Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

Session 1: 10:30AM - 11:20AM

Examining Motives to Adopt and Realities of Adoptive Parenting

Speaker: Tara VanderWoude

Facilitated by an adoptee, participate in a discussion regarding motivations to adopt and adoption's inherent complexities. Consider lifelong aspects of adoptive parenting and the tools and understanding needed to support an adopted child.

Historical and Current Status of Foster Care in Indiana

Speaker: Natalie Chavis-Fisher

Come join us as we explore historical and present day issues surrounding foster care. We will use history as a backdrop as we learn what a modern day grandmother has had to endure raising her foster granddaughter. This class explores the who, what and why and is sure to be a treat!

It Takes a Village: Meaningful Relationships Other Than Parents

Facilitators: Rachel Bristol and Jessica Gafkjen

Everyone can do something to care for vulnerable children in their community and there can never be too many loving adults in a child's life. This panel will highlight the stories of adults who have made a lasting impact in the lives of the foster chilldren they were blessed to serve.

Navigating the Unique Challenges of Kinship Placements

Speaker: Attorneys Mellisica K. Flippen and Danielle Gregory

This session will examine issues of navigation within formal and informal kinship care. Participants will be provided with tools and knowledge to make interactions with the child welfare system, legal system, and associated service providers more manageable.

Raising Awareness and Recruiting Volunteers for Your Ministry

Speaker: Amy Jo Fox and Laura Mobley

This workshop will help you explore how you can awaken your church, communicate your ministry, define volunteer roles, and develop people into dynamic leaders. Join us as we learn, collaborate, and discover ways to change the culture of your church to care for orphans and vulnerable children.

Reframing the Struggle: Finding Hope in the Journey

Speaker: Jason Johnson

This session will help you "reframe" your thinking through a biblical grid as you encounter the hard, difficult and unknowns of the foster care and adoption journey. This is for you no matter where you are on your journey!

Saying Goodbye to a Placement

Speaker: Sue Orlosky

This session will provide knowledge and skills for foster parents who may be grieving the loss of children who had joined their families but were discharged from care in accordance with the court's permanency plan.

Why Traditional Parenting Doesn’t Work with Kids from Trauma

Speaker: Mike and Kristin Berry

Time outs. Grounding. Lecturing. Household rules. Restrictions. You've probably tried one or more of these strategies with your children, but they may not be working. You may even find yourself at your whit's end. How then do you parent children with a trauma history? In this session we will walk through key strategies to parenting children in a new way that builds connection and trust.

Working with Teens From Hard Places

Speaker: Anthony Dumas

During this session you will learn about the challenges and importance of communication with teens and young adults in tough and marginalized situations. Through his experiences at Outreach and the community they serve in Indianapolis, Anthony will share how to listen and connect with teens from hard places.
Breakout Session 2: 11:30AM - 12:20AM

An Introduction to TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention)

Speaker: Nancy Fisher, MSW, LCSW

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is a therapeutic model that trains caregivers to provide effective support and treatment for at-risk children. TBRI® offers practical tools for parents, caregivers, to see the whole child in their care and help that child reach his/her highest potential.

Embracing the Inherent Grief and Loss in Adoption

Speaker: Tara VanderWoude

Loss precedes adoption and is woven throughout an adoptee's life, leaving him or her with the lifelong task of making sense of it all. Learn about ambiguous loss and how to talk with kids about it, creating a safe place where curiosity and big feelings are accepted.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Signs and Symptoms of Self-Harm and Suicide

Speaker: April Bordeau

Every person has the ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of someone who may feel suicidal, and every person has an opportunity to save a life. Learn about risk factors, signs/symptoms and most importantly, how to respond.

How to Develop Healthy, Stable, and Safe Relationships with Kids

Speaker: Adrienne/David Reed

This workshop will discuss the best ways to parent and form relationships with youth who have experienced abuse and neglect. Kids heal best from trauma exposure in the context of relationships, and this workshop will discuss practical ways to connect with children who are resistant to attachment.

More Than Enough: Become an Actively Engaged Church

Speaker: Jason Johnson

Do you want your church to continue to get more involved in foster care and adoption in the most effective ways possible? This session will outline 6 key measures of what it means to be “engaged" and give you practical tools to take your next steps.

Raising African American Children in a Multi-Racial Family

Speaker: Clarkston & LaKendra Morgan

As parents of a multi-racial family, how do you successfully raise your beautiful black sons and daughters to value their heritage while combating the negative stereotypes and oppression of society? Clarkston & LaKendra Morgan will empower you with the tools to raise strong sons and daughters.

Relationships with Your Child's Biological Family

Speaker: Mike and Kristin Berry

Healthy relationships with bio family are one of the most important things we can do to support our children well. It may sometimes seem impossible. In this session we will talk about a few steps we can take as foster and adoptive parents to nurture a relationship that will benefit the children we care for.

Secondary Trauma – The Impact on Siblings

Speaker:Kathy Boger

The early childhood trauma that your adopted child may have experienced can also affect their siblings. We will discuss the signs of secondary trauma and what parents can do to help. Kathy speaks from the perspective of an adoptive parent, and of being an adopted sibling herself.

Where Do I Fit In? Options For Hosting a Child in Your Home

Speaker: Rosie Butler, MA, LSW

Join us for an overview of the ways individuals/families may open their home to vulnerable children (foster care, Safe Families, adoption, mentoring,etc). Information on adopting out of foster care through Indiana Adoption Program will also be shared.
Breakout Session 3: 1:30AM - 2:20AM

Adoption From an Attorney’s Point of View

Speaker: Grant Kirsh

Grant will walk you through the process of adopting through DCS. Topics include the timing of filing a petition for adoption, TPR, adoption consents, post-adoption contact agreements, adoption subsidies, name changes, new birth certificates, and how to obtain a new SSN.

Bringing Fun to Connected Relationships

Speaker: Kate Creason, LCSW

We know all people connect when they are in the “highs" and "lows" of life. Our children who have experienced trauma need to attach to adults to feel safe. There is no better way to connect than play! Come experience new playful approaches to help your child on their healing journey.

Developing a Holistic Approach to Foster Care Ministry

Speaker: Jason Johnson

Foster care is a crucial place for your church or organization to engage, but it is one part of a much larger continuum of care. This session will explore a more holistic approach of involvement, from Prevention to Intervention to Restoration.

Five Biblical Principles for Raising Healthy, Connected Kids in a Digital Age

Speaker: Barry Rodriguez

Social media anxiety. Gaming addictions. Ceaseless online shopping. Is there any way to help our families break free from the tyranny of unhealthy tech habits? Join Pastor Barry Rodriguez for a discussion of 5 biblical principles for living a healthy life in the digital world.

Foster Care Through Different Colored Lenses - Understanding Cultural Perspectives and Perceptions

Speaker: Clarkston Morgan

With a disproportionate number of foster children being African American, during this session we will discuss how to engage, serve, and labor side-by-side with organizations and individuals who come from different racial, economic, & cultural backgrounds than you do.

If I Had Only Known….Foster Parent Panel

Facilitators: Lorraine Conwell and Tamara Timm

Are you considering foster care but wish you could hear what it’s really like from actual foster parents? Come join us for an honest conversation as current foster parents share their struggles, joys, and what they wish they would have known when they started fostering.

Parenting Difficult Behaviors

Speaker: April Bordeau

Parenting challenging behaviors can be the most frustrating and exhausting part of life. Learn practical, evidence based strategies for building connection, empowering change, and correcting maladaptive behaviors in kids from hard places.

Where Do I Fit In? – 50 Simple Ways to Serve That Have a Great Impact

Speaker: Sherri Moore

There are so many "hidden" opportunities to serve and impact children's lives. During this session we will shine a light on big variety of 50 volunteer opportunities and organizations that are looking to have you share your gifts and talents, in many ways you may not have considered.

Work with Aging Out or Homeless Youth

Speaker: Daneille Pierson

This session will explore the systemic effects of youth aging out of foster care who become homeless. Stories of young people who have experienced homelessness from foster care, as well as practical ways to support young people facing homelessness will be shared.