Dedicated to improving educational outcomes for California's children and youth in foster care.

2019 Education Summit Workshops

Learning Session A

Student Legislative Meeting

All students will be going to the Capitol for a group Legislative meeting with key legislators and legislative staff.

The ABC's of BID's: Considerations when completing Best Interest Determinations for ESSA Transportation Related to Students in Foster Care

Jennifer Kottke, Coordinator III, LA County Office of Education
Maria Tello, Special Program Assistant, LA County Office of Education
Rachel Cohen, Special Program Assistant, LA County Office of Education

Best Interest Determination. What is it? Who does it? When is it supposed to be done? Who is involved in the BID process? Come to this workshop and find out! The Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) requires that students in foster care are transported back to their school of origin. ESSA provides some insight into the transportation options available for foster youth students in out of home care. The Best Interest Determination is a Key part of ESSA.

Addressing Trauma Needs and Building Resilience of Foster Youth Through their IEPs

Jill Rowland, Education Program Director, Alliance for Children's Rights
Alaina Moonves-Leb, Senior Staff Attorney, Statewide Education Rights, Alliance for Children's Rights

Many foster youth experience emotional and behavioral delays caused or exacerbated by the trauma they have suffered. Yet, it can be difficult to appropriately address a youth's trauma related needs through their IEP. Foster Youth Liaisons also struggle with how to support their youth through IEPs. Trauma brain science provides insight into questions about special education eligibility, positive behavior modification plans, and necessary services to address these complex needs. Two special education attorneys will provide insight into collectively building, with an IEP team, an appropriate program for the most difficult to serve youth including suggestions of specific assessments and services.

Leveraging Local Education Agency and Non-profit Partnerships to Improve Education Outcomes for Systems Involved Youth

Shandelyn Williams, Asst. Superintendent, Student Support Services, Antelope Valley Union HS District
Cheri Kreitz, Director of Student Services and AB490 Liaison, Antelope Valley Union High School District
Julie Eutsler, Director, Pupil Safety and Attendance and AB490 Liaison, Lancaster School District
Trish Wilson, Coordinator of Climate, Culture, and Counselors and AB490 Liaison, Lancaster School District
Kawena Cole, Program Manager, National Center for Youth Law/FosterEd

Since the implementation of LCFF, school districts have made great strides in identifying, and providing supports to youth involved in the child welfare system. We will describe partnerships established by FosterEd with two districts Antelope Valley Union High School District and Lancaster School District, and the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles County to serve the students in care using the FosterEd model. You will learn about the supports provided by FosterEd staff co-located in public agencies and you will get access to tools that can be used to replicate effective practice or to modify when establishing your own best practice at school sites when working with systems involved youth.

The Ways and Means for obtaining all your school records!

Larry A. Canter, Registrar - Custodian of Records, Los Angeles County Office of Education

What do you do when you are told, "We don't have any records for this person!" How can grades and credits be challenged; or, how do you challenge the fact that no partial credits were issued when you think there should be some partial credits earned? Do you know who has legal access to view or request a student's records? Come join this interactive workshop and learn how to help foster youth and school Registrars to aggregate pupil's school records from every school student has attended. Learn the Ways and Means of student's pupil records concerning: F.E.R.P.A. Compliance, Access, Security and Confidentiality, and Records Retention's best practices. You are encouraged to ask questions and to share personal experiences to help everyone to understand the real challenges that come up when searching for pupil records. Do you understand the eligibility conditions for AB 167/216 to qualify for the California State Graduation waiver for 130 core credits to graduate? My goal is to take the frustration and uncertainty out of where to start searching and how to aggregate records for foster youth.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

Trauma Informed Care for Educators

Melaina Gant, M.Ed., Education Services Director, Indiana Department of Child Services
Heidi Monroe, MPA, Deputy Director of Permanency & Practice Support, Indiana Department of Child Services
Naomi Koeplin, M.Ed., MSW, Indiana Department of Child Services

Teaching today's students requires alternative approaches and strategies. An increasing number of children are coming into the classroom with trauma haunting their minds and dictating their behaviors. Schools need to be trauma-informed in order to provide children with positive educational experiences. This workshop offers explanations of trauma, how it affects the brain and body, description of some available treatments, how children and young people manifest signs of trauma in the school environment, including psychological and behavioral impacts of trauma. Attendees will be provided digital resources that include strategies to support the use of trauma-informed care in the educational setting.

Paradigm Shifts: Embracing the Child who has Been Exposed to Trauma

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

Come learn about the research relating to Adverse Childhood Experiences, Generational and historical trauma. We will discuss the physiological and social-emotional impact on children who are exposed to trauma. You will have an opportunity to discuss behavioral responses you have seen in students in foster care and can begin gaining the skills necessary to recognize a child responding to a trauma trigger that requires a differential discipline response. This interactive session will provide the foundation you need to change the way you view challenging student behaviors, to reframe your own responses to these behaviors, and begin to help children and school communities heal.

A Preschool Guide to Trauma Informed Care

Vanessa Oleski, Sprouts' TIC Preschool Treatment Supervisor, Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento

Being trauma aware is the first step. We will share what trauma informed care actually looks like. Systematic approaches and practical daily interventions to reach your toughest little ones will be discussed. We will share how the Sprouts' Program was able to learn, adapt, and grow to best meet the needs of children ages 2-5 with trauma histories. Whether you are an academic, clinical or administrative staff, you will walk away with interventions to best meet the needs of your preschool aged children that can be implemented immediately. From approaching staff in a trauma informed manner to classroom rituals to de-escalating a tantrum, interventions at all levels will be shared.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

Let's Play the Data Game!

Paula Carmosino, Client Support Analyst, Alameda County Office of Education
Lily Colby, Policy and Program Coordinator, California Court Appointed Special Advocate
Elizabeth Tarango, Director, Student Support Services, Alameda County Office of Education

What CALPADS data includes information on foster and/or homeless students? Identifying foster youth is just the first step in the role that CALPADS plays in serving our youth. You'll also learn how to take advantage of some basic CALPADS functionality that will help you reveal school placement history, special education, and English Learner factors that impact the type of support that foster youth require. Discussion will include how Foster Youth data travels in and out of the CALPADS system and how it is reflected in the California School Dashboards as well as Dataquest and Ed Data. Real examples about how data improved funding and support given to foster youth in Oakland will be discussed. The information reviewed in this session will culminate into a fun and interactive "Data Game", complete with a chance to win prizes!

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

Learning Session B

Successful School Strategies for Foster Youth

Betsy DeGarmoe, Manager, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Orange County Department of Education
Demetrio Nava, Program Specialist, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Orange County Department of Education

Come hear about innovative strategies used across California that have been utilized by School Districts and County Offices of Education Foster Youth Services Coordinating Programs that help to increase academic outcomes. The strategies will be viewed through a trauma informed lens with a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support framework. There will be planning time to discuss ways to improve current systems and/or develop new strategies for your school site, district, and/or County Office of Education.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

Data-Driven Collaboration Supporting Foster Youth Transition and School Stability

Bridget Stumpf, Project Specialist, FYS Technical Services, Sacramento County Office of Education
Curt Williams, Director, Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Jessica Thomas, Program Coordinator, San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

Learn how Sacramento, Kern and San Luis Obispo COEs are using the new FOSTER FOCUS countywide transition dashboard to address school transition and stability. The countywide transition dashboard finds cases that may need intervention so that users can act fast to support their youth. Each COE will also share promising local practices and lessons learned through data-driven collaboration. The FOSTER FOCUS data system incorporates CWS/CMS, CALPADS, and school district data and is used by COEs, school districts, child welfare and probation agencies in over 40 counties across California.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

Building a Local Youth Education Summit (YES)

Kelly Holland, Foster/Homeless Liaison, Plumas County Office of Education
Leaf Van Pelt, Plumas County ILP Coordinator, EA Family Services
Lisa Chandler, Lassen County DSS Program Manager, Lassen Child and Family Services
Jennifer Branning, Lassen County Chief Probation Officer, Lassen County Probation

Are you a rural community? Is it hard to find events your foster youth and their families can attend? Look no further! You can coordinate your own event that keeps them returning yearly, and we can show you how!! In this workshop we will show you how one small rural community in Northern California spear headed a grass roots event that neighboring counties soon became aware of and jumped on board to help create a larger multi-county collaborative event. The event is set up to provide connection, education, empowerment and fun for youth in care, their families and supports. We would love to see small rural communities use our model to start similar events in your own counties.

Beyond Trauma: Understanding the Impact of Trauma and How to Promote Resiliency

Michelle Lustig, Ed.D, MSW, PPSC, President/CEO, Foster Horizons
Dee Hankins, CEO, Win Your Challenges

We will provide you an overview of the impact of trauma, how common trauma exposure is, how our body and brain respond, and the importance of connections as we help students become resilient adults. You will leave with a basic understanding of the impact of trauma on the brain and body and how to distinguish a trauma response from other behavioral responses. Focusing on what leads to resiliency, we will provide concrete examples of what every one of us can do to promote resiliency in children who have been exposed to trauma. Hear first hand how relationships changed Dee Hankin's life and learn what it takes to become that person who lets a student exposed to trauma, know they matter.

Foster Youth and Chronic Absenteeism: Beyond the Why

Ralph Velarde, Coordinator, Ventura County Office of Ed & Secretary, Ventura County Student Attendance Review Board;
Laurel McWaters, Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney and standing member of the Ventura County Student Attendance Review Board;
Ray Gonzales, Coordinator, Oxnard Union High School District and Chairperson of the Ventura County Student Attendance Review Board;
Wendy Mayea, Assistant Director, Simi Valley Unified School District and Vice-Chairperson of the Ventura County Student Attendance Review Board

Trauma and instability are common day for foster youth, so it is no wonder that at 25.1% the Chronic Absenteeism Rate for foster youth is more than double that of the overall Statewide Average of 10.8%. This interactive workshop will present how the Ventura County Office of Education/FYSCP, the Ventura County Student Attendance Review Board, Oxnard High School Union and Simi Valley Unified School Districts along with the District Attorney's Office have collaborated to put systems in place to better support foster youth struggling with school attendance and promote academic achievement.

It's Not Drama, It's Trauma: Implementing Trauma-informed Practices

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

Being trauma-informed is not just a catchphrase or clinical term. It means recognizing that what may look like drama, it really the long-term effect of exposure to trauma. Many agencies are making a shift to be trauma-informed but are not sure on what it looks like in practice. Through group discussion and interactive activities, this workshop will guide you through the principles and help you create an action plan on being more empathetic and trauma-informed in your work with foster youth. You will also assess how trauma has impacted your life both personally and professionally.

School of Origin - California Implementation

Alaina Moonves-Leb, Education Attorney, Alliance for Children's Rights
District and County presenters

With each school change, youth in care lose 4-6 months of learning, and face the continuing trauma of reestablishing academic and social relationships. To avoid this, districts and child welfare agencies throughout California are finding ways to implement effective school of origin policies. Come learn the basics of school of origin law, including the challenging intersections of federal and California law. Through the Court Companion to the Foster Youth Education Toolkit, you will learn the roles and responsibilities of each of the key parties in making school of origin attendance possible. We will compare policies and best practices (including sample tools and forms) from several districts addressing challenges with involvement of education rights holders, discussing school of origin upon enrollment and exit, holding best interest determination meetings, and determining transportation plans.

LGBTQIA+ Foster Youth

Prizila Dajia Vidal, Human Rights Activist

We will provide important information for anyone working with Foster Youth to help them learn about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth in the child welfare system, the unique risks they face, and the important role that YOU can play in reducing those risks. In this course, you can expect to learn: Unique risks LGBTQ youth in foster care face How to create a welcoming home/space for youth How to promote a young person's health and well-being in the community The meaning of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation Things that should be considered when choosing the proper health care and mental health providers Effective practices for improving school climate for LGBTQ youth and Youth perspective on being LGBTQ in foster care.

Learning Session C

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
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.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

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.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

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.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

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.

Increasing Collaboration through Regional Learning Networks

Jose Smith, Senior Program Specialist, LA County Office of Education
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.

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.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

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.

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.

Using Foster Youth Rights to Increase Youth Empowerment & Placement Stability

Sade Daniels, Program Analyst, California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson
Jakara Rogers, Student Assistant, California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson
Mauro Rodriguez, Graduate Assistant, California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson
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.

Learning Session D

Consistency is Key: The Importance of Utilizing Support Systems and Mentorship for Academic Success

Angela Aceves, Junior Guardian Scholars Supervisor
Zach Chandler, Guardian Scholars Coordinator
Patricia King, Program Director, Promises2Kids

Trauma creates barriers in placements, academic success, building relationships, self-care, and overall sustainability of a healthy life. Promises2Kids will discuss their program models, data and results that prove why consistent mentorship is critical to the success of foster youth in obtaining higher education. Attendees will interactively identify stereotypes about foster youth, how trauma has and will continue to impact them throughout their lifetime. Once barriers and trauma are understood, support systems and mentorship throughout educational pathways are capable to provide everlasting positive impact to foster youth. Promises2Kids creates a brighter future for foster children in San Diego County. Their holistic approach allows student to gain the support necessary to navigate through barriers to obtain academic success. Their Guardian Scholars have a 95% high school graduation rate and an 85% college success rate due to our support systems.

Trauma-Informed Student Centered Planning

Angela Griffin, Chief Program Officer, Treehouse Youth Participant/Young Adult Alumni Participant

Treehouse's innovative Graduation Success model is doubling the high school graduation rate of youth in foster care in Washington State. In this interactive workshop, Treehouse Education Specialists and youth in foster care/alumni of foster care will provide attendees with a practical introduction to the program model, tools and case studies to ensure youth graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers. The workshop includes an in-depth review of student centered planning--ongoing goal setting and coaching--through a trauma-informed lens to build youth engagement, self-determination, and self-advocacy skills, and opportunity to practice the skills presented.

College and Career Options for Foster Youth with Disabilities

Debbie Raucher, Project Director, John Burton Advocates for Youth
Sandra Hamilton-Slane, Dean of Student Services, Shasta College
Kathi Mowers-Moore, Deputy Director, CA Dept of Rehabilitation

Disabilities are too often viewed as obstacles to success beyond high school but that doesn't have to be true. By helping foster youth access appropriate disability services and supports, most can pursue post-secondary education and move into satisfying careers. We will explain career education pathways and how to access the disability support programs available in the community colleges. You will also learn about the services available from the Department of Rehabilitation and you will leave with a menu of clear options for foster youth with disabilities.

Making Foster Youth Data Work for Your District to Improve Student Outcomes

Jill Rowland, Education Program Director, Alliance for Children's Rights
Alaina Moonves-Leb, Senior Staff Attorney, Statewide Education Rights, Alliance for Children's Rights
Mark Rodgers, Director Specialized Student Services, Bonita Unified School District

Identifying who your foster youth are, tagging them within your student information system, gathering aggregate data about their needs and outcomes, and analyzing what that data means is labor intensive and frustrating. Yet, this data can be used to shape appropriate policies and practices, ensure necessary resources are allocated to your youth, and drive positive change in their education experiences and outcomes. Six school districts have wrestled with how to effectively collect and use data to meaningful serve their foster youth for the last two years. Come hear the panelists share their experiences including the struggles and break through lessons learned.

You Can't Pour from an Empty Cup: Educators Guide to Avoiding Burnout and Cultivating the Perfect Self Care Plan

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

Let's be real. Burnout is a real thing and has negative affects on individuals and organizations. When we are feeling overwhelmed and overworked, it is easy to lose sight of the joy, meaning, and purpose of our profession. Taking small steps devoted to improving our own wellness and self-care will help us have a longer, more satisfying career and reduce our risk of burnout. We will review the causes and manifestations of burnout and present key activities you can implement to reduce the causes of burnout so you can create your own personalized self-care plan.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

School Stability in the Era of ESSA: Why it Takes More Than a Big Yellow Bus

Michelle Lustig, Ed.D, MSW, PPSC, President/CEO, Foster Horizons, Inc.
Rachelle Touzard, Ph.D, LMFT, Director, LA County Office of Education, FYSCP
Trish Kennedy, Director, Sacramento County Office of Education, FYSCP

California has had school stability entitlements in place for students in foster care since 2004. In 2015 these entitlements were included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While many communities continue to struggle to fully comply with the requirements of ESSA, many are experiencing increased levels of collaboration resulting in increased school stability for students in foster care. We will provide you national, state and local examples of how communities are increasing school stability for our students.

Strategic Empathy for Healing and Resilience as Practiced in the UCLA GRIT Coaching Program

Nikita Gupta, Program Director -- UCLA GRIT Coaching Program, UCLA

What is the UCLA GRIT Coaching program? Come learn how its approach to coaching can re-define your roles as helping professionals while promoting growth and resilience in individuals and communities that have been impacted by trauma. Learn how to use your empathy strategically to both prevent burnout and to facilitate the process of healing for your constituents. This highly interactive and dialogue-based session will teach you a tool for promoting resilience that you can use in your work.

Black in Foster Care

Christi Ketchum, Regional Coordinator, California Youth Connection
Sade Daniels, Program Analyst, California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson
Jakara Rogers, Student Assistant, California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson
Ahmed Nemr, Manager, California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson

Black in Foster Care delves into the complex realities that African American children and families face within the child welfare system. Come join in interactive activities that give you glimpses into how issues from proper hygiene products to 'law enforcement focused' safety planning adversely impacts black dependent children. Hear poignant discussions surrounding how today's racial climate impacts black children being raised in foster care and ways we can effectively address these concerns with culturally uplifting practices.

Creative, Resourceful & Whole: Building Resilience with the Peer Coach Approach to Mentoring

Vanessa Davis, Youth Services Director, Just in Time for Foster Youth
Nathan Brunetta, Strategic Partnership Associate, Just in Time for Foster Youth

Access to supportive relationships with people who understand trauma is one of the key research-based strategies for mitigating the impact of toxic stress from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Using our innovative model designed to fill the emerging need for trained peer mentors, Just in Time for Foster Youth will share our innovative Coach Approach to Mentoring (CA2M) curriculum for staff, volunteers and, most significantly, youth participants that shifts the mentoring mindset from the tendency to “judge, tell and fix” to “understanding, asking and empowering.” Young people discover their own solutions in powerful partnership with their peers and caring adults.

Learning Session E

Restorative Justice, Trauma and Foster Youth with Disabilities: Individualizing a Promising Practice

Cheryl Theis, Education Advocate, DREDF
Alex Montes, Education Equity Advocate, DREDF
Devion Jackson-Seals, Encinal High School, Alameda CA

How do we adjust promising best practices to support youth in foster care with disabilities at school? Restorative Justice is increasingly popular in school settings as a way to reduce punitive discipline, prevent suspensions and increase connection and positive school climate and community. Students with learning disabilities, autism, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability or autism are far more likely to struggle with behaviors that may result in school exclusion, removal or incarceration, yet few districts have bridged the gap between special and general education and used IEP or 504 plans to ensure equal access to and benefit from restorative justice approaches to discipline. And these practices can fail to take into account the unique needs of students who have experienced trauma and/or disabilities that impact their ability to participate effectively in these practices. We will focus on how to ensure that ALL students can benefit from restorative justice approaches and are meaningfully included in the practice.

Best Practices for Foster Youth Education-Lessons Learned from a Collaborative Learning Network

Alaina Moonves-Leb, Education Attorney, Alliance for Children's Rights
Mark Rodgers, Senior Director, Specialized Student Services, Bonita Unified School District
Marc Trovatore, Director of Student Services, West Covina Unified School District
Garry Creel, Director, Child Welfare and Attendance, Azusa Unified School District

A network of 6 districts have been working together for the past 2 years to balance equity and reality for foster youth education. In this session, we will share best practices we have developed, insight from Directors of Student Services, and access to tangible tools such as legal summaries and data collection suggestions. Topics addressed will include partial credits, enrollment, education rights holders, trauma/resilience and special education/discipline.

Improving Foster Youth Outcomes through Effective Education Case Management

Jessica Larsen, School Social Worker, Foster Youth Services, Elk Grove Unified School District
Cathy White, Project Specialist, Foster Youth Services, Sacramento County Office of Education
Sal De Leon, Project Specialist, Foster Youth Services, Sacramento County Office of Education

Elk Grove Unified School District, the 5th largest school district in California, will talk about their program and processes for supporting academic achievement. You will learn how the district decreased out-of-school suspensions and how they used tools within the Foster Focus system to support their efforts. Sacramento County Office of Education will also demonstrate how to use Foster Focus Education Plans and the other tools to support successful transition to college and career.

Examining the Impact of Trauma and Building Resiliency in Foster Youth

La Shona Jenkins, Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District, Foster Youth Achievement Program
Karen Timko, Specialist, Los Angeles Unified School District, Foster Youth Achievement Program
Katrina Taylor, Specialist, Los Angeles Unified School District, Foster Youth Achievement Program
Iola Smith, Specialist, Los Angeles Unified School District, Foster Youth Achievement Program

By viewing a child's experiences through a trauma lens, it has been recognized that disruptive behaviors, difficulty engaging or trouble learning may be a student's attempt at communicating an emotional need to cope with symptoms of trauma. By shifting away from questions like, “What's wrong with you?” and asking instead, “What happened to you?” - an opening is created to the path of recovery. In this training we will cover some of the ways in which trauma manifests itself by examining behavior as our guide and subsequently exploring strategies to build resiliency. You will also learn about the supports that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Foster Youth Achievement Program (FYAP) provides to foster youth.

School of Origin Transportation Partnerships to Fulfill Every Student Succeed Act Mandates

Patty Armani, CSA II, LA County Dept of Children & Family Services
Stefanie Gluckman, Education Coordinating Council, LA County Office of Child Protection, Senior Director of Public Private Partnerships
Barbara Spyrou, Management Fellow, Office of Child Protection
Qiana Patterson, Senior Director of Public Private Partnerships, Hop Skip Drive

The Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement to transport foster youth to their School-of-Origin (SOO) upon detention or replacement, if it is determined to be in their best interest, is an unfunded mandate for child welfare and school districts. The long-term challenge is going to be to find funding either through legislation or philanthropic means. Come hear the success L.A. County has had utilizing existing bus services, caregiver reimbursement options and the services of Hop Skip Drive over the recent 2 years. Also learn how Colorado is funding this service. Hear from a foster youth how remaining in her SOO benefited her. Let's share your funding ideas and sources. How might we move legislation to fund this?

ABCs of Wellness

Betsy DeGarmoe, Manager, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Orange County Dept of Ed

This interactive presentation will share proactive strategies that you can incorporate in the workplace to take care of yourself and increase overall wellness. Strategies to prevent burnout and concrete tips to use in the workplace will be discussed and practiced, plus we will have lots of fun!

Building a Model for Collaborative, Multi-tiered, School-based Supports for Students Impacted by Trauma

Thea Anderson, Social Worker, San Francisco USD
Jennifer Caldwell, Social Worker, San Francisco USD

San Francisco Unified School District has developed multi-tiered programs to provide interventions at schools impacted by trauma. We will provide an overview of the model, highlighting lessons learned, discuss key collaborations and best practices in school-based services for youth. Strategies will be given that educators, social workers, and other service providers can use to support the students in classrooms, schools, and communities; and we will reflect on opportunities to build supportive partnerships to serve students and families impacted by trauma.

The FAFSA and More...

Britney Slates, Guardian Scholar Financial Aid SST, Sierra College

What happens once the FAFSA application is finished? Financial aid is a complicated process that relies on a multi-step procedure for youth to receive the funds they are eligible to utilize in their education journey. We will go over the key points in the FAFSA that tend to hold up our foster youth students transitioning to higher ed as well as the steps necessary after the FAFSA is complete. We will discuss how to stream-line the process by utilizing the resources and knowledge of the financial aid office. Leave with great tools to use to get students successfully thorough the process.

Session Documents: Presentation PowerPoint

#FosterStability Education

California Youth Connection (CYC) members will present the development of the #FosterStability campaign. The campaign will focus on creating a youth-centered process for educational stability, placement stability, long-term connections, health, and wellness. CYC wants to create a system that honors and nourishes the mind, body, and soul of every young person impacted by California's foster care system. We will show how youth advocacy can help increase stability and positively impact the lives of those in the child welfare system. CYC members will facilitate and engage participants through the workshop, group activities, a short video, and a panel of questions for the facilitators.