2017 Conference Sessions (Saturday)


Saturday, November 4th

Session Block A
(9:00 AM – 10:30 AM)

A1:  An Overview of ICWA Laws and Regulations
Lori Irwin, JD (King County CASA) and Kaycee Looney, JD (Cowlitz County CASA)

This session will focus on Washington’s Indian Child Welfare laws, with a brief overview of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. Come prepared to put what you learn to practical use in small group discussions of scenarios specific to the CASA role. *Required for those attending the ICWA Institute.


A2:  Domestic Violence & The Law: What Child Advocates Need To Know
Debra Welch, CASA/GAL Program Case Manager, Benton Franklin Counties Juvenile Justice Center

This 90 minute workshop will explain the nature and scope of domestic violence, the laws in WA state that govern domestic violence, and the role of law enforcement and the judicial system designed to assist victims and hold offenders accountable. Workshop attendees will identify the seriousness of DV, how it is legally defined and the current laws in place for DV crimes. They will learn the differences and scope of DV protection orders and how to get them; the role of law enforcement, social service providers, and DV advocacy. They will become familiar with how DV cases are processed and prosecuted by the judicial system. They will learn how their role as a child advocate and mandated reporter works with existing legal protocols.


A3:  Permanency Options and Considerations for Children
Debbie Marker, MSW and Holly Luna, MSW, Children’s Administration

This session offers a comprehensive overview of the permanency planning options (reunification, adoption, guardianship and non-parental custody agreements) for dependent children. This workshop includes a discussion of all potential permanency plans and the benefits and limitations of each permanency option as well as methods to reach consensus on a plan that is in the child’s best interests. A comparison of adoption, guardianship and non-parental (third party) custody agreements will be offered. The qualifications required-to receive a subsidy through the Relative Guardianship Assistance Program (R-GAP) will be explained in detail.


A4:  Best for Babies – Advocating for infants and toddlers in foster care
Whitney Miller and Sally Mednansky, Pierce County CASA
Utilizing the national ZERO TO THREE Safe Babies Court Team Model, courts across the country have developed ways to address the unique needs of infants and toddlers in the foster care system and their families. In this session CASAs will leave with tangible things they can do to advocate for the best interest of infants and toddlers to ensure their needs are met. Participants will leave with an understanding of infant mental health, brain development, and attachment. Participates will also leave with practical tips and suggestions that can be used when advocating for infants and toddlers.


A5:  In Their Shoes: Foster Youth Panel
Foster Youth Panel
This session will feature a panel of former youth sharing their experiences and stories in the foster care system.


A6:  Under a Microscope: Experiencing the Court-Ordered Parent Child-Relationship
Jacob D’Annunzio and Panel of Parents

Visitation in child welfare cases is seen by many as the heart of reunification. Not only is it the laboratory where parents can utilize newfound skills, it can be integral part of enhancing child wellbeing and maintaining family relationships while in care. This workshop will bring together a panel of three parents who have navigated the public child welfare system to be successfully reunified. The panel will discuss visitation during the dependency court process reflecting on their personal experience as well as other parent clients. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how they can support meaningful and successful visitation for parents and children.



Session Block B
(10:45 AM – 12:15 PM)

B7: Relative Search & Native American Inquiry Referral (NAIR) Process
Debbie Gomi, MSW, Relative Search & Native American Inquiry & Referral (NAIR) Program Manager, Children’s Administration

Children’s Administration (CA) understands the developmental and emotional need for children to stay connected to their family whenever possible. Connections to family, relatives, kinship care providers and the community is an important element for a growing child. It is important that children maintain their personal and cultural identity. How you can support kinship/relative care placement and understanding what the Federal law requires both in relative search efforts and in terms of the Indian Child Welfare (ICW), and the impacts of both on overall case planning for children involved in the system. *Required for those attending the ICWA Institute


B8:  The Impact Of Domestic Violence On Children & Families: Tips & Tools For Child Advocates
Debra Welch, CASA/GAL Program Case Manager, Benton Franklin Counties Juvenile Justice Center

This 90 minute workshop will explore the impact domestic violence exposure and victimization has on communities, families and children. It will discuss: The cycle and root causes of family violence; the lethal and generational nature of DV and intimate partner stalking; victim behaviors; and how to recognize and informally assess children and family members exposed to DV in the home. Attendees will learn how to recognize and informally assess children and family members exposed to DV in the home. Discussion will cover current victim safeguards and resources, safety planning, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental illness, substance abuse issues, and self-care due to vicarious exposure to DV victims.


B9:  Move is a Four Letter Word: The Impact of Transitions on Infants and Toddlers
Melissa Russell, Infant Mental Health Specialist IMH-E® (III) and Laurie Washington, MSW Region 2 Program Manager Permanent Planning & Adoption

This training will address the needs of infants and toddlers when talking about transitioning them between families: birth, foster and adoptive. The training will discuss the impact of developmental needs and trauma on transition and how the transition can impact all involved. A slow, well thought out transition can result in a successful transfer of attachment to the new family. A sudden, disruptive move can result in a child that has a very difficult time attaching to their new family and possibly impact their ability to form relationships in their future. CASAs will leave with an understanding of the importance of having a well thought out written transition plan before a child is moved. They will leave with concrete tools and strategies to implement immediately in supporting the children on their caseload.


B10:  Depression, Trauma and Implications for Child Welfare Practice
Dee Wilson, MSW

This presentation will discuss the impact of mood disorders such as depression and PTSD on child welfare populations. Principles of trauma informed practice for both parents and children with open child welfare cases will be outlined. The relationship between and among depression, trauma, powerlessness, shame, resistance to help and hopeless/ helpless attitudes will be emphasized. Effective engagement practices will be discussed.


B11:  Getting them Ready: K-12 Supports for Students in Foster Care
Jess K. Lewis, Foster Care Education Program Supervisor, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

Children in foster care face significant educational challenges. Frequent school moves – triggered by initial placement in foster care and subsequent placement changes – significantly undermine their academic success. Washington State has several progressive state laws regarding the educational rights of children and youth in foster care. This presentation will focus on the implementation of state laws that promote educational stability and the newly passed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


B12:  Making the Most of Parent-Child Visitations
Jacob D’Annunzio, JD; OPD & Holly Luna, MSW, Children Administration
This training will provide participants with an understanding of the importance of parent-child visits in the path to permanency. This training will explore how decisions are made regarding the level of supervision and the role of the worker, parent, caregiver and visit provider. Participants will be provided with tip sheets to enhance the parent-child visit and encouraged to participate in an active discussion about this very important topic. Participants will learn:
o Role of visitation in maintaining the parent-child relationship during out-of-home care
o Overview of visitation law
o Children’s Administration visitation policy including considerations for level of supervision
o Strategies on how to enhance parent-child visitation

Session Block C
(2:00 PM – 3:30 PM)

C14:  The ICWA Institute: Putting it all together
Laura Lee Bentle & Buffy Vie, Pierce County CASA

Congratulations to the first ICWA Institute CASA volunteers! This session will focus on pulling all the information learned over the past two days into clarity and to plan for our future.

• Defining the role of the CASA in an ICWA case
• Practical application with ICWA case scenarios
• Planning for the future
• Gratitude for the journey you are starting and time for questions
*Required for those attending the ICWA Institute


C15:  Cultural Competence: Understanding Privilege
Dr. Caprice Hollins, Cultures Connecting, LLC

The more you understand privilege, the better you will be at recognizing tension that exists across cultures. Racism is among the most charged issues facing us today and all members of society are affected by it. Yet most forums that address race focus on the racially “different”, leaving White perspectives, experiences and identity normalized and unexplored. Through lecture, discussion and experiential exercises we will take a laser like focus looking at racial privilege, exploring what it means to be White within a society that is racially stratified. We will discuss common ways that privilege manifests itself on an institutional level and how it influences relationships within and across cultures.


C16: Juvenile Law Caselaw and Legislative Update
Rachel Rappaport, JD, Assistant Attorney General, Washington State Attorney General’s Office
This workshop will review recent appellate cases and statutory changes in juvenile dependency law. Participants will learn about recent appellate decisions and how those decisions are likely to impact juvenile dependency work throughout the state. Participants will also learn about recent legislative changes and their impact on juvenile dependencies going forward.


C17: An Introduction to Apple Health Core Connections ™
Julie Lowery, Health Liaison – Apple Health Core Connections, Coordinated Care

Coordinated Care is the Managed Care Organization selected to lead the Apple Health Foster Care program. This program serves children and youth in foster care and adoption support, as well as alumni of foster care and has been named “Apple Health Core Connections.” AHCC went live on Friday, April 1. Participants will come away with knowledge about the benefits and services available to children in the dependency system, as well as their caregivers, caseworkers, and advocates. They will be able to better advocate for their CASA child/ren because they will know how to access Care Coordination and Care Management, as well as who to contact to problem-solve barriers to physical and behavioral health care.


C18:  Dynamics of Physical Abuse from a Child Welfare and Medical Perspective, Part I
Jenna Kiser and Dr. Joyce Gilbert

In this joint presentation with Children’s Administration Intake and Safety Program Manager and Child Abuse Medical Consultant. Will discuss different types of physical abuse to include Abusive Head Trauma, sentinel injuries, burns, fractures, and common injuries versus concerning injuries in children. Will include photographs of injuries that can be graphic to some participants.


C19:  Strategies to Enhance Parent-Engagement
Tarassa Froberg, MSW & Holly Luna, MSW, Children’s Administration

This session will explore foundational values and strategies to enhance parent engagement From a trauma-informed perspective. Participants will walk away with a more in depth understanding of the role engagement plays in timely permanency and will be able to identify different opportunities for engagement.


C20:  Equity and Inclusion for LGBTQ Individuals, Part I
Seth Johnstone and Elliott Hinkle, Bridge 13

Bridge 13’s training is designed to address root causes of discrimination impacting the LGBTQ community and to create safer spaces for LGBTQ people of all ages. This session examines the foundational ideas underlying categories of gender and sexual orientation. We will address best practices for providers through interactive activity and engagement.


Session Block D
(3:45 PM – 5:15 PM)

D21:  Attorney Roundtable:  Who’s the client? (Attorneys only, please)
Lori Irwin, JD

In this session, we’ll explore models for CASA program attorney representation and programmatic and ethical considerations for CASA program attorneys.


D22:  Institutional Power and the Impact of Barriers
Dr. Caprice Hollins, Cultures Connecting, LLC

This interactive workshop is aimed at deepening your understanding of how power plays out between individuals and organizations and barriers that exist as a result. You will explore how individual and collective unconscious and conscious behaviors effect diverse groups and their experiences in society. Participants will then engage in conversation around how to create welcoming and inclusive environments. *Geared for CASA Program Staff — please seek approval from your program manager/volunteer coordinator prior to enrolling.


D23:  A View from the Bench
Judge Hahn, Cowlitz County and Commissioner Scheinberg, Clark County

Join court commissioners from Southwest Washington Courts for a view from judicial officer’s positions on dependency proceedings. Participants will learn what judges are expecting from CASA volunteers and how CASA volunteers can be effective advocates in the court room. Time for questions and answers will be provided.


D24:  Recognizing and responding to Childhood Sexual Assault
De Stewart, Sexual Assault Program Advocacy Specialist YWCA Clark County

How might you as a CASA worker respond to a child who may have experienced sexual assault? In this workshop CASA workers will learn to identify the continuum of behaviors that constitute childhood sexual assault, recognize the grooming techniques used by potential perpetrators and work towards developing a victim centered approach to survivors of childhood sexual assault.


D25:  Dynamics of Physical Abuse from a Child Welfare and Medical Perspective, Part II
Please see C17 For a full session description.


D26:  Reunification-The Primary Permanency Plan
Tarassa Froberg, MSW, Children’s Administration

Reunification-The Primary Permanency Plan is a training that is focused on the importance of reunification, data and elements that lead to successful reunification. It highlights safety, concurrent planning, shared planning and opportunities to engage with parents that will lead to the implementation of a permanent plan that is in the child’s best interest. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the following:
-Concurrent Planning
-Opportunities to Engage and Assess Parents
-The Elements that Need to be Considered for Reunification


D27:  Equity and Inclusion for LGBTQ Individuals, Part II
See C19 for a full description.