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Learning Session "D" - Tuesday March 28, 2023
10:30 am - 11:45 am


Student Oriented Workshop

D1      The Effects of Implicit Bias on Children in Foster Care

Jill Rowland, Education Program Director, Alliance for Children's Rights

Elana Zada, Senior Staff Attorney, Alliance for Children's Rights


Los Angeles data illustrates the disproportionate overrepresentation of Black, poor, and disabled children and families who are forced into the child welfare system. For example, 2019 data reveals that compared to white children, Black children were 3.3 times more likely to have allegations of abuse raised about them,  and 5.5 times more likely to enter the foster care system. One explanation for this disproportionality is implicit bias, which impacts us all. In this interactive session, learn the brain science behind the implicit biases that we all have and how to work to counteract it. You will hear about real-life examples where race neutral policies on their face in actuality have a racially disparate impact and how implicit bias plays a part in that.  Leave with a new understanding about implicit bias and how you can work to combat it. 

D2     Foster or Not? Understanding the LCFF Foster Youth Definition, the CALPADS Foster Match, and Identification Best Practices

Diana Casanova, Foster Youth Data Liaison, Education Research & Evaluation Consultant, Data Access & Strategy Office, California Department of Education

Bridget Stumpf, Technology Coordinator, Sacramento County Office of Education/FYSCP Technical Assistance Program (FYSCP TAP)


Program Description: Explore definitions, tools, and best practices supporting foster youth identification for school district and COE programs. Students in foster care are often difficult to identify because they are highly mobile, and their data can be complex or seemingly unavailable to education partners. In this workshop, participants will review the California Department of Education Foster Youth Definitions Chart, the CALPADS foster match process, and related data systems.  Participants will also explore troubleshooting strategies and best practices for aligning data between multiple systems.

D3     Expanding Pathways to Success in School and in the Workplace with a Disability

Nancy Wentling, Shanti Ezrine, and Brenna Lammerding

California Department of Rehabilitation


The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is committed to helping students with disabilities in foster care to thrive in the world of work as a pathway to independence and equality. We will discuss how DOR pre-employment and employment programs inspire students with disabilities in foster care to imagine a future where they can drive change, master professions, start innovative businesses, and fully participate in their communities of choice. You will hear about the power of advocacy and self-advocacy in uplifting student voice and promoting disability inclusion in school and in the workplace. You will also learn how DOR builds bridges with other state and community programs to ensure vocational goals and youth rights are woven into transition plans to support students during and beyond foster care.  You will leave with a clear understanding as to where to go for more information and how to apply for or refer students with disabilities to DOR programs.

D4     School Stability: Determining the Students’ Best Interest

Loretta Ledezma, Coordinator III, Los Angeles County Office of Education Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program

Kawena Cole, Senior Program Specialist, Los Angeles County Office of Education Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program


Through discussing real life scenarios, attendees will learn what the Every Student Succeeds Act is, and will hear the details of what school of origin (SOO) means and how transportation should be considered to help students maintain educational stability. You will learn about various notification processes, stop-gap and long-term transportation, the best interest determination (BID), and the Los Angeles County Office of Educational Passport System (EPS) to track SOO and BIDs. We will also discuss frequently asked questions specific to students with individualized education programs, attending non-public schools, and considerations regarding fiscal responsibilities.

D5     Designing Your Alliance: A Critical Step In Relationship Building

Adam Ramirez, HS Coach, Pivotal

Dazzy Maldonado, HS Coach Supervisor, Pivotal

Elijah Valdeolivar, Pivotal


Looking for a new way to build meaningful, trusting relationships with your students from the start? “Designing your Alliance: A Critical Step in Relationship Building” will explore a fundamental step in establishing a relationship with new or returning students. Pivotal Coaching staff will go through a step-by-step process to design the alliance in the early phase of working with a student, including a discussion of what designing the alliance encompasses and how to implement this easily in professional practice. You will learn specific best practices to explore and ways to elicit meaningful reflection that can support future work. The benefits that designing your alliance can bring to the relationship will also be explored.

D6     Youth Voice as Integral to Achieving Educational and Life Success

Connie K. Chung, EdD, Foster America Fellow, Foster America & San Mateo County Human Services Agency

Sandy Barba, MSW, PPSC, ILP Coordinator/Social Worker, San Mateo County Human Services Agency

Foster Youth Advisory Board Member(s) 


Through an experiential workshop, attendees will learn how San Mateo County Children and Family Services (CFS) is working to integrate youth voice into programming for TAY to ensure success in their education and also in life.  Foster Youth Advisory Board members will co-present with CFS staff and community partners to share how they have used research-based approaches to co-create a culture of inclusivity and strength-based mutual learning so that youth voice can be integrated into programs and practices that support youth to succeed in all areas of life, including in schools. You will learn about challenges we have faced and the efforts we have made to overcome them as young people, staff, and community partners work together to build a Foster Youth Advisory Board and create different ways for youth to inform county programs and policies. 


Attendees will learn about research that shows how efforts to develop and listen to youth voice is integral to youth achieving educational and life success.  Attendees will also learn about collaborative strategies and practices to develop youth leadership and the impact that it has had on youth and programs to date.

D8     I Am Not For Sale:

Creating an Awareness for Youth About the Dangers of Human Trafficking

Kim Faulkner-Camacho, Coordinator III, Los Angeles County Office of Education Foster Youth Services Technical Assistance Program

Dr. Lakeah Dickerson, Coordinator II, Los Angeles County Office of Education Mental Health and School Counseling


You are the owner of your body and your decisions. You are not a piece of property that should be bought and sold over and over. Human Trafficking is a global issue that impacts millions of people regardless of race, nationality, or socioeconomic status. It is estimated that 300,000 children are forced into human trafficking annually, and 60% of CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) victims have some kind of involvement in the child welfare system. In this presentation, you will learn about what human trafficking is, the signs and dangers of it, and how to avoid being lured into it. Facilitators will use a non-judgmental approach to create a safe space where students can ask questions and learn about what to do if they or someone they know becomes a victim of human trafficking or suspects it in their schools, neighborhoods, or homes. 

D9     When You Know More, You Grow More: Tips & Tricks to Thrive in High School & Beyond

Trinh Tong, Post-Secondary Coach

Ashley Tactac, Enrichment Curriculum Specialist

Stacy Pham, Post-Secondary Coach



Do you ever feel like you don’t belong somewhere, like maybe you’re an imposter? Do you ever feel stuck about what you’re doing? High school is filled with so many choices and experiences that impact our everyday lives. Join our workshop to find ways that will help you be the best version of yourself!  We’ll talk honestly about how your thoughts can get in your way, and you’ll learn new strategies to make you feel more confident and ready for whatever comes next. We’ll have games and activities, and you’ll walk away with a plan that you'll have developed for yourself. As they say, when you know more, you grow more!

D10     Using the ARC Framework to Address Complex Trauma in Youth Experiencing Homelessness or Foster Care

Rayna Friendly, Ph.D., Curriculum Developer & Lead Trainer, Hanna Institute

What happens when youth experience traumatic events perpetrated by the people and systems that are meant to protect them? In this workshop, we discuss how complex trauma impacts the brain, body, and behavior of youth, with a particular focus on those experiencing homelessness or foster care. We also apply a cultural lens, examining interactions with historical, racial, and intergenerational trauma. 

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to apply trauma-informed practices, including the Attachment-Regulation-Competency (ARC) Framework, when working with youth to promote positive interactions and healing after experiencing traumatic events.

D11     Stronger Together: How to Design a Foster Friendly Ally Training  for Your Campus

Darcy Anderson, Senior Program Coordinator for the Center for Scholars,  California State University - Fullerton


If you are looking for a new way to support foster youth on your campus, a Foster Friendly Ally Training program for your campus is a great way to build larger campus support as well as a network of supporters for your students. In this workshop, you will learn how an ally training can benefit your students and the staff and faculty who support them. You will also learn about the data, people, and hands on learning components needed to design your own training. And while creating new curriculum can seem daunting, this workshop will show folks that they probably already have just about everything they need to get started.


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