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Address

Office Location:

DSS Main Office
​Wallace H. Kuralt Centre
301 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

West Charlotte Location
Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Customer Connection
704-336-3000

Workshops

Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

 

A Home for Every Child: Adoption for Children in Foster Care

Presenter: Dr. John DeGarmo

This session examines the belief that every child in foster care is adoptable.  During the presentation, participants will better understand adoption practices that are associated with children in foster care.  Participants will also be equipped with strategies and knowledge designed to ensure that foster children have the best possible opportunity to be adopted by a forever family.

​Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

From Group Care to Family Life: Supporting the Transition

Presenter: Dr. Toni Heineman

While there is much to applaud in the current movement to reduce the reliance on group care for children and teens in foster care and awaiting adoption, the transition from congregate care to family life is not always as smooth as we would like. Every family has its own culture, made up of many spoken and unspoken rules, expectations, and behavior. Deciphering the nuances of family life can be daunting for kids who are accustomed to posted rules and a system of rewards and punishments that relies on points or tokens rather than on the full range of emotional interchange that comes into play between parents and children. This workshop will review common practices of congregate care, outline salient differences between group care and family life, and explore ways that adults can help children and teens prepare for and manage the transition into their adoptive home.

​Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

Hurt Kids, Healing Parents (Part One)

Presenters: Megan Nagle and Kelly Ryan-Schmidt

This training will discuss the latest research and techniques related to assessing, treating, and parenting children impacted by trauma.  The training will address the neurological, developmental, and biological differences of individuals who have experienced trauma and address how parents and professionals can assist foster and adoptive children in their healing.  Participants will possess a tool kit of trauma informed interventions upon completion of this workshop.

​Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

"No Such Thing As a Bad Kid!" (Part One)

Reshaping the Lives of Foster and Adoptive Youth Using Positive, Trauma-Informed, Strength-Based Theories and Techniques

Presenter: Charlie Appelstein

Strength-based practice is an emerging approach to guiding foster and adoptive youth that is exceptionally positive and inspiring. Its focus is on strength-building rather than flaw-fixing. This two-part presentation will highlight many of the key principles and techniques of this transforming modality. Areas covered include: What is strength-based practice and the power of a positive attitude and culture; the effects of trauma and positive emotions on the brain; strength-based communication principles and techniques - including reframing, using solution-focused questions, positive-predicting and inspirational metaphors; self-esteem building and activities for foster and adoptive youth; how to help cognitively inflexible young people; the importance of being family-friendly; why, how, and when to use incentive plans; respectful limit setting; and a host of creative cognitive behavioral strategies.

​Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

One Heart Can Make a Difference- What Children Need to Succeed

Presenter: Mark Anthony Garrett

Mark Anthony Garrett is a past foster/adoptive child with wonderful insight on how this experience greatly impacted his life. Mark will speak about his own experiences, including how he overcame the many hardships and obstacles that were placed in his path. The primary focus of this message is how every person, despite their situation, has the power to positively influence and impact the lives of others. One heart can truly make a difference if we are focused on making it happen. Furthermore, this session will explore internal and external factors that are critical in a child’s success and overall self-esteem. Mark will address aspects of family support, self-fulfilling prophesies, mentoring, resiliency, praise, goal setting, vision, and a plethora of other techniques and strategies designed to aid children in empowering themselves for a better life.

​Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

The Invisible Suitcase: Knowing What a Foster/Adoptive Child Brings & How to Help

Presenters: Sabrina Clark, Jennifer Freeman, and Nichole Gause

Have you ever felt that the foster/adoptive child you were working with, as a parent or professional, had behaviors so severe that you could not handle them?  Research tells us that many of the behaviors that challenge us the most are a direct manifestation of the trauma that our children have experienced.  In this workshop, we will get to the root of behaviors and will unpack several evidence based methods proven to ensure that the entire family system works more effectively.  This workshop will also provide practical information on tools that can be utilized by the daily caregiving of youth impacted by trauma, including one of the most essential tools of all; caring for ourselves.

Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

What's The Big Deal? Why Race and Culture Matter in Building Strong Transracial Foster & Adoptive Families

Presenter: Rhonda M. Roorda

Transracial Adoption is becoming more popular through shows like NBC's This Is Us. This form of family planning continues to garner much hype. Rhonda will talk about the controversy behind Transracial Adoption. Through her personal stories, research, and from her latest Award-Winning book, In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption, she will share the challenges and triumphs of raising children across the color line in this “New Era.” There will be a Q/A period following Rhonda's presentation.

​Morning Session
10:00am-11:30am

Whole-Hearted, Whole-Brained Parenting: A Must for Adoptive Families

Presenter: Lorraine Schneider

So many children who are adopted come to their families through grief, loss and early childhood trauma.  Parents must be taught and empowered to use strategies that are both Whole-Hearted and Whole-Brained.  In this workshop, caregivers and professionals who coach and support parents will explore the importance of modeling vulnerability and empathy, and strategies that nurture healthy brain development to build resiliency and promote healing in attachment-impaired, traumatized children. Tools to use with your clients will be provided.

​Morning Session

10:00am-11:30am

​​Yes, the Adoption Tax Credit is for Foster Care Adoptions!

Presenter: Becky Wilmoth

This session will help you understand how the Adoption Tax Credit works, how it can help you, and who qualifies for this wonderful credit. Even though it is not refundable right now, it can still help you with your tax liability for up to 5 years. A child adopted from the foster care system and declared special needs, according to the state’s criteria, will qualify for the full amount of the Adoption Tax Credit with little or no expenses necessary. Each state has different criteria as to what qualifies as special needs. The adoption must be final and the credit should be claimed in the tax year that the adoption is finalized. You will leave this session with a better understanding of what documentation may be requested by the IRS and how and when to file for the tax credit.

 

Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

Adoption is an Option: Discovering My Identity

Presenter: Willie Moore Jr.

In this session Willie Moore Jr. will share his personal experience of being adopted in Missouri.  The Missouri adoption laws allowed him to read about his biological family but no names were given.  Willie's session will share his personal experience with adoption and how he believes that foster children come from biological parents, are raised by adoptive parents, but actually come from God.  Willie explains how no life journey is a mistake, we are all planned, and for each and every one of us, there is a great story being written about our lives.  If we embrace our unique stories, we can inspire someone else. 

​Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

Birth Children and Foster/Adoptive Children: Living in the Same Family

Presenter: Dr. John DeGarmo

This session focuses on the relationships between biological children and foster children. During this presentation, participants will better understand the challenges and difficulties that some biological children experience when their new siblings, from foster care, enter into their home and family.  Participants will learn strategies designed to help during this time.

Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

Everyday Parenting of Children Impacted By Trauma

Presenter:  Loraine Schneider

What should a parent "do" to help their adopted child deal with early trauma?  Knowing what trauma does to the brain and finding adoption-competent, trauma-informed therapists are important.  But what happens day-to-day and how does the parent know what interventions and strategies to try?  Lorraine Schneider, adoptive mom and president of the Attachment & Trauma Network, will explore strategies and activities that can be used by parents and families to create a safe, nurturing, healing environment.  The use of play, mindfulness, movement therapies, sensory integration and positive parenting strategies will be explored.

Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

From Group Care to Family Life: Supporting the Transition

Presenter: Dr. Toni Heineman

While there is much to applaud in the current movement to reduce the reliance on group care for children and teens in foster care and awaiting adoption, the transition from congregate care to family life is not always as smooth as we would like. Every family has its own culture, made up of many spoken and unspoken rules, expectations, and behavior. Deciphering the nuances of family life can be daunting for kids who are accustomed to posted rules and a system of rewards and punishments that relies on points or tokens rather than on the full range of emotional interchange that comes into play between parents and children. This workshop will review common practices of congregate care, outline salient differences between group care and family life, and explore ways that adults can help children and teens prepare for and manage the transition into their adoptive home.

Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

Hurt Kids, Healing Parents (Part Two)

Presenters: Megan Nagle and Kelly Ryan-Schmidt

This training will discuss the latest research and techniques related to assessing, treating, and parenting children impacted by trauma.  The training will address the neurological, developmental, and biological differences of individuals who have experienced trauma and address how parents and professionals can assist foster and adoptive children in their healing.  Participants will possess a tool kit of trauma informed interventions upon completion of this workshop.

​Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

"No Such Thing As a Bad Kid!" (Part Two)

Reshaping the Lives of Foster and Adoptive Youth Using Positive, Trauma-Informed, Strength-Based Theories and Techniques

Presenter: Charlie Appelstein

Strength-based practice is an emerging approach to guiding foster and adoptive youth that is exceptionally positive and inspiring. Its focus is on strength-building rather than flaw-fixing. This two-part presentation will highlight many of the key principles and techniques of this transforming modality. Areas covered include: What is strength-based practice and the power of a positive attitude and culture; the effects of trauma and positive emotions on the brain; strength-based communication principles and techniques - including reframing, using solution-focused questions, positive-predicting and inspirational metaphors; self-esteem building and activities for foster and adoptive youth; how to help cognitively inflexible young people; the importance of being family-friendly; why, how, and when to use incentive plans; respectful limit setting; and a host of creative cognitive behavioral strategies.

​Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm

One Heart Can Make a Difference- What Children Need to Succeed

Presenter: Mark Anthony Garrett

Mark Anthony Garrett is a past foster/adoptive child with wonderful insight on how this experience greatly impacted his life. Mark will speak about his own experiences, including how he overcame the many hardships and obstacles that were placed in his path. The primary focus of this message is how every person, despite their situation, has the power to positively influence and impact the lives of others. One heart can truly make a difference if we are focused on making it happen. Furthermore, this session will explore internal and external factors that are critical in a child’s success and overall self-esteem. Mark will address aspects of family support, self-fulfilling prophesies, mentoring, resiliency, praise, goal setting, vision, and a plethora of other techniques and strategies designed to aid children in empowering themselves for a better life.

​Afternoon Session

1:30pm-3:00pm

​ What's The Big Deal? Why Race and Culture Matter in Building Strong Transracial Foster & Adoptive Families

Presenter: Rhonda M. Roorda

Transracial Adoption is becoming more popular through shows like NBC's This Is Us. This form of family planning continues to garner much hype. Rhonda will talk about the controversy behind Transracial Adoption. Through her personal stories, research, and from her latest Award-Winning book, In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption, she will share the challenges and triumphs of raising children across the color line in this "New Era." There will be a Q/A period following Rhonda's presentation.

Afternoon Session
1:30pm-3:00pm
Yes, the Adoption Tax Credit is for Foster Care Adoptions!

Presenter: Becky Wilmoth

This session will help you understand how the Adoption Tax Credit works, how it can help you, and who qualifies for this wonderful credit. Even though it is not refundable right now, it can still help you with your tax liability for up to 5 years. A child adopted from the foster care system and declared special needs, according to the state’s criteria, will qualify for the full amount of the Adoption Tax Credit with little or no expenses necessary. Each state has different criteria as to what qualifies as special needs. The adoption must be final and the credit should be claimed in the tax year that the adoption is finalized. You will leave this session with a better understanding of what documentation may be requested by the IRS and how and when to file for the tax credit.

Address

Office Location:

DSS Main Office
​Wallace H. Kuralt Centre
301 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

West Charlotte Location
Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Customer Connection
704-336-3000