2017 UT Child Welfare Conference Schedule

Time Event Presenters Location
8:00-8:30am Registration/ Light Refreshments Auditorium Lobby
8:30-8:45am Opening remarks Monica Faulkner, LMSW Ph.D., Director Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Beth Gerlach, LCSW, Ph.D., Associate Director, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Main Auditorium
9:00-10:00am Workshop Session 1:
 Working with Undocumented Youth

 

Panelists:
Ana Hernandez, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Anayeli Marcos, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Moderator:
Monica Faulkner, LMSW, Ph.D., Director, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Auditorium A
Issues in the Diagnosis and Clinical Care of Gender Atypical Children and Adolescents

 

Michelle G Martin, LMSW, Field Clinician, Samaritan Center for Counseling Auditorium B
10:15-11:15am Workshop Session 2:
Trauma-Informed Considerations for Transition-Age Youth Camille Clark, LMSW, Director of Community-Based Peer Support and Counseling, LifeWorks
Darrion Borders, Peer Recovery Coach, LifeWorks
Mya Randle, Coordinator, Youth Voice & Austin Youth Collective to End Homelessness
Auditorium A
Hidden and Hurting: Children Challenged by Parental Incarceration/Deportation Falba F. Turner, M. Ed., Director of Mentor Programs, Seedling Foundation
Molly Latham, Mentor Director/Recruiter, Seedling Foundation
Auditorium B
11:30- 12:30pm

Lunch & Keynote Session:

Resilience through Relationships

 

 

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, Gobbel Counseling Main Auditorium
12:40-1:40pm Workshop Session 3:
Just Being a Teenager? The Reality of Perinatal Depression in Adolescent Mothers Bella Thomas, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Enalisa Blackman, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Lily Alvarado, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Vanessa Mireles, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Elaine H Cavazos, LCSW
Auditorium A
LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system: Recognizing the role of family acceptance and affirmation Adam McCormick, MSW, Ph.D., St. Edwards University
Camille Smith, St. Edward’s University
Auditorium B
1:50- 2:50pm Approaches to Treating Trauma: Exploring current trends Various presenters- TBA Various locations
2:50- 3:15pm Closing Remarks/ Raffle Monica Faulkner, LMSW Ph.D. Director Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Beth Gerlach LCSW, Ph.D. , Associate Director, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Main Auditorium

 

Register Here
Workshop Descriptions:

Workshop Session 1:

 Working with Undocumented Youth

Ana Hernandez, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Anayeli Marcos, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing
Moderator:
Monica Faulkner, LMSW, Ph.D., Director, Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing

The political climate in our country has created fear and uncertainty in undocumented families. Children and parents live in fear of separation which impacts their ability to learn and grow. This panel with share their personal and professional insights on ways to help families and children within our current political climate. Information will be shared on ways to help families plan for their children to stay out of the child welfare system in the event of parent detainment/deportation.

Issues in the Diagnosis and Clinical Care of Gender Atypical Children and Adolescents

Michelle G Martin, LMSW, Field Clinician, Samaritan Center for Counseling

The purpose of this presentation is to provide attendees with an overview of the issues surrounding the identification and treatment of gender atypical children and adolescents. The audience is expected to be primarily composed of mental health clinicians, but other service providers such as school counselors, teachers, and case workers may also benefit from the information provided in this presentation.

This two-part presentation begins with an informal survey of the attendees’ knowledge, experience, and preconceptions about gender dysphoria in general and specifically as seen in children and adolescents. The presentation is primarily an interactive discussion, and this introduction is a discussion about gender expression and gender identity development as a function of overall child development.

The presenter establishes (at least for the duration of the discussion) common terminology to describe the issues that gender atypical children and adolescents face, and attendees will find these terms useful when addressing gender issues with parents who are themselves experiencing distress while trying to understand their child’s emerging identity.

A discussion of other issues follows: gender transitions (social and medical), legal and cultural aspects of gender variance, the history of the treatment of gender variant children, and theories of the causes of gender variance.

The specific ways in which gender dysphoria affect families and children will be discussed. This part of the presentation will highlight family dynamics, school issues, peer acceptance and bullying, and sexual orientation and dating. At this point, a brief mid-presentation question and answer period separates the overview portion of the presentation from the second half, a discussion geared specifically toward the clinical aspects of gender variance.

The second half of the presentation addresses the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis compared to the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Standards of Care and the ways in which these clinical approaches support and challenge each other. Current trends and best practices are also examined and openly discussed.

The presentation concludes with a discussion current and emerging treatment approaches and how these approaches intersect with the social systems and norms that enable and challenge effective treatment of gender atypical children and adolescents. An open question and answer period follows and concludes the session.

 

Trauma-Informed Considerations for Transition-Age Youth

Camille Clark, LMSW, Director of Community-Based Peer Support and Counseling, LifeWorks
Darrion Borders, Peer Recovery Coach, LifeWorks
Mya Randle, Coordinator, Youth Voice & Austin Youth Collective to End Homelessness

Transition-Age Youth are unique in that they typically do not fit into services designed for children nor do they fit well into services designed for adults. Some might say they are hard to engage but that can be remedied through an acquired understanding of the youth’s perspectives, wants, and needs. But don’t take it from me – come hear the LifeWorks Panel of Transition-Age Youth as they share their expertise on the subject.  A critical aspect of being trauma-informed is empowerment, voice, and choice.  This presentation is designed to be interactive and to elevate the voice of youth as we strive to improve the quality of services available to them.

 

 

Workshop Session 2: 

Hidden and Hurting: Children Challenged by Parental Incarceration/Deportation

Falba F. Turner, M. Ed., Director of Mentor Programs, Seedling Foundation
Molly Latham, Mentor Director/Recruiter, Seedling Foundation

In central Texas alone, 8,000+ minor youth have a biological parent who is incarcerated. The national figure is 1 in 28.  Estimations are necessary because no agency or institution systematically asks the question about whether a child is affected by parental incarceration.  Parental incarceration is an adverse childhood experience because of the unique combination of trauma, stigma, and shame.    Murphey & Cooper’s analysis of the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health revealed that children of prisoners (CIPs) on average showed 2.7 additional ACEs among the eight included in the survey; children who were not CIPs averaged 0.7 ACEs. This disparity existed at a noteworthy level across all age groups.

Parental incarceration unleashes or exacerbates a host of other environmental risk factors, most notably poverty. The child’s risk increases for externalizing antisocial behavior, internalizing problems in mental health, and problems in school performance. Even children who experience their challenge as one of stress and adversity without reaching the level of “trauma” still have typical feelings of sadness, fear, worry, and confusion which can lead to, at the least, a decline in motivation; at the extremes, depression, anxiety, or angry, aggressive behavior.

Similar to the effects described above, trauma, stigma, grief, and risk all characterize children with a parent who is arrested and deported as well.  Perhaps even more than children of prisoners, they can live with toxic stress prior to arrest from their fear and dread. They may be more likely to be present during the arrest. After the arrest, their fear may be even greater than for CIPs.  Further, Gjelsvik, et al (2010) concluded that the adult health risks associated with parental incarceration may have a race/ethnic factor, with Hispanic adult CIPs showing the most negative outcomes.

Children of prisoners do not have one uniform story that describes their experience or its effects. The likely moderators are known. What is clear is that all these youth are awash in risk, and the hidden nature of their stories calls on us to reach out to them with support. Recognizing likely signs to identify the youth and acquiring deep understanding of their unique challenges are the first hurdles to overcome.

The Seedling Foundation Mentor Program is the only organization in the nation using a research-driven strategy to focus exclusively on children of prisoners and to partner effectively with schools in serving them, at the rate of 600 per year. Our success lies in our in-depth training from Ann Adalist-Estrin, Director of the National Resource Center for Children and Families of the Incarcerated (NRCCFI) at Rutgers and our constant monitoring of new research.  This presentation will share what we have learned about finding the youth, responding to their needs, and acquiring the rich print and media resources available to professionals as well as families and caregivers.  Participants will be engaged in awareness activities, processing the information with peers, and evaluating a tool for recognizing family coping styles, including their manifestations when the incarcerated parent is released.

 

 

Workshop Session 3: 

Just Being a Teenager? The Reality of Perinatal Depression in Adolescent Mothers

Bella Thomas, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Enalisa Blackman, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Lily Alvarado, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Vanessa Mireles, Student at Ann Richards School for Young Leaders
Elaine H Cavazos, LCSW

Teenagers are typically stereotyped as moody and depressed.  Teenage mothers face additional stigmas and their concerns are often dismissed as simply “teenage angst” or “deserved suffering” from having a child at an early age.  Sadly, adolescent maternal perinatal depression is all too real.  Postpartum depression afflicts between 12 and 20 percent of all mothers in the United States and teen moms are twice as likely to experience postpartum depression than adults.  At the same time, teen mothers are less likely to be screened for mental health issues, further compounding the devastating effects of depression.

This presentation is intended to raise awareness of the harsh reality of perinatal depression in adolescent mothers. Participants will encounter a simulation of the mental chatter that might be experienced by a teenage mother.  The simulation was designed and created by adolescents and so gives a true picture of teenage life.

The experience of the simulation is intended to help healthcare providers develop a deeper understanding of and empathy for adolescent mothers and to encourage doctors to start screening adolescent mothers for mental health disorders. Participants will also receive information about the prevalence of adolescent perinatal mental health issues and a listing of available resources that can be provided to patients. You cannot know what is in the teenage mind unless you ask and, after experiencing this simulation, you will know how much pain can be prevented by simply asking adolescents with empathy about mental health.

 

LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system: Recognizing the role of family acceptance and affirmation

Adam McCormick, MSW, Ph.D., St. Edwards University
Camille Smith, St. Edward’s University

LGBTQ youth are disproportionately overrepresented in the child welfare system.  The current presentation seeks to better equip child welfare practitioners and caregivers to provide empowering services and interventions to LGBTQ youth and their families. This presentation will utilize an interactive and experiential approach to explore a number of factors associated with the well-being and safety of LGBTQ youth. Specific attention will be given to strategies and skills that can be beneficial in helping to prepare youth for coming out to parents, siblings, foster parents,  and friends.

The relationship between foster family acceptance and health and mental health has been well documented in recent years. The current presentation will also explore the role of foster family acceptance and its importance to the health, well-being and mental health of LGBTQ youth. The presenter will share some of the latest research examining the relationship between family rejection and suicide, depression, risky sex, and risky substance abuse. Participants will be provided with examples of what acceptance and rejection look like and how to child welfare professionals can foster and facilitate acceptance.

Attention will also be given to exploring the maltreatment and permanency experiences of LGBTQ youth in care. LGBTQ youth experience maltreatment at rates much higher than non-LGBTQ youth in care. The presenters will process and explore some of the recent research examining the maltreatment experiences of LGBTQ youth and strategies and skills for assessing things like abuse, neglect, rejection, and other forms of trauma.  Attention will be given to recent research on the preparedness of child welfare workers and foster parents to provide accepting and affirming care to LGBTQ youth.