Engaging Effectively for Orphans Worldwide

10 Principles for Effective Family Strengthening

Family care for any child begins with supporting the caregivers who love and serve a child long-term. “Family Strengthening” has become a buzzword that is often used in conversations – but many don’t know exactly what it means. Join Dr. Delia Pop as she outlines practical options for supporting families – whether that be for prevention, reintegration, adoption, foster, or kinship care.

(Delia Pop, Hope and Homes for Children)

50 Ideas for your Orphan or Stand Sunday

Is your church new to Orphan Sunday or Stand Sunday and you need ideas to create your first event? Or, has your church been doing Orphan Sunday for many years and you need fresh creativity? Either way, this is for you! You will leave this workshop with your hands full of many great, easy to execute, and meaningful ideas that will help to make this event have impact in your church – and for orphans and foster children! Our team will take you through the best ideas from the last 10 years of this amazing movement. Handouts and visuals will be provided to get you started.

(Jodi Jackson Tucker & Michelle Vernon, CAFO)

Adult Attachment and Family Strengthening (Advanced)

Learn the four adult attachment styles including the precursors, their potential impact on caregiving, and how to identify each style in children. Discover how to strengthen families by increasing caregiver sensitivity, helping caregivers recognize negative response patterns, and increasing caregiver mindfulness.

(Mandy Howard, Samford University)

Advocacy for Family Care within Your Organization (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

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 & international orphan care. An expert panel 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.

(Faciliated by: W. Scott Brown, CAFO. Joined by: Robert Duke, Azusa Pacific University; Wilbert Fobbs, Seed Growth; Rick Burslem, Sunrise Children’s Services; & Trace Thurlby, The Global Orphan Project.)

Benchmarks for Healthy Child Sponsorship Programs (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

While there is little research on the impact of sponsorship programs, they remain a popular tool for fundraising and donor connection. Join other CAFO members as together we discuss core guidelines for healthy sponsorship programs – and how we can truly consider the best interests of the children, families, and communities we serve.

(Laura Kost, Open Arms International; Rebeka Corgan, One More Child; & Marqui Krone, Lifesong for Orphans)

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

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

(Jayne Schooler, Back2Back Ministries)

Caring for Your Own Family While Involved in a Ministry Dedicated to Children

What we offer to the vulnerable children of the world starts with what we offer to the children in our own home. In this session, we’ll give parents permission to connect strongly with their children, to create a secure home environment, and to respond to each child’s particular needs. We’ll talk about what children who grow up in ministry families need in order to be successful. You’ll be encouraged to love your own children well.

(Jill Aspegren, Casa Viva)

Creating a Strategic Plan for Transitioning to Family Care (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

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 understanding of what is happening, what is going well, and governments, agencies, and nonprofits have fallen short so far—so that everyone is better equipped to offer lasting care.

(Mike Douris, Orphan Outreach) 

Effective Care Planning in Children’s Homes and Foster Care (Global) (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Emerging Foster Care Models in Majority World

In any context, we need multiple care solutions so that each child can be placed in accordance with his or her needs and best interest. Foster care is an important part of the continuum of care, but often lacking in certain areas of the world. Nonetheless, pioneering organizations have worked together with others in their context to develop new models of foster care. Learn what works in their context and what you might be able to apply in yours.

(Ashlee Heiligman, Thailand; Alliance for Children Everywhere, Zambia; Corbey Dukes, Guatemala; Chris Nickerson, Mexico)

Family Assessment

(Kristi Gleason, Bethany)

Family Group Conferencing

Family group conferencing is a mediated, formal meeting between family members and other officials (such as social workers) in regards to the care and protection of a child or adolescent. This process is systems-focused and lets those most involved in a child’s care take the lead on what should happen. Family group conferencing can be used in any program caring for vulnerable kids to identify solutions supported by that child’s community. Learn practical solutions and ways to implement this in your program.

(Mick Pease & Dan Hope, SFAC)

Fostering Teenagers, Learned Lessons

Come discover our learned lessons during the process of raising 23 teenagers in a 13 year period.  Hear what we learned about trauma, attachment, and the reality of practicing TBRI. We’ll share how we learned to make sense of our past in order to better parent and to love with freedom. Trust us – this will help you to save precious time and energy!

(Juan Porto, Back2Back Ministries)

Harnessing the CAFO Core Elements to Improve Programs and Impress Donors (CAFO Member Organizations Only)

Caring for vulnerable children can often seem overwhelming, with daily emergencies often overtaking the long view of how to improve our programs. Knowing we all want to do the very best for children, CAFO created the confidential, evidence-based Core Elements review to give you a quick snapshot into your program’s strengths and areas for growth. In addition to helping us improve our programs, the Core Elements can provide a tool to communicate with donors and other key stakeholders. Learn from CAFO’s Director of Communications as he shows you how to use your scores to improve your fundraising practices.

(Mandy Howard, Samford University; Nicole Wilke & Karl Dinkler, CAFO)

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, Back2Back Ministries)

Models of Transition to Family Care in Africa

Join a collective group of world class organizations leading family reunification efforts in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Uganda. Glean from 20 years of lessons learned and walk away with actionable, practical steps toward deinstitutionalizing children and repurposing facilities/staff. Build connection with pioneering organizations who have gone before you, and walk away with a clear, actionable “next step” in returning and supporting kids in families.



Parenting Skills Training for Family Strengthening (Coaching Table)

During this coaching table, program leaders and child welfare professionals will discuss how to train parenting skills in order to support family strengthening.

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Preparing and Strengthening Families for Reintegration (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Recruiting Foster Parents in Low-Resource Contexts (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Risk to Resiliency: Working With Families in Crisis

Need something for your team to use in working with families who are in crisis? This session will overview a 10 lesson (three hours per lesson) program, covering psychological trauma, child abuse and neglect, crisis management, engaging a family in crisis, helping a family make a plan for safety, and much more. You will be encouraged to immediately implement this training program back in your own church, system, NGO, or network. Upon completion of the session, you will be given a link to access the entire curriculum, PowerPoints, and handouts.

(Lynn & Ruby Johnston, LAMb International)

Short-Term Missions: Keeping Partners Engaged

Short term missions can accomplish many purposes both for the goer and sender. One of those primary reasons can be to reach new partners and keep current partners engaged. This is a valuable and admirable goal; however, we also know that children are never a means to an end. So, how do we identify solutions for keeping partners engaged through STMs that eliminate risks to vulnerable children and families? Learn from three organizations who have walked this road and found successful solutions.

(Kate Borders, World Orphans; Laura Horvath, Helping Children Worldwide; Stacie Ellinger, Children In Families)

Supporting Family and Community Reintegration Through Case Management

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, child participation, and monitoring toward successful reintegration. Following a presentation and discussion, there will be a participatory exercise to help participants take steps to incorporate case management into their work. Resources and links to more information will be shared.

(Beth Bradford & Maria Jose Ortiz, Changing the Way We Care)

Supporting Governments in the Transition to Family Care (Advanced) (COACHING TABLE)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

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

How can CAFO member organizations best encourage and enable families globally to effectively care for 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.

(David Gotts, International China Concern)

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

Integrating a business enterprise into your service model can significantly expand impact – from family strengthening and aging out programs, to organization sustainability. This session will be highly interactive, allowing 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!

(Vivienne Bechtold, CAFO; Andy Lehman, Lifesong for Orphans; Jeff Greer, SSE; Erica Hall, Akola; Joe Knittig, GOEX; Lisa Castetter, Teen Leadership Challenge)

Taking Relationships to the Next Level 201: Collaborating with Churches, Governments, and Business

When thinking about moving toward family based solutions for children, it’s imperative to explore how engaging key local actors can multiply the impact. In this session, we’ll investigate 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. We’ll offer stories and examples from our experiences working in different countries.

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

The Cost of Poverty Experience

The Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) serves as a disruptor of the status quo, catalyst for paradigm shifts, and springboard for collaborative community action in holistically caring for children and families in crisis. COPE was developed with low-income individuals who shared their story to give participants an opportunity to move beyond stereotypes to a deeper understanding of the causes and effects of poverty. COPE gives participants an opportunity to experience simulated poverty firsthand through the eyes of real families. The experiential nature of this training helps churches, communities, and individuals more deeply understand the complexities of poverty. This paves the way for more meaningful and empathic relationships and connections created by working across all levels of engagement with vulnerable families and children.

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 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 such as:

How does the Model address trauma?
How does the Model ensure a positive approach to treatment?
Who is using this Model and where?
How is accreditation by TFA different from other accrediting bodies?
How is TFA accreditation complimentary to other accrediting bodies?
What makes TFA accreditation unique?

While the length of the workshop limits the amount of detail, the goal is to provide an understanding of the framework and benefits of the Teaching-Family Model, along with available resources that can provide additional information.

(Craig Gammon, Methodist Children’s Home)

Troubleshooting Your Questions on Family Care for Children with Special Needs (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Using the Child Status Index for Case Management (Advanced) (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Vocational Training for Youth in Care (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

We Think We Might Be Interested In Moving Toward Family Care (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)

Working With Children Living on the Street (Coaching Table)

(Pre-sign up required to reserve a spot at this coaching table.  Coaching table sign-ups available soon!)