Workshop Session II: Thursday, January 9th, 8:30am

Workshop and Speaker Information Subject to Change


Why Do Attorneys DO That!?

Presenters: Cristen Conley, Robert Retherford, Therese Yanan, Susan Burgess Farrell, Erin Atkins, Peter Klages

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 Ethics/Professionalism

Description: Many professionals and volunteers in child and family welfare cases are stumped by actions attorneys take in their cases. Why would a youth attorney tell teens it is not illegal to run away or counsel them to refuse in-patient treatment? Why would a parents’ lawyer want to attend a child’s treatment team meeting or a GAL tell the court that a parent has too many items on a case plan? Experienced attorneys from around the state will engage in a moderated, informative conversation describing experiences regarding the varied roles, rules, and requirements of the legal representatives in these cases and help participants understand how volunteers and non-legal professionals can work productively with attorneys. Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers and a useful tactic for effective communication with attorneys will be discussed.  Designed for non-legal professionals and those new to their legal role.


Shutting Off the Pipeline: Keeping Children with Disabilities in School and Out of Jail

Presenters: Jerri Katzerman

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: School districts across the country employ harsh discipline policies that push students out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system at alarming rates. Commonly referred to as “the school-to-prison pipeline,” this phenomenon has a significantly disproportionate impact on students with disabilities. This workshop will provide an overview of the problem and its particular effect on students with disabilities in New Mexico, as well as an introduction to federal protections for students with disabilities facing disciplinary removal. The session will also include an interactive discussion regarding novel legal strategies to help interrupt and dismantle the pipeline.


Radical Acceptance Begins with YOU: Healing and Self-Care through Yoga for Adults and Children

Presenters: Lauren Armstrong and Maria Goley 

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 Ethics/Professionalism

Description: The session will be an opportunity to practice radical acceptance through yoga, focusing on mindfulness, breath, and body awareness. Instructors will guide participants through a yoga practice on body movement, breathing techniques, and guided visualization/meditation. The goal is to enable individuals to process a wide range of emotions and thoughts through a non- judgmental lens, giving them power to release that which no longer serves them in a safe and guided setting. This presentation will be experiential and interactive offering hands-on yoga instruction, with supplemental information exploring the research and philosophy of yoga practice and its role in healing and therapy for children as well as adult professionals. Participants will be encouraged to develop creative ideas and partnerships to make yoga available to vulnerable populations. The session does not require any prior yoga experience.


Mitigating Trauma in Courthouses: Understanding Trauma Responses (Will repeat in Session V)

Presenters: Kim McGinnis and Adrea Korthase

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 Ethics/Professionalism

Description: Workshop provides ideas and resources to improve the way court stakeholders and justice partners interact with survivors of trauma. Many survivors become court involved, often as parents through child welfare cases or as minors through a juvenile justice case. Presenters explain what it means to be a trauma-responsive and trauma-informed court; describe how acute and chronic trauma may change the structure of the brain; discuss why a trauma response may be triggered, what it may look like, and provide ideas for incorporating both traditional values and research-based strategies to help court systems be trauma informed and responsive. Understanding and accepting trauma effects on the brain will be explored not as an excuse for frustrating behavior or dangerous choices but as an explanation for potential barriers to progress and to help staff understand and work to mitigate trauma responses. The presentation combines resources and research to give attendees practical tools and resources in improving court interactions and environment for survivors of trauma.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in NM – Where We Are and How to Get Where We Need To Be

Presenters: Gay Finlayson, Liz Thomson, and Joel Davis

SW CEUs: 1.5, Cultural: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: One in fifty-nine children in NM have autism spectrum disorder. This workshop focuses on the systems that serve them, and how to best move forward to create appropriate levels of support. Recently, there has been growth in autism self-advocacy. This new movement considers autism to be an instance of neurodiversity, an important aspect of individual identity, and a culture of its own. The presenters will discuss this cultural shift, its associated gifts and challenges, and how autism culture can be included in the cultures of NM. The three presenters are parent advocates with experience in developing and implementing autism services in our state. They will speak on current barriers and give resources for access to care. Family engagement, community participation, and cultural collaboration are values critical to achieving desired outcomes. The presenters will offer ideas on how to incorporate these values into autism service delivery.


Lived Experience: Parent Panel Discussion

Presenters: Queva Hubbard, Leslie Jones, Kathryn Brock, Arika Sanchez

Participating Parents: Queva Hubbard, successfully reunified mother; James Sumrow, successfully reunified father; Shantell Gallegos, former foster youth and successfully reunified mother; Alicia Luna, successfully reunified mother.

SW CEUs: 1.5, Cultural: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General 

Description: This workshop will promote understanding, support, and acceptance of parents who are involved in the New Mexico child protective system. All too often parents are immediately judged as being a bad parent. The system and agencies develop policies and procedures without understanding the effect on parents. Decisions are made throughout the life of a case on the assumption that professionals know what is best for families.  The Family Advocacy Program and NM Child Advocacy Networks are coordinating this Parent Panel Discussion. Facilitators will be present to focus the conversation but will primarily allow the parents to speak to the audience about their experience in the system. This workshop is intermediate and intended for all people who touch the child welfare system. GALs, youth attorneys, CASA’s, judges, infant mental health providers, foster parents, CYFD employees, and parents attorneys are encouraged to attend the session.

REPEAT: Kinship Care in New Mexico: Honoring Family Connections

Presenters: Heidi Redlich Epstein, Ana Beltran, Emily Peeler

SW CEUs: 1.5,Cultural: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: This workshop will discuss the necessary steps to create a kin first culture in New Mexico. The session will explore how best to engage, support and work with kinship caregivers both inside and outside the system resulting in successful kinship placements and permanency. Kinship provisions of the newly enacted Family First Act will be reviewed as they relate to work with kin. As advocates for children who want to ensure the best possible outcomes for children, the presenters will collectively explore the benefits of this new law for the kinship triad (parents, kinship caregiver, and children) as well as potential challenges with implementation.

People Powered Reform: Why Lived Experience is Essential to Advocacy Breakout for Youth Participants

Presenter: Lexi Gruber

SW CEUs: 1.5

Description: in progress


Creating New Mexico’s First ICWA Court with the Goal of Achieving Better Outcomes for Indian Children and Families

Presenter: Catherine Begaye, Donalyn Sarracino, Crescentia Tso, Judge Marie Ward, Jenessa Garay, Michelle Tacheene, Bette Fleishman, Brian T. Ray, Jacqueline Yalch, Cynthia Chavers, 

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General 

Description: This workshop will be a moderated discussion on New Mexico’s first ICWA Court.

ICWA Court was launched on Indigenous People’s Day 2019. It is a great example of creating state-tribal relationships to improve outcomes for Indian families by using problem-solving and consensus building that benefits children and families. When removal of Indian children from their family is unavoidable, the goal is to increase placements of Indian children with family members, to ensure an Indian child’s connection to their family, culture, and tribe, to increase reunifications, and to provide active efforts. These proceedings will be heard by a dedicated Special Master Catherine Begaye (Navajo) with a team of experts providing legal representation and support for Indian families. In addition to dedicated contract attorneys for parent and children’s representation, CYFD has created a dedicated ICWA unit comprised of four ICWA caseworkers, an ICWA supervisor, and 2 dedicated children’s court attorneys. The goal of CYFD’s ICWA unit is to provide premiere child welfare interventions for Indian families. We will review the background work that set the stage for the unique court and observations from various stakeholders about how ICWA Court will better meet the needs of their clients. The goal of this discussion is to show the necessary foundation-building for a successful ICWA Court and how stakeholders from other jurisdictions around New Mexico can build upon the work that has already started in Bernalillo County to create their own ICWA Courts.


NACC Red Book Training: The Child Welfare Legal Framework Part 1

Presenter: Betsy Fordyce

CLEs: 1.5 General 

Description: In this workshop, we will cover Chapters 14-20 of the Red Book.  Topics will include what attorneys and judges need to know about child maltreatment investigation/assessment and child safety, due process and child protection, A Child’s Journey through the Child Welfare System, Interstate and International issues, and confidentiality.  This workshop is for attorneys and judicial officers.