2012 new york foster care and adoption conference

2012: Family!

New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conferences

23rd Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference

May 11 & May 12, 2012 • Albany Marriott

2012 Family NY adoption and foster care conference
Click to view the Coalition’s 2012 Conference Brochure

All children need to grow up in families!  

Foster and Adoptive parents and professionals from every corner of New York State and beyond gathered together in Albany to celebrate those parenting or working with children in foster care or who have been adopted. 

At our 23rd annual Coalition conference, Family!, attendees learned new strategies to help children develop to their potential and heard what is new in law, policy, practice and research.

The conference offered the most current research and practice information via dynamic, nationally known keynote speakers and experts in child welfare and related fields in 30 different workshop presentations.


2012 Workshops & Handouts

1.  This child is making me crazy!  Adopted children often communicate their feelings of abandonment and betrayal by acting out.  Come hear why negative communication that looks bad, and feels bad, can be a sign of success. Maris Blechner.

2.  Communicating Effectively in Family Court.  What do judges and children’s attorneys want to hear from foster parents and caseworkers? How do you get your concerns known? A family court judge answers these questions and more. Hon. David Brockway

 3.  EMDR: A Trauma-Informed Therapy.  Eye-Movement-Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)is among the most researched trauma-informed therapies. This session introduces EMDR’s history, development and success. Diana Schultz

4.  Creative Visiting Plans: How Small Adjustments Can Strengthen Family Bonding.  This workshop will discuss innovative visiting practices to help case planners, foster and adoptive parents, and administrators think creatively about visiting plans. Wanjiro Gethaiga

5.  Targeted Recruitment for Special Needs Children: Preliminary Findings from New York State’s Parent for Every Child (PFEC) Project.  Our workshop will discuss findings related to the recruitment of families and the extent to which these families were successfully “matched” to freed, special needs children. Kerry Monahan-Price, and Michael Carroll

6.  Dissolutions and Disruptions: How to Protect the Kids From Self-Blame.  Find out what can be done in advance, at the time of, and post disruption to protect kids from the almost inevitable internal consequences of blaming themselves for “failed” adoptions. Jack Brennan

7.  FAS and Substance Abuse. This presentation will review the short and long term effects of alcohol and other substances, on the fetus and developing child. We will also discuss what parents can do to remediate the effects. Elaine Schulte

8.  What to do in Crisis and When to Seek a Psychiatrist. Parents often wonder what to do when a child’s behavior is violent or unusual. Come to this workshop to learn under what circumstances you should visit an emergency room, see a psychiatrist, or seek other services. Anthony Malone

9.  Adoption Homestudies 

How do you get a family to think through the adoption decision, anticipate parenting and prepare for a lifetime of adoption experiences? Learn something new in this interactive session. Kathy Brodsky

10. Responding to the Aftermath of Abusive Adoption Practices

This workshop focuses primarily (although not exclusively) on intercountry adoption with attention to two categories of abusive practices: illicit sourcing of children (child laundering) and inadequate/inaccurate information. Prevalence, harm, response, and prevention will be discussed. David Smollin, Desiree Smolin

11. Supporting & Strengthening Child Welfare Managers’ Leadership Skills, Competencies & Change Initiatives.  This workshop will highlight a new leadership competency model for child welfare, and its practical application to the implementation of a change effort in New York State. Angela Dibiase, Sharon Kollar, Kathleen McGoldrick, Sara Munson

12. Special Needs in International Adoption.  This presentation will provide a basic understanding of common medical special needs of the internationally adopted child – and how they impact the effects of institutionalization. Elaine Shulte

13. Searching: Building a Coherent Personal Narrative.  Adoption often results in fractured narratives and secrets. Looking for one’s birth family and information about personal origins helps to build an authentic sense of self. Wendy Freund

14. Surrenders… and More.  Come learn how to introduce open adoption and legal surrenders as an option for parents. This presentation will focus more on the “social work aspect” on how to talk about these issues, but the legal piece will also be included. Barry Chaffkin

15. Religious Perspectives and Impacts on Adoption.  The workshop will focus on the historical and present impacts of religion on the development of adoption practice and law in domestic and intercountry adoption.David Smolin

16. Parenting Teens.  To parent teens effectively, you must first understand them; to understand them, you must first build a relationship with them.  This workshop discusses ways to build relationships with teens, thus parenting them successfully. Stephen McCall

17. Becoming a Trauma Competent Parent: Part I.  Three tasks and nine skills that families need to know in order to succeed as parents of traumatized children. Participants will leave with tools, strategies and a new level of understanding. Jayne Schooler

18. Permanency for Older Youth.  How do you prepare for, seek and achieve permanency for older youth, while also supporting their need for independence? Learn the 5 Key Questions and strategies! Sue Badeau

19. Parent Group Cracker Barrel – 3 Sessions in one!  Learn from the experts! Parent group leaders from across the state will do presentations on transracial training events, newsletters, accessing services, and more.Jana Leonard, Frank Ligvoet, Peggy Tomasicchio and others. (Susan Collins, moderator)

20. Review of Kinship Guardianship & Youth Returning to Care.  A review of two laws enacted in 2010 on Kinship Guardianship and on youth over 18 voluntarily returning to foster care.  Margaret Burt

21. Importance of Fathers Parenting Teens.  This workshop offers a real life experience of a father who has adopted and fostered more than 20 teens.  We will discuss the role of fathers in parenting teens and how agencies can engage them.  Stephen McCall

22. Becoming a Trauma Competent Parent: Part II.  Three tasks and nine skills that families need to know in order to succeed as parents of traumatized children. Participants will leave with tools, strategies and a new level of understanding.  Jayne Schooler

23. Caregivers Don’t Have Special Gifts or Talents.  Caregivers don’t have superhuman powers and need to recognize, admit, and develop guilt free strategies to address the symptoms of inevitable burnout in themselves. Janice Fitzgerald

24. LifeBooks.  Giving youth a voice and supporting permanence through helping them tell their story in a book, box, video or website! Sue Badeau

25. Current Legal Issues in TPR Proceedings.  An explanation of the 6 grounds to terminate parental rights in New York with emphasis on emerging issues in termination of incarcerated parents and the ability of courts to order post termination and post adoption visitation for birth parents. Margaret Burt

26. Tips for Talking About Racism and Diversity with Children.  Many parents find the “race and prejudice talk” more difficult than the “birds and the bees talk.”  Come hear concrete examples of children’s questions and concerns about this difficult topic and learn ways to answer them.  Helen Shin

27. Empowering Parents to be Agents of Healing.  When flying, parents are instructed to put on their own oxygen mask before they put it on their children. Explore realistic strategies parents can use to become the healing agents children need. Jana Leonard and Selena Liu

28. Assessing and Preparing Adoptive and Foster Families to Care for Traumatized Children.  Guiding families to an understanding of the impact of trauma on children can begin at the homestudy and preparation stage. This interactive workshop shows workers how. Jayne Schooler.

9. Parenting Birth, Foster and Adopted Children Together.  Having fun while meeting the challenges of life in a family tree with multiple root systems. Sue Badeau

30. Help, I have Been Reported to the Hotline: Legal Issues for Foster Parents.  The process and procedures that will occur if a foster parent is reported to the hotline, practical recommendations from an attorney’s prospective on how best to respond. Margaret Burt

The Language of Flowers – Friday Evening Book Club hosted by Pat O’Brien.  Listen to Pat’s interview with author, Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

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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