Below are all 5 Breakout Sessions in one place so you can see all that will be offered for your planning purposes. Some breakout topics are offered more than once giving more flexibility in your ability to attend.

Additional Activities Available at all 5 Breakout Sessions:
Pampering, Prayer, Coaching, Parent's Playground & Quiet Zone
Click here for details

BREAKOUT SESSION 1 :

Thursday, March 3, 11:30am – 12:30pm

 

Lying, Stealing, and Hoarding | David Adams

Lying, stealing, and hoarding are one of the common but can be frustrating behaviors for foster/adoptive parents. In this roundtable breakout session, Dr. David Adams will discuss reasons why these behaviors are so common for foster/adoptive children. We will discuss practical, positive-based behavioral, attachment-based strategies to help you navigate these challenging and common behaviors.

 

Equine Experience | Ashley Boswell

Come enjoy an equine experience with intentional activities that will strengthen your regulation and empathy skills. Overcoming trauma is an internal journey that can be greatly assisted with interactions with horses. God designed our brains to be in touch with our whole body and we often lose that connection in the midst of the daily hustle and bustle of parenting. Discover new ways of how to attune to the people around you with the power of our equine program.

 

When Your Heart Feels Trampled and You’ve Run Out of Compassion | Melissa Corkum & Lisa Qualls

Is there a wall growing between you and your child and does your heart feel trampled?  Learn the brain science behind your feelings and gain practical solutions. Leave your shame behind and revive radical compassion for yourself and your child.

 

Sensory Solutions! Developmental ages 2-6 | Deborah Graves

Trouble with meltdowns at home, school, or on the go? Picky eater? Scratchy clothes? Come learn about you and your child’s sensory worlds and ways to help “soothe the savage” – from monster to magnificent! Leave feeling empowered with trauma informed understandings and strategies to connect even within the chaos. This workshop offers interactive, experiential learning, plus practical tools to address confusing and challenging behaviors related to sensory processing and complex developmental trauma. Come with your questions and real life scenarios and together we’ll try to sort out some answers to the unsuspecting sensory needs behind some of your child’s most baffling behaviors.

 

Building My Village From One: Practical Tips for Creating a Meaningful, Sustainable Community Around the Single Parent | Hallie Graves

I’m a solo foster parent. It can be lonely, isolating, and incredibly difficult. I know I should get others involved, but how? When? What do I ask? How do I get over the feeling that I took this on, so I have to handle it myself? Join us to learn how to bless others by inviting them to real, meaningful involvement in your family and mission.

 

Moving the Needle towards Happier Homes | Deborah Gray

Just as the title says, this workshop is a family-to-family tips session on having happier homes. Parents have shared with me their strategies for more joy for many years. I will be passing on their tips to you in this session—and will throw in some research findings, as well. Rather than a self-care talk, this session’s topic is increasing happiness.

 

Marriage as a Deep Breath | Beth Guckenberger

As parents of four adopted children, three biological children and a host of foster kids, Beth and her husband Todd have fought for two and a half decades to stay connected in their marriage relationship.  Willing to share vulnerably their cautionary tales, and best practices, Beth will address the unique pressures of a family in ministry. This is not for a PG audience, and she will be frank about issues relating to conflict resolution, intimacy and missional marriage.

 

Soul Care & Self Care | Brandi Lea

We cannot lead where we have not been. How can we lead our kids to healing if we haven’t “gone there” for ourselves? In this breakout, we will talk about WHY we need to go to therapy ourselves if we are going to encourage our kids to do the same. So often “self care” gets tossed around as a buzzword these days. So let’s get down and dirty. As an adoptive parent, what does it REALLY mean to take care of you while you take care of the kids? What’s important to do and what’s the fluff we can ditch and roll our eyes at for real?

 

Why is Knowing my Worth is so Important as a Caregiver | Cindy Lee & Renae Dupuis 

We can’t give something we don’t have.   For a child to heal, we must help them replace their shameful beliefs about themselves with the truth of their worth and value.  To do that, caregivers must also know their own worth and value.  This session will focus on why positive self-worth in caregivers is vital to success and describe the steps to gaining this understanding.  If we are solid in knowing who we are, we will function with less frustration and stress, we will experience more joy, and most importantly, we will help our children heal.

 

Doors of Hope for Mental Health: A Conversation with Kay Warren | Kay Warren

Join Kay Warren as she discusses mental health and ways to build resilience for yourself and how to get support for your child. Mental illness is real, common and treatable.  When children face Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), their likelihood of facing mental health challenges increases.  In this session you will learn ways to build your own resilience and help your child get the care and support they need.

Breakout Session 2

Thursday, March 3, 2:00 – 3:00 PM

 

Responding to Sexualized Behaviors | David Adams

There is nothing more uncomfortable for foster/adoptive parents to respond to than sexualized behaviors. In this breakout discussion, we will explore the continuum of sexualized behaviors from normalized, to concerning, to problematic. We will also look at some strategies on how to respond and support foster/adoptive children who display sexualized behaviors.

 

Equine Experience | Ashley Boswell

Come enjoy an equine experience with intentional activities that will strengthen your regulation and empathy skills. Overcoming trauma is an internal journey that can be greatly assisted with interactions with horses. God designed our brains to be in touch with our whole body and we often lose that connection in the midst of the daily hustle and bustle of parenting. Discover new ways of how to attune to the people around you with the power of our equine program.

 

Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Overview | Ernie & Pat Casarez

Learn the basics of TBRI which is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI is connection.

 

Social Worker Panel – What Is That Social Worker Thinking? | Mark Boyce, Edja Kurtovic & Nicole Strattman

A panel of experienced social workers to answer your questions! We will cover a wide range of questions and concerns, including but not limited to how we case plan, best ways to communicate, what do you do when you disagree, how to utilize the social worker’s visit, and so much more. Foster and adoptive parents are the reason we are able to do our job at all!  The panel is open to your questions and concerns, and will help you strategize for building improved partnerships with your social workers.

 

Trauma In the Classroom | Olivia Dahlin

Trauma changes the development of our brain and body which can impact our ability to learn, retain memory, sustain concentration and often interact in a structured educational environment. This session will review ways in which trauma can show up in the educational environment and provide you with tools to communicate with your teachers and administrators to help your child receive the support they need to thrive.

 

Wellness Circles | Renae M. Dupuis

As a caregiver, you have likely heard that self-care is essential to sustaining your caregiving journey. But what does that actually look like and how do you develop a plan to care for yourself when all of that energy is focused on your family? Join us for an introduction to Wellness Circles where you will complete a Wellness Self-Assessment and learn more about the opportunity to engage in helpful and transformative community care. You are worth it!

 

Hope in the Warzone: Parenting the Defiant Child | Ruth Graham

Children’s ability to trust and rely on others may be affected when they have experienced difficult and/or traumatic situations.  Their willingness to comply can also be directly affected.  A defiant child can be difficult, or even feel impossible, to parent. Parents are often left bewildered and feeling helpless and hopeless.  In this session, we will look at interventions and parenting techniques that minimize the warzone.

 

Sensory Solutions! Developmental ages 6-10 | Deborah Graves

Trouble with meltdowns at home, school, or on the go? Picky eater? Scratchy clothes? Come learn about you and your child’s sensory worlds and ways to help “soothe the savage” – from monster to magnificent! Leave feeling empowered with trauma informed understandings and strategies to connect even within the chaos. This workshop offers interactive, experiential learning, plus practical tools to address confusing and challenging behaviors related to sensory processing and complex developmental trauma. Come with your questions and real life scenarios and together we’ll try to sort out some answers to the unsuspecting sensory needs behind some of your child’s most baffling behaviors.

 

Healing Roadmap: What should be happening in therapy? | Cindy Lee

Caregivers and counselors work hard every day on addressing behavior but what is the overall goal and what are the steps to achieving it? This session addresses what true healing for children looks like and the steps needed to get there. Prepare yourself for an in depth look at what should be happening in therapy and why it is so important to make sure each step is being addressed.  Roadblocks to healing will also be discussed.

 

Giving Voice to Siblings | Lisa Qualls

With the addition of new children to the family through adoption or foster care, life changes for everyone, including the kids already in the family. There may be both joy and heartache. Very challenging behaviors may be harmful to siblings. This breakout gives you practical tools to help your children and find renewed hope for your family.

 

Forming an Identity Within a Transracial Family | Nathan Ross

In this session, Nathan will talk about his experiences in his adoptive placement and how his identity was shaped while growing up with adoptive parents of a different race. Nathan’s discussion will include advice on discussion topics and opportunities for parents raising children from different backgrounds. The session will further include addressing social and community barriers for transracial adoptees and how parents can prepare for those barriers and build resilience within their families.

Breakout Session 3

Thursday, March 3, 3:15 – 4:15 PM

 

Single Parents: Lessons learned from the Trenches | David Adams

In this roundtable discussion, we will explore some of the challenges and joys of being a foster/adoptive single parent. Come and learn from other single parents as we discuss issues related to single parenting. Topics include: self care, building a community of support, and strategies to being both a “mom” and “dad” for your foster/adoptive parent.

 

Kinship Care: Out of Left Field | Amanda Auer

This will be a storytelling and sharing session on emergency placements, extended family, dealings inside and outside of the system, and loving your child through it all.  We will discuss how to love the child in your care when you feel underprepared and overwhelmed and learn to lean on God to carry you through it all.

 

The Road Less Traveled: Parenting Through Grief and Loss | Sue Badeau

Grief, loss, anger, confusion, frustration – all of these emotions are experienced by both the children and adults involved with the foster care system.  How do we cope with this mix of our own emotions while also helping a child to cope with theirs. This workshop will provide both information and experiential activities to help foster and adoptive parents understand, express and cope with their own emotions as well as creating a self-care plan to develop resilience.

 

Equine Experience | Ashley Boswell

Come enjoy an equine experience with intentional activities that will strengthen your regulation and empathy skills. Overcoming trauma is an internal journey that can be greatly assisted with interactions with horses. God designed our brains to be in touch with our whole body and we often lose that connection in the midst of the daily hustle and bustle of parenting. Discover new ways of how to attune to the people around you with the power of our equine program.

 

Parenting Tough Teen Behaviors | Melissa Corkum

Parenting teens has unique rewards and challenges, especially when our teens have experienced trauma and adverse experiences. Melissa’s learned a lot the hard way about how to set families up for lifelong relationships with their teens. In the end, it all comes down to one key thing.

 

Trauma In the Classroom | Olivia Dahlin

Trauma changes the development of our brain and body which can impact our ability to learn, retain memory, sustain concentration and often interact in a structured educational environment. This session will review ways in which trauma can show up in the educational environment and provide you with tools to communicate with your teachers and administrators to help your child receive the support they need to thrive.

 

Healing Through Creative Movement | Deborah Graves

Are you struggling with finding your peace in the midst of the storm? Are you longing for ease and connection with yourself and your child? Come enjoy a unique somatic-based healing experience that combines therapeutic movement, breath work, introspection, and compassionate soul-care. Learn the science behind these therapeutic movements that integrate aspects of the self separated by trauma. Share these movements with your child to create a renewed playfulness and peace within your relationship.

 

Your Child or Teen’s Life Story: Helping to Build A Positive Sense Of Self—Even When Stories Are Hard | Deborah Gray

How does your child describe themselves? How do you assist this process? What words heal instead of wound? This workshop frames answers to the typical questions at each stage of the adopted person’s development. Harder realities will be discussed. We will talk about how to build context before presenting negative information—and when to postpone giving information. There will be time for Q and A in this workshop.

 

Intentional Diversity | Maria Hansen-Quine

What is diversity? Why should diversity matter to me as an adoptive/foster parent? What can I do to implement diversity at home? Learning the diversity needs of our children can be a steep learning curve for some us as new adoptive/foster parents.  Unexpectedly we find ourselves having conversations around special needs, race, culture, identity (including adoption identity). Our call as caregivers is to be intentional with these conversations, while simultaneously creating a home environment that celebrates the beautiful diversity of our new family.

 

Why Does My Child Need Power And Control? | Cindy Lee

Many children who have experienced harm exhibit a high need to be in control.  In this session, Cindy provides the many possible reasons why this is happening and a core strategy you can use to help your child with this issue. This session provides insight into this core strategy, why you may or may not struggle providing it, and how to master it.

 

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder | Pam Parish

A practical guide to seeing yourself and the kids in your care through the lens of the gospel.

Breakout Session 4

Friday, March 4, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

 

Kinship Care: Out of Left Field | Amanda Auer

This will be a storytelling and sharing session on emergency placements, extended family, dealings inside and outside of the system, and loving your child through it all.  We will discuss how to love the child in your care when you feel underprepared and overwhelmed and learn to lean on God to carry you through it all.

 

Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Overview | Ernie & Pat Casarez

Learn the basics of TBRI which is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI is connection.

 

Foster Care, Adoption and Marriage – The View from 40+ Years and 40+ Kids | Hector & Sue Badeau

As foster and adoptive parents, we must be prepared to welcome a new child at any hour, manage a wide array of behaviors, and cope with often intrusive agency regulations, policies and paperwork.  In the midst of all this, for married couples, we are trying to find a new normal in the chaos and ensure that we make time for nurturing our marriage. What are the impacts of foster care and adoption on marriage and what are the top 10 tips for still standing after 40+ years?

 

Practical Parenting Strategies for Difficult Behaviors | Melissa Corkum

The behaviors adopted and foster children use to feel safe can be frustrating and downright gross. Lying, hoarding, stealing, sneaking, spitting, throwing, pooping, peeing. They don’t make sense and can leave us scratching our heads wondering what in the world to do. Learn a simple acronym for tackling even the most difficult behaviors.

 

Sensory Solutions! Developmental ages 2-10 | Deborah Graves

Trouble with meltdowns at home, school, or on the go? Picky eater? Scratchy clothes? Come learn about you and your child’s sensory worlds and ways to help “soothe the savage” – from monster to magnificent! Leave feeling empowered with trauma informed understandings and strategies to connect even within the chaos. This workshop offers interactive, experiential learning, plus practical tools to address confusing and challenging behaviors related to sensory processing and complex developmental trauma. Come with your questions and real life scenarios and together we’ll try to sort out some answers to the unsuspecting sensory needs behind some of your child’s most baffling behaviors.

 

Advocacy 101: Communicating Effectively with Your (Legal, Medical, Educational, Therapy) Team for the Best Outcome for Your Child | Hallie Graves

I knew parenting kids with trauma, within a system that causes trauma, would be hard, but I feel totally unprepared to advocate for my foster kids! Do I go to court? Who do I tell important information to? What do I do if no one is listening? And how do I communicate in a way that is honest, respectful, objective, and productive? Join us to learn more and be encouraged to communicate effectively for kids and families.

 

Trauma In the Classroom | Maria Hansen-Quine

Navigating trauma in the classroom is complex.  Knowing what our children need can be overwhelming. Learn from a mom of 9 jewels (7 with both special needs and trauma) who has been doing it effectively for many years.  As a School Counselor of 18 years, this mom’s insights and knowledge is invaluable.  

Objectives:

  • The difference between an IEP and a 504, and when to advocate for which one.
  • Common trauma triggers in the classroom and effective strategies.
  • The most effective way to advocate for what your child needs.
  • How to best help your child be successful at school.

 

Soul Care is Self Care | Brandi Lea

We cannot lead where we have not been. How can we lead our kids to healing if we haven’t “gone there” for ourselves? In this breakout, we will talk about WHY we need to go to therapy ourselves if we are going to encourage our kids to do the same. So often “self care” gets tossed around as a buzzword these days. So let’s get down and dirty. As an adoptive parent, what does it REALLY mean to take care of you while you take care of the kids? What’s important to do and what’s the fluff we can ditch and roll our eyes at for real?

 

Battle Weary Parents | Pam Parish

Finding refreshment, peace, and hope in the midst of difficulties in our parenting journeys.

 

Guided Art Expression | Saddleback Visual Arts Ministry

Art Expressions sessions will guide you in using the power of color and form to express the deeper vibrations of your life. In a group setting, a Certified Instructor guides you with prompts that help you voice your feelings with paints on canvas. It’s not about making a beautiful painting as much as it is “journaling” through the language of color. No art experience necessary.

Breakout Session 5

Friday, March 4, 1:15  – 2:15 PM

 

Transracial Adoptee Panel: Let’s Talk about Race | Sue Badeau with Derek Hamer & Nathan Ross

Given the racial tension, discrimination, and violence against African Americans, especially African American young men, adoptive and foster parents have a big task when raising African American children in adoption and foster care. Come to this session to hear from young adults who have lived experience as transracial adoptees, as they tackle tough questions related to identity formation, relationship development, and building lifelong resilience.

 

Building a Calmer Brain from the Bottom Up | Melissa Corkum

Sometimes our kids seem to be angry and explosive all the time. Or maybe you feel angry and explosive all the time. Learn how to harness the power of neurobiology and polyvagal theory into practical ways to regulate your whole family’s nervous system from the bottom up.

 

TBRI, the Connecting Principles | Renae M. Dupuis

TBRI is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI engages Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI is Connection. Join us for an overview of Mindfulness and Engagement strategies that will increase your capacity to create more felt safety in your home.

 

Choosing to Thrive | Maria Hansen-Quine

Is trauma wearing you down? Are you struggling to give your children what they need because you find yourself empty, with little to nothing to give?  As trauma parents and parents of jewels with special needs and medical needs, our time is often consumed by the needs of our jewels. Choosing to thrive is a passion for our presenter Maria, who lives it out every single day. You will create your own soul care, self care and couple care plans.

 

Navigating the Unseen of Self-Injury Behavior | Ruth Graham

Self-injury behavior is like an earthquake.  The unseen rumblings take those who are caring for the person by surprise and result in confusion and fear.  This session will focus on defining, understanding, and learning specific interventions to help pre-teens/teens who are engaging in self-injury behaviors such as cutting.

 

Healing Through Creative Movement | Deborah Graves

Are you struggling with finding your peace in the midst of the storm? Are you longing for ease and connection with yourself and your child? Come enjoy a unique somatic-based healing experience that combines therapeutic movement, breath work, introspection, and compassionate soul-care. Learn the science behind these therapeutic movements that integrate aspects of the self separated by trauma. Share these movements with your child to create a renewed playfulness and peace within your relationship.

 

Parenting after Prenatal Exposure—What Works Best? | Deborah Gray

Many children and teens who have prenatal exposure have outcomes that are better than expected. So, what did these parents do that worked best? What does the research say about how to parent and educate? This workshop is a hopeful one, helping parents with the specialized parenting that brings out the best in their kids. This will be a practical, “how-to” workshop.

 

Tools for Addressing Challenging Behaviors | Cindy Lee

This session focuses on providing the steps necessary to address a variety of behaviors such as sleep difficulties, lying, melt-downs, and transitions. We must be proactive in establishing connection and addressing the pain of previous trauma, but what do we do in the heat of the moment when we are face-to-face with behavior? Come and find out!

 

Connected Independent Living | Pam Parish

A practical framework for transitioning our teens and young adults into independent adulthood while maintaining connection and relationship.

 

Guided Art Expression | Saddleback Visual Arts Ministry

Art Expressions sessions will guide you in using the power of color and form to express the deeper vibrations of your life. In a group setting, a Certified Instructor guides you with prompts that help you voice your feelings with paints on canvas. It’s not about making a beautiful painting as much as it is “journaling” through the language of color. No art experience necessary.