Learning Session "C" -Monday, April 1, 2019 3:30pm - 4:45pm

C1         Promoting Educational Stability for Youth Placed in STRTPs

                Kandace Hom-Hyvonen, Children Services Administrator, LA DCFS

                Maura Flaherty, Director of Educationally Related Mental Health Services and Ben Cone, Assistant Director of

                Educationally Related Mental Health Services, Hathaway Sycamores Child and Family Services

                Adam Devore, Special Education Coordinator and Hoori Chalian, Special Education Coordinator Pasadena

               Unified School District; Leda Hernandez, School Liaison, Hillsides


Come learn the benefits of collaborating with a highly impacted school district and utilizing a triage process to support successful school placements for youth placed in STRTPs.  You will be able to participate in interactive web-based quizzes, and observe a live presentation of our team modeling the triage process. The information provided will help you to determine if this would be a value-add to your own district, and to evaluate whether you can establish the same, or similar, process.  


C2      Transforming School Cultures through Youth Leadership and Restorative Alternatives

Ashleigh Washington, Staff Attorney, Public Counsel

Tauheedah Shakur, Youth Organizer, Youth Justice Coalition

Dayvon Williams, Youth Organizer, Youth Justice Coalition


This workshop focuses on how restorative practices build strong communities that center relationships. School       communities actively participating in restorative practices can leverage relationships to heal and identify harms, needs, and accountability. You will learn about non-punitive school climate strategies that can reduce and eliminate racial  disproportionality in school discipline and improve life outcomes. We will also focus on how centering youth leadership, those who are most impacted by punitive, exclusionary school discipline policies, creates change for young people--with a focus on foster youth, one of the most impacted groups of students in the state.


C3      Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience

Carolyn Curtis, Author, Dibble Institute

Bill Ryland, Director, Koinonia Home for Teens and Treatment Clinic


As you probably know, if bad things happen to you as a child, it can impact you for the rest of your life. The brain changes with abuse, neglect or living with household dysfunction. The good news is that the brain is plastic and the body wants to heal. Based on research on neuroscience, Mind Matters practices can reverse this trend.  Learn six key skills research-based concepts for trauma recovery. Learn how Koinonia Homes for Teens and Treatment Clinic is using Mind Matters as its foundation for recovery.  Experience fun ways to motivate young people in learning self-management and recovery skills.


C4      The Basics of Foster Youth Education Rights

Jill Rowland, Education Program Director

Alaina Moonves-Leb, Senior Staff Attorney, Statewide Education Rights

Alliance for Children's Rights

Foster and probation youth have a basic set of education rights including school stability, immediate enrollment, partial credits, and AB 167/216 graduation. Utilizing the Foster Youth Education Toolkit, attendees will learn the basics of these rights and leave the presentation with the building blocks upon which school districts can construct a comprehensive program to realize real gains in the achievement of their foster youth. Each topic is covered by a factsheet outlining relevant laws, best practice implementation steps, and flexible tools including sample letters and forms. Hear from youth about how their education experiences would have been improved had their education rights been identified and protected.

C5         Increasing Collaboration through Regional Learning Networks

                Jose Smith and Rachelle Touzard, Project Director, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program

                LA County Office of Education


We will explore the dynamics of an effective collaborative between County Offices of Education, Child Welfare (&/or Probation), local school districts, Colleges, agencies and “youth voice” through Regional Learning Network meetings. You will learn how to construct the most effective meeting structure based on shared decisions in order to best reach the outcomes that will benefit your foster youth. Outcomes will be shared from the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s experience in hosting these types of meetings and working in this collaborative model.


C6      Helping Students Bounce Back from Trauma: How to Incorporate Resiliency Into a School-Based Program

Kimberly Faulkner-Camacho, Senior Program Specialist, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Tanisha Saunders, Foster Youth Advocate, National Foster Youth Institute (CA)

Lakeah Dickerson, Senior Program Specialist, Los Angeles County Office of Education


Can you recall a time when you’ve faced extreme challenges in life or felt like the world had given up on you? Well, you’re still standing… so how did you bounce back? We will focus on building resiliency in students through incorporating strategies in the classroom, counseling office or throughout school-based resiliency programs. Some  foster youth have experienced extreme trauma and depend on people like you for support and to help them navigate their way through school. Being aware of trauma informed practices is helpful, but knowing how to get them to the next step towards resiliency is key.


C7      Law and Order: Juvenile Court

Michelle Lustig, Ed.D., MSW, PPSC; President/CEO; Foster Horizons;

Ann Quirk, Attorney, Children’s Law Center

Dae’Jah Seward, Peer Advocate; Children’s Law Center


The Juvenile Court can be a complicated and confusing place, made all the more difficult by issues of confidentiality.  This workshop, designed with educators and service providers in mind, presents an overview of the Juvenile Court System.  Both Child Welfare/Dependency and Juvenile Justice will be covered, including timelines, key hearings, and the roles and responsibilities of the professionals involved.  You can expect to learn ways to help families and youth better navigate the systems, as well as strategies to improve communication and collaboration with court personnel.


C8      Healing Is Possible for Foster Youth

Theresa Reed, Program Dir, FKCE and STARS Advisor, Pasadena City College


From a former foster youth to other foster youth, the author of It’s Not Drama, It’s Trauma, will share how she used her journey through foster care to working with foster youth support programs as the backdrop for her book series.  She will encourage other foster youth to find your voice and path toward healing by sharing your stories.   You will walk away with an outline you can use to begin crafting writings for books, podcasts, social media pages or speaking engagements.


C9      Using Foster Youth Rights to Increase Youth  Empowerment & Placement Stability

Sade Daniels, Program Analyst, Jakara Rogers, Student Assistant, Mauro Rodriguez, Graduate Assistant,

Ahmed Nemr, Manager,  California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson


 Knowing what rights youth have while in foster care is great. Knowing how to effectively engage youth in learning about their rights and advocating for themselves is even better and more impactful! This workshop will not only go in-depth on what rights transition aged youth have while in foster care and ways providers can upheld them, but will also feature best practices for youth engagement and how to use rights to build rapport and empower youth.