2018 Conference Sessions (Saturday)

Saturday, November 3rd Sessions

Session Block D
(10:15 AM – 11:45 AM)

D19:  Legislative and Caselaw Update
Carissa Greenberg, JD, AAG, Wa State Attorneys’ General 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.

D20:  A View from the Bench

Spokane County Bench

Join members of the Bench 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.


D21:  Getting them Ready: K-12 Supports for Students in Foster Care
Peggy Carlson, Foster Care Program Supervisor/Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

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, leading to poor life outcomes. Recent changes in state and federal legislation focus on educational stability. Participants will learn how these laws support educational success, who to contact at the school district for assistance and how to access additional resources for students in care.


D22:  Unlocking the Key Components of Being an Effective Advocate: Gathering Information and Monitoring
Tracey Czar, JD, Pierce County CASA

A workshop designed to build on the principals you learned in the CASA Core Training.  This training will give CASAs the tools and strategies to obtain a firsthand clear understanding of the needs and situation of the child and the tools and strategies to KNOW their case so that they can best advocate for permanency to be achieved in a timely manner.  Participants will gain a better understanding of how to meet the CASA duty of monitoring cases, how independently monitoring a case produces better outcomes for children, and other practical skills, including: case organization, case planning, how to gather information, and how to foster communication and collaboration.


D23:  Coping With Kids’ Holiday Stress
Zia Freeman, MA, LMHC, Community Educator, Apple Health Core Connections

All of us can feel stressed around the holidays. This stress can be amplified by feelings of grief and loss for children and youth in foster care. This training will help participants identify holiday stress that children in foster care feel, create a healthy environment for the holidays, and how to help children and youth cope.

D24:  Permanency Options
Debbie Marker, Adoption and Guardianship Program Manager, DCYF

A comprehensive overview of the permanency options (reunification, adoption, guardianship and non-parental custody agreements) for dependent children. This workshop will include a discussion of all potential permanent plans and the benefits and limitations of each option as well as methods to reach consensus on a plan that is in the child’s best interest. A brief comparison of the subsidy programs available for each option will also be presented.



Session Block E
(1:15 PM – 2:45 PM)

E25:  What child advocates can do to help alleviate some of the harm of removal
Jacob D’Annunzio, JD, Office of Public Defense

Research has shown that removal from a parent and placement into foster is an adverse childhood experience and in many cases causes additional trauma and toxic stress. Parent and child advocates are in a unique position at the beginning of a case to reduce the trauma to children and to their families. In this session we will review research addressing the harm of removal and what can be done to reduce the harm when removal is necessary to keep kids safe.


E26:  Is there a minimal standard of care?
Dee Wilson, MSW

This presentation will be a discussion of the question, “is there a minimal standard of care that can be applied in child welfare decision making?” Despite frequent references to a minimal standard of care in discussions with practitioners, advocates and policymakers, very little has been written in recent decades to clarify this concept. It also appears that anytime a minimal standard of care is proposed that has widespread appeal, the effect is to raise rather than lower the implicit standards public child welfare agencies are actually using. This presentation proposes a minimal standard of care and discusses its application to various child welfare decisions. The presentation also discusses a minimal standard of care in light of high rates of child poverty, domestic violence, community violence and substance abuse in the United States.

E27: A Preview of the Upcoming Washington State Legislative Session

Ryan Murrey, Executive Director, WaCASA

It’s going to be a busy legislative session in CASA land this year!  Come here about our current legislative proposals (child focused hearings in shelter care status, CASA background check requirements) and the CASA funding request (program expansion, regional attorneys and training/recruitment support) and how you can help make this happen!


E28: Inside Play Therapy
Carol Thomas, Child Mental Health Specialist/Therapist

We’ll learn what a child’s play tells us about their sense of belonging, security, self and power by discussing how play is used as a reflection of trauma (neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, DV, parental substance abuse, separation/loss) and how children use play to process trauma.  We’ll review case studies of children’s processing of trauma toward resolution in individual play therapy and the use of play in Family Therapy to challenge child’s trauma based core belief system and meet unmet needs as well as the role of the Play Therapist.

E29:  Teen Substance Use
Zia Freeman, MA, LMHC, Community Educator, Apple Health Core Connections

This session explores the impact and rates of substance use among youth in foster care. It discusses risk factors and protective factors, how substance use effects the brain, different types of substances being used, and common warning signs of use or addiction. Participants will leave better able to start conversations with youth on substance use and addiction.

E30: Saying It Differently: Advocacy thru Writing
Tracey Czar, JD, Pierce County CASA

This workshop will discuss a CASAs advocacy thru writing.  The workshop will aim to help CASAs improve court report writing as well as communicating via email.   CASAs will learn how to write a fact based report and why that is important.  CASAs will also learn about communicating via email and text and how those communications can negatively/positively impact their advocacy.


Session Block F
(Saturday, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

F31:  CASA Friends and Boards
Facilitated by Ryan Murrey, Executive Director, Washington State CASA

Join your fellow non-profit CASA board members and “Friends of” auxiliary CASA committees/ boards in a discussion of what works, share common areas of frustration and origin stories and to network with your peers about how your groups can be truly effective CASA program advocates.


F32:  Open Adoption Agreements
Debbie Marker, Adoption and Guardianship Program Manager, DCYF and Brandy Otto, DCYF

A comprehensive examination of open adoption agreements (RCW 26.33.295) that will explore best practice options as well as an overview of the statewide workgroup conclusion on best practice for open adoption agreements.  Discussion on how to have conversations about open adoption agreements with biological/legal parents and prospective adoptive parents as well as youth. The recommended template for all open adoption agreements will be reviewed.

F33:  CASA Tips and Tricks: How to be an Effective Advocate and Not Lose Your Mind in the Process
Tracey Czar, JD, Pierce County CASA

A workshop where you will walk away with a variety of tips and ideas to help and improve your advocacy as a CASA.   CASAs will learn a variety of tips for navigating through the Dependency world.  Topics covered include being organized, effective communication, finding resources, self care, and many more.  CASAs should be able to walk away and apply at least one tip to their current case to help them be a more effective advocate.


F34:  Understanding Domestic Violence: Trauma, Resiliency, and how to help kids move forward
Annie Murphey , MSW, CDP; Community Prevention Coordinator, ESD101; Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Chair

Domestic violence is not only physical. Join us to gain a deeper understanding of types of domestic violence, impacts on children, ACES vs. Resiliency, and prevention efforts. Attendees will gain understanding of various forms of abuse, ways trauma presents in children, how to support resiliency and information on risk and protective factors.

F35: Childhood Development
Zia Freeman, MA, LMHC, Community Educator, Apple Health Core Connections

This training provides information on key areas of childhood development; social, cognitive, and physical development are all explored. The training focuses on how complex trauma effects development in infants and toddlers, school aged children, and adolescents.


F36:  Methadone Assisted Treatment For pregnant women and parenting
Ruth Wolbert-Neff, CDP and Pregnant and new moms’ counselor, Pierce County Health Department

We will discuss opiate addiction, withdrawals and treatment for pregnant women and new moms, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome; the benefits and positive outcomes for women who are on MAT. We will address the concerns of MAT and discuss the myths and stigmas surrounding this treatment.  Our program follows these moms from pregnancy to toddlers, offering support and addiction treatment. Participants will learn how Methadone treatment can help pregnant women and babies and lead to lasting positive outcome and come to understand the myths and stigmas that these women face on a daily basis; Have a better understanding of opiate addiction, withdrawals and Neonatal abstinence syndrome. What our program offers pregnant and new moms.