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Fostering Success Summit Kick-Off Party

Robin Harwick, Ph.D. - Summit Host

Welcome to the Fostering Success Summit

In this short presentation, Dr. Harwick will kick off the summit and give you a glimpse into what you will learn during the week and how it will help you support the children and youth in your care!

Finding Hope & Creating Your Support Team

Leah Harris, Mother, Writer, Storyteller

Trauma is not destiny: Encouraging Post Traumatic Growth through Storytelling and Relationship

As a mental health advocate and survivor, Leah shares the powerful message that no matter what adversities children have experienced healing is possible. She explains how caregivers can accelerate healing by using a trauma informed framework to understand behavior and by helping children and youth find their voices. Best of all, Leah provides strategies you can start using today!

Kristy Brosz, Bsc, BSW, MSW, RSW

Finding Hope in the Hard of Therapeutic Foster Parenting

Kristy offers her unique perspective as a social worker and an adoptive parent, which combines clinical experience with daily life navigating developmental trauma and adoption. If you're in need of inspiration and hope today, Kristy's talk is for you!

Lisa Guillette-Executive Director of Foster Forward

The Transformational Power of Authentic Youth Engagement

In this information packed session, Lisa's passion for empowering lives impacted by foster care will energize you. Topics include building trust, creating realistic expectations, harm-reduction, brain development, and helping youth achieve their goals.

Marlene O'Neil Laberge, MSW, RSW

Me First: The Importance of Self-Reflection

Marlene shares wisdom gained from nearly twenty years of experience supporting families. She provides concrete strategies for creating lifting stressors off our plates, and  understanding how having different attachment styles can impact our families (and what to do about it). She also shares some excellent advice about how to create more positive experiences around respite care.

Michelle McBreen-Community Outreach Manager, Treehouse

Communication Strategies for Building Effective Teams for Children & Youth in Foster Care

Michelle has worked as a social worker and directly supporting foster parents. Through her experiences she has learned to build collaborative teams, navigate competing priorities, & keep everyone working towards the same goals. She shares her strategies in this informative session.

Understanding Strong Emotions & Challenging Behaviors

Terra Bovingdon, MSW, RSW

Easing Transitions, Understanding Survival Behavior, & Preventing Caregiver Burnout

Terra has 20 years experience working with children & families. In her session, she shares strategies for easing a child's transition into a new home & understanding the root causes of behaviors. We discuss common behaviors parents often struggle with including power struggles, regression, eating issues, bedtime, and preventing caregiver burnout

Sarah Pinkelman, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Remembering there is a WHY to every behavior

Dr. Pinkelman is a board certified behavior analyst. She reminds us that behavior is a form of communication and that we all need supports to be successful in our lives. Sarah offers strategies for identifying the causes of behaviors, preventing and managing unwanted behaviors, and de-escalation.   

Carri King-Bussard, MA, LPC

Goal-directed Animal Assisted Therapy for Children with a History of Maltreatment

In this fascinating session, Carri explains how animal assisted therapy can benefit the children in your care. Learn why this type of therapy encourages emotional regulation, is useful for managing challenging behaviors and anxiety, and helps children adjust to new environments, and heal trauma and PTSD.

Aoife Magee, Ph.D.

Skillfully Parenting Young Children with Special Needs and/or Developmental Trauma

Dr. Magee is an expert in early intervention, special needs, mental health, and parenting. She provides practical strategies for requesting early intervention services, understanding how attachment and developmental trauma impacts behavior, responding to unwanted behaviors, and decreasing stress (for children and parents). 

Advocating for Your Children 

Tina Gutierez-Schmich, Ph.D.

Exploring Equity and Advocacy in Schools

Dr. Gutierez-Schmich uses her expertise in conflict resolution and 30+ years experience to successfully advocate for students in schools. In this session, she shares some of her best advice for finding allies and community partners to support you in your advocacy work, navigating competing priorities of service providers, and accessing additional educational supports.

Tiffany Jeanette, MEd.

Building parent-school partnerships to help children and youth thrive

Informed by over 20 years experience as a teacher, Tiffany offers her suggestions for creating positive parent-school relationships, facilitating school transitions, navigating special education, and handling homework. We also discuss alternative educational settings and creative solutions to school challenges.  

Serra Acar, Ph.D.

Parenting across Cultures

Dr. Acar is an expert in early intervention and early childhood special education. She explains culturally responsive approaches to parenting, supporting the first language of children in your care (even if you don't speak it), and nurturing a sense of belonging.   

Laura Kerry-Henkel, Ph.D.

Navigating Special Education & Disability Diagnosis

Dr. Kerry-Henkel is a school psychologist, mother of four (3 of whom have 504 or IEPs), and former special education teacher. She shares her insights about navigating the special education process, disability diagnosis, advocacy, and the supports/services available. She also provides strategies for parenting children with disabilities.

The Teen Years

Lynda Hall - Director, Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives, Treehouse

Helping Youth Plan for Leaving Foster Care

Lynda shares knowledge gained from her program focused on supporting students in foster care. She explains the material and educational needs often required for high school graduation, and college access and persistence. She also shares approaches for supporting social/emotional needs and helping youth build a solid plan for their future. 

Colleen Montoya Barbano- Director of Fostering Scholars, Seattle University

High Expectations & High Support: Preparing Youth for Post Secondary Education

In this session, Colleen shares insights gained from 20+ of experience working with children/youth in foster care. She discusses how to build a college going culture, how to help students prepare for college, and what services and supports are available once they get on campus.

Fred Kingston- Program Manager, College Success Foundation

Creating a College Mindset

Fred has been working with children/youth impacted by foster care since 2006. He had the unique experience of supporting alumni of care as they became powerful advocates for change. He shares practical methods for helping youth prepare for aging out of the system and making college accessible & affordable.

Carmen Todd, Alumni of care & Current Foster Parent

Building Relationships with Teens

As an alumni of care and current foster parent, Carmen shares her unique perspective on how to best support teens in foster care. She discusses easing the transition, managing dynamics of parenting multiple youth, building trust and relationships, and helping teens plan for their futures.

Learning from Lived Experience (Alumni of Care)

Merry Ruat- student, Seattle University

Navigating Cultural Differences and Preparing for Adulthood

Merry shares her experience of transitioning to a new home and a new country at the same time. She provides suggestions for understanding cultural differences and supporting English Language learners. Merry also shares what was helpful in preparing for adulthood.

Mandalyn Finley- Americorp Service Intern, CitySquare TRAC

We're More than Our File: How to Build Trust and Provide Emotional Support

Mandalyn currently works with young adults aging out of the system. She movingly reminds us children/youth and care are so much more than what is written in their files. Mandalyn gives practical suggestions for building trust and helping kids feel like they are part of your family.

Blanca Merced - Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Young Fellow

Free Your Mind & the Rest will Follow

Blanca is an advocate and a parent. She gives valuable advice to foster parents about building social capital, creating long-term supports, and preparing teens for adulthood. Blanca also discusses resources and supports needed by young parents. She convincingly stresses the importance of open-mindedness and taking everything in stride.

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© 2019 Fostering Success Summit is curated by Robin Harwick,Ph.D.