CWConf18 Workshop Presenters

2018 Child Welfare  Conference

The 2018 Child Welfare Conference presenters led workshops on major issues in the field.

tym10:15-11:45am / Breakout Session / Auditorium
Authentic Relationships Matter Most
Tym Belseth, MA, TXICFW, & Panel
Tym is from our team! Learn more about him here!






Alisha, Michelle, Ashley1-2:30pm / Breakout Session / Auditorium
Birth Parents Partnering Together
Alisha Maglio
Michelle Hansford
Ashley Demas

We are parents that have successfully navigated the CPS system to regain our children and lead healthy productive lives. We give a unique perception to professionals working in child welfare. We are a part of a statewide group of parents who support other parents during their CPS case.



Kandace1-2:30pm / Breakout Session / Classroom
Youth-led Organizing: How to engage & empower
Kandace Vallejo, & Youth Leaders, Valeria Gonzalez & Destiny Harris

Kandace Vallejo is the Executive Director of Youth Rise Texas and a 2017 Soros Justice Fellow. Youth Rise Texas uplifts youth harmed by criminalization and deportation so that they may heal, take action, and cultivate community. Prior to founding Youth Rise in 2015, Kandace spent 12 years in immigrant rights, working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Student/Farmworker Alliance, and Workers Defense Project, where she helped start the organization’s groundbreaking Better Builder Program. Vallejo holds a Masters in Education from UT Austin, and was Kellogg Food and Community Fellow in 2013 while starting a youth food justice program at Workers Defense. She is also Board Chair at Jolt Texas, partnering to turn the tide in Texas by registering a new wave of progressive Latinx youth voters across the Lone Star State. Vallejo was also recently chosen out of over 1,300 people nationally for the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leaders program.


Valeria Gonzalez is an 18-year-old youth. She works as a Youth Organizer at Youth Rise Texas. She has been a part of Youth Rise Texas for one year. She has been involved in several programs within the organization including the Youth Summer Program, The Poster Project, The Mentored Youth Fellowship Program, etc. She loves participating in all the artsy and theatrical projects that Youth Rise Texas has offered to her.





Cwconf18 Workshop PresentersDestiny Harris is 20 years old. She attends Austin Community College part-time, she is now making the transition to part-time work while planning for Desire’s pilot programs to start this fall. She’s been an activist for about four years now and is trying to fundraise in order to keep Desire up and running. She became an activist through Youth Rise Texas, that’s when she gained a real interest for healing and self-care. She was trained as a Restorative Justice circles facilitator and has been teaching Youth Rise Texas’ summer curriculum for the past three years. She is currently looking for a co-facilitator who will come from youth organizing and who has experience who will help her lead the program.




Cwconf18 Workshop Presenters
2:45-4pm / Breakout Session / Auditorium
Family Minds
Tina Adkins, Ph.D., TXICFW
Tina is a part of our team! Read more about her here!






2:45-4pm / Breakout Session / Classroom
Creating, Maintaining, & Supporting Relative Connections in Child Welfare

Catherine JonesCatherine Jones, LCSW is the Director of Program Innovation for CASA of Travis County, where she oversees CASA’s newer programs and works to incorporate innovative best practices into CASA’s advocacy for children in Travis County. Previously, Catherine has worked with survivors of domestic violence and people with disabilities.







Elizabeth ThroopElizabeth Throop, MSW is the Family Engagement Specialist at CASA of Travis County. Elizabeth has a BSW from Texas State University and a MSW from U.C. Berkeley. She has been a social worker for 14 years and has a passion for helping children in the foster care system.






Keynote Speaker  Full Schedule About CWConf18