Learning Session "B" - Monday April 25, 2022
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Student Oriented Workshop

B1     How to Stand Up for Yourself and Get the Most out of Your Juvenile Court Appearances

Judge Charles Crandall, Second District Court of Appeal, Justice Pro Tempore


The former SLO County Presiding Juvenile Court Judge invites youth to an interactive discussion about the juvenile protection court process, and effective and non-effective communication. Come speak with the judge about self-advocacy and getting the most out of your court experience. Youth are encouraged to bring up topics that are of interest to them.


B2     Resilience Is Everything

Dee Hankins, Inspirational Speaker, Former Foster Youth

This session will teach you all about the power and importance of resilience.  We'll learn just how important being resilient is through story telling and self reflection. All you will need are open ears, an open heart, and willing spirit.

B3     The Cost of Caring 

Christina Navarette & Maria Tello

LA County Office of Education, Program Activities Specialists


“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet. Rachel Naomi Remen. Let’s talk about the cost of caring. In this workshop we will identify the toll that the cost of caring can take on our daily lives, both personally and professionally. Join us as we develop a toolkit to care for ourselves so we can truly care for others.  Let’s preserve that gift that is within each one of us.

B4     Cultural Humility and the Foster Youth Bill of Rights

Lakisha Green, Staff Services Manager I; Shekinah Peredo, Associate Governmental Program Analyst; and Marissa Soto, Associate Governmental Program Analyst

California Department of Social Services


The Office of Foster Care Ombudsperson (OFCO) will provide an interactive and engaging training using videos, discussions, and hands-on activities. The training will focus on the importance of practicing cultural humility when working with youth in foster care. At the end of the training, you will understand cultural humility, how the Foster Youth Bill of Rights protects cultural differences, and how to apply cultural humility when engaging with foster youth. You will also learn the role and duties of the OFCO and how to advocate on behalf of foster youth pertaining to their rights. Each participant will receive a folder of Foster Youth Bill of Rights publication materials.

B5     From Law to Practice: Supporting Homeless Youth & Their Education

Donna Smith, Monterey County Office of Education, Program Coordinator

Jill Camron, San Benito COE, Coordinator of Special Projects

Erika Cortes, Santa Cruz COE. Homeless Project Coordinator


Learn how to use the homeless educational legislation to your advantage and how to apply it in your county and LEA's.  Our goal is to introduce you to ideas and practices from COE's to school sites and districts about understanding the implementation of your own resource centers on your sites to meet the requirements of homeless legislation.  Explore with us, options regarding implementing site or district level resources and services to setting up walk-in resource centers that can assist your homeless youth with clothing, food, health care, etc. We will also discuss what kinds of resources may be available through community partnerships.

B6     The Family Urgent Response System

Colin Williams, California Department of Social Services, Associate Governmental Program Analyst

Jennifer Messerschmidt, California Department of Social Services Associate Governmental Program Analyst

Danielle Wondra, Children Now, Senior Policy & Outreach Associate, Child Welfare

Jessica Haspel, Associate Director, Child Welfare, Children Now


This presentation will introduce the basics of the Family Urgent Response System (FURS); a program consisting of a statewide hotline and county based in-person mobile response teams that provide immediate support to current and former foster youth and their families to preserve placements and support family relationships and to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations, law enforcement contacts, and placement in congregate care facilities.  We will identify how FURS supports placement and educational success.  Attendees will explore scenarios in which youth may want to access FURS while in the school environment, how education providers and advocates can support those efforts, and how the role of FURS as a support to students can be expanded.   Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about FURS and provide feedback on the program and will learn how to obtain and distribute outreach materials about FURS to inform youth and caregivers about FURS.

B7     Improving Education Outcomes of Youth in Foster Care through Systems Change: A Best Practices Guide for Districts

Alaina Moonves-Leb, Alliance for Children's Rights, Senior Staff Attorney

Mark Rodgers, Bonita Unified School District, Senior Director, Student Services


How are youth in foster care doing in your district? Does your district issue 100% of the partial credits youth are entitled to? Or ensure that 70, 80, or even 90% of your seniors graduate? How about having 80-90% of your youth remain stable in one school for a full school year? Six school districts spent 5 years collaborating to improve the education outcomes of their youth in foster care. Find out how they did it and how you can too. Learn how to utilize the recently published Best Practices Guide for Developing a District System to Improve Education Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care, including accessing best practices, tools, tips, data and more.