Friday, July 22, 2016

Registration Open for Conference on Innovations in Family Engagement

Registration for the 2016 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on INNOVATIONS in FAMILY ENGAGEMENT: CONTINUING the LEARNING on DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE and OTHER REFORMS, to be held in Fort Worth, TX, Nov. 1-4, 2016, is now open. The link for registration is here. Discounted registration before Sept. 15. The brochure can be found here. So, what’s this conference about?  The brochure says:

For two decades, the current Kempe Center faculty have been supporting the implementation of innovation in systems and communities that work with vulnerable children, youth and families. Three of these more well-known innovations are family group decision making (FGDM), family engagement and differential response. Disseminator, evaluator, conference and webinar organizer, trainer, technical assistance provider and thought leader, the Kempe Center fuels leaders’ quests to adapt systems to increasingly center on achieving safety, permanency and well-being through family engagement.

The Conference on FGDM and Family Engagement has been an annual event since 1997 that has served as an invigorating learning platform for thousands who have been engaged in the implementation of family meeting and engagement processes around the globe. In 2005, our team launched the Differential Response Conference, again attracting a global audience of innovators interested in restructuring and revamping the CPS system through the implementation of differential response. Over time, we found the topics, audiences, and interests of these two conferences began to converge so wemerged them in 2015 into the International Conference on Innovations in Family Engagement.

Defined as collaboration, partnership, inclusion, involvement, compliance and cooperation, what is meant by engagement is inherently complex. What is clear, however, is that “engagement” is a worthwhile pursuit when working with vulnerable populations. The “engagement process” begins with the first “hello”, knock on the door, or telephone call, and it continues throughout the entire relationship between service providers and families. It often extends far beyond the engagement of a parent or caregiver and child to include the extended family/kin system known as the family group and their informal networks.

Is this conference for you, o reader? The brochure provides a long litany of “who should attend:”

Our previous conferences have sported multi-disciplinary audiences who have represented numerous formal, informal, and community systems and have drawn from child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health agencies. They typically represent 35 states, numerous Tribes, many Canadian provinces, and, on average, six other countries. Specifically, target audiences for this event include representatives from public and private child welfare agencies, such as administrators, program managers, supervisors, and specialists; intake, assessment/investigation, ongoing, permanency, foster care, and adoption caseworkers; family meeting coordinators or facilitators, family meeting supervisors, family finders, kinship navigators, policymakers, researchers and evaluators, child and family advocates, family members, foster parents, community members, parent mentors, and community leaders; and those from partnering systems and community providers, such as juvenile and family courts (judges, court staff, attorneys, and other legal professionals), faith-based services, domestic/family violence services, substance abuse services, and mental health services.

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