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College of Professional Studies

School of Social Work


Title IV-E Child Welfare Symposium

“Services that Strengthen the Capacities of Families”

March 19, 2021

About the Conference

As a Title IV-E Child Welfare sponsored conference, “Services that Strengthen the Capacities of Families” offers high quality continuing education that strengthens and supports persons working with children and families.  Presentations and workshops provide information on evidenced-based interventions and practice level strategies that advance knowledge and enhance workers provision of services.  Through these innovative approaches, parents and children are engaged and empowered to work toward improved outcomes. Services addressed during the conference include substance disorder, parents with intellectual disabilities, emotional health, cultural humility, virtual engagement, ethics, LGBTQIA youth, and youth services.


How to Register

To register for the Title IV-E Child Welfare Symposium take the following steps:

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$35.00 for Six (6) Credit hours

Approved Social Work CEUs: Seven (7) Clinical sessions, four (4) General sessions, and (3hrs.)  Ethics

No Refunds

At-A-Glance Agenda

Friday, March 19, 2021

Opening Remarks

8:30am - 8:45am

Dr. Carolyn Hester, Ph.D., LMSW, Dean of the College of Professional Studies

Dr. Jacqueline Garrison, DSW, LCSW, Associate Dean of the School of Social Work

Evelyn Jenkins, LCSW, CPM, Title IV-E Child Welfare Coordinator

School of Social Work, Grambling State University

Plenary Session—Keynote Speakers

8:45am - 9:15am

DCFS-The Golden Rule Approach

Leslie B. Calloway, LMSW (.5 General) DCFS Deputy Assistant Secretary of Workforce Development

Session Overview:

The focus of this presentation is on treating others with dignity, compassion and respect while providing services with integrity in Child Welfare.

Session Objectives:

Attendees will be able to explain the values of DCFS and the spirit in which services are to be delivered.

9:15am - 10:15am

Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) (1 Clinical)

Tina Willauer, MPA, Program Director

Dawnia Flonnoy, MA, Senior Program Associate

National START Training and Technical Assistance Program

Children and Family Futures, Inc.

START: A New Child Welfare Approach to Helping Families Find Recovery

Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) is an evidence-based child welfare program that is designed to transform the system-of-care within and between child welfare agencies and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. START uses a variety of strategies to achieve the broad goal of keeping children safely with their parents whenever possible, while working to promote parental recovery. This presentation will include information about the history and evolution of the National START model including START goals, components, and published outcomes.

Session Objectives:

By participating in this presentation participants will:
  • Recognize how parental substance use affects children and families.
  • Learn the history, values, and beliefs of the START model that drive how services are delivered
  • Identify the key components of START and how they support positive outcomes for children and families.
  • 10:15am - 10:30am BREAK

    10:30am - 11:00am

    Cultural Humility and Engaging Race, Class, & Gender (.5 General)

    Rebecca A. Chaisson, Ph.D., LCSW Dean, School of Social Work Southern University at New Orleans

    11:00am - 12:00pm

    Strengthening Families in a Virtual Environment (1 General)

    Xavier Henson, ABD, LMSW, Director of BSW Program, Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    This presentation aims to enhance workers’ knowledge and skills in engaging and providing services to parents, caregivers. Participants will and children in a virtual environment. Strategies that provide opportunities to provide encouragement, support and information that can strengthen a family’s ability to meet case plan activities as well as daily life stressors will be discussed.

    Session Objectives:

    Participants will be able to plan a meaning virtual visit; identify online interactions and activities that can occur online; and state questions that can be asked to gain insight into the parent’s functioning.

    12:00pm - 12:30pm LUNCH BREAK


    12:30pm - 3:45pm

    Professional Ethics (3 Ethics)

    Dr. Tiffanie Jones, Ph.D., LMSW, Assistant Professor, Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    This workshop will center on the social work code of ethics. The workshop will employ various relevant topics, including case studies, to help illustrate the ethical principles and ethical standards of the NASW Code of Ethics.

    Session Objectives:

    By the end of this workshop, participants should be able to complete the following course objectives: describe the core values of social work; discuss the purpose of the code of ethics; discuss the ethical principles that flow from the core values; and discuss the ethical standards of social work.

    Concurrent Sessions 1

    12:30pm - 1:30pm

    Session A:

    Supporting Youth through Diversion and Intervention Programs 

    Shonda Houston-Dotie, Director of Youth Programs (1 General)

    Volunteers for Youth Justice, Shreveport, LA

    Session Overview:

    This session will share information on the educational intervention, court diversion, and support services offered to youth and their families by Volunteers for Youth Justice, a non-profit organization based in Shreveport, Louisiana. The programs serve as a referral source for area courts, school systems, community agencies, and parents.

    Session Objectives:

    Participants will be able to explain the various programs offered by Volunteers for Youth, be knowledgeable of the service components and eligibility criteria for each program, and state the referral process for each.

    Session B:

    Best Practices for Effective Prevention Programming (1 Clinical)

    Dr. Elise Reed, Ph.D., LCSW-BACS, MSW Program Director

    Dr. Jacqueline Garrison, DSW, LCSW, Associate Dean

    Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    This informative presentation will highlight the key principles of effective programming. Research specifies programming may target different outcomes, but the importance of using sound developmental and prevention theories, clear goals, and strength-based approach crosses all program types. This presentation will take a closer look at what works in prevention, and it is a definite asset for stakeholders in their service to youth, families, and communities.

    Session Objectives:

    Participants will be able to discuss the principles of effective prevention programs, evaluate their program for effectiveness, identify and incorporate interactive skills-based components, and integrate culturally relevant components.

    Session C:

    Affirming Queerness in Practice (1 General)

    Emily Todd, MSW Student, Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    This presentation seeks to inform practitioners about Queerness as it relates to youth. Relevant Queer language and identity will be addressed in this workshop in order to keep practitioners informed. The presenter will also address common relevant issues facing Queer youth as well as recommendations for practice.

    Session Objectives:

  • For practitioners to learn updated and relevant Queer language.
  • For practitioners to be confronted with the ways that homophobia and transphobia affect queer youth and how those oppressions can intersect with other marginalized identities.
  • For practitioners to engage with possible Queer-affirming solutions that can be incorporated into their practice.
  • Concurrent Sessions 2

    1:40pm - 2:40pm

    Session D:

    Using Motivational Interviewing to Build Motivation for Substance Abuse Treatment (1 Clinical)

    Andrew Wilson, LCSW-BACS

    Session Overview:

    This presentation will discuss the literature on evidence base trials of utilizing Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice. Motivational interviewing is an approach based upon principles of experimental social psychology, applying processes such as attribution, cognitive dissonance, and self-efficacy. Motivation is conceptualized not as a personality trait but as an interpersonal process. The model deemphasizes labeling and places heavy emphasis on individual responsibility and internal attribution of change. Cognitive dissonance is created by contrasting the ongoing problem behavior with salient awareness of the behavior's negative consequences. Empathic processes from the methods of Carl Rogers, social psychological principles of motivation, and objective assessment feedback are employed to channel this dissonance toward a behavior change solution, avoiding the “short circuits” of low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and denial.

    Session Objectives:

    Participants will be able to discuss the efficacy of using Motivational Interview; identify the principles of motivational interviewing, and identify and employ the skills of motivational interviewing.

    Session E:

    Importance of Play in Therapy (1 Clinical)

    Dr. Natalie Yates, Ph.D., Clinical Social Worker

    Assistant Professor, Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    This course focuses on the most frequent questions about play therapy, the importance of play for children, parents’ involvement in play therapy, a demonstration of different activities, identification and discussion of classic play therapy toys, and the benefits of incorporating play in therapy with children.

    Session Objectives:

    Participants will be able to define “play” in the context of therapy; identify ways children learn through play; identify the benefits of play therapy as a therapeutic intervention; and gain strategies to incorporate play in therapy with children.

    Session F:

    Parenting for intellectual Functioning Individuals and Its Challenges for Child
    Protective Services

    Patricia W. Williams, LCSW-BACS (1 Clinical)

    Lecturer, Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    The presenter will build an argument that parents with intellectual functioning can be “successful parents and caregivers”. The premise will be if provided the same support and opportunities given to non-disabled parent, they can be successful. Through documented literature and evaluation of various successful programs, the presenter will seek to dispel many myths and barriers faced by “intellectually disabled parents”. It will be shown that other systems have made efforts to include parents with disabilities, but Child Protective Services has been less touched by the mandates of American Disabilities Association. Through the use of “capacity building”, participants will learn strategies for working with persons with disabilities (intellectual functioning). After this presentation, it is the presenter’s hope that you will look at “intellectual functioning parents” differently.

    Session Objectives:

  • Learn what “capacity building” is and its application to improve the Child Welfare system.
  • Use of the “social information processing” as a foundation of capacity building.
  • Become familiar with social information processing as a foundation for capacity building for these parents’ communication skills.
  • Develop better service coordination for parents through Child welfare staffing (human resource development) techniques.
  • Usage of various programs to improve the outcomes for these parents (“Step-by-Step Parenting Program, “Health and Safe” and C.A.R.E.S (Coordination, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support).
  • Concurrent Sessions 3

    2:50pm - 3:50pm

    Session G:

    Adolescent Emotional Health (1 Clinical)

    Chatseny Hughes, LCSW

    Dr. Cheri Holbrook, Ph.D., LCSW, Assistant Professor

    Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    This workshop will discuss the definition of Adolescent Emotional Intelligence, explain why adolescent emotional intelligence is important, and identity methods to improve adolescent emotional intelligence.

    Session Objectives:

    Attendees will define and apply concepts of emotional intelligence to their clinical knowledge base when working with adolescent clients; will be able to apply concepts of emotional intelligence when working with parents, guardians, and families; and clinicians will learn Tips, skills, and resources available on Adolescent Emotional Intelligence.

    Session H:

    Treating Adolescent Substance Use with Multidimensional Family Therapy (1 Clinical)

    Cassandria Peoples, LCSW-BACS, Field Director  

    Dr. Gayberyl Wesley, DSW, LMSW, CIT, Admissions Coordinator

    Grambling State University

    Session Overview:

    In this seminar, we will provide an overview of one of the most effective evidence-based treatments that addresses a range of adolescent problem behaviors – substance use, delinquency, antisocial and aggressive behaviors, school and family problems, and emotional difficulties: Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT). MDFT can be implemented in substance abuse and mental health treatment, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems, including detention centers and juvenile drug courts. We will explain how MDFT helps the adolescent develop more effective coping and problem-solving skills, prevents out- of-home placement, and helps the family improve interpersonal functioning as a protective factor against substance use and related problems.

    Session Objectives:

    Participants will be able to: Classify DSM-5 criteria for Substance Use Disorders; Identify what MDFT is; Understand how MDFT works; Recognize the association between substance use and other problem behaviors; and Describe MDFT research outcomes and general statistics for adolescent population and substance use.

    3:55pm - 4:15pm CLOSING REMARKS

    Plenary Speakers

    Dawnia Flonnoy currently serves as a Senior Program Associate with the National Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) Training and Technical Assistance Program at Children and Family Futures (CFF). In this capacity, she provides training and technical assistance to state and county child welfare jurisdictions for the implementation of the START model. Ms. Flonnoy has 22 years of professional social work experience. Ms. Flonnoy’s personal experience with familial substance abuse has been a driving force for her career path. Prior to joining CFF, Ms. Flonnoy was employed with the Public Children’s Services Administration in Cuyahoga County and Greene County where she worked for both Employment Family Services and Children and Family Services. While with Children and Family Services, Ms. Flonnoy served as a START Social Service Worker and later, as a START Supervisor. While working in child welfare, Ms. Flonnoy was also a part of the Cuyahoga County Family Drug Court team and facilitated monthly meetings with local substance use and mental health providers. Additionally, Ms. Flonnoy has experience providing training on child welfare, prenatal substance exposure and substance use disorders to university students, hospitals and community organizations. Ms. Flonnoy holds expertise in the areas of child welfare, juvenile court, leadership, teaming, and collaborative practice. Ms. Flonnoy graduated from Wilberforce University with a Bachelor of Arts in Rehabilitation and Corrections and obtained her Master of Arts in Justice Administration from Tiffin University.

    Dawnia Flonnoy

    Tina Willauer serves as a Program Director at Children and Family Futures (CFF). In this role, she leads and coordinates the training and technical assistance needed for local, state, and tribal entities to implement and expand the National Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) model and related strategies in their jurisdictions. With over 30 years of experience in the child welfare field, Ms. Willauer is dedicated to identifying and spreading strategies that work for families affected by parental substance use disorders, trauma, and child maltreatment. As the purveyor of the START model, an evidence-based intervention, she has worked in numerous jurisdictions to implement START and other child welfare system improvements. Before joining the CFF team in July 2017, she spent a decade serving as the Director of Kentucky Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams at the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), overseeing the development and implementation of the model. Ms. Willauer has achieved high standards of practice and a change catalyst perspective in her every role from a front-line social worker, supervisor, senior manager, program director and consultant within the public child welfare system. She maintains a focus on transforming and strengthening the system of care between child welfare, substance use disorder treatment, and partner courts toward a family-focused system. She has multiple peer reviewed publications and a lengthy list of dynamic national presentations. Ms. Willauer earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cleveland State University and Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University.

    Tina Willauer

    Leslie B. Calloway, LMSW, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Workforce Development for the Department of Children and Family Services. There she has the exciting opportunity to support statewide child welfare workforce development and performance improvement practices to promote optimal child and family outcomes. Mrs. Calloway is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, as well as, Southern University at New Orleans where she earned a Masters of Social Work degree. She has been employed with the Department of Children and Family Services for over 23 years with work experience in various roles to include: frontline casework, supervision, management, consultation, administration, and managing special projects. Special projects such as a nationally recognized child welfare workforce development project, sponsored by the Children’s Bureau, that focuses on improving child welfare practice, employee retention, and family outcomes. Each job role has contributed to her personal and professional growth, along with increasing her value for developing healthy relationships. Those relationships help to enhance a positive work atmosphere and promote workforce goal achievement. Mrs. Calloway’s greatest personal assets are her compassion for others, appreciation for their differences, as well as their similarities, and being an active part of the change we all want to see. Having a strength-based outlook means, every experience, good or bad, can be a great learning experience.

    Leslie Calloway

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