Division for Children, Youth & Families 24th Annual Conference

Back to Basics: The Building Blocks of Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being

DCYF Conference Brochure CoverThe New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Annual Conference provides a diverse learning forum in which best practices in child protection and juvenile justice can be shared in an effort
to enhance service quality. Additionally, the conference provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the excellent work of child welfare professionals, as well as community members who work in partnership to better the lives of children, youth, and families. This year, the 24th Annual DCYF Conference is entitled Back to Basics: The Building Blocks of Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being. The conference focus is intended to demonstrate DCYF’s ongoing commitment to collaboration and partnership in improving outcomes for New Hampshire’s children and families.

Participants in this conference are eligible for 5.0 staff
development credits/hours. DCYF staff who attend are
eligible for 5 training hours.

An application for NH NASW Continuing Education Units has been submitted.

  • 7:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 8:15 am: Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 8:30 am: Keynote Presentation
    Discover Your ‘Dash’: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Work
    Carmen Rodriguez with Demetrius Napolitano
  • 9:30 am: Break & Visit Exhibitors
  • 9:45 am: AM Workshop Session (see AM1–AM7)
  • 11:45 am: Break & Visit Exhibitors
  • 12:00 pm: DCYF Awards Luncheon
  • 1:30 pm: PM Workshop Session (see PM1–PM8)
  • 3:30 pm: Conference Adjourns

Discover Your ‘Dash’: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Work

Carmen Rodriguez, Senior Training Specialist, Cook County Adult Probation Department; Immediate Past President, American Probation and Parole Associate
Demetrius Napolitano, from foster care to motivational speaker

Join us as we discover your “dash” and find your purpose and passion through your work life. No matter what you do, your job exists for a reason. When you know the reason and when you fully understand how your work efforts make the world a better place for others, you have found your job’s purpose. How do you discover your real purpose at work? I’m talking about your job, your daily responsibilities, even your long-term career goals. How do you discover real reason you’re at this job—the very reason you took this position?

Perhaps you’re a rather pessimistic person who doesn’t believe you have to have purpose at work. Maybe you believe it doesn’t matter—that not feeling passion about work won’t prevent you from carry out your job duties. This presentation will help you explore your attitude about work, so that you can find your purpose.

About the Presenters

Carmen Rodriguez is the Senior Training Specialist for Cook County Adult Probation in Chicago, Illinois, where she has worked for the past 29 years, identifying, delivering and organizing training for a department of over 600 staff members. Carmen is the Immediate Past President of the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), as well as a nationally recognized as a diversity and tolerance trainer. She also conducts personal development trainings such as stress reduction, conflict resolution, team building, and personal goal setting through her private training/consultant company.

Demetrius Napolitano spent 22 years inside the foster care system. He has experienced a total of 30 placements, a failed adoption, incarceration, and homelessness. Despite his early childhood struggles, Demetrius is now a junior at New York University, and he travels the country as a motivational speaker. His dream is to attend Harvard Law School.

 

Accommodations

Rooms are available at the Radisson for a rate of $119 (single occupancy) plus tax. Please call the Radisson and mention that you are with the DCYF Conference, or book online at www.radisson.com/manchesternh. Select “more search options” in the reservation section to enter your promotional code: DCYF17. Available through March 23, 2017.

DCYF staff only:

DCYF staff who live and work at least 50 miles from the Center of NH Radisson in Manchester will be eligible to receive overnight accommodations (double occupancy) the night of April 13, paid for by DCYF. Eligible DCYF staff will have an option to request an overnight room reservation and indicate preferred roommate on the registration form. This will be subject to verification.

Parking:

We listened to your feedback! For easier and faster exit from the parking garage after the conference, the $6.00 discounted day parking rate is now included in your registration fee. Please bring your parking ticket with you to the conference registration area for validation. Participants who are staying at the hotel overnight will receive a voucher for a $12.00 discounted overnight parking rate.

Directions

Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH
Phone: 603.625.1000

  • From the south: Follow Route 3N/Everett Turnpike. Just south of Manchester, Route 3 becomes Route 293. Take exit #5/Granite Street. Turn right off ramp, then go through two sets of lights. Hotel garage is next left.
  • From the east: Follow 95S to Portsmouth; after crossing state line, take 3rd exit (exit #2) to 101W/93S to 293N. After passing Brown Avenue exit, stay right as 293 bears right. Take exit #5/Granite Street. Turn right off ramp, then go through two sets of lights. Hotel garage is next left.
  • From the west: Take Route 89S to Route 93S to Route 293S. On 293S take exit #5/Granite Street. Turn left off ramp, then go through two sets of lights. Hotel garage is next left.

The preparation of this conference was financed under a contract with the University of New Hampshire and the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), with funds provided in part by the State of New Hampshire and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The Center for Professional Excellence in Child Welfare (CPE) draws upon the extensive resources of UNH and its faculty research to provide training and professional development support to child welfare and juvenile justice staff at DCYF.

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire strengthens communities and ensures full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons.

AM1 – How to Make the Most Out of Drug Testing
Amy Kelly, LICSW, MLADC, Lead MLADC Consultant, NH DCYF
Melissa Kimball, LADC, Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer, NH DCYF

This workshop is designed to help DCYF staff maximize the benefits of drug testing by learning about various methods of testing, interpreting the results, and discussing the process with clients. Staff will learn drug testing strategies to challenge a person’s denial and help support recovery. Methods to hold clients accountable and encourage change will be discussed. Attendees will learn how to help clients focus on making positive changes using recovery and strengths-based language and learning about the addiction and recovery processes.

AM2 – Identifying and Responding to Human Trafficking in NH: An Introduction
Candace Abood, Post Adoption Services Coordinator, NH Division for Children, Youth and Families
Erin Albright , JD, Visiting Fellow: Human Trafficking Task Forces, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

This workshop will provide an overview of human trafficking and New Hampshire’s response and strategy, as well as steps individuals can take in their professional capacity to identify and respond to potential cases. Participants will learn the definitions, victim and perpetrator dynamics, and how to spot red flags of potential cases. They will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss critical issues relevant to their fields.

AM3 – How to Testify with Confidence
Benjamin J. Agati, JD, Assistant Attorney General, New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office
Brian Quirk, JD, Director, Preti Flaherty Litigation Group

The courtroom can be a very unforgiving place for the inexperienced – and even sometimes for the experienced – witness. This session will replicate actual trial situations for DCYF witnesses, giving attendees the opportunity to learn how to be a good witness. Participants will gain tools and insights from seasoned attorneys from both sides of the aisle, helping them overcome their fear of testifying in court. 

AM4 – Introduction to Trans Identities
Mason Dunn, JD, Executive Director, Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition
This workshop will provide an introduction to the terms, definitions, and struggles faced by transgender people, specifically transgender youth. Presenters will provide information about statistics, policies, and laws relevant to transgender identities. Together, presenters and attendees will practice using inclusive and culturally competent language, as well as other strategies to make policies, facilities, and practices more inclusive for transgender people.

AM5 – Tools for Helping Older Youth Achieve Permanency
Lauren Frey, MSW, LICSW, Director, Permanency Practice Leadership, Plummer Home (Salem, MA)
Jen Gilroy, MSHS, Permanency Program Specialist, NH DCYF

This engaging and interactive session prioritizes every youth’s need for safe and lifelong parent and family relationships that offer love, protection, and guidance – no matter what a youth’s age, special needs, or complex circumstances. Best practice values, strategies, and tools will be presented to assist in advancing permanency for youth in, or at risk of entering, the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Helpful tips include how to talk with youth about permanency and remove barriers that impede permanency progress. Youth voice, stories, and case examples will be central to this workshop. Three easy-to-use youth engagement tools will be introduced and can be utilized by caseworkers, supervisors, clinicians, probation officers, and team meeting facilitators in direct work with youth and families.

AM6 – Detox Your Work Environment
Carmen Rodriguez, Senior Training Specialist, Cook County Adult Probation Department; Immediate Past President, American Probation and Parole Associate
Do you ever wonder why you feel so exhausted at the end of the workday? Dealing with argumentative, negative, or difficult people can turn your time at work into a stressful situation. You can wind up spending all your energy resolving problems and dealing with emotionally charged interactions with peers. This proactive session is designed to help you constructively cope with toxic people, while maintaining your positive spirit. Participants will explore fun, insightful, and revolutionary strategies to deal with toxic, energy-draining people. This workshop is for supervisors only.

AM7 – Violence Prevention on the Job: Worker Safety when Weapons are in the Home
Dylan Kenneson, Senior Instructor, Sig Sauer Academy
A DCYF professional is likely at some point to enter a household where guns are present. How can you stay safe, and ensure the best outcomes for families and children, when visiting people in their homes? In this session, participants will learn how to recognize various types of firearms they may encounter in homes, and how to attend to their safety when firearms are present in the home. This workshop is for DCYF staff and supervisors only. This workshop will be repeated in the afternoon as session pm8.

PM1 – A Professional’s Guide to Prudent Parenting and Normalcy
Melinda Feola-Mahar, DA, Curriculum Specialist, Education & Training Partnership, Granite State College
Kathy Companion, Foster Care Manager, NH DCYF

This workshop will explore the implications for professionals of the Strengthening Families Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-183) relative to prudent parenting and normalcy for children and youth in out-of-home care. Participants will look at what the law says, and what professionals can do to support caregivers in making thoughtful and informed decisions for the child(ren) in their care. We will discuss common barriers to normalcy and strategies for addressing them, and will also review New Hampshire specific standards for Reasonable and Prudent Parenting.

PM2 – Gangs and Your Community
Ron “Cook” Barrett, Gang Prevention Specialist
This multi media presentation will address the violent impact gang culture has created and how the increase of violence is a result of the behaviors and presence that gangs have introduced to communities. Participants will be educated on the culture of youth gangs, including why youth join gangs, and proactive measures to engage gang-involved youth and assist in preventing involvement. Participants will learn how to create an assessment of their community, as well as youth they serve, by better understanding gang signs and symbols, body markings, graffiti, and other indicators of gang culture. Participants will understand how to implement proactive efforts in their community or agency. Community based partnerships will be emphasized, along with the roles that schools, faith-based organizations, community agencies, and law enforcement play.

PM3 – Worker Safety During Home Visits: How to be Safe with Pets
Lindsay Hamrick, M.S., Animals & Public Policy, Certified Professional Dog Trainer
In this workshop, participants will learn about basic animal behavior in cats and dogs, how to identify stress and potential warning signals, and how to enter a home and work safely within a home with animals.

PM4 – Values Clarification: What Would You Do?
Carmen Rodriguez, Senior Training Specialist, Cook County Adult Probation Department; Immediate Past President, American Probation and Parole Associate
This session is designed to raise staff awareness of their personal values and how their values inform problem solving, supervision of probationers, and ethical decision making. Staff will be able to incorporate what they have learned from this workshop into day-to-day job performance as they purposefully interact with probationers, and use new skills to work through “troubling” situations.

PM5 – Substance Abuse in the Home: What to Look For
DEA Task Force Agent
Drug use has become a major public health problem in society today. It is important for professionals to be knowledgeable about and know how to recognize and identify signs of drug use in the homes of the families we are working with. This session will be an introduction into current drug trends and statistics in NH. It will discuss what to look for in the home while conducting home visits, types of paraphernalia, drug descriptions, worker safety and risk.

PM6 – All About Relapse
Ronald Sayers, MS, MLADC, DOT/SAP, MLADC Contractor for DCYF-Concord District Office; Owner/CEO of SKY Counseling Services, LLC
This workshop will look at the entire process of relapse for a person with an addiction. This workshop will explore the entire process of relapse for a person with an addiction, including the steps that can lead to relapse, and the steps coming back from a relapse. Attendees will learn about the difference between a “Slip” and a “Relapse,” terminology of an addicted person, and societal views of people with addictions A Relapse Prevention Plan will be discussed, as well as how to talk with your clients regarding substance use/misuse and recovery, and strategies for empowering clients.

PM7 – From Foster Care to Permanency
Demetrius Napolitano, from foster care to motivational speaker
Too many young people in foster care lack permanent homes where they can learn how to be independent, confident, and successful. During this session, we will brainstorm how the lack of stability can lead to the mistrust a young person has in the adults in his or her life, and how the transition from foster care to permanency is possible for every young person. The discussion will be led by Demetrius Napolitano, a former foster youth, advocate, and motivational speaker. Participants will engage in a dialogue on the essentiality of finding permanency for every young person while learning how Demetrius found permanency through the act of one person: his social worker.

PM8 – Violence Prevention on the Job: Worker Safety when Weapons are in the Home
Dylan Kenneson, Senior Instructor, Sig Sauer Academy
A DCYF professional is likely at some point to enter a household where guns are present. How can you stay safe, and ensure the best outcomes for families and children, when visiting people in their homes? In this session, participants will learn how to recognize various types of firearms they may encounter in homes, and how to attend to their safety when firearms are present in the home. This workshop is for DCYF staff and supervisors only. This is a repeat of morning session AM7.

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Date & Time

Friday, April 14, 2017 -
8:30am to 3:30pm

Registration Fee

  • DCYF Employee (including CPS, JJS, SYSC, and others), DCYF IV-E Intern, Collaborating Birth Parent, or Youth – No Charge
  • Resource Parent (Foster, Pre/Adoptive, Relative Caregiver), Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer, CCR&R Staff, Full-Time Student, Employee of DCYF-Contracted Partner (e.g., Crisis Center/FVPS, Fair Reviewer), Law Enforcement, CAC Staff – $80
  • Other Professional – $130

Fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and materials.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Location

Radisson Hotel Downtown Manchester
700 Elm Street
Manchester, NH

Event Contact

IOD Events
contact.iod@unh.edu
603.228.2084