Workshop Session VI: Friday, January 10th, 8:30am

Workshop and Speaker Information Subject to Change


Casa Q: Creating Radical Acceptance for LGBTQI Youth Facing Homelessness with Housing, Support and Perseverance

Presenters: Cynthia Chavers & Steven Serrano

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 Ethics/Professionalism 

Description: Provides an overview of Casa Q, including its history and explanation of how the agency created a trauma-responsive program to meet the unique needs of LGBTQI youth facing homelessness. Casa Q was created by a group of private concerned citizens whose goal was to eliminate LGBTQI homelessness in NM. Casa Q has provided housing and support services to youth for the last five years. 100% of youth have maintained involvement with programming past the time that they live at Casa Q. Youth stay involved due to the open, supportive, and radical approach used by staff. Participants will learn about programming and services. They will gain an understanding of the individual and social problems created by LGBTQI homelessness and the unique vulnerabilities of this population. They will learn how individuals can take action to create programs with impact using the concepts of Nurtured Heart and Wraparound.


REPEAT: Integrating Trauma Informed Care and Solution Based Strategies in Interviewing Children

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.


Shifting the Narrative in Child Welfare: NMCAN Youth, CYFD Secretary, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Presenters:  Micaela Baca, Brian Blalock, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, Ezra Spitzer

Facilitators: Rochelle Alvarado and Marco Martinez

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description:  Systems meant to support New Mexico’s children and families face significant challenges to ensure that our communities are thriving. Join us for a conversation with Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, CYFD’s Brian Blalock, NMCAN’s Ezra Spitzer, and NMCAN’s Youth Leaders about the realities of the child welfare system and how to create a new vision for the future of child welfare.


Fathers Matter: Engaging, Involving and Advocating for Dads and his Children

Presenters: Kelly Lynn Beck, Joey Cordero, and Mike Mertz

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: A highly interactive workshop facilitated by two experts in the field of father representation, father involvement and training. The Workshop begins with an overview and update of the legal requirements for identifying and involving fathers and his relatives in child welfare and delinquency proceedings along with requirements under family law provisions.  This will be followed by an in-depth exploration and discussion of the research surrounding obstacles and challenges fathers and practitioners face in these proceedings, including a focused discussion about individual biases, recognizing and addressing those obstacles to effectively advocate for fathers in New Mexico. There will be further consideration and discussion of why some fathers appear reluctant to participate in these proceedings or even defiant in their behavior toward professionals.  A resource tool will be provided to all participants which will help guide the practitioner to uncover intentional strengths and true commitments from the fathers they represent.


Child Welfare Reform Past, Present and Future:  A Discussion of NM Reforms and the Family First Prevention Services Act

Presenters: Angie Schwartz

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: Over the last few years, New Mexico has been involved in an overhaul of its child welfare system through a combination of federal. In the midst of these reform efforts, Congress passed the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), a major overhaul of how the federal government funds child welfare programs, which has significant implications for New Mexico, requiring us to pivot to address Family First without losing sight of the progress we’ve made in recent years. This workshop will provide an overview of Family First and the opportunities and challenges the new law presents in the context of other child welfare reforms in progress in New Mexico. We will focus on the potential impacts of the law on both our child welfare system and broader safety net programs, including the barriers children and families may face in accessing benefits and services. As we discuss each topic, we will focus on implementation strategies to utilize in New Mexico in order to improve access to necessary supports and services and minimize adverse impacts on our children and families. Finally, we will discuss ongoing efforts to secure needed legislative fixes to the law to make it more effective in New Mexico before its implementation.


Addressing Invisibility: Inclusion and Wellness for New Mexico’s Black Youth

Presenters: Rebecca Ezechukwu and Cathryn McGill

SW CEUs: 1.5 Cultural; CLEs: 1.5 Ethics/Professionalism

Description: Workshop describes psychological invisibility and the impact on Black New Mexicans. Research and experience has shown that Black Americans experience disparities in health, education, juvenile justice and child welfare, and discrimination. NM is rich in culture, and proudly refers to itself as a “tricultural” state. This has led to invaluable opportunities to fund and prioritize much-needed programs and services for Native American and Hispanic communities. At the same time, resourcing and infrastructure for serving the needs of Black New Mexicans is systemically overlooked. Participants will describe strengths and challenges in New Mexico’s Black community and participate in activities to expand self-awareness of their own cultural influences.  They will identify culturally-based hot spots, blind spots, and soft spots using the Reflective Local Practice model for Improving Cultural Competence. All welcome, vulnerability and courage preferred.


Building Community in Foster Care

Presenters: Bethany Gallegos, Betsy Hoxworth and Kellie Sahm, Heather Thatcher

SW CEUs: 1.5; CLEs: 1.5 General

Description:  Relationships are crucial in changing the stigma and environment around foster care and promoting retention of foster families. Building community in foster care is a forward approach to bridging gaps and constructing relationships with all involved, including children, birth, foster and adoptive parents, professionals and the community as a whole. Workshop will discuss how relationships are crucial to providing an environment of continuity, support and compassion to improve a child’s future success. Presenters are working toward implementing solutions to build better relationships, provide support, educate and advocate for the betterment of the system and community and will provide examples of what is working.  Workshop is intended for all involved in foster care: children, birth, foster and adoptive parents, professionals and the community. Content is intermediate to advanced, testing comfort and boundaries.


Legal Update

Presenters: Jane Yohalem and Kelly O’Niel

 CLEs: 1.5 General

Description: *Workshop for Attorneys only!* A discuss of 2019 developments in case law.