Morning Keynote Speaker
Charlie Appelstein, MSW, is a nationally prominent Youth Care Specialist and Author whose primary focus is on training parents and professionals to use positive, strength-based theories and techniques with at-risk children, youth, and families. Charlie trains and consults throughout the United States as well as internationally. He has authored three youth care books that are widely used within the field, including No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: Understanding and Responding to Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges Using a Positive, Strength-Based Approach. Robert Lieberman, the former President of the American Association of Children's Residential Centers, calls Charlie "The best youth care trainer in America."
Afternoon Keynote Speaker
Willie Moore Jr.
Inspirational media sensation Willie Moore Jr. ignites the hearts and minds of listeners and viewers worldwide. As the nationally Syndicated Host of
The Willie Moore Jr. Show on radio,
Flatout TV on cable networks, and the
Young, Fly, & Saved movement via social media outlets like YouTube, Willie uses his special brand of humor and practical solutions coupled with biblical wisdom to unite families and communities everywhere. Most recently he has authored his first book entitled
Happily After All. Read More.
Sabrina Clark, LMSW, is a North Carolina certified Training Specialist with Mecklenburg County DSS. She is certified to teach Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence - Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP), and Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma. Her primary responsibilities include developing, conducting, and evaluating training programs for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents. Since 2001, Sabrina has worked with children and families in a variety of programs at Department of Social Service agencies and non-profit mental health agencies. Since obtaining her MSW in 2010 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she has been employed in roles that have allowed her to develop and present training tools and curricula for various members of the child-serving community including: child welfare workers and supervisors, school social workers, law enforcement, juvenile probation officers, attorneys, mental health professionals, and both staff and volunteers representing the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program.
Jennifer Freeman is employed with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services/Youth
& Family Services Division. She has a BSW from Western Carolina University
and a MSW from Winthrop University. She
has been employed with DSS for over twenty years working in the areas of
Permanency Planning, Licensing & Placement, and Recruitment & Adoption.
Currently, she works as a Post Adoption Social Worker. Ms. Freeman works with
families and children involved in adoption by providing pre and post adoption
education, short term crisis intervention and support to assist with
maintaining adoption connections, and aides in setting up resources as needed.
Ms. Freeman also works with adult adoptees and birth parents doing research on
their history and assisting with reconnecting adoptees with their birth
Mark Anthony Garrett grew up in the tough inner city of Dayton, Ohio as a foster child and was then later adopted. Throughout his childhood, he faced many hardships such as poverty, neglect, homelessness, abandonment, and abuse; both physical and sexual. At 14, he lost his adopted mother to cancer, dropped out of school, joined a gang, and was in and out of juvenile jail.
Although his surroundings were negative, Mark was encouraged by his third grade special education teacher to never give up on life and to always strive for excellence. He knew he had to take destiny into his own hands. After receiving guidance from influential mentors, Mark enrolled in college and majored in Wildlife Biology and went on to become a two-time U.S. Achievement Academy Award Winner, recipient of the National Collegiate Minority Leadership award and received the highest honors given by his college, which were the President and Trustee award.
Nichole Gause , LCSW, has served families for over 15 years. She earned her Bachelors of Science degree from Winthrop University and her MSW from The University of South Carolina. Her professional experience includes providing counseling and case management services for individuals that are either: at-risk youth, chronically ill, dealing with depression, and/or experiencing relationship issues. Nichole is a North Carolina Certified Trainer and has provided workshops for professionals, parents, and caregivers across the state. She is certified to teach Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence - Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP), and Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma.
Dr. Toni Heineman is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice treating children, adults, and families in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 35 years. She is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She has been awarded a Zero to Three Fellowship, a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur Fellowship, the Social Entrepreneur Award from the Manhattan Institute, and the Purpose Prize. Toni has taught and supervised interns, graduate students, and psychiatric residents and presented at numerous local and national professional meetings. She has authored a wide range of journal articles, and two books: The Abused Child: Psychodynamic Understanding and Treatment and Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of Loss and Hope. She is Co-editor of Building A Home Within: Meeting the Emotional Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care and Treating Trauma: Relationship-Based Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults.
Meghan Nagle is a passionate and skillful Social Worker who has established herself
in her work with families and children from hard places. She completed her field placement with Three
Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC) and was subsequently employed as a Family
Therapist in 2012. She holds a BSW from
Gannon University and her MSW from The University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Nagle has conducted and presented
research regarding youth with disabilities in the child welfare system at both
the state and local level. During her
time at TRAC, she has presented at local, state, national, and international
forums on a variety of topics including: trauma, attachment, child development,
neurobiology, international adoption, and matters regarding youth in care and
Becky Wilmoth is an Enrolled Agent and Adoption Tax Credit Specialist®
at Bills Tax Service in O’Fallon and Centralia, IL. She is a member of the National
Foster Parent Association, National Council for Adoption/Adoption League, North
American Council on Adoptable Children, Kaskaskia College Business/Accounting
Advisory Board, National Association of Enrolled Agents, National Association
of Tax Professionals, and Illinois Society of Enrolled Agents. She is a Guest Writer
and Guest Speaker at national adoption conferences, webinars, internet radio,
blogs, and podcasts. Bills Tax Service is a member of Christian Alliance for
Orphans. Many at Bills Tax Service have been blessed by adoption! Bills Tax
Service is a professional tax accounting business owned by Alan and Jaime
Newcomb; who are foster and adoptive parents.