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Learning Session "D" - Tuesday April 16, 2024
10:30 am - 11:45 am


Stars next to the workshop title means the

workshop is Student Oriented 

D1     Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Create Safe Spaces and Safe Adults 

Andrew Crowe, Scholarship Prep, Denise Allotey, Scholarship Prep, Deputy Director
While all children may encounter adverse childhood experiences, foster youth disproportionately face complex or developmental trauma.  The increased incidence of trauma among foster youth results in developmental repercussions that must be identified, acknowledged, and addressed. It is only through being aware of the effects of trauma on students that we can effectively connect with and support our youth. Please join us as Scholarship Prep staff share how to build positive relationships between staff, foster youth, caregivers, and community partners using a trauma-informed approach.  Included in our structures is a Community Meeting - a unique, CDE-recognized innovative program. Our Community Meeting model includes threshold greetings, daily SEL check-in activities, classroom resource centers, and a weekly universal screener. Implementation of trauma-informed structures like this have resulted in reduced discipline issues, increased academic achievement, improved attendance, higher senses of belonging, and improved staff satisfaction.

D2     Healthy Sexual Development for Foster Youth: Supporting policies and programs that increase access to sexual health education for youth in care

Cindy Cruz, National Center for Youth Law, Director, Reproductive Health Equity Project 
Luciana Svidler, Children's Law Center, Director of Policy and Training 
Youth Advisory Member 

California law requires most middle and high schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education to students. Yet, many youth in foster care face barriers accessing this important programming. In recent years, California has implemented laws and policies to ensure young people in foster care can get the same sex ed as every other youth in the state. Join RHEP as we dive into sex ed for foster youth! You’ll learn about the importance of sexual health education, the rights of youth in care, and the obligations of education and child welfare to support these rights. We will discuss implementation challenges, share learnings and explore possible solutions. You will hear directly from young people who have lived experience in the foster care system and partners who are doing work on the ground to provide support.

D3     Educating our Parents and Students: LA Unified’s Approach to CSEC Awareness

Linet Danoukh, Los Angeles Unified School District Student Support Programs, District Support, CSEC/Human Trafficking
Traci Williams, Los Angeles Unified School District Student Support Programs, Coordinator

Los Angeles Unified School District's Student Support Programs (SSP) has led efforts in the implementation of a staff awareness education curriculum, which highlights the critical role school personnel play in protecting youth from the dangers of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). This workshop will highlight the new work in developing a parent and student education curriculum. We will include the steps taken to develop a curriculum for parents and secondary students and will provide participants with information on how you can implement a staff, parent and student prevention curriculum.

D4     How to Create A Job Shadow Day Experience

Kamika Hebbert, San Juan Unified School District/Foster Youth Services
Aliya Holmes,  Sacramento City USD Foster Youth Services Coordinator II & Ed Liaison
Debbie Chiguina'Owens, San Juan USD School Social Worker 
Victor Blanco, Sac City USD Foster Youth Services Program Associate
Tiffany Hunt, Twin Rivers USD Program Specialist/Foster Youth Liaison
Jessica Larsen, Elk Grove USD School Social Worker Foster Youth Services


Want to learn how to get youth connected to jobs/careers in your county? Come enjoy this informative and interactive workshop through role playing a life of a foster youth who is attending Job Shadow Day. Facilitators will walk you through activities that have been beneficial in preparing youth for the workforce. You will have the opportunity to work in small groups and discuss creative ways to introduce career planning for students ages 16 to 21. This interactive workshop will inspire you to get the tools needed to develop a job shadow day experience for students in your county.

D5     Today's Foster Youth: How to Create a Comprehensive Foster Youth Support Program on Your Campus 

Jenna Mendez, Corona-Norco Unified School District, District Foster Youth Counselor/Liaison

As we all know, foster youth are often the “invisible” underserved population. Come to this workship and  learn how to create a comprehensive academic and social/emotional program serving the needs of today’s foster youth. The presentation will include data, academic supports, on campus programs, mentorships, district and community outreach, career readiness, resources, and how to build meaningful relationships for this at-promise population. Financial options and how to continue growing the program will also be discussed. You will leave with enough information for you to be able to take the skills, resources, and techniques back to your educational sites and begin immediate implementation (basic or advanced) at any grade level.

D6     Handle With Care: Early Notification of Child Welfare Involvement as a Trauma-Informed Practice

Alicia Rozum, Coordinator, Foster/Homeless/CSEC Youth Services
Kim Somers, Student Support Practitioner
Evelyn Del Bosque, Student Support Practitioner

Placer County Office of Education

The Placer County Office of Education Foster Youth Services team have been implementing a handle with care protocol when school-aged children have child welfare involvement and/or are detained. This protocol ensures school professionals provide timely, responsive, and trauma-informed care to the child(ren) during this stressful time. This protocol has also expanded to include court-ordered non detained students; McKinney-Vento students; and youth on probation with out of home placements. In addition, this process ensures both schools and county child welfare have a PCOE lead educational case manager to coordinate care across systems. Leave with information on how you can implement a local handle with care protocol between school districts and child welfare.

D7     Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and Students in Foster Care

Danielle Wondra, Children Now, Senior Policy & Outreach Associate, Child Welfare
Alaina Moonves-Leb, Alliance for Children’s Rights, Assistant Director, Education Program

Youth with lived experience in foster care 

Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) are a key accountability component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), intended for local educational agencies (LEAs) to show how they are serving high-need students, including students in foster care, and working to reduce achievement gaps. Yet, many LCAPs do not specify the services and supports LEAs will provide for students in foster care to meet their unique educational needs. This presentation will cover the basics of LCFF and LCAPs as they are intended to benefit students in foster care. Presenters will share resources to assist LEAs in developing their LCAPs related to serving students in foster care, including a sample LCAP with goals targeted to students in foster care and language that LEAs can copy and paste into their own LCAPs and a detailed worksheet to help attendees develop goals targeted to students in foster care. You will learn ways to incorporate the voices of youth in foster care into your LCAP development process, including from youth with lived experience who will co-present the workshop, to ensure they meet the unique educational needs of students in foster care.

D8     Using the ARC Framework to address Complex Trauma in Youth Experiencing Homelessness or Foster Care

Rayna Friendly, Ph.D., Hanna Institute, Training & Consulting Manager

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 will apply a cultural lens, examining interactions with historical, racial, and intergenerational trauma.  By the end of this workshop, you 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.

D9     Safe Harbor for At-Promise Students: Best Practices for Small/Rural LEAs

Aleia Lund, Wheatland Union High School District, Director of Community Schools 

Small and rural LEAs face unique challenges in supporting students in foster care, those experiencing homelessness, students involved with juvenile justice, and other special populations. In this  presentation we will focus on the Safe Harbor program, a student support program at Wheatland Union High School District that have been recognized by the California Department of Education as a Model Innovative Practice.  Come hear how WUHSD's Safe Harbor program offers an innovative way to support at-promise students through an integrated whole-child approach, which helps improve students' connection to school and improved overall outcomes.

D10     How to Kickstart a Youth-Led Organization 

Cynthia Ortiz, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Prevention Services Facilitator
Yury Peralta, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Prevention Services Facilitator
Let’s empower foster youth voices! Join us to learn about the power of youth voices and how spotlighting the voices of our foster youth can change the trajectory of their school experiences. We will share how our local student organization - Youth Empowering Success! (YES) has fostered leadership skills, created a safe and confidential space, and increased school engagement. We will equip you with tangible tools and resource guides to help you kickstart a school-based and youth-led organization on your campus.

D11     FYSCP Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) Pilot: 2023/2024 Cohort 1

Dr. Michelle Lustig Ed.D,MSW, LACOE FYSCP TAP, Program Director 
Mindy Corless, MSW LACOE FYSCP TAP, Program Coordinator

Dr. Drew Schwartz, 1-2-3 Wellness, Leader

Meagan Meloy, MPA, Director, School Ties & Prevention Services, Butte County Office of Education

“The Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) draws upon the NMT (a neurodevelopmentally-informed, biologically respectful perspective on human development and functioning) to help educators understand student behavior and performance.”- The Neurosequential Network  

The FYSCP Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) Pilot began in January of 2023 and enabled FYSCPs across California to form teams of up to 25 members. These teams include school site personnel.  You will learn about the FYSCP TAP, Trauma Responsive Schools 4 Pillar training courses which inform all stakeholders about key components relating to trauma exposure and its impact on learning. These courses are foundational to understanding the needs of students in foster care. You will also hear from the NME pilots participating in the first cohort and led by local FYSCPs. These teams will share their goals, implementation plans and early learning. 

D12     H.E.A.R.T.S. - Helping Everyone Attain Resiliency, Togetherness
and Success! Creating Hope and Resiliency for our most vulnerable
student population

Karen Guy, CalSAFE Teacher
Jose Acevedo,  ATLAS Liaison 
Maria Vera, Support Teacher
Telice Ostrinski, ATLAS Liaison
Sonia Esparza, Program Specialist

San Bernardino City Unified School District

Are you - or do you know someone who may be facing a homeless situation?  Come learn about our H.E.A.R.T.S program that aims to provide information to students in foster care and facing homeless situations to community resources that are available to them.  The program offers engaging and inclusive activities, support services, and mentoring to create camaraderie at school to provide students with the sense of a second home. You will learn about the model and basis of H.E.A.R.T.S and how you or someone you know can use it.  We will share our approach on how to continuously empower all students to achieve their personal best, make positive choices, embrace learning, and successfully plan your future.

D13      From a Foster Youth to Foster Youth, You Are A Hero

Theresa Reed, M.Ed, The Trauma Collaborative


Superman can leap tall buildings, but you survived foster care! Come discover and share your superpower. As your workshop facilitator, I want to ignite other foster youth to find your voice by examining your journey in foster care to create a story where you are the hero and find outlets for sharing it. I will share my journey from foster youth, to author, conference speaker, and Guardian Scholars’ Coordinator. I want you to feel seen, heard, and valued and know your journey has a higher purpose of encouraging others.   You’ll explore a new meaning of being F.I.N.E. and challenge the beliefs in your invisible trauma backpack using a trauma lens to shift the perceptions of your circumstances. We’ll engage in interactive discussions via apps, small groups, and Q&A with the facilitator. You’ll receive a copy of the book to use as a workbook during the session including a completed action plan you can begin using immediately.

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