Family Economic Strengthening: Microfinance and Orphan Care

Microfinance is a powerful tool that can improve the economic well-being of households and individuals in the Majority World. As such, microfinance has the potential to prevent children from becoming orphans, contribute to reuniting children with their birth parents, strengthen foster or adoptive families, and better the lives of former orphans. Although microfinance can be quite complicated, this workshop introduces simple, high-impact strategies and tools that virtually any ministry can use.

(Brian Fikkert, Chalmers Center)

Family Means that Everyone Matters

Many foster, adoptive, and kinship parents feel guilty about the impact of this calling on the other children in their home. It is easy to pour all positive and negative attention in one direction, while the rest of the family suffers – including the caregivers. Whether it’s time for their marriage, other children, hobbies, or friendships, parents must learn how to allocate their resources through all of the members of their families. It’s not looking for equality, but instead, movement towards a healthy balance so that everyone thrives.

(Kristin Orphan, Finally Home)

Family-Based Care in Local Context

This workshop covers additional design considerations for the adaptation of family-based care models to developing world contexts, particularly in Southern and East Africa. This workshop focuses on several issues in family-based care design that move beyond the core focus of social work to include issues of learned helplessness, economic support, social stigma, gender, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and others. This workshop draws heavily on the experience of multiple ministries in several African countries as they moved to adapt to family-based care within their residential child care programs. This workshop outlines a program design process that addresses these secondary issues. This workshop is tailored to those organizations for whom the core social work competencies of family-based care are necessary, but not sufficient, to ensure healthy outcomes for reintegrated children.

(Shoshon Tama-Sweet, Children Everywhere)

Finding Families for Children: A More Than Enough Big Idea Workshop

There are more than enough families for the children in your community who need them. It’s just that they haven’t been found . . . yet. Come, see, and steal (uh, borrow) some of the best ideas in the country for finding foster, kinship, and adoptive families in your community. You’ll come away with practical steps learned from several leaders who are getting results in their own communities in innovative and surprising ways.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO Joined by: Ian Anand Forber-Pratt, Children’s Emergency Relief International – CERI; Darren Washausen, Orphan Care Alliance; Sharen Ford, Focus on the Family; & Renaut van der Riet, Mosaic Church)

Five Keys for Effective Online Support Groups

As 2020 launched us into a new age of Zoom calls and virtual meetings, the support that adoptive and foster families need has had to transform as well. This workshop will delve into five ways you can begin or advance your support groups using technology and virtual platforms.

(Aixa de López & David McCormick, Alianza Cristiana para los Huérfanos)

Five Things to Remember when Leading your Church towards Racial Reconciliation

When you sign up for orphan care, you might not realize it – but you are also signing up for racial reconciliation. Navigating that in today’s church culture can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Join Bishop Aaron Blake and Eric Porter as they discuss how churches can, and are, succeeding in becoming multiracial.

(Eric Porter, Backyard Orphans & Bishop Aaron Blake, Harvest Family Life Ministries)

Foster and Adoptive Mothers WITH Gathering (Meet-Up)

Enjoy fellowship with other foster and adoptive mothers who get it! Exclusive adoptive-mom-authors book signing and giveaways! New and old friends, chocolate, and understanding! Come spend time with your sisters on the journey.

(Jodi Jackson Tucker, CAFO)

Foster Care Data and Your Own Backyard: A More Than Enough Workshop

Some people think of data as mere numbers. However, data is used every day to tell stories that mobilize others to step into the lives of hurting people. Data has the potential to motivate and mobilize church, organizational, and business leaders in your community to transform the foster care experience for thousands of kids and families where you live. Learn how from a team of leaders from organizations that have been doing it for years.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Andy Cook, Promise686 Joined by: Adrien Lewis, CarePortal; Michelle Douglas, The CALL; and Chris Campbell, 111Project)

Fulton, Faith, and Foster Care (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Join us as we discuss the current state of legal challenges nationwide, with a focus on the Supreme Court’s decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, and what this could mean for faith-based foster care and adoption agencies who partner with the government or are regulated and licensed by the government.

(Nick Reaves, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Herbie Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Fundraising Coaching for Small to Mid-Size Nonprofits (Coaching Table)

Have a fundraising question but don’t know who to ask? CAFO’s Director of Development & Discipleship is ready to help at this fundraising coaching table specifically designed to support small to mid-size nonprofits.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Michael Mitchell, CAFO)

Fundraising Fam Fist Bump Jam (Meet-Up)

Sponsored by iDonate

Calling all nonprofit fundraising pros, organizational leaders, and anyone else who raises funds. This is your chance to meet your people at CAFO2021! Join Michael Mitchell from CAFO and Michael Baker from iDonate for this come-and-go reception to connect, exchange fist bumps, and eat fun food with other fun people who wear professional hats that look like yours. We will casually do cool things in this hour that you’ll woefully regret missing for the rest of your life should you decide to be somewhere else. But wait! There’s more. Twelve lucky attendees will walk away with a door prize, the likes of which have only been dreamed of…or possibly a king-sized candy bar.

Fundraising for a New Era & Past Era Best Practices We Can’t Quit

The onset of COVID-19 turned many of our trusted fundraising best practices upside down – with large-scale events and face-to-face appointments feeling like a thing of the past for non-profits around the world. This call for innovation allowed us to virtually diminish geographic barriers and open doors for new fundraising streams. As much as things have changed, some things also stayed the same! Many tried and true campaign best practices are still a part of this new frontier of fundraising. Gain practical guidance you can start applying to your organization’s fundraising and communications efforts for 2021 and well beyond! This session is especially relevant for nonprofit fundraising, communications, and marketing staff.

(Katy Martin, One More Child)

Global Engagement: How Our Church Can Help, Not Hurt

The question is not should your church be engaged in global missions. The question is rather, “Where is your church excelling and where can you afford to make some shifts in your current approach to be more effective long term?” We will explore together: essential practices, developing an OVC care team, onboarding potential partners, assisting partners in improving quality of care, short-term missions, and healthy sponsorship practices and strategic partnerships. Come and receive a wide reproducible framework that can be contextualized to meet your church’s individual needs.

(Toni Steere & Jenny Sheets, Legacy685)

Going Digital (Coaching Table)

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to do ministry in ways we had never expected (Zoom, Facebook Live, etc.). Now that we are back in person, how can we use some of these technologies to make our ministries reach further and deeper than ever before?

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Blaine Hamilton, Southeast Christian Church)

Going Upstream: Building Collaborative Efforts that Solve Problems Before They Happen

Join us if you are a church or nonprofit leader interested in moving your ministry initiative from reactive activity to sustained system-wide impact in your work of caring for vulnerable children and families. The discussion will focus on applying concepts, addressing barriers, and sharing ideas presented in the book Upstream by Dan Heath.

(Amber Knowles, Fostering Family)

Graceful Invitation

Backpacker and international speaker Kevan Chandler applies his experience in friendship and disability to discuss overcoming the hurdles of inviting outsiders into the adoption conversation. He is joined by Nate Renich, adoptive father, TBRI Practitioner, and veteran in overseas ministry and orphan care work in Southeast Asia. The two will share their own diverse experiences of inviting new people into the unique worlds of disability, adoption, and orphan care. Discover how to practically do this in one’s own community – namely approaching others with grace, humility, and joy.

(Kevan Chandler and Nate Renich, We Carry Kevan)

Growing the Foster Care Ministry in Your Church: A More Than Enough Workshop

You want your church to have a thriving and effective foster care ministry, but it all seems a little overwhelming. You could use a little clarity about the next steps you should take. Whether you are just starting out, or have been at it for years, this workshop is created to give you that clarity. We’ll unpack six key pillars of what an “actively engaged church” in foster care looks like. You’ll walk away more connected with other leaders like you, more inspired to do the work God has called you to do, and more confident in what the next best steps are for your church’s foster care ministry.

(Facilitated by: Jason Weber & Jason Johnson, CAFO Joined by: Gabriel Forsyth, Mosaic Church; Carly Souza, Hope Church; Sarah Norris, True Vine Ministries; Bishop Aaron Blake, Harvest Family Life Ministries; Kondo Simfukwe, Mission Point Community Church; and Lesli Reece, Fostering Together)

Growing Trusting Intercultural Relationships

In this session, we will explore a way to approach intercultural relationships that generate curiosity, respect, love, and understanding – on a good day. On the other days, it at least curbs our judgment and keeps us easier to get along with. This is a gain and makes a lot of difference slowly over time.


Habits of the Household: Spiritual Practices for Parenting from Technology to Family Devotions

We become our habits, and our children become us. So if we care about spiritual formation in the family, we should care about the ordinary habits of the household – especially when it comes to technology. This workshop will dive into the regular rhythms of family life such as waking, mealtimes, screen time, moments of discipline, family devotions, and more. In each, we’ll look at how these normal moments of the day are incredible opportunities for spiritual formation in the love of Jesus.

(Justin Whitmel Earley, The Common Rule)

Health and Care for Adopted Children and Families (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Dr. Mary Allen Staat and Tisha Way Gaynor LISW-S of the International Adoption Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will share updates on the health and care of children adopted internationally in the last several years. We will also discuss supporting the long-term mental health needs of internationally adopted children and their families.

(Mary Allen Staat and Tisha Way Gaynor, International Adoption Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)

Healthy Child Sponsorship Programs (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Many organizations use sponsorship to build connections between donors and the children and families in their programs. But how do we know if sponsorship is truly making a positive impact? Join other small and large organizations that run sponsorship programs, as together we explore the benchmarks of a healthy and thriving program.

(Laura Nzirimu, CAFO; Rebeka Corgan, One More Child; and Marqui Krone, Lifesong)

Help Planning Your Transitioning to Family Care

Do you want to transition from residential care to family-based care, but need help to point your organization in the right direction? Receive coaching on how to assess your strengths, discern your vision and mission, engage stakeholders, and determine the next steps.

(Elli Oswald, Faith to Action Initiative)

Help! My Child Isn’t Learning!

Using a survey and resource packet, participants will take the first steps toward creating an action plan for their child’s learning, based on information from a PowerPoint guided presentation, multiple real-life scenarios, and working in small groups. (Presentation meets WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines.)

CEU’s Available: 1  (Anna Caudill, Post Adoption Learning Services)

Helping Parents Become Partners in Child Therapy: Growing Clinical Containment

Helping parents become better partners in their children’s healing requires continued growth and healing for the therapist. Therapists who work with these tender systems must continue stretching their own containment capacities. This workshop will help lead clinicians through some self-reflective exercises interspersed with rich dialogue. Come play and grow together!

Find out more about Paris at

CEU’s Available: 1  (Paris Goodyear-Brown, Speaker, Author, & Clinician)

Helping Without Hurting: Key Principles

Poverty alleviation is a central component of both orphan prevention and care. Unfortunately, good intentions are not enough. It is possible to hurt poor people in the very process of trying to help them. Based on the best-selling book “When Helping Hurts,” this workshop explores key principles that lay the foundation for successful poverty alleviation strategies at home and abroad.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Brian Fikkert, Chalmers Center)

How a Globally-Focused Organization (or Missionary) Can Structure Itself Best to Partner With U.S. Churches

With the tightening of budgets, changing of fundraising models, and the globalization of ministry, churches have radically shifted the way they partner with globally-focused organizations and missionaries. This interactive session is geared toward nonprofit/ministry leaders of globally-focused organizations and will provide valuable insights on how you can structure your organization to best partner with U.S. churches. Specifically, we will discuss how to: incorporate a nonprofit and develop bylaws, select a board governance model, develop executive leaders, create an organizational structure, implement boundaries and guidelines, master budgeting and financial transparency, understand mission and vision, and implement continuous improvement cycles and SWOT analysis.

(Brian Berman, Project Mañana International)

How Can I Leverage Orphan & Stand Sunday to Grow My Ministry? (Coaching Table)

Have you thought about bringing Orphan Sunday or Stand Sunday to your church this year, but don’t know where to start? Our team leaders will give you practical steps and some of our tried and true ideas to push past the challenges and make a big impact this November for vulnerable children!

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Kody Krady & Ashley Phelan, CAFO)

How Can WE Achieve Racial Equity in Child Welfare?…Practical Next Steps

Within the overall challenges of child welfare is an acute issue at the core that adversely impacts children of color. In the United States, 14% of children are Black. But 23% of children in the foster system are Black. This racial disproportionality adversely impacts more than 100,000 children each year. We can change that.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Adrien Lewis, Erika Glenn, & Audrey Deckinga, CarePortal)

How Can We use Trust-Based Relational Intervention Together to Create Systems Change?

Join this conversation around effectively using Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) as a collaborative tool for transforming lives around the world. Come ready to learn how to adapt TBRI® principles to the unique needs and strengths of various cultures and contexts. Hear proven successes of global leaders actively implementing TBRI® in a cross-cultural context and improving the lives of children across the continuum of care.

(Kiersten Luginbill & Ana Maria Fernandez, All God’s Children International and Marisa Stam & Tamrat Kebede, Selamta Family Project)

How Technology Is Impacting Your Child and What You Can Do About It

Parents are struggling with the harmful impacts of technology overuse, social media, and pornography exposure in their children. We will address difficult issues like pornography and social media addiction – and how they uniquely lure and impact children who have experienced trauma. In addition, a parent & child team will share their testimony of overcoming addiction, as well as resources to help your home with this pressing problem.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Jodi Jackson Tucker, CAFO and Pam & Trent Taylor, Watch Me Rise)

How to Advocate for Embryo Adoption and the Christian Mission

Discuss the role you and your church or organization play in advocating for life at conception, by spreading the word about embryo adoption. Millions of orphaned embryos are in frozen storage awaiting life in an adoptive family. Join us to plan strategies that will make a difference.

(Daniel Nehrbass, Nightlight Christian Adoptions)

How to Crush the Curse of Comparison

Comparison is said to be “an act of violence against oneself.” It is the killer of joy and peace, and a safe place to simply “be.” Comparison shifts our focus across the room to another, rather than to the cross; to the Christ who calls us and equips us. It affects us individually and affects our children – thus significantly impacting our families in potentially destructive ways. Join our conversation in helping us to recognize the culprit of comparison and all it steals from us and our family. To recognize the essential need to “name it and tame it.” Together we will discuss the need to press in and evaluate our own mindset and implement practices to contain this culprit by proclaiming Biblical truth – keeping our eyes on Him as we recognize the true meaning of “success” as faithfulness. Faithful to who and what He has created and called us to be.

(Mandy Litzke, Safe Harbour)

How to Develop Effective Transition Plans for Youth Aging into Adulthood from Residential Care

Come discuss how to prepare adolescents for aging out of residential programs. Together we will look at how caregivers and programs can help youth aging into adulthood chart a path to successful employment, stable living situations, and re-integration into their communities.

(David Nowell, Hope Institute)

How to Effectively Partner with Businesses to Help Children in Your Community (Coaching Table)

Even as the Church has been called to lead, businesses and other organizations have an important role to play in caring for kids and families in crisis as well. Come receive practical and personalized guidance for successfully engaging businesses in your community.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Kyle Johnson, CarePortal)

How to Engage and Empower Struggling Families to Create Sustainable Change

If your church closed, would the community around you care or notice? We are living in a time where multiple factors are having an adverse impact on the financial, spiritual, emotional, and mental stability within the family unit. As a result, the church and supporting community organizations are seeing an overwhelming influx of families in need reaching out for assistance. The crisis of these families in need has exposed a gap in the usual systems of care.  This often leaves families without the appropriate support system to effect lasting change and sustainable stability for their families. This one-hour conversation will focus on strategies to engage families through cultivating relationships centered in stabilizing and empowering families and individuals in need.

(Jeff & Frances Chaisson, Salty Church)

How to Engage Grief in the Story of Hope

Is grief a problem to be solved? A disruption to be overcome? Or is there a greater purpose in grief as we curate and share stories that engage – and encourage others to join us in serving the orphaned and vulnerable? This is an honest look at embracing grief in the story of hope.

(Facilitated by: Ronne Rock, Orphan Outreach Joined by: Pam Parish, Connections Homes; Lisa Anderson, Grace’s Table; & Irene de Salazar, Down Guatemala)

How to Lead a Unified, International, Multi-Site Ministry

Do you lead, or are you a part of the leadership, of an organization serving in multiple international locations? Do you struggle with creating one ministry culture while trying to edify each unique country culture? Do you have a ministry heart, but understand a global organization must have some systematic operational procedures to operate with high integrity and impact? If so, you’re not alone! This workshop will discuss practical tools and strategies to define and communicate organizational culture, effectively cascade information across locations, and unify a global team.

(Todd Guckenberger, Juan Porto, & Daniel Asama, Back2Back)

How to Love Well When Love Isn’t Returned

All who have loved children from hard places know that sometimes we may feel that they do not love us back. How can we persevere in love in such times? And what small daily choices can help us continue to express commitment and care along the way? Listen in on a conversation of parents and adult adoptees who’ve been on both sides of that equation…and have come out on the other side.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Tony Mitchell, tmLeadership, LLC. Joined by: Sherrie Eldridge, Author and Susan Hillis, CDC & World Without Orphans)

How to Navigate the IEP/504 Process

Navigating the IEP/504 process can be confusing and frustrating. This interactive session is designed to help families journey through the educational process of testing, writing SMART goals, and defining special education terms whether in public, private school, or homeschool environments.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Ann Maura Hinton, Lifeline Children’s Services)

How to Save with the Adoption Tax Credit (Coaching Table)

We’re here to help the adoption tax credit work for you! Bring your questions and special situations! No matter where you are in your adoption journey, we’re here to help make it a little easier.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Becky Wilmoth, Bills Tax Service)

How to Start an Adoption/Foster Care Ministry in Your Church

This guided discussion is for anyone who wants to work on getting an adoption and foster care ministry started at your church. Regardless of church size or budget, this workshop is for you. Bring your questions! You will leave with steps to take to get something started in your very own church and community.

(Kasi Pruitt, Lakepointe Church)

How to Unleash Your Board’s Potential

Every ministry has a governance board, but not all are effective. Your board may have talented people with experience and expertise – but your board may not be living up to its potential. In this session, we will help you learn how to unleash your board’s potential by focusing on best practices for board governance.

(Staci Brown, ECFA)

How Your Church can Help Families Thrive After They Reunify

Over half of children in foster care eventually go home, but many of them end up re-entering care at some point. This type of “bouncing” wreaks havoc on kids and families. You’re probably asking, “What can be done about it? How can our church help prevent that from happening?” In this workshop, we’ll explore what factors increase the recidivism rate of children re-entering foster care and provide practical insights into how the Church can play a primary role in providing care and support for families after they have reunified.

(Christie Mac Segars & Chris Johnson, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Imperfect Parenting: How to Love Our Kids Even When We Want a Time-Out

Welcome all imperfect parents! If it’s hard to put yourself in that group, this hour is for you. If reading the first line makes you think, “Finally! I’ve found my people!” this hour is for you. If you are not a parent, but know some parents, please come listen and empathize. If you might be a parent someday, come and prepare for what your future may hold.

(Tracy Taplin, Foothills Church)

Increasing Your Impact: Considering A Collaborative Approach to Caring for Vulnerable Children

Programs for vulnerable youth can only reach a limited number of children in specific ways. Are you ready to increase your impact to not only reach more children but also expand the support provided to them? Through a panel of global experts, and an introduction to new tools, this workshop will guide you toward practical steps in doing more for children. We will highlight a systems approach—linking to and supporting the existing individuals, organizations, and systems that surround children. Together, we will help you better understand the systems within the community you serve and create an action plan to fill the critical gaps for children and families.

(Facilitated by: Elli Oswald, Faith to Action Initiative Joined by: Tara Garcia, Identity Mission, Honduras and Oleg Shelashskiy, International Leadership and Development Center, Ukraine)

Integrating Christian Spirituality and Social Work Practice

As Christian social work practitioners, we desire to provide spiritual encouragement and discipleship to our Christian foster and adoptive families as they navigate the complexities of foster care. In this workshop, we will share what we have learned over the past two years as we have intentionally integrated the Scriptures into our social work practice. We believe that social work theories, perspectives, and practice models all have roots in Biblical principles. As we have continued this integration, we have begun to develop a practice framework that focuses on the Christian’s desire for spiritual formation as the primary motivation for change. From problem-solving, to crisis intervention, to helping families make sense of their story, it is important that practitioners working with Christian families are prepared to utilize the spiritual disciplines and Word of God as a guide in their process of leading their families. This workshop will describe our practice framework, spiritual foundations, and ideas for basic integration in hopes of encouraging others that desire to begin this process.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Jessi Esterling, FaithBridge)

Intercountry Adoption: Diplomacy Behind the Scenes (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Join CAFO adoption leaders and US State Department representatives for a free-flowing conversation on current topics including the search for a new accrediting entity, COVID impact, key country updates, and more. Bring your questions!

Into the Light – Hope for Healing from Sexual Abuse

How can you walk beside kids and families through the impacts of sexual abuse? Let’s discuss tools and strategies that can be used to support the healing journey, and most importantly, a sense of true hope! Hear the perspective of both a young man who has experienced and healed from sexual abuse, alongside an adoptive parent who walked the healing journey by his side. Come to this safe space to learn and share. Walk away with practical information and strategies to work toward healing.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Pam and Trent Taylor, Watch Me Rise)

Keeping Families Together: A More Than Enough Big Idea Workshop

If anyone should be GREAT at helping struggling families find restoration and reconciliation, it ought to be followers of Jesus. You believe this with all your heart – but could use a little help making it happen in your community. Come and learn from several leaders some of the best ideas going in the field of family preservation and reunification.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO Joined by: Alejandra Castro, Back2Back; Chris Johnson, Lifeline Children’s Services; Amber Knowles, Fostering Family; Drake Bassett, Palmer Home for Children; and Ryan Mobley, Safe Families for Children)

Leadership Success – Maximize Mission Impact without Experiencing Burnout

Disciplined thoughts and actions around an organization’s purpose and values are absolutely essential for building highly motivated and effective teams. Successful organizations create a culture of clarity and alignment around their mission and vision and achieve desired outcomes while energizing and uniting people. During this session, participants will be equipped with proven leadership principles that will help leverage passions and proficiencies into enhanced mission impact for serving orphaned and vulnerable children.

(David Rudko, Better Way Coaching)

Leading Millennials in Orphan Care Ministry (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

With the youngest Millennials reaching adulthood, the world’s largest generation represents the primary adult cohort able to address and end the world’s orphan crisis. In this interactive session, Herbie Newell and Dr. Rick Morton will lead a conversation around insights gained from leading Millennial families and a Millennial workforce to reach and care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Whether you are new to orphan care ministry or a seasoned veteran, you will benefit from this discussion in successful strategies to recruit, train, mobilize, and retain young adults in ministering to orphaned and vulnerable children. Open to CAFO Member Organizations Only.

(Herbie Newell and Rick Morton, Lifeline Children’s Services)

Let’s Talk About Adoption Medical Care Opportunities

Come on by the gathering tent and join the Show Hope team to discuss how medical care grants can make a difference for adoptive families on every part of their journey. Bring your questions and stories!

(Nathan Magness, Show Hope)

Lift Them Up to Serve: Leading Volunteers Through a Trauma Focused Lens to Resilience

In this interactive workshop, we will assemble strategies for equipping volunteers to engage children and teens with a trauma-informed perspective.  Join us!

(David and Jayne Schooler, Community Impact Center)

Living in the Hard: A Dialogue About Parenting Teens from Tough Places

Between Beth, Bobbie Jo, and Debbie, these women are parenting more than a dozen children between the ages of 13-23 – so this workshop will be full of empathy and practical tips. No subject will be off-limits, as they share best practices and their own hard lessons. This workshop will address, but will not be limited to, conversations around: boundaries, other siblings, self-care, trauma principles, and family support.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Beth Guckenberger, Adoptive Parent & Back2Back; Bobbie Jo Ehlers, Adoptive Parent; and Debbie Joy, Adoptive Parent & Adoption Therapist)

Marriage Can Only Survive and Thrive WITH the One Who Made It and Can Make It Work

The strains of parenting on marriage can be multiplied tenfold by the complexity that often comes in caring for children who have known and unknown deep hurt. Join Dennis and Barbara Rainey as they discuss the struggles, rewards, and real-life messiness of keeping a marriage strong amidst difficult adoption and foster care journeys.

(Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Family Life)

More Than Enough Together: A Pre-Summit Intensive for Local Foster Care Collaborators (Pre-Summit Intensive)

We will bring together some of the best minds in the country to focus on the five basic building blocks of local foster care collaboration: Communication, Fundraising, Church Engagement, Data and Technology, and Local Network Health. (Pre-registration required)

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 8:30am – 2:30pm

CEU’s Available: 5

My Children and the World’s Children

Are your own children thriving as you take on the burdens of caring for the world’s children? Let’s explore together a solid framework that encourages vibrant life for your particular family in the midst of so much need. If you find yourself wondering how your own children are navigating your life of ministry, this session is for you.

(Jill Aspegren, Casa Viva)

Navigating Birth Parent Relationships as a Foster or Adoptive Parent

Birth parent relationships can be tricky and emotionally draining. Yet it is vital to remember that our kids’ birth parents are an extremely important part of their lives. Bring your questions and let’s discuss practical ways to show them respect in the way we talk and interact with our kids. Be encouraged in how you and your child can build healthy and God-honoring connections with their birth parents.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Jami Kaeb, The Forgotten Initiative)

Nurturing Care

Connecting through relationships with our kids is vital. In this workshop, parents and ministry leaders will understand why nurture is important, experience a nurture group, and leave with a plan to do one within their own family or organization.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Ryan & Kayla North, One Big Happy Home)

Nurturing Optimism

Learn how to identify your own explanatory style and tendency toward optimism or pessimism. Your explanatory style is what you say to yourself when you experience stress and adversity. It influences your performance, your mood, and even your health. Discover the benefits of being an optimist and the opportunities that exist for nurturing optimism and being the voice of hope and encouragement. The key to optimism is to maximize successes and minimize failures. Participants will complete an action plan designed to infuse optimistic qualities into their sphere of influence in whatever ministry or activity they are engaged in.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Lynn & Ruby Johnston, LAMb International)

Orphan and Stand Sunday, 20th Year Commemoration Awards Dinner (Invitation Only)

Join us for a gathering of the saints! All past Orphan Sunday Coordinators and partners are invited to a special recognition dinner to commemorate the 20th observance of Orphan and Stand Sunday. This event is by invitation only. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

(Jodi Tucker & Ashley Phelan, CAFO)

Orphan Care as Part of a Church Discipleship Strategy

Mobilizing Christians into caring for orphans is first and foremost a discipleship issue. In the modern evangelical church, the mandate to care for orphans has been woefully under-communicated. Come consider together practical strategies for integrating care for orphans and vulnerable people into the discipleship strategy of the local church. We will discuss the critical issues in developing a discipleship strategy that addresses orphan care, as well as ways to implement it into personal, small group, and corporate discipleship.

(Rick Morton, Lifeline Children Services)

Parenting Teens from Tough Places

Following the earlier workshop, join Beth, Bobbie Jo, and Debbie in this small group setting to ask questions, share, encourage, and pray together.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Beth Guckenberger, Adoptive Parent & Back2Back; Bobbie Jo Ehlers, Adoptive Parent; and Debbie Joy, Adoptive Parent & Adoption Therapist)

Parents as Partners in Healing: Becoming Safe Boss, Nurturer, and Storykeeper

Parenting is the hardest job in the world. Parenting the child from a hard place, whose needs are complex and difficult to assess moment-to-moment, requires parents to continue stretching. The triangle of the caregiver role: Safe Boss, Nurturer, and Storykeeper, provides the scaffolding for empathy, consistency, delighting in our children, nurturing ourselves in order to nurture them, and holding their hard stories. When equipped to move in and out of these roles, parents become even more powerful agents of healing for their children.

Find out more about Paris at

CEU’s Available: 1  (Paris Goodyear-Brown, Speaker, Author, & Clinician)

Plucky and Buoyant: Habits and Ideas to Thrive in Fundraising (Pre-Summit Intensive)

Are you ready to become a plucky buoyant fundraising all-star? Of course you are! Join us for an interactive learning experience on the most important: ideas to consider, relationships to develop, ingredients to get right, and habits to practice to thrive in fundraising. (Pre-registration required)

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 8:30am – 2:30pm


Q&A with Adult Adoptees

Whether you were adopted, have adopted, or are adopting, this conversation with adult adoptees is for you. Bring your burning questions, thoughts, or concerns about identity development, birth family relationships, or bonding. No conversation or question is off-limits. Let’s share information, experiences, and resources – and ultimately leave with hope.

(Trisha Priebe, Lifesong for Orphans and Mandy Litzke, Safe Harbour)


Re-emerging: A Hybrid Approach to Events & Resources

As organization or ministry leaders, we’ve likely all become experts at hosting online meetings, events, and support groups over the past year. Now that the world is re-opening to in-person opportunities, we’re faced with decisions of when and how to reintroduce certain events and programs. Join in as we discuss the benefits of a hybrid approach to services that will expand your reach and meet families right where they’re at.

(Tiffany Loeffler, The Alliance: Defending the Cause of Kids & Families)

Recruiting, Retaining, and Engaging Volunteers in Your Church’s Ministry

Join us for a discussion on the ins and outs of finding, on-boarding, managing, and leading volunteers in your ministry. We’ll problem-solve some of the constraints you’re navigating through now, and discuss principles like communicating clear expectations, providing on-ramping tools of training and ongoing support, building in accountability and growth measures, and celebrating successes along the way.

(Lisa Crider & Nicole Tabor, Fostering Together, North Point Ministries, Inc. )

Redemptive Connection

The Redemptive Connection framework provides tools and understanding to families working with youth and young adults aged 16+. At the core of Redemptive Connection is the commitment of a family to a lifelong safe, stable relationship with at-risk or vulnerable youth. Out of this commitment, a framework of relationship-building and relational resilience is put in place to empower every family with a toolbox of thinking and behaving which provides the scaffolding for creating belonging and interdependence for their youth. This workshop will provide families with a deeper understanding of the emotional drivers of complex adolescent and young adult behaviors. Practitioners and families will be equipped with a simple tool for working with older youth and young adults to aid them in considering the “why behind the what” of behaviors and empower them to stay in the relationship to help guide their young person to a thriving future. The Redemptive Connection framework emphasizes the importance of teaching young people personal responsibility while maintaining compassion and belonging to move them forward into safe and connected independent adulthood.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Pam Parish, Connections Homes)

ReFraming the Struggle: Finding Strength When Things Are Hard

Foster and adoptive parents face a unique set of challenges and circumstances that are most meaningfully understood and experienced through the lens of God’s truth. This session will help you “reframe” some thinking through those experiences along your journey in a helpful and sustaining way. We’ll explore how to handle our own perceived weaknesses, what to do when you feel like quitting, and how to more deeply understand the spiritual nature of the work we are doing. If you’ve ever found yourself alone with your own thoughts, fears, hopes, concerns, and anxieties along this journey of fostering and adopting, then this workshop is for you. You’ll be encouraged, inspired, and reinvigorated to take your next best steps forward.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Reframing the Struggle: Finding Strength When Things Are Hard

Foster and adoptive parents face a unique set of challenges and circumstances that are most meaningfully understood and experienced through the lens of God’s truth. This session will help you “reframe” some thinking through those experiences along your journey in a helpful and sustaining way. We’ll explore how to handle our own perceived weaknesses, what to do when we feel like quitting, and how to more deeply understand the spiritual nature of the work we are doing. If you’ve ever found yourself alone with your own thoughts, fears, hopes, concerns, and anxieties along this journey of fostering and adopting, then this workshop is for you. You’ll be encouraged, inspired, and reinvigorated to take your next best steps forward.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Refugee Foster Care: Fostering with a New Perspective

Together we will explore differences, and lessons learned, in refugee foster care and traditional foster care. Come learn how families are opening their homes to children and youth that are far from home. We’ll discuss/share some key differences in fostering youth from abroad and lessons learned along the way.

(Charlotte Paulsen, International Christian Adoptions)

Relational Advocacy: How to Effectively Use Our Collective Voices For The Children

How can we most effectively advocate for those involved in the child welfare system? Issues that these children and families experience often don’t receive the same attention publicly that other societal ills do. We have an opportunity and responsibility to change that. Join us for this creative discussion on specific ways to apply a paradigm called Relational Advocacy, focusing on personal connection within our closest relationships. It doesn’t require heading to Capitol Hill, but can instead become a transformational part of our daily lives. Leave with practical ways to effectively apply it for the children you serve!

(Paul Martin, For The Children (formerly Royal Family Kids))

Removing the Rose-Colored Glasses: An Honest Look at Adoption for Parents

No matter how many books you’ve read, or trainings you’ve attended, you may still enter into adoption with unspoken expectations and some version of rose-colored glasses. Once a child comes home and real-life begins, some parents begin to wonder if there was even a book written to describe the child they are parenting! And often these parents feel alone and misunderstood. Can you relate? During this hour, adoptive and foster parents will be given the opportunity to dialogue about the lesser discussed aspects of adoption and learn from the stories of families who have walked a similar road. You will have the opportunity to share some of your own story, learn from others, pray for breakthroughs, and put together a plan for getting the support you may need. Ideas for engaging the church around foster/adoption support will also be presented and discussed.

(Karen Springs, World Without Orphans)

Residential Care That Heals (Domestic)

There are thousands of children who are languishing in the child welfare system, here in the United States, with little or no prospect of a forever family. The statistics surrounding the social ills that await these vulnerable children and youth are horrifying and altogether real. Come with your questions and observations, ready to discuss proven practices that prepare children for full community reintegration through the vehicle of a family.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Jason & Maggie Dunn, House of Providence)

Restoring Hope to Children with Disabilities

This conversation is for anyone that is slightly interested in adopting a child with a disability – whether a current parent or international ministry worker. How can caregivers be aware of each life area affected by disability and seek to bring restoration to the whole child? Bring your own story and questions to this encouraging hour focused on God’s goodness and practical solutions.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Natalie Flickner, Crisis Care Training International)

Right Where You Belong

A “can’t miss” hour for adoptees & adoptive parents. Let’s discuss questions & tangible truths we (as adoptees and adoptive parents) can hang onto when faced with the paralyzing doubt or pesky insecurity associated with adoption. Prepare for a heartfelt, honest, and encouraging discussion!

(Trisha Priebe, Lifesong for Orphans)

Shifting the Mindset Towards Family Care

Join like-minded practitioners interested in affecting greater change in care reform as we strategize and collaborate on shifting mindsets towards family care. While much evidence has been provided on the importance of family, and viable models of family care have been established, many people still resist family-based services. In our Better Together Room, we’ll be planning, dreaming, and strategizing together on how to advance family care with clear communication, compelling stories, and effective engagement in both large and small settings.

(Brandon Stiver, 1Million Home)

Social Enterprise Community of Practice Workshop (Pre-Summit Intensive)

This one-day interactive workshop is for people who are currently involved with a social enterprise or in the process of starting one. You will meet a group of practitioners who will share keys to success as well as the lessons they have learned from their mistakes. There will be representatives from four kinds of business models that we will showcase:

1) Domestic sales/retail/wholesale (Carabello Coffee, Gobena Coffee)
2) Overseas production/domestic sales (GOEX Haiti, Freeset)
3) Overseas businesses (Lifesong Farms, SSE Nigeria)
4) Marketplace ministries connected with a local church in the U.S. (SSE/ORCA Center)

We will start the day together as a community, and then workshop participants will get to choose one that they would like to go deeper with.  They will then spend time with the leaders in a small group and visit the local offices where possible so you can see a social enterprise in action.

We will spend the final part of the day conducting targeted consultations to help you in the areas of developing a robust financial/business model, finding the right partners, hiring the right people, and building and training the organization. Join us for an invaluable day of learning with others who have gone before you – it could save you years of time and tons of money from trying to do it on your own. You will become part of a community of practitioners who are learning together and supporting one another.

(Pre-registration required)

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 8:30am – 2:30pm

(Facilitated by: Vivienne Bechtold, CAFO Sustainable Social Enterprise Director Joined by: Joe Knittig, GOEX; Andy Lehman, Lifesong & Gobena Coffee; Justin & Emily Carabello, Carabello Coffee; Jeff Greer, Self Sustaining Enterprises (SSE) & ORCA Center; Pete West, Self Sustaining Enterprises; and Kevin Schwieger, Grace Chapel)

Soul Care for Your Team (Coaching Table)

If you have been convicted to dive deeper into soul care for your team but don’t know where to start, have been trying to grow in this area of ministry, or just want to discuss an idea for your team…this is for you! Come along with questions and we will share our experiences together.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!


Story-based Tools to Help Children Who Have Experienced Trauma

When a person is immersed in a story, change is likely to happen. In this interactive workshop, you will hear clips from River Cross’s newest production, Jabota Bridge, and discuss the power of story to change thinking, attitudes, and behaviors. Come consider story-based tools to help you help the traumatized children in your care.

(Cindy Finley, River Cross)

Strengthening Families: Caregiver Attachment as a Protective Factor

This workshop will explore the importance of facilitating secure caregiver attachment as a protective factor for vulnerable families. Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. They are attributes that serve as buffers, helping parents who might otherwise be at risk of maltreating their children – to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress. Focusing on protective factors, which are attributes that families themselves often want to build, helps service providers develop positive relationships with parents. Research has found that secure caregiver attachment is one of the most predictive protective factors to ensure the well-being of children and families and placement stability long-term. The workshop will focus on specific strategies to promote secure attachment in caregivers when working in different contexts including family preservation, kinship placements, foster care, reintegration, and residential care.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Mandy Howard, Samford University)

Strengthening the Family Dynamic when Living with Disability

Families raising an individual with a disability are frequently overlooked by the global Church. Churches frequently lack the resources, safe spaces, and training to welcome and support families. Many report feeling alone in their journey and discouraged by the lack of resources offered by their church. Roughly, only 10% of churches offer disability ministries; a number that is drastically too low. Shine On, a ministry of the Tim Tebow Foundation, equips the global Church and families living with disability with innovative resources, training, and programs to eliminate barriers and cultivate life-giving community. The Strengthening the Family Dynamic when Living with a Disability session will provide strategies on how to connect, support, and empower the parents, siblings, and individuals with a physical, developmental, or intellectual disability within your church.

Alfredo Salazar will present various approaches to promoting strong families living with a disability. He will first review common religious coping techniques used by families living with a disability and how the church can empathically listen and support families. Next, he will review how the church can connect couples, families, and individuals to licensed therapists in your area. Finally, he will discuss how to empower families within the church, create a community of inclusion, and develop crucial resources within your church to meet each family’s needs.

For additional resources, please download in your Apple or Android app store.

(Alfredo Salazar, Down Guatemala)

Sudden Change for Non-Profits: Friend or Foe?

When faced with changes beyond our control – whether natural disasters, sudden public policy changes, or a global pandemic – how do we make quick shifts within our organizations that benefit the children we work with? Ten organizations from different parts of the world have been journeying together this past year as they were forced to rapidly reintegrate children into families due to COVID-19 mandates from their government. Come hear what they and their coach have learned about family reintegration, supporting families during emergencies, and how to make significant changes within their organizations quickly.

(Facilitated by: Ian Anand Forber-Pratt, Children’s Emergency Relief International – CERI and Trisha Weber, CAFO Joined by: Alejandra Castro, Back2Back; Taylor Cochran, Bless the Children; and John Dongerdive, Life Light Ministries)

Supporting Families: A More Than Enough Big Idea Workshop

If your community is like most, you are losing approximately 50% of the foster families you recruit within the first year. However, there are communities with a MUCH better retention rate for one simple reason: they are supporting their families incredibly well. If you want to know what is working and how to wrap around foster, kinship, adoptive, and biological families, this workshop is your next best step.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Jason Johnson, CAFO Joined by: Nicole Taylor, Congregations for Kids (CFK); Pam Parish, Connections Homes; Johnna Stein, Promise686; & Lesli Reece, Fostering Together)

Supporting Local Families to Care for Children with Special Needs in the Majority World (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Caring for children with special needs can be daunting anywhere, and all the more so in many countries with highly-limited resources and public supports. How can CAFO member organizations best encourage and enable families globally to care for their children with special needs? What is working now and what new strategies are needed? CAFO member organizations are invited to join together in this interactive discussion of the big challenges and promising solutions.

(Faciliated by Jared Scheppmann, Ekisa)

Sustainable Social Enterprises: Hands-On How to Get Started (or Accelerate!)

This highly interactive session will allow in-depth collaboration between actual practitioners and attendees as you work on your own plan for a new and/or accelerated Sustainable Social Enterprise that is well-integrated with your current ministry. You will learn some keys to success, as well as lessons learned from mistakes, and then you will develop your ideas in a roundtable format where you will receive feedback and guidance from experienced practitioners — ultimately walking out with an action plan and clear next steps!

(Facilitated by: Vivienne Bechtold, CAFO Sustainable Social Enterprise Director Joined by: Joe Knittig, GOEX; Andy Lehman, Lifesong & Gobena Coffee; Justin & Emily Carabello, Carabello Coffee; Jeff Greer, Self Sustaining Enterprises (SSE) & ORCA Center; Pete West, Self Sustaining Enterprises; and Kevin Schwieger, Grace Chapel)

Taking Relationships to the Next Level 201: Collaborating with Churches, Governments, and Businesses (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

When thinking about moving toward family-based solutions for children, explore how engaging key local actors can multiply the impact. In this session, we’ll discuss how best to work from the ground up developing nationalized systems of care for children separated from their families, and how to support and encourage the process from the sidelines. We’ll exchange stories and examples from our experiences working in different countries.

(Phil Aspegren, Casa Viva & Mike Douris, Orphan Outreach)

Teaching Kids to Bounce Back! (Coaching Table)

Resilience can be learned and research shows that it is the key to healing from hard times – and for facing future challenges. Join us at this coaching table to learn/discuss practical skills and tools for anyone who works with kids with emotional and behavioral challenges. The first step in emotional regulation often begins with identifying the emotion. Learn some strategies to teach children how to “Name it/Tame it.” Learn specific and concrete action plans for dealing with big emotions.

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

(Deb Lukasiewicz, Finally Home)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Adoption Financing (Coaching Table)

After helping more than 2,000 families adopt, our lending team has developed some important tips for successfully navigating the financing of an adoption. Come with your questions and learn practical ways to maximize your ability to afford adoption and avoid common pitfalls that can lead to frustration and even heartbreak.

(Natalie DePrat, America’s Christian Credit Union)

No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!

The More Than Enough Better Together Deep Dive

Join this interactive gathering of foster care leaders and advocates to explore, plan, problem-solve, and dream…together. Sit with the presenters you’ve heard through the week to talk through questions and discuss ways to make their ideas on Finding Families, Keeping Families Together, and Supporting Families fit in your communities.

(Facilitated by Jason Weber, CAFO & More Than Enough Leaders)

The Mother of Invention: Bootstrapped OVC Care Innovations from a Year of Crisis

What was your best new idea this year? What innovations impressed you amidst hard times? Come ready both to share and to hear from fellow leaders the real-world struggles we’ve faced, and the creative solutions we’ve forged, in a season of unprecedented challenge. Together, we’ll explore an array of new angles, fresh ideas, and inventive problem-solving with leaders serving vulnerable children around the globe.

(Shelton Taguma, Forgotten Voices and Susan Hillis, CDC & World Without Orphans)

The Nuts and Bolts of Bridge Building in Foster Care

When a group of churches and local organizations start dreaming together about how to help local child welfare transform foster care in a community, often a bridge ministry is born. These ministries navigate the waters between church and state and fill needed gaps in the local foster care landscape. Whether you are part of an existing bridge ministry or have something brewing in your community, this guided conversation will expose you to the primary functions of a bridge ministry  – and discuss the components you should be considering as you grow. Come with questions!

CEU’s Available: 1  (Shelly Radic, Project 1.27)

The Other Half of Reunification: How to Work with Vulnerable Families

The point of reintegrating children back to family is crucial, but the work doesn’t end there! Join us for a workshop about the long view of family care. Whether you have a children’s home and have never reintegrated children, or you’ve been reintegrating children for years, you have a place in this session as we dive into the most critical components of family care. We’ll discuss effective social service models, organizational structures, managing cases, closing cases, and connecting children and families with the community services that help them thrive. Bring your questions and experiences – and prepare to receive counsel from leaders on the frontlines of family care.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Brandon Stiver, 1Million Home Joined by: Jared Scheppman , Ekisa Ministries; Laura Horvath, Helping Children Worldwide; Ashlee Heiligman, Global Child Advocates; Spencer Reeves, Child Hope International; Marisa Stam, Selamta Family Project; & Brent Phillips, Cherish Uganda)

The Present and Future of International Adoption

The landscape of intercountry adoption has changed dramatically in recent years. This facilitated conversation will outline what those changes have been and focus on where the field is going. Participants will discuss how to participate and engage in the field as it is, while actively working to advocate for needed changes.

(Chuck Johnson & Ryan Hanlon, National Council For Adoption)

The Secret Sauce of Recruitment – Moving Stories, Tender Hearts, & Community Collaboration

There’s a foster crisis in America and most Christians don’t know how to help – or worse, don’t even know about it. How can ministries strengthen and communicate their recruitment efforts effectively and with excellence? Learn how to practically apply these proven tools to your efforts: moving stories, tender hearts, and community collaboration. Experience a live stage presentation of the “No More Orphans Experience” as an example of putting these tools to action.

(Jaime & Tami Kent, The No More Foundation)

The Struggle is Real but so is Success – Parenting Kids with FASD

Parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or other brain-based disabilities is challenging and can be isolating at times. Meeting their social, emotional, educational, and mental health needs is a daunting task. Join a panel of FASD caregivers and hear how they navigate the journey, because the struggle is real – but so is success.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Sandra Flach, Adoptive Mom & Justice For Orphans; Rebecca Tillou, Adult Adoptee; Aubrey Page, Adoptive Parent; and Chris Troutt, Adoptive Parent)


The Teaching-Family Model: An Introduction and Overview of Applications

This workshop will introduce the Teaching-Family Model, its origin and history – as well as its current uses, throughout many different settings and levels of care. The basic components of the model will be explained including goals, systems, and elements. Within the presentation, the key concepts used to implement the model will be discussed and some significant questions about accreditation answered. These questions will include: How does the model address trauma? How does the model ensure a positive approach to treatment? Who is using this model and where? What makes TFA Accreditation unique? …and more!

(Michele Boguslofski, Teaching-Family Association)

The Work – and Joy – of WITH: Building Bonds Across Differences

Almost everything today seems to pull people apart. Differences of race, class, and other factors split nations, communities, even friends and families. Scripture calls God’s people in the opposite direction – both “bearing with” and building bonds with those who appear different, but share a common Lord. In this session, we’ll look at how this commitment must always begin with the practice of attentiveness. Even better, we’ll experience together what that looks like across many of the lines that divide people today.

CEU’s Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Jedd Medefind, CAFO Joined by: Lea Wright, Hope for the Fatherless; Kevan Chandler, We Carry Kevan; Johnna Murray, Palmer Home Family Care)

Thriving in Adoption and Foster Care

Adoption and foster care are hard spaces. They come with both beauty and brutality. How do we thrive as Believers, and as local churches, stepping into these spaces? In this workshop, we will discuss what it looks like to practice spiritual disciplines, soul care, and regular rhythms of community, work, and rest that will enable us to thrive as we follow Jesus into the spaces of adoption and foster care.

CEUs Available: 1  (Renaut van der Riet, Mosaic Church)

Together with Families: Case Management in Working with Family and Community Reintegration

This workshop will provide basic, entry-level theoretical and practical information on case management for organizations and individuals working or interested in family reintegration and preventing separation of children from their families. Together we will explore the process of case management, examples of tools and standards, and share experiences of using case management. Special topics will include: strengths-based approaches, engaging the family in their own growth, child participation in case management, working with the community, and monitoring toward successful reintegration. Following a presentation and discussion, there will be a participatory exercise to help participants take steps to incorporate strengths-based, together with family case management into their work. Resources and links to more information will be shared.

CEUs Available: 1  (Beth Bradford, Changing the Way We Care)

Trauma Competent Care (ENGLISH) (Pre-Summit Intensive)

Trauma Free World brings evidence-informed and world-class training out of university classrooms and makes it accessible to all adults. By doing so, even the best interventions and strategies are strengthened and maximized. (Pre-registration required)

Date: Monday and Tuesday, September 13th-14th – 9:00am – 4:00pm

(Julie Cooper & Ann Smith, Trauma Free World)

CEUs Available: Attendee can earn up to 12 for BOTH days (6 CEs per day)

Trauma Competent Care (SPANISH) (Pre-Summit Intensive)

Trauma Free World trae pruebas informadas y entrenamiento de clase mundial fuera de las aulas universitarias y lo hace accesible para todos los adultos. Al hacerlo, incluso las mejores intervenciones y estrategias se ven reforzadas y maximizadas. (Pre-registration required)

Date: Monday & Tuesday, September 13&14,  9:00am-4:00pm

(Teresa García, Trauma Free World & Juan Manuel Porto, Back2Back Monterrey)

CEUs Available: Attendee can earn up to 12 for BOTH days (6 CEs per day)

Trauma-Informed Education – Empowering Your Child’s Teacher to be Trust-Based

Learn practical tools and brain-integrating strategies for parents to share with teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to implement trauma-informed care in the school setting.

CEUs Available: 1  (Angie Proctor, Trust-Based Counseling Services)

Until There’s More Than Enough: Working Together to Transform Foster Care Where You Live

You are tired of foster care in your community being defined by the words “not enough.” You know it doesn’t have to be that way – but are a little foggy on the way forward. This session will introduce you to the principles, practices, and people of local foster care transformation through the power of community collaboration. A team of leaders from various backgrounds, who have seen thriving foster care movements start and grow in their own communities, will share their insights and answer your questions about how churches, organizations, businesses, and government can work together to go from not enough to more than enough.

CEUs Available: 1  (Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO Joined by: Shelly Radic, Project 1.27; Philip Pattison, Foster the City; Lauri Currier, The CALL; & Sharen Ford, Focus on the Family)

Visitation Best Practices

Many children participate in monitored or supervised visits with their biological parents. Is your church or agency open to providing space for family visitation? Bring your best practices (or questions) and learn new ones! Together we’ll discuss: designing or selecting a visitation location, coaching parents for success, incorporating caregivers into visitation, and troubleshooting concerns about safety, attachment, and more.

(Wendy McMahan, Olive Crest)

What’s Next for our Church’s Ministry?

Join in on a discussion of strategies and principles to help you identify the next steps to take in your foster care, adoption, or global orphan care ministry.

(Steve Gillis, Patch our Planet)

When Short-Term Trips Aren’t Possible: Alternative Engagement Opportunities

For many organizations serving vulnerable children and families, short-term missions can serve as a means to connect your partners to what God is doing through your program. How do you maintain this connection when short-term mission trips aren’t possible or wise? What do you do to build relationships with partners when your program is not yet ready to receive STM teams in light of the global pandemic? This session is an interactive discussion with programs asking these questions and developing innovative solutions. Bring your queries and your experiences for the opportunity to learn together.

(Facilitated by: Laura Nzirimu, CAFO Joined by: Rebeka Corgan, One More Child; Mike Bowles, Back2Back; & Margaret Hoffer, Selamta Family Project)

Where to Start in Adoption

Welcome all who are considering adoption or are wanting to learn more about the “adoption world” to counsel others on their journey! Whether you’re exploring your own adoption or helping others on their journey, this is for you. We’ll discuss important and current information on the scope of adoption, where to go for the best resources, and how to pray through each step.

CEUs Available: 1  (Drew Neuenschwander, Loving Shepherd Ministries)

Writing and Speaking About Your Story

Learn how to communicate your family’s story in a way that honors your children, and inspires/educates your audience. Join Beth for a rich Q&A based on your own stories – focusing on getting started, understanding the delicacies, and maneuvering challenges.

(Beth Guckenberger, Back2Back)

Thank you to our Signature Sponsors

Thank you to our Champion Sponsors