Across the nation’s child welfare system, the rate of relatives stepping up to provide kinship care for children removed from their parents is growing. Research has shown that this care minimizes trauma related to the removal and improves child well-being. But sustaining this responsibility isn’t possible without intentional support. To maintain this family connection and improve children’s health-related outcomes, kinship caregivers need connections to resources that meet their own health, housing, education, income, and social connection needs.

More and more kinship caregivers are stepping into these roles without prior foster care training and minimal financial support. The need for greater resources to help emerging foster families navigate a complex system is critical. Wellpoint Care Network has worked for several years to meet this need through their Foster and Kinship Navigation program to help relatives understand the child welfare system and access resources vital to meeting the needs of children in their care. Recently, the program has partnered with a Milwaukee resource network to provide targeted resources based on responses to a social determinant of health screen using the Unite Us platform. Using this platform allows the team to coordinate with stakeholders while tracking engagement in referred care.

This presentation will review the program’s process for assessing, developing, and tracking a care plan that addresses the social determinants of health needs of relative caregivers. The process can be replicated for care teams in a variety of settings and will demonstrate how intentional tracking of social care referrals ensures that people receive the care they need when they need it most.

Learning Objectives

Presenters

Jenny Keefe
Director of Family Services
Wellpoint Care Network

As organizations continue to seek increased impact with children, families, and communities, it is key to create a culture of continuous learning, improvement, and innovation. This session will cover various strategies for effectively implementing quality improvement and human-centered design (HCD) systems.

This session will share how human-centered design can be helpful for engaging staff at all levels and delve into how Congreso de Latinos Unidos implemented a comprehensive HCD that spanned the whole organization and more than 50 programs. Participants will leave with practical tools, tips, and techniques for shifting from a culture of compliance to a culture of innovation.

Learning Objectives

Presenters

Stan Capela
VP for Quality Management
HeartShare Human Services of New York

Brendan Conlin
Chief Program Officer
Congreso de Latinos Unidos

Bill Conerly of Forbes correctly stated: “Strategic planning is dead.” The new kings are execution and flexibility. CEOs, senior leaders, and board members are struggling to move organizations from having a good plan to being able to rapidly execute while staying true to core purpose and mission. To be successful in today’s fast-paced world, an organization must be aligned in strategic action. In this workshop, participants will:

Following the workshop, participants will leave with tools to gather information, identify strategic focus areas, communicate those areas, and engage in an ongoing monitoring and refining process to create an effective Strategic Action Plan within their organization.

Learning Objectives

Presenters

Mike Chavers
CEO
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch

Tyson Schumacher
Chief Information Officer
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch

Innovation is both a process and an outcome. As organizations navigate the continuously changing child welfare system, innovation is more than just managing change as it happens. To ensure an organization is able to support families with the utmost quality, leaders must keep their eyes open and focus on what could be, but also not forget what is. Organizations’ missions, strategic plans, and organizational goals and objectives are all designed to help organizations move forward, improve, and stay on track. However, there are barriers and conditions outside of an organization’s control that impact the speed and direction of movement. Leaders have to reflect on whether movement forward is just movement along the same path or if it is movement to create a new path—with only the latter being innovation.

Change is inevitable and we can’t stop it, but we can decide how we interact with it and what we sculpt from it. Interacting with change innovatively takes strategy, reflection, and continuous adaptation. It also starts with the leader’s vision and framework for staff to follow.

Several organizational change models have been tested over the years, originally developed for the general business world, but they are relevant to child welfare leaders and can be adapted as such. This session will use examples to encourage discussion of how those models can be used practically to inform both strategic decisions and program direction. Leaders will leave with tools they can use to assess which path they are following—the same path or the path of innovation.

Learning Objectives

Presenters

Sarah Norris, Ed.D.
Chief Program Officer 
Crossnore Communities for Children 

At The Children’s Center, we believe that every child deserves to dream and become the amazing person they were born to be. But for far too many Greater Detroit children, and Black boys in particular, their life’s possibility is often eclipsed by the color of their skin, their identity, and the trauma they have experienced. After a thorough dive into individual, community, and national level data, it became evident that the critical needs of Black boys and their families needed to become a focal point of service delivery not only at The Children’s Center, but also at other organizations and systems that touch the lives of Black boys. Data indicates that Black boys are disproportionately impacted by trauma and structural and systemic racism compared to their peers of other races. As a leading behavioral health and child welfare organization in Detroit, The Children’s Center recognized it had a responsibility to address these disparities and that it was going to take a bold, innovative, and courageous approach. In this pursuit, The Children’s Center embarked on a transformational systems change effort called, Crisis to Connection: An Imperative for Our Black Boys.

Crisis to Connection is an organizational and systems change effort, focused on aligning beliefs, values, and actions using a trauma-informed and anti-racist framework to better respond to and address the needs of Black boys in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan. Achieving his imperative will require intentional, long-term commitment by The Children’s Center and the community at large. As such, bringing the community together and elevating the voices of historically marginalized individuals is a significant component of this effort. In this interactive presentation, participants will learn about how trauma and racism impact the health outcomes of individuals and communities, receive an overview of Crisis to Connection’s three-phased approach to systems change, and take away strategies to implement trauma-informed and anti-racist practices within their own organizations and communities. Together, with our collective power and resources, Black boys can heal from their experiences of trauma and live in a world where they are free to live their dreams.

Learning Objectives

Presenters

Daicia Price
Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Michigan

Kelvin Brown
Program Manager
The Children’s Center
@TCC_Kelvin

Aubrey Gilliland
Project Coordinator
The Children’s Center
@TCC_Aubrey