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
Nurturing the Brain: Buffering Toxic Stress through Responsive Relationships presented by Laverne Fesperman and Toxic Stress Team
Recent research has made it increasingly clear that adverse experiences during the period of birth to five years have an enduring impact on the developing brain and body. This two-part training is an introduction to toxic stress and ways young children can be protected by caring early relationships. The first unit introduces the topic of "toxic stress" and its impact; the second unit explores some ways parents and caregivers can protect and heal children from these effects through responsive relationships.
Morning Session: (Part 1) Toxic Stress and Early Brain Development
This session will provide an overview of what the American Academy of Pediatrics terms "toxic stress" and how the neurobiology of stress and trauma can create long-term problems in children's development, affecting attention, memory, and impulse control.
Afternoon Session: (Part 2) Buffering Stress through Responsive Relationships *Continuation from Morning Session
We will explore how caring adults can protect children from the effects of toxic stress by providing 1) protection, 2) structure, 3) comfort, and 4) coaching. This session includes specific strategies for fostering protective relationships, as well as how to help at-risk children develop emotional and behavioral self-regulation.
Morning Session & Afternoon Session
Moving From Secrets and Lies to Truth and Dignity presented by Leslie Pate Mackinnon
The course discusses the emotional cost of family secrets and lies attempting to soften the difficult histories of many adoptees and placing parents. Finding ways to share accurate histories, while protecting the dignity and self-esteem of those involved.
What My White Parents Didn't Know...and Why I Turned out OK Anywaypresented by April Dinwoodie Trans-racially adopted presenter shares first-hand experiences and practical ideas when faced with inevitable race, diversity and identity challenges within adoption and foster care. The workshop content includes: extended family and community dynamics, the importance of caring for hair and skin, navigating relationships/dating and overall perceptions and assumptions faced by trans-racial adoptees. This workshop will be an open discussion guided by a transracially-adopted presenter.
Morning Session & Afternoon Session
Morning Session & Afternoon Session
Morning Session & Afternoon Session
The 3-5-7 Model©: helping children & youth heal by creating a safe environment, responding to expressions of feelings, and promoting the building and re-building of relationships. presented by Darla Henry
The application of the 3-5-7 Model© is about creating a safe environment and responding to expressions of feelings, and ultimately about promoting the building and re-building of the youth's relationships, because it is within supporting and loving relationships that children and youth heal from the loss and pain they experienced in their past. In this training, you will be provided with an overview of 3-5-7 Model© history, concepts and theories to better help you understand how to help children & youth heal from the loss and pain they experience in their past, as well, and perhaps most importantly, practical tips and strategies that will allow you to successfully support children.
Engaging Relative Caregivers: Managing Risk Factors in Kinship Care presented by Dr. Joseph Crumbley
Dr. Crumbley will explain how kinship care impacts and changes family dynamics, relationships, roles, attachments and loyalties. He will further describe how these changes may result in risk factors that might impact a caregivers' ability to provide safety, permanency and well-being for children in their care. Dr. Crumbley will discuss strategies and approaches to assist caregivers in managing these risk factors. Lastly, Dr. Crumbley will identify the similarities and differences between kinship care and non-relative adoption or foster: and how these differences impact practice.
Keeping the Promise: Going the Distance by Lisa Highfield
This workshop prepares families for the challenge of adoption. Difficulties are a sign of growth and to be expected. Most children can attach and form loving bonds and strategies to achieving this are given. A main focus of this workshop is that parents are the key to success.
Parenting with Brains: Using the CALM technique to bring out the best in you and your child presented by Jennifer Kolari
As a parent, you want to do everything possible to give your child the tools for a successful and happy life. But what if a few small adjustments in how you interact with your child could actually impact brain function?
Developmental experiences have a profound impact on the brain. The more pleasant experiences a child's brain has, the more the brain specializes for positive emotion. Scientists now know that strong bonding between parent and child increases Oxytocin levels in the brain, which has been proven to increase trust, improve emotional regulation and significantly decrease anxiety.
Using warmth, humour, and real-life examples, Kolari will demonstrate her CALM technique in practice. More than just actively listening, The CALM technique will teach parents to use this rewarding therapeutic technique to strengthen their child's emotional resilience. It will bring out the best in us as parents while bringing out the best in our child.
Reshaping Adoption in the 21st Century: Moving Beyond Child Placement to `Family Success' presented by Adam Pertman
Formal adoption in the U.S. began as a process in which the white babies of white unwed mothers were adopted by white married couples – and our laws, policies, practices and attitudes were shaped by that reality. Over the past few decades, the reality has changed radically and permanently – but laws, policies, practices and attitudes lag far behind the transformation. In this presentation, Adam Pertman – President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of "Adoption Nation" – examines the systemic changes that have taken place, and uses research to illustrate ways that the affected parties (practitioners and other professionals, legislators and policymakers, and parents and guardians) can and should adapt to ensure that the institution of adoption best serves today's children and families. At the bottom line, he asserts that the historical priority on child placement should be replaced by policy and practice goals that enable families to succeed.
Success Against All Odds presented by Travis Lloyd
A Story of Finding Passion & Purpose Through a College Education, having a balanced life, and being involved in the community while struggling with stereotypes, lower expectations and drugs in the family. This eventually led to facing jail time and the moment that changed his life, forever– Against All Odds. This workshop will incorporate personal stories, tips and advice for overcoming barriers faced while struggling to find your way into adulthood. It incorporates performance and audience participation that reinforces the importance of self-expression.
Brain, Beasts, and the Failure of Therapy presented by Ken Huey
Adoption is a very survivable trauma. Frequently the adoption trauma is compounded by pre-adoption trauma of neglect and other abuse. This trauma in the developmental attachment window damages the brain. Typically, treatment for this damage has been behavioral or cognitive-behavioral in focus. This is misguided. This presentation will touch on the latest in brain research and early childhood trauma to lay a groundwork for correct treatment of adoptees with a trauma history. Neurofeedback, EMDR, Transferable Attachment, Sensory Integration, and relational focus will be addressed as treatment modalities that show efficacy with such trauma issues.
Books: Helping Children Heal presented by Ginger Caldwell and Donna Foster
Life Books: Helping Children Heal is a workshop which examines how the creation of Life Books provides opportunities for foster and adoptive parents to build healthy connections with their child while promoting the child's positive self-concept. Participants will learn how the creation of life book pages with their child will broaden their understanding of both the traumatic experiences and the strength of the children they are parenting. Life Books are widely recognized as best practice in child welfare services due to the benefits for the child, the birth parent, the adoptive/foster parents, the child's therapist, and the child welfare workers.
The Church and Communities' Role in Adoption and Foster Care presented by CFK Panel and Guest
Learn from church leaders and community partners the importance of assisting government agencies. Panel members will share specific information regarding their ministries and how to develop and sustain ministries/programs to support children and families. Panel members will be represented from Grace Covenant (Pastor Lemings), First Baptist Church West (Rev. Rhedrick), and The Bair Foundation: Child and Family Ministries (Thomas Culver)
NC Reach and ETV Programs: What You Need to Know to Prepare Foster Youth For College! presented by Wendy Kiser
Education is the choice, earning a college degree, certificate or diploma is a chance to start building a life full of opportunities and experiences. College students need to be prepared, it’s much different than high school. It’s a journey that will take them as far as they want to go. This workshop will provide you with information regarding eligibility requirements for NC Reach and Educational Training Voucher (ETV) programs, when college students need to complete their FAFSA application, applying for other scholarships, importance of completing a career assessment and setting goals, responsibilities of college students, how you can support former foster youth and resources available on college campuses. Investing in our young people by promoting academic achievement, providing support and career planning will help college students to be prepared for college, graduate and be ready to enter the workforce.
One Very Vulnerable Conversation: Lessons
Learned on the Impact of Adoption from an Adult Adoptee presented by Ken Huey
Adoption is traumatic. This presentation will offer framework of trauma and attachment research from which to begin our discussion. It will then highlight the presenter's specific adoption and early experiences as a template for understanding more global adoptee concerns. Findings and writings from the best attachment and trauma resources will be used to buttress claims that being adopted is frequently causative of assimilation issues in early and later life. Specific core beliefs must be challenged if an adoptee is to move beyond the adoption question of relative fit in family and society. Those core beliefs of relative worthiness, competence, and belonging drive destructive behavior in many adoptees. There are ways to heal such beliefs. The presenter will share some of those methods and resources for addressing the adoption experience. The presentation will be emotional on numerous levels.
Adoption on the Internet: A New World of Risks, Opportunities and Uncertainties presented by Adam Pertman
Social media and other elements of the Internet are instigating life-altering changes in every aspect of adoption. These historic shifts range from creating challenges and opportunities for child-placement, counseling, outreach and other professional practices; to facilitating search and reunion to an extent never before imagined; to complicating the ability of courts, agencies and parents to determine the nature of contact between minor children and members of their families of origin. In short, in some ways that are changing before our eyes, the Internet is rewriting the rules of adoption. In this presentation, Adam Pertman – President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of "Adoption Nation" – examines what is happening and its implications; offers knowledge-based findings and recommendations on effective/best practices for all the affected professionals, families and individuals; and provides information and resources to enable all parties to deal more thoughtfully and effectively with these historic changes.
Trauma, Recovery & Resiliency: Shifting the Atmosphere to Positive Family Reunification presented by Sharon Wise
Attendees will learn: "What is trauma and why we should address it", prevalence/implication data, brief bio/psycho/social of trauma, recovery and family information about reunification, two short videos will be shown, motivational antidotal that can be used in any setting, easy to remember slogans for creating a trauma informed system cares that can have wide-spread adoption and translation, art exercise, Question and Answer. Closing event is co-facilitated by the presenter's son who talks about what it was like growing up in care, his own recovery and how his family was reunified by finding his sister on Myspace after 26 years, a short video clip of the reunification will be shown.