Join Us Online, #WhatCouldBe, Training Institutes Live! Bolder systems and brighter futures for children, youth, young adults, and their families

The Training Institutes are back, and we are LIVE!

Join the Training Institutes LIVE!, a FREE monthly virtual series. Each month, choose two from four virtual 90-minute workshops focused on integrating services and improving outcomes for children, youth, young adults, and their families.

Consistent with the premier convening of leaders in services for youth, these Training Institutes LIVE! workshops emphasize practical strategies that you can apply in your states, communities, tribes, and territories. Join us to discuss and share the latest policies, practices, resources, and research. Connect with experts and leaders from youth-serving systems across the nation.

Look at what is coming next month!

We launched in February with a special keynote address from Amelia Franck Meyer. Listen to her talk about changing the child welfare system to one designed to preserve and strengthen families.

Join us for the first Thursday of
every month!

February - August 2021
1:30 – 5:00 PM ET

 Register Now text on white oval

May 6, 2021

1:30-5:00 PM ET

Join us for the Training Institutes LIVE!

Concurrent Sessions | 1:30 - 3:00 PM ET

Attendees will have the opportunity to attend ONE of the sessions described below. Click the session title to learn more about each and for the registration links.


The Coach Approach Model: A Workforce Development Strategy that Changes the Conversation

Name and photo of Mark Durgin, Ellen Kagen, and Valarie Oulds

Mark Durgin, BS, Director, PA Care Partnership

Ellen Kagen, MSW, CEO, Kagen Leadership Group

Valarie Oulds, JD, County System of Care Administrator, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Improving systems, services, and outcomes for young people with mental health challenges and their families requires a workforce with the skills and supports needed to implement system change strategies. The Coach Approach to Adaptive Leadership is a methodology for leaders to nurture, support, and partner with their team members to strengthen their skills and maximize success. Coaching can focus on specific skills and abilities to reach targeted outcomes, enhance performance, and develop more profound levels of critical thinking and has the potential to be utilized in many types of work situations and at all levels of systems and organizations. This workshop will discuss the rationale for investing in this approach to system change and adaptive leadership and how the approach is aligned with system of care values. Presenters will describe the Coach Approach model of communication. The implementation of this model in Pennsylvania will be highlighted, including how the approach is being evaluated to provide feedback on how systems, youth, and families can improve their ability to communicate.

Operationalizing the System of Care Approach in Juvenile Justice: Partnerships with Youth and Families ▾

Name and photo of Millie Sweeney, Elizabeth Reeve, Sheila Calloway, Kaki Reynolds, and Momi Howard

Millie Sweeney, MS, Deputy Director, Family Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA)

Elizabeth Reeve, JD, Director of Juvenile Justice Programming, TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Sheila Calloway, Esq., JD, Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Juvenile Court

Kaki Reynolds, Safe Baby Court Coordinator, Knox County Safe Baby Court, Tennessee

Momi Howard, BA, Family Involvement Center

This workshop will focus on innovative partnership strategies with juvenile justice that include youth and families and use system of care (SOC) values and principles. Although the juvenile justice system has specific mandates regarding its purpose and role in communities, juvenile courts and detention centers often become the system entry point for many children and youth experiencing emotional and behavioral issues. The SOC approach provides an opportunity for court administrators, staff and stakeholders to have a positive impact on both the current situation and the trajectory of a young person’s life. Presenters will provide strategies for operationalizing the SOC approach in the juvenile justice system at all levels, from staff training to structuring processes to programmatic options, demonstrating how mandates can be met while employing the SOC approach. Strategies from the field will be shared that highlight innovative partnerships and programs that employ SOC core values and principles and demonstrate what is possible when youth and families are supported and included as part of the solution to juvenile justice challenges. Participants will be engaged in a discussion and barrier busting to identify specific ways to apply these collaborative strategies in their work.

Concurrent Sessions | 3:30 - 5:00 PM ET

Attendees will have the opportunity to attend ONE of the sessions described below. Click the session title to learn more about each and for the registration links.


Strategies for Certifying Parent and Youth Peer Support Providers

Name and photo of Sue Smith, Dante McKay, and Cameron Cochran

Sue Smith, PhD, CEO, Georgia Parent Support Network

Dante McKay, JD, Director, Office of Children, Young Adults & Families, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Cameron Cochran, Certified Youth Specialist, Peer Mentor Leaders, Georgia Parent Support Network

Peer support services are provided by individuals who have lived experience with mental health conditions and navigating service systems, either as a consumer or as a family member or caregiver. The importance and effectiveness of peer support services for both parents and youth or young adults have been documented, and these services have become an essential component of systems of care (SOCs). Certification of peer support providers offers a process for ensuring that peer support providers have the required competencies and meet high standards. This workshop will focus on certification of parent and youth peer support providers. Presenters from Georgia will describe a Parent and Youth Certified Peer Specialist Curriculum and certification process that was developed through strategic partnerships with youth, young, adults, and parents from across the state. This has resulted in a growing workforce of providers and the inclusion of peer support as a billable service. Presenters will discuss how these certification processes can be applied in participants’ states and communities and how they can be used to support and cultivate parent and youth leaders.

Supporting Grandparent- and Kinship-Led Families

Name and photo of Kate Sweeney Wasserman, Larry Cooper, Kerry Littlewood, and Lisa Colen

Kate Sweeney Wasserman, MSW, LCSW-C, Director, Parent, Infant, Early Childhood (PIEC) Program, The Institute for Innovation and Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work

Larry Cooper, LCSW, MSW, Chief of Prevention and Intervention Services, Children’s Home Network

Dr. Kerry Littlewood, PhD, MSW, President and Founder of AAJ Research & Evaluation, Inc.

Lisa Colen, MHA, Director of Community Outreach, Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County

Nationwide, there has been a significant increase in kinship placements and grandparent-led families, driven both by the nation’s opioid crisis, as well as the child welfare system’s intentional paradigm shift to support retaining system-involved children with their families. Today, 7.6 million children live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives. This workshop will focus on specific considerations and strategies for programs and clinicians working with children to support their grandparent-led and kinship families. Presenters will describe opportunities and efforts to help caregivers in these families to navigate the health, mental health, and educational systems to meet their child’s needs; address family trauma and or grief related to the parental separation; and meet the financial needs created when inheriting children in moments of crisis. Specific attention will be paid to the role and importance of peer navigation and peer support services for these families. National advocacy efforts will be highlighted, as well as the personal experience of kinship and grandparent-led families.

Registration Information

Register here for the 2021 Training Institutes LIVE!.

*Certificate of Attendance will be provided after completion of a minimum of 75 minutes of each workshop.