2015: Uniting Families

New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conferences

26th Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference

Thursday, May 8 – Saturday, May 9, 2015 • Albany Marriott

2015: Uniting Families AFFCNY Conference
Click to view the Coaltion’s 2015 Conference Brochure

The Coalitions 26th annual conference, Uniting Families, May 8-9, 2015 was focused on Coalition and State programs and initiatives to unite families of all kinds to work together in order to ensure a permanent loving family for every child. The Coalitions statewide family of parents, professionals, and advocates gathered 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, reflected on emotional and professional commitments to unifying families; and assisted participants to gain perspective, increase skills

2015 Workshops and Handouts

The following contains workshop descriptions and links to workshop handouts from the Coalition’s 2015 Foster Care and Adoption Conference

Developmental Trauma

Trauma profoundly impacts a child’s ability to develop in a succinct and predictable manner. A discussion of how this transposes to negative and acting out behaviors, and what it takes to help children move forward onto a healing path. Heather Forbes


Traumatic Brain Injury: The Silent Epidemic

Though abuse accounts for 64% of brain injuries in children under one, caregivers and caseworkers are all too often unaware of a child’s injury. Resources and tips on identifying TBI and working with affected children. Margo Singer


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


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


 New York State Fair Hearings 

A refresher course on New York State 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


Talking to Kids About Tough Stuff: How to Have Difficult Conversations 

How to help children hear and understand difficult information about their past and their birth families by using developmentally appropriate “tough truth”. Barry Chaffkin


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. Help with managing family anxieties, expectations, and increase pre and post adoption family/agency trust and communication. Maris Blechner


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


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 well being of all parties. Recent research and recommendations from the Donaldson Adoption Institute. April Dinwoodie 


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. Margaret Burt


Responding to Unnecessary Comments with Education & Humor 

Mis-informed attitudes and insensitive questions and comments are an all too common experience for adoptive & foster families. This workshop will offer suggested responses and resources to promote understanding, while protecting children’s privacy. Marie Dolfi


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


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. A look at when a parent wants the local district to provide out of home care via PINs, voluntary placement, or even surrender. Margaret Burt


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. What other rights do foster parents have? Margaret Burt


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 and adoptive families.


2015 Conference Sponsors

The 2015 annual Coalitions Statewide Foster care and Adoption Conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our conference sponsors. Here’s a list of 2015 conference supporters.

Make sure you sign up for the Coalition’s Newsletter to receive important updates on the upcoming Conference.
Support the Coalition though membership or donations and help us continue this important work. 

Want or need more information?  Contact us at info@affcny.org or call our main office at (646) 688-4321.

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