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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)