CEU Workshops

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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 https://www.parisgoodyearbrown.com/

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 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 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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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 https://www.parisgoodyearbrown.com/

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

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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 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)

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)