Breakout Sessions

2022 Sessions and Topics

Breakout Sessions Schedule

There are three sessions throughout the day where you get to pick the session/topic you’d like to sit in on. View the different topics and speakers below for each session.

If you would like to find suggested sessions based off your area of interest, please click here.

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM

Session 1

Developing a Movement in Your Community

Panel Moderated by Ross Chapman

When Ross Chapman, founder of “For Evansville”, learned the foster care system in Vanderburgh County was overwhelmed, he had to do something. Recognizing that the collective Church of Evansville already had plenty of loving families for kids experiencing foster care, Ross began convening church, nonprofit, and government leaders to create collaboration, energy, raise awareness, and begin solving problems to improve outcomes for vulnerable kids in the Evansville area. This session will include background from Ross on the beginnings of a movement on behalf of kids and families in foster care, as well as a panel discussion with local faith-based nonprofit leaders who are working together to change the trajectory of care in Southwest Indiana.

Digital Dangers

Amanda Giddings

This presentation will discuss common issues that children run into while they are spending time online such as cyberbullying, solicitation, sexting, and extortion. Information about these issues as well as ways in which adults can help protect children will be shared.

Handling Crisis in the Home

Mike and Kristin Berry

When a crisis happens what do you do? How do you respond? In this session we will talk through key steps you must take to ensure you respond effectively and your home is the safest possible.

Historical Implications of the Child Welfare System on Communities of Color

Dr. Kim McElroy Jones and Tamara Timm

The child welfare system plays a significant role in our society. It is designed to promote the well-being of children by ensuring all children live in safe, permanent, and stable environments. In this session we will discuss how this system has historically impacted BIPOC communities and explore ways to create a better system for all.

How Will the Family First Prevention Act Change Foster Care?

David Reed

Come learn about impact of the 2018 passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) on child welfare services across the country and on Indiana, specifically. FFPSA made research-informed changes in how states can access federal resources to support their work with children and families, and hopes to significantly improve outcomes.

Soul Care: Filling Your Cup When You’re Constantly Pouring Out

Beth Booram

How do we care for our soul when we are constantly caring for everybody else? There are no easy answers or simple solutions to refresh the part of us that Proverbs 4:23 calls the “well-springs of life.” Yet there are some tried and true spiritual practices we can learn that will make all the difference! Come learn what they are.

Understanding and Supporting Children with Anxiety and Depression

Dr. Evan Burns

The session will discuss how children and adolescents physiologically and psychologically exhibit signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression. We will further explore tangible ways on how to address children and adolescents with these struggles and provide proper ways to support them as they are addressing their anxiety and depression.

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM

Session 2

Adoption from an Attorney’s Perspective

Grant Kirsh

During this breakout session, we will cover the adoption process from start to finish when adopting a child from foster care. This will include when to hire an attorney, how to find the right attorney for your case, file your adoption petition, and negotiating adoption subsidies.

Anti-trafficking Awareness: Prevent Abuse, Exploitation, and Trafficking Before it Starts

Alyssa Van Vactor

kNot Today exists to generate awareness and initiate prevention strategies for sexually abused, exploited, and trafficked children and teens. Join us during this session as we share easy to understand resources and strategies that will help protect and prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Beyond Boundaries: Helping Teens Think for Themselves

Jared Jones

Join us as we discuss how to encourage teens to create and maintain healthy boundaries. This session will educate parents on how a teen’s brain works, especially teens from difficult upbringings, and present strategies for parents to guide their teens in developing healthy decisions in relationships.

Crucial Conversations: Exploring Various Perspectives on Identity in Adoption

Panel Moderated by Tamara Timm & Cindy Neal

As a transracial family, how do we help children have a healthy sense of identity? How do we talk about race? More than 40% of adoptions are transracial and as parents we have the responsibility to help children thrive. At this session, a diverse panel will share from their experience, offer advice, and answer questions.

Cultivating a Healthy Marriage in the Midst of Chaos

Mike and Kristin Berry

Often, we can feel like we’re on a separate page from our spouse. How do you achieve health in a marriage while dealing with chaos? In this session we’ll talk through keys to cultivating the healthiest relationship possible while parenting children from hard places.

Power of Empathetic Witness

Gaelin Elmore

Regardless of the role we play in the life of a child, we all have an opportunity to show up and make a difference. Learn about the life-changing impact and importance of being both empathetic and a witness, consistently and simultaneously, for youth with adverse and/or traumatic backgrounds.

Supporting At-Risk Families Through Your Church

Amy Jo Fox and Casey Getzin

It is an unfortunate reality that sometimes children are placed in foster care because their biological families lack support. As a church, providing tangible, relational, and spiritual support for these families can make all the difference. Join us to learn practical ways your church can help preserve at-risk families.

12:50 PM – 1:40 PM

Session 3

Building Partnerships Across Racial Lines

Erika Glenn

Most of us working in child welfare, foster care, and adoption are familiar with James 1:27. We know we have been given a mandate to care for children and widows during their greatest times of need. We need to build partnerships across racial lines to do so. Join us to learn some tips to engaging the whole Church!

Connecting with Kids Who’ve Experienced Trauma

Krista Petty

Whether it is trauma, toxic stress, grief or loss – hurting kids need grown ups who are willing to connect, teach, and play in safe, meaningful, healing ways. What is hurt in relationships must be healed in them. This workshop will help you build empathy, knowledge and skills – as well as point you to more additional resources to use in your relationships with hurting youth.

Expectations and Realities: An honest look at answering God’s call to open your home

Mike and Kristin Berry

Should you foster? Should you adopt? How do you know if you’re called to do this? Big questions! Before you take the step, we’ll talk through the realities and expectations to help you determine if you’re ready for this journey or need more time.

Starting a Ministry at Your Church

Brandy Baumann and Sarah Norris

Are you interested in launching a family advocacy ministry (FAM) at your church? Not sure where to start? Join us as we discuss first steps to creating a healthy, thriving FAM by examining essential ministry pillars, best practices, and helpful resources.

Supporting Family Preservation and Reunification

Erika Davis

Family Preservation Services focuses on maintaining children in the family home, when they may have traditionally been removed due to allegations of abuse and/or neglect. This session will focus on how what these services look like in Indiana and how foster parents can support the reunification process.

Turn To: Embracing Adversity within the System

Gaelin Elmore

The foster care system is a place that is riddled with adversity – for children, foster parents, social workers, and biological families. Reclaiming and reframing the adversity within the system can have a massive impact on the way a child perceives their story; regardless of how trauma-filled or not. The way a child perceives their story dictates how they show up in it. Walk away encouraged, motivated, and equipped to embrace the adversity within the system and live a life of resiliency.

Working with Your Child’s School

Sara Coggins

Working with schools to provide for the needs for children who have been through trauma can seem overwhelming. However, when you know what services are available, it is easier to advocate for their needs. Find out practical steps you can take to make success more likely for your child coming out of trauma.

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