Workshop Session IV: Thursday, January 9th, 1:30pm

Workshop and Speaker Information Subject to Change


Implicit Bias, LGBTQ+ Youth, and Child Welfare

Presenter: Jen Panhorst 

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General 

Description: Youth who are sexual and/or gender minorities, which includes but is not limited to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+), have disproportionate risk of homelessness, increasing their odds of involvement with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. In this presentation, risk factors these youth face and challenges within state systems that can negatively affect outcomes, including ways that implicit bias against LGBTQ+ people can manifest in these systems will be discussed. This presentation will look at methods of addressing needed systems changes. It will also discuss having radical acceptance of a youth’s identity, even in moments when the youth’s identity and expression feels confusing or contradictory to the adult. Participants will leave the presentation with more resources for the LGBTQ+ youth they serve and ideas on policy change that can better support these youth.


The Narratives We Tell: Moving from Stories of Pity to Stories from Heroism

Presenter: Mike Mertz 

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 Ethics/Professionalism

Description: In this workshop, participants will reflect on their practices of engagement and try new ideas that promote an understanding of the knowledge, capabilities and history families carry.  Attention will be paid to the assumptions held about people called clients, the professional’s roles in their lives and how these assumptions impact engagement.  Participants will learn about seeing people outside of the problems that impact their lives in order to avoid situating these problems within the identity of the person. If clients are viewed as “dysfunctional” or “damaged” what doors for engagement does this open or close?  If providers view themselves as responsible to “fix” clients or to “teach” skills, how might the client’s capabilities be missed?  If a trauma-informed lens helps to move from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” how do we avoid merely seeing people as victims to pity?


Implementation of the Plan of Care Act: Two Generation Care for Mothers and Infants Affected by Substance Abuse Disorders

Presenters: Dr. Andrew Hsi, Janis Gonzales, Cynthia Chavers, Susan Merrill, and Trisstan Maroney 

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: In 2019 the New Mexico Legislature passed HB230, requiring medical professionals to work collaboratively with pregnant women, and the Children, Youth and Families Department in the event of substance use during pregnancy. This workshop, presented by members of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Workgroup, will cover the requirements of related federal legislation for New Mexico, its intention to address the effects of substance use affecting at least two generations, and the resulting establishment and implementation of Plans of Care for infants and mothers. Presenters will also touch on the joint effort that lead to the passing of this landmark bill and its implications for the future.


Interdisciplinary Parent Representation: Improving Advocacy and Outcomes for Parents and Families in New Mexico

Presenters: Caitlin DiFiore, Corre Griffith, Andrea Gunderson, Queva Hubbard, Leslie Jones, Cynthia Tessman, and Cantrell Mosley

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: The NM Family Advocacy Program provides parents in child welfare cases an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, social workers, and parent mentors to provide families with the proper advocacy and support for reunification or other preferred outcomes. The program is based on principles of Cornerstone Advocacy, which promotes intensive advocacy during the first few months of cases with regard to visiting, placement, services, and meetings. Studies show that increasing the level of advocacy for respondent parents leads to shorter times to permanency, more reunification outcomes, and overall reduced trauma for children and families. The workshop will discuss the key elements of the interdisciplinary representation model while highlighting the positive outcomes the program has experienced over the last six years. Workshop includes an interdisciplinary panel of child welfare practitioners.

Kinship, Guardianship, Shadow Foster Care System

Presenters: Mariel Willow and Sophie Asher

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: In this workshop, the situations that lead children to be cared for by informal caregivers, the legal mechanisms that can be used instead of kinship guardianship, and the legal requirements and social fall-outs of pursuing a kinship guardianship case will be explored.  Kinship Guardianship is New Mexico’s shadow foster care system. The 2010 census showed 30,022 New Mexican minors lived in their grandparent’s home without a parent. Presenters expect that number to grow as a result of the opioid epidemic. Kinship Guardians start out as informal caregivers who legalize their relationship with a child.  During this workshop, the audience will be asked for scenarios and, along with the presenters, will brainstorm real solutions for families.


Integrating Trauma Informed Care and Solution Based Strategies in Interviewing Children (Will repeat in Session Vl)

Presenters: Lori Comallie-Caplan

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: Chronic neglect, abuse, or any incident of separation, loss, or grief can be traumatic for children. Implementing interviewing techniques that are more sensitive and responsive to trauma is imperative. Workshop will focus on the need to take trauma into account when interviewing children who have been impacted by a high-conflict divorce. It is critical that the family law professional considers the impact of trauma on the child’s mentality and how the resultant shift in functioning affects their ability to communicate. After providing a brief overview of trauma and its effects on children, and how culture impacts our perceptions, presenter will provide participants with concepts of a trauma-informed interview: transparency of process/role of interviewer, child friendly environments, empowering and meeting the child where they are, providing opportunities for non-verbal communication, activity based conversations, and focused listening.


How Authentic Youth Adult Partnerships Can Shift the System

Presenters: Hilari Lipton and Farra Fong

Description: Workshop in development.

This workshop was been replaced with:

New! Film Screening The Shake Up (film only)

Description: The Shake-Up is an hour-long documentary about the cause and consequences of New Mexico’s 2013 behavioral health Medicaid freeze. Patients and providers of behavioral healthcare in New Mexico struggle to find a path forward after the state government makes false accusations of Medicaid fraud that result in widespread closures of clinics and the disruption of life-saving services for thousands.


Using Mindfulness as a Strategy for Self-Care, Emotional Regulation, and Personal Growth for Youth Participants

Presenter: Dr. Sam Himelstein 

Description: Workshop in development.


NACC Red Book Training: The Role and Duties of Legal Counsel

Presenter: Betsy Fordyce

CLEs: 1.5 General

Description:This workshop will cover Chapters 29-31 of the Red Book, including Agency Representation in Child Welfare Proceedings, Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases, and Representing Children and Youth. This workshop is for attorneys and judicial officers.