2015 Conference Brochure - New York State Citizens` Coalition for

About the Conference
The NYSCCC 26th annual conference, Uniting Families, will focus
on programs and initiatives to unite families of all kinds to work
together in order to ensure a permanent loving family for every
child. The NYSCCC statewide family of parents, professionals,
and advocates will gather together in Albany to explore and
share ideas, tools, and resources to form new families through
adoption; support reunification and connection with birth
families; create linkages between foster families; and build
relationships between parents and agencies.
Nationally known speakers and 30 workshop presenters, selected
for their knowledge and expertise, will reflect on emotional and
professional commitment to unifying families and will assist
participants to gain perspective, increase skills, and learn to
appreciate the positives.
The conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Albany, New
York. The hotel must receive reservations no later than April 17,
2015 for attendees to receive the special conference rate of $111
plus applicable taxes (reservation code: CCC). Reservations made
after that date are subject to availability only.
Albany Marriott Hotel
189 Wolf Road • Albany, NY 12205
518-458-8444 • 800-443-8952
The New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children provides
support, information, and advocacy to foster and adoptive
parents and professionals. We believe every child has the right
to a permanent, loving family. Our activities include:
ss adoption and foster care reform
ss administrative and legislative advocacy
ss parent group development and support
ss information and referral services
ss education and training
Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Executive Director
607-272-0034 • fax: 888-482-9112
[email protected] • www.nysccc.org
Useful Information
ss Extra copies of the conference brochure are
available online at:
ss Temperature in conference rooms can vary widely,
so be sure to bring a sweater or jacket to ensure
your comfort.
The conference will feature a large adoption and
foster care bookstore, plus sales of many popular
NYSCCC items. VISA, MasterCard, American
Express, and Discover credit cards and checks
are welcome.
ss Children are not permitted to attend workshops and
plenary sessions. We appreciate your cooperation with
this necessity.
ss Please silence all cell phones during conference
sessions! We have received many complaints about
cell phone disturbances.
ss Recordings of conference proceedings will be for
sale at the conference and afterwards. The record ings provide an excellent opportunity to “attend” all
of the workshops and to share the information with
ss Continuing education credit is available for $25.
See registration information for details.
ss Door prizes will be awarded at the closing session.
You must be present to win!
Uniting Families
Showcase Your Services and
Products at Conference
Explore our program ad, exhibitor, and
sponsorship opportunities or send us
materials for our free resource tables.
Visit http://nysccc.org/sponsorship-exhibitopportunities/
or call 607-272-0034 for details.
Featured Speakers
Sheila Poole currently serves as executive deputy
commissioner at the New York State Office of Children and Family
Services (NYS OCFS). Previous to this appointment, she served
as associate commissioner in the OCFS Division of Child Welfare
and Community Services and commissioner of the Albany
County Department for Children, Youth and Families—New York
State’s first integrated local social service district providing child
welfare, early intervention, youth development, and children’s
mental health services. Sheila’s early career began in the not-forprofit mental health sector and focused on creating communitybased housing and rehabilitative services for consumers leaving
institutional settings. She subsequently spent five years working
in the child welfare system in Tennessee, prior to returning to
New York. She is the adoptive parent of two “incredible” teens,
is a graduate of Siena College, and holds a master’s degree from
Russell Sage College. Ms. Poole will open our conference.
Heather Forbes, LCSW, our Friday keynote speaker, is
co-founder and owner of the Beyond Consequences Institute.
Ms. Forbes has worked with nationally recognized professionals
in the field of trauma and attachment since1999. She is an
internationally published author on the topics of adoptive
motherhood, raising children with difficult and severe behaviors,
and self-development. Ms. Forbes lectures, consults, and
coaches parents throughout the United States, Canada, and the
United Kingdom, working to create peaceful, loving families.
She is passionate about supporting families by bridging the gap
between academic research and “when the rubber hits the road”
parenting. Much of her experience and insight on understanding
trauma, disruptive behaviors, and adoption-related issues comes
from her direct mothering experience of her two adopted children.
Demetrius Johnson, our Saturday luncheon speaker and
foster youth advocate, moved from foster home to foster home—
over 25 in all. Demetrius was adopted at six years old, but
returned to the foster care system when he was thirteen. With
the tragedy and constant instability in his life, it is no surprise
that Demetrius disregarded schoolwork, turned to drugs and
gangs, and eventually landed in a juvenile detention center at
the age of sixteen. But that’s when it finally hit him—he needed
to make a change. And that is exactly what he did at Freedom
Academy High School in Brooklyn. Once he realized he had the
support of school administrators and teachers, he looked through
a new lens on life. Demetrius excelled in all of his classes, was
selected as a NYC DOE 2013 Remarkable Achievement Award
winner, and today is a full-time student at St. John’s University.
He hopes to move on to law school, become a lawyer, and
advocate for children in the foster care system before eventually
becoming a judge. He reflected on that future: “Imagine when I
become a judge and, after all I’ve been through, kids in the same
situation can look up to me and say, ‘If that man, Demetrius
Johnson, can make it, why can’t I?’”
Schedule at a Glance
Thursday, May 7, 2015
2:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
LINK Family Gathering
NYSCCC Annual Meeting
for NYSCCC individual, agency, and
parent group members
Friday, May 8, 2015
9:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
Opening Session
Pat O’Brien
Opening Remarks
Sheila Poole
Workshop Period 1
10:30 a.m.
12:00 p.m.
Plenary Address
Heather Forbes
1:30 p.m.
Workshop Period 2
2:50 p.m.
Beverage Break
3:15 p.m.
Workshop Period 3
5:00 p.m.
Conference Reception
8:00 p.m.
Movie Night: Closure
Saturday, May 9, 2015
8:00 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
Workshop Period 4
9:50 a.m.
Beverage Break
10:05 a.m.
Workshop Period 5
11:40 a.m.
Workshop Period 6
1:00 p.m.
Closing Address
Demetrius Johnson
While every effort has been made to provide accurate and complete information,
the Office of Children and Family Services and the State of New York assume no
responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided herein and
make no representations or warranties about the suitability of the information
contained here for any purpose. All information and documents are provided “as
is,” without a warranty of any kind.
Uniting Families
Friday, May 8, 2015
Workshop Period 1 ¤ 10:30 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
1. Developmental Trauma
Trauma profoundly impacts a child’s ability to develop in
a predictable and succint manner. A discussion of how
trauma may lead to negative and acting out behaviors and
what it takes to help children move forward onto a healing
path. Heather Forbes
2. Traumatic Brain Injury: The Silent Epidemic
Though abuse accounts for 64% of brain injuries in children
under one year of age, caregivers and caseworkers are all
too often unaware of a child’s injury. Resources and tips on
identifying TBI and working with affected children will be
provided. Margo Singer
3. Understanding and Addressing Nutritional
and Special Feeding Needs
Children in foster care or those with an adoption history
are at increased risk of a variety of feeding challenges.
Workshop participants will learn about the unique feeding
needs of these children. Elaine Schulte
4. Let’s Just Talk: Strategies for Breaking the Ice
This workshop will provide attendees with strategies and
techniques to build timely bridges of communication
between foster parents, birth families, and caseworkers.
Barbara Green-Flood
5. Fantasies and Fears
Adopted children may fear being placed for adoption again,
imagine life with birth parents, or worry more than others
about their parents dying. Find out if your child’s worries
are typical for his/her age or related to adoption and learn
how you can help. Joni Mantell
Workshop Period 2 ¤ 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
6. Parenting the Adopted Child
Parenting children with histories of abandonment and
rejection requires us to go beyond consequences, logic, and
control. This workshop will explore how to reach children at
the heart level and help them heal and grow.
Heather Forbes
7. Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality
in New York State
An overview of the NYS OCFS/Casey Family Program
effort to address racial disparities in child welfare and
promote culturally competent practice within OCFS and its
stakeholders will be provided. Gregg Owens
8. Medical and Developmental Considerations
in Adopting Sibling Groups
Adoption of sibling groups may bring special medical and
Uniting Families
developmental challenges. Workshop participants will
understand how to best address these with children and
support their families. Elaine Schulte
9. Talking to Kids About Tough Stuff:
How to Have Difficult Conversations
This workshop will provide strategies on how to help
children hear and understand difficult information about
their past and their birth families by using developmentally
appropriate “tough truth.” Barry Chaffkin
10. Challenges of the Agency-Client Relationship
Prospective parent mindsets often interfere with optimal
relationships with adoption agencies and their capacity to
deal with the adoption process. This workshop will provide
help with managing family anxieties and expectations and
ways for increasing pre- and post-adoption family-agency
trust and communication. Joni Mantell
Workshop Period 3 ¤ 3:15 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.
11. Open Q&A on Childhood Trauma
Even If you took a lifetime to understand all that
neuroscience has to offer, would you really know what
to do when your child is exhibiting outlandish and
unbelievable behaviors? Join Heather as she helps parents
bridge the gap between neuroscience and “when the rubber
hits the road” parenting. Heather Forbes
12. See Us, Support Us!: Voices and Needs
of Children of Incarcerated Parents
One in every 28 children in the U.S. has an incarcerated
parent. Hear their voices and learn strategies for improved
practice and positive outcomes for children whose parents
are incarcerated. Tanya Krupat
13. Working Together: Health Services
for Medically Fragile Youth
Ideally, caregivers and agencies work together with health
care providers for the benefit of the child. This workshop
will provide a discussion of support for caregivers to
maintain and monitor children’s health, relate to health care
providers, and share information appropriately. Joan Siegel
14. New York State Fair Hearings
A refresher course on NYS fair hearing regulations and
procedures to ensure that foster and adoptive parents
understand their fair hearing rights and agencies provide
them with clear information and support to exercise them.
Steve Connolly
15. Untangling the Web
It’s critical for parents and professionals alike to understand
the Internet’s transformative impact on adoption and
determine how best to use it to assure the rights and wellbeing of all parties. Recent research and recommendations
from the Donaldson Adoption Institute will be provided.
April Dinwoodie
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Workshop Period 4 ¤ 8:30 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.
16. Unwed Fathers of Children in Care
Agencies have a responsibility to identify, locate, and offer
services to all fathers of children in care to assure children
of their right to a parental relationship and shorten their
time in care. A review of father’s rights will be provided.
Margaret Burt
17. Adoption and Hollywood
Members of the adoption triad and adoption professionals
see adoption-related story lines and plots through a
different set of glasses. View clips and engage in a fun and
thought-provoking discussion. Zachary Fried
18. Responding to Unnecessary Comments
with Education and Humor
Misinformed attitudes and insensitive questions and
comments are an all too common experience for adoptive
and foster families. This workshop will offer suggested
responses and resources to promote understanding, while
at the same time protecting children’s privacy. Marie Dolfi
19. What to Expect from an Assessment
A comprehensive assessment is necessary to develop an
effective treatment plan. This workshop will describe the
essential components of an assessment and what you
should expect from the provider. Arthur Becker-Weidman
20. Laughter for the Mental Health of It
In this workshop you will experience how laughter can
bring joy and alleviate some of the stress, tension, and pain
of everyday parenting and everyday life. Pat O’Brien
Workshop Period 5 ¤ 10:05 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.
21. Help, I Think my Child Needs to be in Care!
What are the options for parents who fear their children
can’t live safely at home, but aren’t (or can’t) get help from
the mental health system? This workshop will provide a
look at situations in which a parent wants the local district
to provide out-of-home care via PINs, voluntary placement,
or even surrender. Margaret Burt
22. Yoga: A Sensorimotor Approach
to Healing and Attachment
Trauma is experienced in the mind, body, and spirit. This
interactive workshop will demonstrate how traumasensitive yoga practice can provide a nurturing environment
leading to self-regulation and inner calm for parents and
children alike. Lisa Maynard
23. Dealing with Quibbling Siblings
Based on the bestselling book Siblings Without Rivalry, this
workshop challenges the idea that conflict among siblings
is unavoidable. Learn how to steer clear of taking sides
and promote cooperation with practical and easy-to-use
techniques. Helen Shin
24. Post-Adoption Services That Grow Up
with Your Family
This workshop will support all families, at any stage of
adoption, to make a long-term plan for their family’s postadoption needs and identify services that can grow up with
their family. Stella Gilgur-Cook
25. Marriage As a Balance Beam
Being married isn’t always easy—even on a good day.
Then add in foster care and/or adoption, and some days
everybody just has to hold on tight. A look at the realities
of partnered family life. Maris Blechner
Workshop Period 6 ¤ 11:40 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
26. Foster Parent Rights: A Review
New York State law assures the right of foster parents to
participate in permanency hearings and intervene in specific
family court proceedings. Attend this workshop to learn
what other rights foster parents have. Margaret Burt
27. A Model of Hope
Come learn concepts and strategies about real hope for
change. This workshop will provide help for responding
to multiply-betrayed kids who have experienced adoption
disruptions, reentry to care, or extended waits for
permanency. Jack Brennan
28. Conversations with Birth Parents:
The Birth Parent Perspective
A frank and honest discussion from the birth parent’s point
of view - realities vs. stereotypes, myths, beliefs; and how
to improve pre and post placement support.
Claudia Corrigan d’Arcy
29. Parent Group Cracker Barrel:
Three Sessions in One!
Come learn from the experts! Parent group leaders from
across the state will discuss strategies and tools to inform
and support local foster/adoptive families.
30. Enough is Enough and Too Much is Plenty!
Is there a “right” or “best” size for foster or adoptive
families? When is a family “too large”? This workshop will
consider how families and agencies can work together
to assess the right fit for each child without overloading
families to the breaking point. Sue Badeau.
Uniting Families
Special Conference Events
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Taking Your Place at the Table
2015 LINK Family Gathering:
Linking Information Networks for Kids
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Foster parents have a unique awareness and understanding of
the complex issues surrounding decisions about their child’s
future and service needs. While the law provides foster parents
with opportunities to assume important roles in the permanency
and service planning process, parents themselves must accept
primary responsibility for understanding and exercising their
codified rights and responsibilities. In other words, they must
be prepared to Take Their Place at the Table. The workshop will
discuss how trends in law and practice are changing foster parent
roles and responsibilities and encourage participants to develop
new ways of thinking about, understanding, and using the
language of law to enhance their effectiveness. Come join us for
a thought-provoking presentation by our special guest, Michael
Neff, P.C., a family law attorney practicing in New York City. Mr.
Neff will discuss the framework of NYS foster care and adoption
law, foster parent legal status and roles, defining parents as
professionals, and using the language of the law to enhance
caregiver communication and advocacy skills to achieve the best
interests of the children.
The gathering will be held on Thursday afternoon, May 7, 2015,
prior to the opening of the NYSCCC conference on Friday for
a nominal fee of only $10. All foster and adoptive parents are
encouraged and welcome to attend. Use the online or printed
conference registration form to add $10.00 to your conference
registration fee or send in a registration for the single event.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Movie Night
Join us after dinner on Friday evening for a free screening of the
award-winning documentary, Closure, a story about identity,
the complexities of transracial adoption, and, most importantly,
closure. Angela, an African-American, was raised by a Caucasian
couple in a large, multiracial family in Washington State. She
was adopted at the age of one from foster care in the state of
Tennessee, under the terms of a closed adoption. As Angela
grew older, it became apparent that the unanswered questions
about her birth story would continue to haunt her if she did not
attempt to find some answers. Filmed and edited by her husband,
Bryan Tucker, the film follows Angela for two years during
the search for her birth family. Several twists and surprising
revelations ultimately lead Angela and her family across the
country to her place of birth. It is here that Angela comes face
to face with her birth mother for the first time and meets family
members who had never known she was even born—including
her birth father.
Uniting Families
Register at http://nysccc.org/registration-information/
or use the attached form. Submit a separate registration form,
including workshop selections, for each attendee. Feel free to
make copies of the registration form.
Registration fees include all instructional materials,
refreshment breaks, two lunches, reception, and any other
scheduled conference activities for the two-day conference.
Continuing Education Credit is available for an additional
fee of $25. A certificate granting one continuing education credit
(10 contact hours equal 1 CEU) will be awarded by Tompkins
Cortland Community College to anyone attending the full twoday conference. A NYSCCC certificate of attendance is available
for all upon request after the conference. NYSCCC is currently
exploring the possibilities for offering MSW continuing education
credits for conference attendance. We will let you know if our
plans become a reality.
Cancellation Policy: A $50 administrative fee will be
charged for all cancellations. The balance of the registration fee
will be refunded if written cancellation is received by April
24, 2015. Refunds will be issued after the conference. Any
registration may be transferred to another person with advance
notice to NYSCCC. No-shows will be billed! Agencies are
responsible for paying purchase orders for any no-shows.
NYSCCC Members are those who currently hold a 2015
membership or those who join NYSCCC when registering for
the conference. Important: Parent groups and agencies that are
2015 members are entitled to send three representatives at the
NYSCCC member price. All other representatives from the same
parent group or agency must either join as individuals or pay
the nonmember rate. Do not use the member rate unless you
are certain you are a paid-up 2015 NYSCCC member. To verify
membership status, contact the NYSCCC office: [email protected]
or 607-272-0034.
Please calculate registration fees carefully! Any
overpayment will be considered a donation to NYSCCC.
Do not fax or mail any registrations after May 1st,
2015. After May 1, registrations are only accepted at the door.
8:00 p.m.
Registration Information
Thank You!
NYS Office of Children and Family Services
through a training and administrative services agreement
with SUNY Buffalo State/Center for Development
of Human Services
Institute for Community Health Promotion
Redlich Horwitz Foundation
NYS Citizens’ Coalition for Children
Register online before 5/1/2015
mail, fax, or email form to:
NYSCCC Elmira Office, 465 West Church Street, Elmira, NY 14901
Fax: 888-482-9112 ¤ [email protected]
Do not send any registrations after May 1, 2015.
26th Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference
Uniting Families
May 8–9, 2015 ¤ Albany, New York
Name (enter above)
Job Title
Parent Group or Agency Affiliation
Agency Address, City, State, Zip Code, Phone Number
Mailing Address, if different (i.e. F/A Parent home address)
Daytime Phone
Job Type Code
Enter all codes (refer to code listing on back page):
__________ Functional Area Code
Event Registration
Amount Due
2-Day Conference (Friday & Saturday)
Friday Only
Saturday Only
Individual Membership - Add $40.00
Parent Group Membership - Add $60.00 (includes member discounts for 3 registrants)
Agency Membership - Add $100.00 (includes member discounts for 3 registrants)
Continuing Education Credits for Registrant - Add $25.00
Link Family Gathering, Thursday May 7, 2015 - Add $10.00
Late Registration Fee After 4/17/2015 - Add $50.00
Total Amount Enclosed
Method of Payment
r Check - Payable to NYSCCC
r Visa
r MasterCard
American Express
Card# _______________________________________________________________ Exp. Date_____________ Security Code___________
Name on Card _______________________________________________________
Purchase Order/Voucher - Payable in 30 days - Payment contact, email, and phone: ________________________________________
Circle the number of the workshop you plan to attend in each period
Friday Workshops
Period 1
Period 2
Saturday Workshops
Period 3
Period 4
Period 5
Period 6
Accommodations: Marriott Hotel, 189 Wolf Rd., Albany, NY • 518-458-8443, 800-443-8952. Contact the hotel directly to make your reservation at the conference rate of $111 plus applicable taxes. Reservations must be received prior to 4/17/15 to guarantee availability at the special rate. Use reservation code: CCC.
Uniting Families
Application Codes
Job Type Codes
Functional Area Codes
15. Energy Programs
16. Food Stamps
29. F-30 Non Admin/Local
14. Legal Affairs/Counsel
28. Dept of Labor/Other
13. Services/Other
27. Welfare to Work
12. Adult Services
26. Dept of Health/Other
11. Indian Affairs Services
25. Managed Care
10. Prev/Family Support Srvc
24. Medicaid Eligibility
9. Blind & Visually Handicap
23. Medicaid Skills
8. Residential Child Care
22. Fraud & Abuse
7. Foster Care
21. Homeless Services
6. Domestic Violence Prev
20. Transitional Services
5. Day Care
5. Caseworker/Case Mgr/Social
4. Child Protective Services
3. Clerical/Support Staff
6. Direct Child Care Worker
7. Eligibility Worker
8. Foster/Adoptive Parent
10. Volunteer Worker
11. Health Care Worker
12. Teacher Vocational Specialist
13. Professional (Policy, Prog Dev)
17. Temporary Assistance
18. Child Support Enforce
19. Disability Determinations
14. Recreation Specialist
NYS Citizens’ Coalition for Children
Elmira Office
465 West Church Street
Elmira, NY 14901