Maximizing Faith-Based Partnerships to Serve Foster Youth
One-Day Conference for Child Welfare Professionals
Across America, innovative partnerships between government agencies and religious communities are improving children’s lives…as well as agency outcomes. Learn how you can do the same from government and Christian leaders representing many of the very best partnership models nationwide. This one-day conference will provide the proven approaches, vital do’s and don’ts, and personal connections needed to grow effective, long-term partnerships with churches and faith-based nonprofits.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to join the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Summit 9 Friday plenary session and special events at no additional charge. More than 2,000 Christian pastors, lay leaders and agency staff from across the country will be present—all learning together how to better serve vulnerable children. Summit will include plenary session speakers on the role of the church in serving foster youth, a sweeping exhibit hall, an evening concert event, and much more. All this will provide a unparalleled opportunity for child welfare professionals to get to know a growing movement of faith-motivated individuals who stand ready to serve as true allies in improving the lives of foster children and their families.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Registration Price: $39 [To join this special one-day, please select "Child Welfare Professional" on the registration home page. To join the entire Summit at a discounted rate of $84, please select "General Registration" on the registration home page and enter "Professional" as the coupon code].
8:45am – 10:30am
11:00am – 12:00pm
Workshop I: How Do We Work Together: Key Principles and Practices for Faith Partnerships
12:00pm – 1:45pm
Lunch [Q&A and Networking Session]
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Workshop II: Effective Faith-Based Partnerships: Models that Work for Children and Families
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Workshop III: Your choice of 4 Workshops:
- What Happens at 18?: Faith-Based Strategies for Serving Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
- The Church as an Alternative to Foster Care: How Churches Can Change Lives and Systems Across America
- Building Trauma Competent Healing Caregivers II
- Orphan Justice in the Local Church: Practical Ideas for Any Orphan Ministries
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Local restaurant options available. An on-site dinner buffet will also be available for pre-purchased ticket holders. Dinner tickets must be purchased in advance at the time of online registration.
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Continuing Education Credits
CEU credit is available for attending this one-day conference. If you would like information about receiving Continuing Education Credits (CECs), please contact email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These CECs are for social work professionals. Adoptive parents and professionals from other fields may elect to receive this certificate for independent submission to the appropriate boards and associations for credit.
How Do We Work Together? Key Principles and Practices for Faith Partnerships
Designed especially for social work professionals, this workshop will delve deep into the specific principles and practices key to effective faith-based partnerships. Learn how to begin a faith-based initiative or grow the one you have. Alongside strategies for partnership, the workshop will address questions on Church-State boundary lines, difficulties of working with churches, and other foundational issues. Taught by two child welfare veterans of faith-based partnerships, this workshop will leave you with fresh ideas and encouragement as well as actionable plans to better serve children and families.
Effective Faith-Based Partnerships: Models that Work for Children and Families
Discover successful models of faith-based programs and partnerships from across the country that are improving outcomes for children. An experts panel will showcase some of the cutting edge programs from around the country that are helping child welfare professionals strengthen families, protect children and find permanent homes for kids who need them.
What Happens at 18?: Faith-Based Strategies for Serving Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
After leaving home for the first time, most young adults still rely on their parents for good advice, living skills, and financial help. But “aged-out” foster care teens have no one to turn to. This panel will present several faith-based models that are working to change that. Come be inspired and gain insight into how we can work together to change the future of aging out youth.
The Church as an Alternative to Foster Care: How Churches Can Change Lives and Systems Across America
Learn how churches nationwide are partnering with county and state governments to provide an alternative to state foster care. The Safe Families model not only engages church communities in supporting at-risk children and their families; it also complements and supports the work of government child welfare agencies, saving funds and staff hours for top priority issues. Learn the basics of what it takes to replicate the Safe Families model across America.
Building Trauma-Competent Healing Caregivers II
This workshop will offer essential skills of trauma informed care. Every participant will leave both workshops with new strategies, tools and ideas to better equip those who pour their lives into the needs of wounded, traumatized children.
Orphan Justice in the Local Church: Practical Ideas for Any Orphan Ministries
Johnny Carr is known for his very practical sessions at Summit. This year he takes his book, Orphan Justice, and talks about building ministries that touch on a full range of issues including trafficking, poverty, HIV/AIDS, the foster system, and other issues related to caring for orphans.
Lead Facilitator/Presenter Bios
ALICEN BENNETT began her career in 2001 as a caseworker for the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services. There she developed her passion for children in foster care. She has served in several positions within child welfare in the past 12 years including Coordinator for a private adoption agency, Manager of a multi-million dollar grant to create and sustain local foster care adoption support, Foster Care Recruitment/Retention Manager, and statewide Foster Care Manager. Alicen organized groups across Arkansas to create the Arkansas Heart Gallery and currently serves as the Statewide DCFS Liaison to the C.A.L.L., the faith-based initiative to recruit foster and adoptive families from churches, with whom Alicen has been working with since it’s inception in 2006. Alicen is responsible for strengthening and sustaining the partnership between the C.A.L.L. and AR DCFS. Alicen and her husband Jason also created a non-profit organization, Stuff the Sleigh, which collects Christmas presents through a toy drive each year for children in the Arkasansas foster care system. Alicen’s other passion besides foster children are her own two children, Aiden, age 3 and Ryan, age 1.
FELICIA MASON-EDWARDS is Program Director for Children and Families with Families Moving Forward. She has more than 20 years in variety of positions helping children and families find permanency, through housing, education and finding foster and adoptive families. Her understanding encompasses communities of faith and the needs of children and their families and how each can partner together to build a stronger, healthier community. Felicia previously served as the Faith-based/Recruitment Program Specialist with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. In this role, she engaged communities of faith to recruit foster and adoptive families for children in the Texas foster care system. She also served as the liaison with the OneStar Foundation, which is the Governor’s office of Faith-based and Communities Initiatives. Felicia is currently a consultant and provides technical assistance to several states across the country to expand effective collaboration between government and faith communities for children in need of loving homes. She also sits on several boards focused upon finding permanent homes for children who need them. Felicia holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University.
SHAREN FORD, Ph.D., is the Manager for Permanency Services for the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare Services. She has a 25 year comprehensive work history that includes program and policy development and implementation, monitoring, revenue generation and serving as the Division’s legislative liaison to include providing legislative testimony. She oversees seven programmatic areas including the Foster Care and Adoption Program and supervises a team of professional staff. She is married to Roy, and is a mother and a grandmother. Dr. Ford is the past President of the National Association of State Adoption Programs (NASAP) and is the current President of the Association of Administrators for the Interstate Compact on Adoption Medical Assistance (AAICAMA).