29th Annual New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conference

2018: Nurture and Heal

New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conferences

The Coalition’s 29th Annual New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conference

 Thursday, May 10 – Saturday, May 12, 2018 |  Hilton Albany 

Featuring Mike and Kristin Berry and Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

Click to view the AFFCNY 2018 Conference Brochure

Nurture and Heal, the Coalition’s 29th Annual New York State Foster Care and
Adoption Conference, explored innovative therapies and methods to assist in
accepting, expressing and healing trauma for ourselves, our clients, our families
and our children. We also focused on what parents in the trenches and those
in the field can do to ensure that they get the support and self-care that they
need and deserve.

As parents and professionals, we know the needs of our children sometime
compete with the rewards our families and our work offer. Nurturing a child
with a history of loss or other complex adverse experiences requires a deeper
understanding of brain function, triggers and techniques. It also challenges us
physically, mentally and emotionally.

The conference offered participants an opportunity to become current
on law and policy, learn new skills and strategies to work with families and
children, network with other parents and professionals and provide parents and
professionals alike with tools and resources to explore possibilities for change.

Nationally known keynote speakers and experts in child welfare shared their
expertise and vision for the future in over 30 different presentations.

Browse the Coalition’s Conference Virtual Book Table!

Click here to see all the titles of books available at the 2018 29th Annual New York Foster Care and Adoption Conference. A portion of books purchased through Amazon via our website links will benefit the Coalition. Just click on one of the following titles to purchase a copy and Amazon will automatically send a donation to the Coalition.

2018 Conference Handouts

The following contains workshop descriptions and links to workshop handouts from the AFFCNY 2018 Foster Care and Adoption Conference

Lunch and Learn: About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: A Disability by Any Other Name: Why Children with Fetal Alcohol Neurodevelopmental Disorder Have Not Been Diagnosed and Treated (and what you can do about it)

Children and adults prenatally exposed to alcohol show disabilities in social and adaptive function that persist throughout their lives. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (also known as FASD or Fetal Alcohol Neurodevelopment Disorders) disproportionately affect our children and foster, adoptive and kinship families. In this workshop, Douglas Waite, MD, FAAP, Medical Director of The Keith Haring Clinic at Children’s Village, will provide an expansive overview of diagnosis, treatment, prevention and implications of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).  Attendees will leave with an understanding of FASD, intervention and services.  Participants are welcome to bring lunch or order an optional box lunch from the Coalition.  

Parent Leadership Gathering: How Best to Use Social Media for Support Groups

Long Island Adoptive Families support group leaders will present a training session on how best to use social media for support groups. This workshop will show other support group leaders and those wanting to create a local support group how the use of Facebook, Twitter and blogging can help them grow their groups, educate members of the adoption triad and help families in your group stay connected between meetings.

 A Systemic-Relational Approach to Working with Biological Families Involved with the Foster Care System: Part 1 and 2

Many parents whose children are placed in foster care have their own histories of complex interpersonal and systemic trauma. The placement of their children in foster care is experienced as another trauma, leading most parents to respond with anger, rage and defensiveness.  For service providers and caregivers of the children, the anger shown by the biological parent is often misinterpreted, perceived to be additional proof the parent is unable to keep the child safe and secure. In this workshop, a therapeutic approach will be presented that takes into account how systemic oppression and complex trauma contribute to lengthy foster care placements. Holding a framework that integrates contextual and neurobiological factors allows others to work respectfully and collaboratively with biological parents in addressing safety concerns and meeting the emotional needs of their children. Using case vignettes and videos, participants will learn how to sequence parent, child and family sessions to work toward a range of necessary therapeutic goals. Catherine Lewis

Family Socializations and Self-Care for the Stressed-Out Parent  

This workshop will review and normalize the emotional toll that parenting a foster or adopted child can take. It will review and emphasize the importance of self-care, promote discussion about the barriers to self-care, provide some effective methods of self-care and assist attendees in completing their own personalized self-care plan. We will introduce the concept of family socializations ― balancing the needs of children versus the needs of parents with the benefits to children versus the benefits for parents.  Emily Collins, Brieanna Hayes, Karen Kelley, Elvira Northington and Rosie Williams

A Disability by Any Other Name: Why Children with Fetal Alcohol Neurodevelopmental Disorder Have Not Been Diagnosed and Treated (and what you can do about it)

 Children and adults prenatally exposed to alcohol show disabilities in social and adaptive function that persiststhroughout their lives. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disproportionately affect our children and foster, adoptive and kinship families. This conference will provide an expansive overview of diagnosis, treatment, prevention and implications of FASD. Attendees will leave with an understanding of FASD, intervention and services. Dr. Doug Waite

Trauma Informed Approach to Food Issues and How to Help your Adopted Child Feel Safe  

Food-related issues are all too common in adoptive families and can prove to be very frustrating. However, the issue is usually much more than just a natural aversion to noodles. This presentation will discuss a variety of food-related issues, including overeating, hoarding, stealing and food pickiness.  We will discuss the trauma behind the food issue specifically in relation to the older child, whether the child is still in care, was adopted from care or adopted internationally. Whether children have a past history of trauma or institutionalism, we will discuss the ways in which families have coped with and overcome these issues in a positive and emotionally healthy way to reduce stress on the whole family.  Megan Montgomery

Second-Hand Shock Syndrome  

Absorbing others’ trauma while controlling empathy negatively alters the brain’s structure, putting at risk parents and professionals alike, particularly those dealing with childhood trauma who have faced traumatic events themselves. This workshop is aimed at parents and child welfare professionals who work with childhood victims of trauma. Through teaching, group work and discussion, we will discuss common natural but disruptive byproducts of working with traumatized clients, such as Compassion Fatigue, Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder (STSD) and Vicarious Trauma, including experiences that bring on these issues and symptoms to look out for. This workshop stands alone, but if followed by Caring for Ourselves it will better provide participants with a helpful approach to recognizing potential issues and a strategy to deal with them. Dr. Andrew Fitz-Gibbon and Jane Fitz-Gibbon

Finding Competent Therapeutic Assistance for the Journey from Trauma to Transformation

One of the most important jobs of a parent is to prepare the child to be a kind, productive and healthy adult. We know that we must provide to the children in our care a sense of trust, needed security, a feeling of belonging, a sense of being “seen” and acceptance for all that they are. Yet, there is the history of trauma for children who have suffered losses in their young lives and the cumulative trauma makes it more of a complex issue. 

We must walk through the inner life of the child who is experiencing the trauma—both simple and complex—that is a part of the passage for all the children in adoption, foster or kinship care. We must expand our look at the extended family of adoption and how we can honor it and, in doing so, honor the child while building self-esteem and connectedness. We must give them the tools they need to be able to understand and own their journey, even as their troubled pasts can continue to affect all well into the future.

To be sure that the child/adolescent/young adult adopted person is able to organically integrate the often difficult past with a hopeful future, we need to identify and find HELP that is non-pathologizing and that is competent in the work of post adoption and trauma. How do parents or caregivers find the right professional to help their children be guided to their true sense of self and to a place where their trauma is transformed? Featuring Keynote Speaker Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

 NTI – Supporting Permanency through Improved Adoption Competent Mental Health Service  

Adoptive parents cite competent mental health services as one of their greatest unmet needs, too frequently reporting practices that are ineffective or even harmful to their families. Families note that it is often difficult to find adoption competent mental health professionals – fully qualified and skillful clinicians who also understand complex adoption related issues such as trauma, attachment, grief and loss and identity formation. Similarly, it is important that child welfare professionals understand the mental health needs of children in foster care who are moving to permanency through adoption or guardianship. The National Training Institute (NTI) is a web-based training for child welfare professionals and mental health professionals in nine pilot sites and is scheduled to be available nationally by mid-2019. This free, web-based training promises to greatly increase access to such training for child welfare and mental health professionals across the nation and, through enhanced adoption competent casework and mental health interventions, to improve outcomes for children and youth and their families. Lisa D. Maynard and Dawn Wilson

Born in June, Raised in April: One Month at a Time – Adoption, Identity and Family  

This workshop will address how we deal with triggers and issues as they emerge during the lifelong journey: teen years, “anniversary” dates, holidays, birthdays, rites of passage and subsequent losses. We weave together the personal and professional to share their journey of adoption with the calendar as a backdrop. We will also guide participants through each month to explore how holidays, special days and transitions can be challenges and opportunities understand ourselves and how our role as members of the extended family of adoption affects those around us. April Dinwoodie

Opening Up: Ending the Silence through Animal Assisted Therapy  

For many children who have suffered trauma, talking about this trauma is difficult. For children who have experienced sexual abuse, it is difficult to trust. For trauma focused therapists, bonding with foster children and working on the behavioral challenges brought on by the traumas is also difficult. However, the bond between humans and animals has long been established, though it has gone underappreciated and underrated. For combining the natural ability animals have to comfort and heal their humans, the Animal Assisted Therapy world, not surprisingly, is finally being recognized as a fundamental part of the mental health healing process. The use of a therapy dog can allow clients who have difficulty expressing themselves to open up and feel safe in discussing their traumatic lives, leading to increased healing and therapeutic alliance between children and their therapist. Zak Anolic, Wendy Padilla and Dolly the Therapy Dog

Caring for Ourselves as We Care for Others  

Every parent faces stressful moments, but parenting or working with children who have trauma can increase that stress to the point that it’s a daily event. Chronic, ongoing exposure to stress interferes with your attitude, social and family relationships, work and health. Even the work of child welfare professionals will create chronic stress that can negatively affect nearly every system in the body. It can raise your blood pressure, suppress your immune system, increase your risk for heart attack and stroke and speed up the aging process. This workshop will cover the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) reaction to stress and how to balance it all out with self-care tools such as breath meditation and developing a life practice. This workshop stands alone but can be taken after Second Hand Shock Syndrome to better provide participants with a helpful approach to recognizing potential issues and a strategy to deal with them. Dr. Andrew Fitz-Gibbon and Jane Fitz-Gibbon

Lifelong Impacts of Relinquishment on Birth Parents   

With a panel of parents who relinquished at different stages of their lives, we will look at the way trauma has impacted all of us and how we have worked to heal. We will use our personal experiences and stories to illustrate the impact of relinquishment and what skills we have developed through our experiences to deal with it. Our own journeys can have impact on our relationship with our relinquished kids, whether during their childhood in open adoptions or when trying to navigate a reunion in adulthood. This panel can give insight to adoptees, adoptive and foster parents and professionals as to the experience of birth mothers and that insight may help them in navigating their relationships. Annie Jacobs, Suz Bednarz-Kish and Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy

Walking on Eggshells: Recognizing and Responding to Trauma Triggers

  We all carry emotional baggage with us from our past, but many of the youth in our personal and/or professional lives are driving a virtual U-Haul. We will briefly review basic information on the effects of childhood trauma and address how to recognize triggers as they emerge and helpful ways to respond to “trigger events.” We will focus on defining and understanding “trauma triggers,” identifying common trigger points, exploring the need to play “detective” to discover your child’s particular triggers, and we’ll end by providing some advice on how to respond to children who have been triggered. We can’t remove or control all triggers from the world we live in, but we can learn strategies and coping skills to deal with trigger events in a way that promotes regulation and minimizes likelihood of future triggers. Together we can create a more trauma-sensitive environment in our interactions with children and youth. Emily Collins, Brieanna Hayes, Tess Mahnken-Weatherspoon and Rosie Williams

Treatment Model for ADHD and Behavior Dysregulation for Children who have Experienced Trauma  

Research shows that children who have experienced trauma are diagnosed at high rates with ADHD and/or emotion dysregulation. In our work with children in foster care, we have seen many children whose symptoms present like ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder but, at the root, have the comorbidity of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This workshop will address how we use ADHD and Emotion Regulation management techniques together with adoption themes so that children and their caregivers leave each session with a better understanding of their diagnosis and its relation to and/or impact on trauma, adoption identity and behavior. We will review how trauma impacts or exasperates a diagnosis of ADHD and share specific interventions and techniques to work with families. We will also describe and give examples of the caregiver work that accompanies each session. Ana Maria Leon Gomez

Reclaiming Connections: Stories and Tools to Nurture and Empower Youth and Families 

 This informative and interactive workshop will focus on recognizing and supporting the evolving face of families and the increase in youth being raised by nonparent caregivers. The significance of life story telling will be shown as a way to validate connections and the roots of strengths, survival skills and hopes to nurture healing and self-awareness. In this presentation, use of narrative therapy practices will be described and illustrated. You will learn and receive outlines for three life story writing techniques – “The Tree of Life,” “Mapping the Journey of Life” and “The Team of Life” – and engage in a creative hands-on activity. We’ll talk about how sharing inspirational life stories can motivate grassroots efforts to build and sustain support groups. The panel discussion will also focus on present system barriers and identify needs and paths to make change. Dena Adler, Barbara Bisig and Nikki Calhoun

Tao of Parenting: Mindfulness, Spirituality, Energy Work and Natural Medicine for Trauma

  Best practice in treating trauma involves not just psychotherapy but a host of alternative approaches that help calm the body, reprogram the nervous system, relax stress hormones and balance the energy systems. Taoist principles to describe a low-stress parenting approach to high-stress, traumatized kids. The fundamental shift is usually internal, and, as this is accomplished, the techniques flow more effortlessly, without reactivity, anger, guilt, shame or stress. This approach helps parents to stay clean, smooth, centered, powerful and relaxed. Approaches discussed include meditation, visualization, qigong, acupuncture, energy work, cranio-sacral, homeopathy, herbs, supplements, diet, yoga and strength training, which can be used for both parents and children. The role of spiritual perspectives will also be discussed. John Sobraske

Spitting In The Face Of The Devil Live Performance: 8:00 – 10:00 pm

Hailed by critics as “brilliant,” “masterful” and “unforgettable,” Spitting In The Face Of The Devil is award-winning New York monologist Bob Brader’s gripping true story of discovering that his abusive and charismatic ex-Marine father is a pedophile. A powerful tale of personal survival and triumph that pertains to healing from trauma and overcoming adversity, Spitting In The Face Of The Devil is a seven- time Best of Fest Award Winner, including “Best Show” of the London Fringe and “Best Script” and “Best Encore” at New York City’s United Solo Theatre Festival. Brader’s daring, uplifting, often comedic play has garnered acclaim at the New York International, San Francisco, Orlando International, Victoria and Montreal Fringe Festivals, among many others. For more information: www.spittinginthefaceofthedevil.com 


Why Traditional Parenting Does Not Work with Children from Trauma; Offering Hope for Families in the Trenches  

Why don’t traditional parenting methods work with children who have experienced trauma?  Many of us grew up with these “traditional” methods and it can be a struggle to adjust the deeply ingrained patterns of thinking and give up this type of parenting.                                                                                                                

As parents, we know that we are responsible for our families, but that responsibility extends way beyond food, shelter and clothing. We are responsible for their emotional development and relational healing. Adoptive and foster parents have to heal wounds we didn’t inflict and regain ground we didn’t lose. This is a foundational reality that we have to embrace about parenting kids with trauma histories.  We all accept that athletes need a coach and that they need to practice so that they can be at their best. Yet many parents are reluctant to accept that they themselves need a coach or need to practice to be at their best. Let practice begin!

Mike and Kristin Berry get honest as they discuss parenting methods better suited for children from trauma, sharing their own thought process from when they have been in the muck and mire of the trench, hoping and praying for a shred of hope to shine forth. Featuring Keynote Speakers Mike and Kristin Berry


 The Ins and Outs: Child Welfare Legal 101  

Are you confused in court? Does the caseworker prep you for one thing and then court rules the opposite way? How can you advocate for the children in your care when you have no idea what is really going on?  This is not a legal advice clinic but, rather, an opportunity to improve your understanding of the many legal issues that adoptive, foster and kinship families face. We’ll go over the basic legal options for children – informal care, Article 6 custody/guardianship, Article 10 direct placement, kinship foster care, KinGap and adoption – with much of the time dedicated to a Q&A with our panel of legal professionals. Joseph Connors, Esq., Amy Drayer, Susan Gagnon, Esq., Amy Ingram, Esq,  Nicole Mariani, Esq. and Meryl Phipps, Esq.

Art and Expression: Exploring Your Adoption Experience through Theater and Writing   

Everyone has a story to tell. We want to help make that possible with this hands-on, interactive, dynamic, jump-right-in, get-out-of-your-head-and-into-your-body, get-in-touch-with-yourself and connect-with-others group experience. We will be facilitating the artistic expression of personal adoption experience through joining together as a community of artists to explore through light physical warmup, theater games, storytelling and writing practice. The workshop is designed as a shared, connected group experience, balanced with an opportunity to turn inward and creatively express and share true stories. We will practice the lost art of listening – both to the self and to others. We will also experience the potential for art and advocacy and the power of members of the adoption community telling their stories and creating change. No theater or writing experience is required. Participants can share as much or as little as they are comfortable with. Suzanne Bachner and Bob Brader

Is It Teens or Is It Trauma?

The answer is yes! Almost every parent would agree that the teen years can often be the most challenging parenting period even under the optimum circumstances. Add in a layer of trauma and it’s often hard to distinguish why your child is acting a certain way. Is it that they are teens or is it the trauma? What can parent do when it is both? Join us for a facilitated round table discussion about parenting teens who have been adopted or been in care.  Max Corrigan, Sarah Gotowka, Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Tomasine Oliphant and Susan Rausch

School’s Out . . . Now What? 

 Parents of traumatized youth often face challenges once the structure of school is over. New activities and the freedom of summertime can pose added stress to the family. This workshop will better prepare parents to enter the season with a plan in place and tips to be able to make the summer an enjoyable experience for both the child and the family. This interactive training will cover various issues parents face during school vacations such as supervision, typical behavior and behavioral issues, employment, activities and available resources.  We will cover various topics such as summertime activities, summer school, modified summer rules, vacations and trips and camps and other summer programs.Nicole Hayward and Richard LeFebvre

Transgenerational Trauma and Co-Triggering Between Parents and Children

Adoptive and foster parents who have experienced trauma can feel both blessed and cursed. They have a background that helps them better understand their children’s wounds because they have “been there.” On the other hand, revisiting trauma via their children can trigger their own wounds again. The resultant reactivity can further activate their children as traumas trickle down into later generations. The path can flow along biological as well as foster and adoptive families. This workshop explores how to make trauma knowledge a benefit rather than a bane. We will discuss how this occurs through epigenetics, in-utero stress, unconscious transmission and patterns of meaning and behavior. Strategies for breaking the cycle will also be considered. John Sobraske

Yoga Mind, Body and Breath to Heal Trauma  

A critical aspect of recovering from trauma is learning ways to regulate intense emotions and to gain a sense of agency over one’s life. Yoga, a practice that is thousands of years old, has long been demonstrated to help calm the mind and body. Recently, Bessel van der Kolk’s research has shown that Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) practices can reduce autonomic sympathetic activation and muscle tension and decrease physical and emotional symptoms – in other words, a method of self-regulation. Exploring trauma through TCTSY, survivors may experience shifts in physiology (from stress to relaxation), attitude (from fear to creative inspiration) and control and agency (the ability to control one’s felt body through choice) within a safe, authentic, shared experience. TCTSY was recently recognized as an evidence-based intervention by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This workshop will cover the theoretic underpinnings and key aspects of the model, methodology and class dynamics, an overview of the research and an experiential exercise.Dena Adler and Lisa Maynard

Time Management for You  

Often times we live in a microwave society – We do not take time out for ourselves and we cannot buy   into the myth to multitask because something gets left out – and we get burned out.  In this workshop you will learn the tools to having less stress in your life, more joy and completing more tasks on time. Shamele Jenkins

Social Media and the Adoption Triad  

Social media has changed the way we all communicate. Birth parents, adoptees and adoptive families are no exception. People can now use social media and the internet to find prospective adoption opportunities, initiate and maintain contact with birth families and find online support and resources from others. When using social media, it is important to remember that the adoption process is not only your story; the details you share of that story impact all members of the triad. In this session, we will discuss various ways to use the internet and social media to find community and maintain connections with birth families. We will also address some of the guidelines for adoptive and birth parents to consider when using social media to communicate about their adoption journey as well as the technical ways to use Facebook while maintaining privacy. Josette Crean, Pamela Rothfeld and Chemene Vizzi

Supporting African American Children During Traumatic Events Associated with Racial Discrimination and Bias  

We cannot pretend that racial discrimination and biases do not exist anymore, as they have been on display in the news, social media and communities across the country more than ever. The impact of these events, whether experienced directly or indirectly, challenges American’s perception concerning the value of African American lives. For transracial adoptive parents, these perilous times present a learning opportunity for greater understanding about the impact of traumatic events, healthy child development and ways to support their children that affirm self-worth. This workshop is designed to assist families in identifying, supporting and offering protective factors to help mitigate the trauma associated with racial discrimination and understanding the Black child experience today. Through real-world examples, group discussions and exercises and a scholarly literature review, parents will gather relevant tools to address racial discrimination experienced outside their safe enclaves. Christine Haynes

Voices from Foster Care: A First-Hand Account from Youth Directly Impacted by the Child Welfare System  

Starting with a screening of Foster Care Film’s Feeling Wanted, this workshop will highlight youth currently and formerly in foster care using personal narratives to articulate the positives and negatives of life in the child welfare system. They discuss how these experiences impacted their life beyond foster care and what helped them persevere. These youths strive to break the cycles that put them into foster care in the first place and to overcome this circle of trauma by taking care of themselves first. For many, once in a safe environment, taking care of themselves starts by reclaiming their narrative. Sharing stories through spoken word, writing, music, poetry and film have empowered many of the youth we work with to find their voice and use it to make change in their own lives as well as the world around them. Yasmin Mistry, Michael Olivieri, Charell Star and Rosie Williams  

Don’t Cover Your Ears  

Often our children demonstrate behaviors that seem like opposite reactions to what were expected. Sometimes, those actions can seem really negative. This workshop will help parents understand the behaviors that youth in care sometimes exhibit and help identify the needs associated with the action. By understanding the youth’s experience while in foster care, parents will be able to be more empathic and attentive to their child’s needs. To heal we must understand what is holding us back from healing. This workshop is fun and allows you to connect with others and know you’re not alone on the journey of healing. Brieanna Hayes and Rosie Williams

Adoption and the Impact on Biological Sibling Relationships 

With a focus on the impact on biological siblings and sibling relationships, this panel discussion will provide insight into the family dynamics altered through adoption.  We’ll talk about blended families created through both adoption and biology and the impact on all children in the family.  We’ll hear from adoptive parents who are living it, from both biological siblings who have been separated and connected by adoption and an adoptee who was raised both in his adoptive family and reunited with siblings in his biological family. This panel discussion will help educate all families on what to be prepared for when having biological children in a foster/adoptive home. Strategies these families have tried successfully and sometimes not so successfully will be discussed.  Max Corrigan, Scarlett Fiona D’Arcy, Joanie Ollis, Danielle Skelly, Katie Skelly, and Chemene Vizzi

Advocating for Your Adopted Child at School: Trauma-Informed Strategies That Work  

Adoptive parents are often at a loss for how to help their children at school. Trauma is not widely considered when trying to understand a child’s unique behaviors or learning struggles. Yet a significant number of adopted children have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that hamper their school success. This workshop will focus on trauma-informed strategies that can be implemented with or without an IEP and will help the child feel safe and connected, get regulated and learn. This interactive lecture with some hands-on practice of concepts will explore challenges adoptive parents of traumatized children face when working with schools, including an overview of how IDEA and ADA laws work and the processes of obtaining IEPs or 504 plans.  Stephanie Garde

Play Therapy: What is My Child’s Counselor Doing? 

Children express their thoughts and emotions through play. Unfortunately, quite often the parents and/or caregiver have no understanding of what is happening in their child’s counseling session. This workshop will give the basic information about Play Therapy. We will talk about some of the symbolism, look at trauma play and also talk about developmentally appropriate play. It will also touch on the toys and activities in the playroom and what they can represent to the child. Pamela Talbott

 How to Keep Your Marriage/Parenting Partnership Healthy When Parenting Children with Trauma 

 Even under the most ideal circumstances, parenting can put a strain on any marriage or partnership. Children with special needs or who have experienced trauma will, as a consequence, require additional care and attention, which has the potential to increase the workload and pressures on the relationship. It is likely that you and your partner may go through a difficult period at some stage in your lives together. Sometimes, even if seemingly impossible, it is most beneficial for the whole family unit to put your relationship’s needs first. This workshop will focus on practicing self-care for your relationship. Mike and Kristin Berry

This Is Us: Adoption in the Real World

We wrap up the Conference with an encore performance of the Coalition’s This is Us panel discussion.  Season 2 of NBC’s hit television series raised issues of foster care and continued on the themes of identity, loss, love, family relationships and reunions in a family formed by adoption. Our final event uses key vignettes from the show as jumping-off points for further discussion with our own panel of “characters.”


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

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