A1. Family Court & Its Role in Kinship Caregiving
Concerns about child abuse, neglect, and abandonment can lead to the involvement of Family Services and the Family Court. This complex process involving many entities is defined by a multi-disciplinary panel.
Honorable Brian Grearson, Lamoille Family Court
Joan Rock, Family Services Division, VT Department for Children and Families
Margo Rome, Residential Licensing Unit, VT Department for Children and Families
A2. Kinship Caregivers & Decisions Impacting Permanency
Answering the question, “What is in the best interest of the child?” often involves consideration of present and future financial circumstances of the caregiver. “What happens if the caregiver becomes ill, or the caregiver dies?” “How do we plan for the educational future of the child?” “What about ‘end of life’ decisions?” Presenters will explore these questions and more.
Page Currier, Financial Aid Advisor, Vermont
Dana Louria, M.S.W., Elder Law & Trust Group
Diane Palmerine, Attorney, Elder Law Practice
A3. Proposed Changes in the Law and Its Effect on Kinship Care
Major changes to laws affecting caregivers and children are currently being reviewed by legislatures on state and national levels. Raise your awareness of proposals being considered; explore how you can support changes that you endorse.
Ann D. Pugh, Vermont House of Representatives
Jody Racht, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Cindy Walcott, Deputy Commissioner of Family Services
A4. Family Meetings - Empowering the Individual and Enhancing the Family Dynamic
Families today face intense challenges. Family meetings are a vehicle to “open the door” for clear and honest communication leading to a better understanding of individual and family behavior. They offer a means to teach definitions and skills related to behavior, encouragement, contributions, consequences and problem solving.
Vicki Hoefle, Director, Shared Ventures (Parenting on Track)
A5. Substance Abuse: The Impact on Families
This workshop will focus on self-care techniques, identifying stressors and strategies that can be incorporated into anyone’s lifestyle to promote relaxation and reduce the effects of stress.
Sue Gears, Adoption Therapist, Lund Family Center
B1. Probate Court & Its Role in Kinship Care and Legal Guardianship
The route through which a child enters kinship care and/or legal guardianship is influenced by many factors. Issues, procedures and possible outcomes through Probate Court will be discussed.
Honorable Ernest T. Balivet, Caledonia County Probate Court
Honorable Susan Fowler, Chittenden County Probate Court
Honorable Eleanor Smith, Addison County Probate Court
B2. Substance Abuse: The Impact on Families
Substance abuse is a major factor contributing to the increasing numbers of children entering kinship care. The impact of substance abuse and the stress on the family dynamic is explored.
Howard Hood, Coordinator Adolescent & Family Services, Clara Martin Center
B3. Communicating With Children of Incarcerated Parents
This hands-on, interactive workshop will help caregivers develop strategies that promote conversation and personal well-being. Learn ways to honor parent and child connections and balance the stress of caring for a child whose parent is incarcerated.
Meredith Cooper, Lead Clinician, SafetyNet, Howard Center
Tara Graham, Coordinator, Kids-A-Part, VT Children’s Aid Society
B4. Promise, Potential, Permanence – Exploring the Possibilities
Presenter will define permanence, how it interplays with kinship care and the relational aspects involved as families move through the various stages of enhancing lifelong connections.
Sue Brown, Casey Family Services
B5. “You’ve Got To See It To Be It”
Scientific studies prove positive thinking and visualization promote mental, physical and spiritual health. Through the sharing of the latest medical research and some of her Airlift experiences, there is empowerment to improve health by improving attitudes. This fun, interactive workshop uses breathing, relaxation, positive thinking, visualization, and management of our time as “tools” to apply to situations in everyday life.
LeAnn Thieman, Certified Speaking Professional