In an ever-changing political climate, what is the role and responsibility of the social sector? Does the sector’s definition and practice of “health” adequately respond to the political agendas that shape the lives of the communities we serve? Are we aligned and united as a sector to address the politics affecting us all? Can we advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice without consideration of the political climate?

Ibram X. Kendi said, “Americans have long been trained to see deficiencies of people rather than policy. It’s a pretty easy mistake to make. People are in our faces. Policies are distant. We are particularly poor at seeing the policies lurking behind the struggles of people.”

This workshop seeks to create a candid conversation with a panel of experts. Does the mission and work of today’s human services sector encompass policy changes that address or remove root causes of poverty, mental and behavioral health issues, child maltreatment, and financial instability? Does it include responding to crises beyond offering thoughts, prayers and press releases? This session will explore ways to remain in a state of readiness for emerging crises as well as how to navigate the intersection of social justice issues and politics within your organization.

Learning Objectives


Kim Peterson
Vice President of Change Management
Aviva Family and Children’s Services

Marlo Nash
Managing Director
Children’s Home Society of America

Undraye Howard
Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Social Current

From board members to managers to direct service staff, the experiences individuals have aren’t left at the workplace door (or now the Zoom waiting room). Brain science informs us that life experiences hardwire into the brain. Some experiences are psychologically and physically threatening and create a toxic stress response. Further, the person and the job are not separate. An individual’s personal life impacts their work performance. Further, an individual’s stress response and personal well-being show up in meetings or when addressing performance concerns whether they are conscious of it or not.

Trauma-informed management necessary for creating equitable practices in the workplace that recognize each employee is a unique individual with different perspectives that inform their decision making, performance, and perception of their work. Managers and supervisors have a duty to address self-care and be equipped with skills to address vicarious trauma and well-being in the workplace. Done well, trauma-informed supervision creates a culture of resilience.

In this session, we will take a deep dive into the basics of trauma and how trauma-informed principles can be adapted into supervisory principles to create relational safety and growth in the workplace.

Learning Objectives


Kiera McGillivray
Chief Program Officer of School Based Initiatives
Children & Families First

Shannon Fisch
Compliance & Accreditation Manager
Children & Families First

In this session, we will share equitable solutions that shift power to communities and better support families. These strategies were identified through Child Safety Forward, a four-year federal demonstration initiative to develop multidisciplinary strategies and responses to address serious or near-death injuries as a result of child abuse or neglect and to reduce the number of child fatalities. The initiative is funded by the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. Social Current serves as the national technical assistance provider to sites in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

The public health approach to this work rebalances power, credits multiple types of data, and centers learning. The evaluation has identified three core conditions necessary to building a reimagined child and family well-being system:

Although the U.S. child mortality rate has improved over time, the number of child deaths due to abuse and neglect has remained steady or even increased. Like other causes of childhood illness and death, child maltreatment can be prevented. This message was delivered in a report from the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, titled Within Our Reach. The report provided a blueprint for a public health approach that addresses the root causes of child maltreatment, engages with multiple stakeholders, and is a shared responsibility between families and communities. Based on this vision, the initiative strives to build a child and family well-being system where child protection agencies, community partners, neighbors, and families share a responsibility to ensure children thrive.

This workshop will take the very difficult problem of child abuse prevention and break it down into concrete, community-based strategies. We will engage participants in a conversation about equitable solutions to child safety and family well-being. We will also ask participants to share assets in their own communities, systems, and organizations that contribute to a transformed child and family well-being system.

Learning Objectives


Jasmine Brosnan
Evaluation Senior Project Manager
Sacramento Child Abuse Prevention Center

Nicole DeWitt-Blumhardt
Project Specialist
Michigan Public Health Institute

Amy Templeman
Senior Director of Child & Family Well-Being
Social Current

The topic of equity is one that is central to many systems of practice. This session will examine the root threads of equity in community and society from a health and economic lens and follow through to the significant health and economic outcomes of inequity. Buzzwords are incredibly powerful indicators within our fields of practice, including, most recently upstream approaches.

In this interactive session, we will take a closer look upstream by examining equity from its true health and economic lenses and imagine together how this deep understanding can inform addressing these concepts in practice. This will include a discussion of the ways in which addressing equity can lead to a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities, as well as the ways in which addressing equity can lead to more effective and efficient use of resources.

This session will also explore specific real-world examples and case studies of how addressing equity has led to improved health outcomes, including examples of policy changes and community-based initiatives that have worked to address issues of equity and promote health.

Finally, we will discuss the importance of ongoing efforts to address equity and the role that individuals, organizations, and communities can play in this work. This will include a discussion of the ways in which individuals and organizations can work to promote equity and the ways in which communities can work together to address structural issues and promote health.

The overall goal of the session is to raise awareness of the importance of equity in relation to health and to provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the ways in which equity and health are interconnected, and how addressing equity can lead to improved health outcomes for all.

Learning Objectives


Elizabeth Wendel
President and Co-Founder
Pale Blue.

What does it look like to align brain science and race equity and embed both into programming, organizational culture, and systems change efforts? Come learn from the experiences of the Texas Change in Mind Learning Collaborative. This two-year project brought together ten diverse human service organizations in Texas from 2021-2023 to provide foundational content, peer-to-peer learning, implementation supports, and sustainability planning focused on these critical and connected topics.
In this session, participants will learn about the theory of change that guides the work of Social Current’s Change in Mind Institute, and hear directly from participants in the Texas Change in Mind cohort about their experiences in this learning community. Specifically, the presenters will analyze the themes and strategies that emerged across the cohort related to transformational change at multiple levels—programmatic, organizational culture, and community/systems change.

Learning Objectives


Ashley Tate
Impact & Data Quality Manager
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston

Vaughan Gilmore
Chief Clinical Officer
Santa Maria Hostel

Santiago Cirnigliaro
Director of Community Development
Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services

Kelly Martin
Director, Practice Excellence
Social Current

Karen Johnson
Senior Director of Change in Mind
Social Current

Accreditation for an organization is paramount not only to high-quality services and care, but also for its survival. This was underscored in the 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which called for accreditation as a key requirement for Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) federal funding. Accreditation can be daunting for organizations, but it doesn’t need to be. This presentation seeks to walk participants though the various stages of COA Accreditation from a provider perspective and help build a toolbox of methods to survive, and thrive, throughout the process. Participants will learn how to use an agile project management approach to collect and submit evidence for the self-study and prepare your organization for a successful site visit.

As an organization, it is just as important to continually set annual goals and improve on quality outside of your accreditation cycle year. The second part of this presentation will discuss new and enhanced safety and risk related practices that have been implemented by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health to maintain the standard of excellence that is expected by COA Accreditation.

Learning Objectives


Bernadette Conneely
Director Of Quality Improvement
Devereux MA/RI

Heather Krueger
Director of Quality Management
Devereux TX

How do some professionals thrive in their careers, while others experience burnout from vicarious trauma? This is a question leaders are asking, as many agree staff retention is the number one challenge in organizations today. Vicarious trauma is an occupational hazard. It causes significant turnover and is costly to professionals, the clients receiving treatment, their organizations, and the broader profession.

In response to this ‘cost of caring,’ we have focused attention on vicarious trauma in attempts to mitigate the symptoms in employees through clinical supervision, work-life balance, and burnout prevention strategies. Even with this intensive knowledge and effort, the attrition data has not changed. We are missing something.

Vicarious resilience is the experience of witnessing healing in others, resulting in personal resilience development. Experiencing vicarious resilience is what can keep all of us healthy, strong, and excited about our work. There is a clear process of developing vicarious resilience through four specific phases of learning and growth. This four-phase developmental process is shaped through supportive leadership and management and supervision. This partnership between professionals and supportive leaders is the link to ensuring the development of vicarious resilience. Through expert use of emotional intelligence and supportive leadership models, the phenomenon of vicarious resilience brings renewed life to helping professionals and positively impacts both treatment and business outcomes.

In this session, learn about research around professionals who exhibited strong traits of vicarious resilience. Participants will gain a foundation in the literature on the history of children’s mental health and the elements of leadership. Understanding the process of how vicarious resilience is developed will allow you to bring this to your organization. With the tools given you can begin to shift the focus from trauma to resilience in your professionals and see the positive impact.

Learning Objectives


Leslie Chaplin
Solare Well-being, LLC

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


Daicia Price
Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Michigan

Kelvin Brown
Program Manager
The Children’s Center

Aubrey Gilliland
Project Coordinator
The Children’s Center

Community-based organizations provide critical direct supports to individuals, families, and communities who are often left disenfranchised due to the racial inequities embedded in our country’s systems that marginalize the health and well-being of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. It is imperative for these organizations to recognize the larger transformative potential they, as the nexus to communities, have in improving the context in which people live their lives (i.e., the social determinants of health).

Social sector leaders must recognize that the journey to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is a process that oftentimes is messy, uncomfortable, and reveals vulnerabilities. Social sector leaders will understand and apply the equation of leaning into the EDI journey, which requires adaptive leadership skills, showing up as our authentic selves, and relentless persistence.

This session will explore specific ways organizations can deepen their commitment to advancing EDI using a matrix developed by Social Current. From the board to every staff member in an organization, we recognize the significant role every person in an organization has in this work.

We invite you to hear from organizations who are currently deeply engaged in EDI work and at different points in the journey. Learn about their respective challenges and opportunities, as well as how their organizations and communities are becoming more equitable, as a result of measurable systems change.

Learning Objectives


Undraye Howard
Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Social Current

Marlena Torres
Children’s Home Society of Washington

Angela Bell
Director of Program Operations
The Up Center

This presentation will discuss a translational research approach that is linking neuroimaging with applied research to improve trauma-informed services for children and families. Results from neuroimaging studies using functional MRI (fMRI) and applied research on assessment and treatment of trauma and abuse will be shared, and implications for practice and policy will be discussed.

Learning Objectives


Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., LIMHP, LPC
Senior Director of the Child and Family Translational Research Center
Boys Town

Karina Blair, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Boys Town National Research Hospital