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COVID-19 INFORMATION

2021 DEC Conference Agenda

Monday, August 23rd

4:00 PM - 9:00 PM                        Registration Packet Pickup
                                                                    
Limited Availabilty from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM                          State/National Alliance Leadership Meeting (Invitation Only)
                                                                    Moderated by: Stacee R. and Eric N. of NADEC


Tuesday, August 24th

7:00 AM - 7:45 AM                          Breakfast

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM                          Registration Packet Pickup

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM                          Welcome and Opening Ceremony
                                                                
TBI Director David Rausch

                                                            National Anthem
                                                                 
THP Honor Guard & Pamela Furr

                                                            Native American Rep.
                                                                 
Charles Robertson

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM                       Keynote - The Power of One
                                                                   Jimmy Wayne
Country Music Artist and Foster Child Advocate

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM                     Break

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM                     Sessions

Presenter: Stephanie Etheridge

Description: Tennessee Safe Baby Court, like other problem-solving courts, addresses the root causes of justice system involvement with infants and toddlers, through 3 years of age, and their families through specialized dockets, multidisciplinary teams, and a non-adversarial approach. Offering evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment, judicial supervision, and accountability, problem-solving courts provide individualized interventions for participants, thereby reducing recidivism and promoting confidence and satisfaction with the justice system process. This approach ensures the most efficient use of court and community resources as well as the most effective solutions that promote long-term stability for families. A unique tenet of Safe Baby Court is the focus on community involvement in reestablishing familial supports for our infants and toddlers.

Cases in Tennessee Safe Baby Court are treated as regular dependency and neglect cases but with a specialized approach to service delivery based in neuroscience research that supports that the most crucial developmental period is the first three years of a child’s life. Jurisdictions across Tennessee have been using this approach since 2016, referring to it as Safe Baby Court. The Safe Baby Courts’ aim is to expedite permanency and reduce repeat maltreatment.

Bio: Stephanie Etheridge is the Juvenile Court Manager/Statewide Judicial Safe Baby Court Coordinator for the Administrative Office of the Courts. She has led in the development and implementation of 12 Safe Baby Courts throughout Tennessee. She is a member of a multi-disciplinary team comprised of leaders from the Departments of Children’s Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Administrative Office of the Courts. She is also responsible for coordinating conferences and trainings for the Juvenile Court Judges, Court Administrators, Youth Service Officers, and other Juvenile Court personnel. She represents the Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in a number of statewide initiatives, task forces, advisory councils, and work groups. She previously served as conference coordinator. Prior to the Administrative Office of the Courts, her work experience includes two years as a foster care case manager for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and almost six years as a Child Protective Services Investigator.

Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee Technological University with concentrations in early childhood education, special education, and child and family development/relations. 

Presenter: Ronda Paulson

Description: The workshop will discuss how Isaiah 117 House began and how it is changing the way children enter the foster care system. Key points include how reducing trauma on the day a child is removed can actually change the trajectory of the foster care experience, the importance of decreasing the amount of secondary trauma experienced by social workers, and how easing the initial transition for foster placements can actually help with the retention of foster families.

Bio: Isaiah 117 House exists to reduce trauma for children on removal day, lighten the load of caseworkers and ease the transition for future placements. Ronda had the vision for such a home in 2014 as she and her husband, Corey, were going through training to become foster parents. She uncovered the need and felt God call out to her to meet it. In 2015, Corey and Ronda received a call for their first foster placement and again realized the need for such a home as they went to meet their foster son at the back of the DCS office. She soon assembled a board of directors and created a mission and vision in the spring of 2017 and raised the money to purchase the first home that fall.

Presenter: Tony Jackson, Regional Opioid Prevention Specialist

Description: Tennessee Save a Life uses the social-ecological prevention model approach to harm reduction programming and has achieved great impact and results by doing so. Harm reduction in action means reducing stigma and the negative connotations often associated with Opioid Use Disorder (e.g., lack of person-first language) and reducing death through the use of Naloxone. Mr. Jackson will also discuss the ecological model approach to preventing harm across the State of Tennessee.

Bio: Tony Jackson currently serves as the Director of Prevention in the Division of Substance Abuse Services (DSAS). In this capacity, he oversees all prevention activities for DSAS, including the prevention portion of the Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Block Grant (SAPT BG) and administration of Prevention activities carried out through the State Opioid Response Grant (TN SOR) I and II. These Prevention activities include: supporting the tobacco, prescription drug, and alcohol prevention activities of Tennessee Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions and Tennessee Prevention Network providers; opioid overdose training to key stakeholders throughout the state through the Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists (ROPS); implementing a multimodal training program for healthcare professionals on the assessment and treatment of opioid use disorder; ensuring access to naloxone in all the state’s high-risk areas to individuals at “high risk” of overdose; and working to mitigate the circumstances related to opioid overdose outbreaks.

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM                     Break

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM                     Sessions

Presenter: Misty Leitsch, BBA, BSW, Executive Director, Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network

Description: This presentation reviews what school administrators can do in the aftermath of a suicide affecting the school community (student, teacher, etc.) to help students and staff cope with trauma and grief, spot and assist other students in crisis, and return to a normal routine and academic program, minimizing the risk of additional suicides. The presentation explains how and why a suicide postvention plan customized to the school/community should be established before the need arises.

Bio: Misty Leitsch is in charge of overseeing statewide implementation of the Zero Suicide Initiative by TSPN and community partners. Before joining TSPN’s staff, she served for five years on the TSPN Advisory Council, having been appointed to this post by the Office of the Governor of Tennessee. As chair of TSPN’s Mid-Cumberland Region, Misty organized the region’s first Annual Memorial Walk and conducted numerous suicide prevention training sessions for crisis centers, behavioral health facilities, schools, businesses, and civic groups.

Presenter: Jason Wilkerson

Description: We will discuss current patterns and trends that are seen in human trafficking market in and around the State of Tennessee. These will be based on information that has been obtained by conducting local, state, national and transnational investigations

Bio: A career law enforcement officer, Jason Wilkerson is employed as a Special Agent – Criminal Investigator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He has been so employed for over twenty years. Currently Agent Wilkerson is assigned to the Human Trafficking unit at TBI. For the past twenty years Wilkerson has worked as an adjunct professor having taught in the Criminal Justice Departments of Tennessee State University and Middle Tennessee State University. He regularly conducts classes for law enforcement officers in the subjects of human trafficking, close quarters conflict control, firearms, undercover operations, investigative techniques and numerous other topics. As a lifelong student of all things, he is humbled and honored to speak before this audience.

Presenter: Robert Fitzpatrick, LPC-MHSP

Description: In this workshop, participants will receive information about the use of informal and formal assessments to complement work with children and families in a variety of situations. Participants will be able to identify the correct, evidence-based tools for the situation, as well as the correct timing of the assessment in the overall therapeutic process. Lastly, the presenter will identify a number of assessments covering specific topics, such as Trauma Informed assessments, age-specific measures, and assessment tools specific to certain mental health diagnoses.

Bio: Rob Fitzpatrick is a Licensed Professional Counselor - Mental Health Service Provider in the state of Tennessee. He is the Director of the Children and Teens Program at the Refuge Center for Counseling, a community mental health agency in Franklin, TN. In his work he utilizes a number of modalities including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Neurofeedback. He is also an Assessment Specialist with Williamson County Juvenile Services.

12:30 PM - 12:45 PM                      Break

12:45 PM - 2:00 PM                        Multidiscipline Keynote Panel Luncheon

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM                           Break

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM                           Sessions

Presenters: Dan Schoonover & Ben Fuhrmann

Description: A win does not always look like a win, and certainly isn't the same from one story to the next. Dan will present four case studies that come from Janesville Wisconsin, all taking over 5 years of involvement of Law Enforcement, Social Services, and Advocacy groups. These studies show the similarities and differences in approaches used to keep families plugged in, while maintaining the focus on supporting children as the primary objective. The cases involve substance abuse, intergenerational sexual and physical abuse, multiple human trafficking investigations, long term support and resolutions that, although different, are still each a success. Throughout the presentation Dan will explain the support he and others offered these families, and unique ways to think outside the box for outreach services.

Bio: Dan Schoonover is a police officer currently working for the City of Janesville Police Department in Wisconsin. Dan has been in in law enforcement since 2010 and is currently assigned to the department's Street Crimes Unit where he has a focus on human trafficking and narcotics investigations. Over the past six years he has worked with gang abatement efforts in the Janesville area focusing on street and motorcycle gangs. In his current position he works closely with individuals struggling with addictions. Working with addicted individuals, Dan has learned the close connections between addiction, Drug Endangered Children, (DEC) and human trafficking

Ben Fuhrmann works alongside Dan at the Janesville Police Department. Both men received Letters of Commendation in 2014 for their outstanding service.

Presenter: Rebekah Provost-Emmons

Description: At the conclusion of this workshop, attendees will be able to identify the types of recovery courts in Tennessee, the eligibility criteria, and how to access the services presented.

Bio: Rebekah Provost-Emmons is the Recovery Court Administrator with the Office of Criminal Justice Services for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work from Union University. Most of her over 20 year professional career has been working with justice-involved populations, specifically with problem-solving and specialty courts.

Presenter: Monty Burks

Description: In this workshop, attendees will learn how The Lifeline Peer Project operates in the Behavioral Health Care Continuum, how all communities can intersect with The Lifeline Peer Project to provide supportive service, and about the connection between The Lifeline Peer Project and the Tennessee Recovery Navigators, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist, and the Faith Based Community Coordinators.

 Bio: Monty Burks, CPRS, PLC, PhD, serves as the Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, where his role is engaging and connecting Tennessee’s faith communities to the behavioral health care system, with the goal of expanding addiction and mental health support services across the state. He also oversees the Tennessee Lifeline Peer Project, a state program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with people who suffer from addiction and the Tennessee Faith Based Community Coordinators, whom seek to help congregations build their capacity to combat addiction and mental health issues in their respective community.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM                           Break

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM                           Sessions

Presenter: Kathryn Whittington

Description: Rural America covers the importance of local, state and federal partnerships to assure funding that provides programming and supports community-based services to strengthen individuals’ families and communities. Rural America was created and based on Commissioner Whittington's personal story of how the drug epidemic has impacted her directly as a victim, in her career and as a parent. Rural America focuses on tackling the drug epidemic in every facet of our community. It addresses the importance of advocacy and reducing stigma in communities. It also demonstrates the value of building partnerships locally, statewide and federally to assure funding the provides programming and supports community-based services to strengthen individuals, families and communities.

Bio: Kathryn Whittington was elected to serve on the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners on January 3, 2017 for a four (4) year term of office. Commissioner Whittington was re-elected to serve an additional four (4) year term of office to begin on January 3, 2021. Kathryn has been working diligently since elected on the drug epidemic locally, statewide and nationally. She has created an initiative, Rural America, and spoken across the country on the prevention efforts and successes of Ashtabula County. Kathryn supports law enforcement and was instrumental in the creation of the new Crime Enforcement Agency of Ashtabula County (CEAAC), a drug task force that serves Ashtabula County.

Presenter: Trish Luna

Description: The goal of the Timbi Talks About Addiction session is to educate participants about the impact parental addiction can have on children in the family. Studies have shown these children are much more likely to suffer lifelong consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), frequently leading to negative life outcomes. However, early intervention and access to effective resources can mitigate the potentially devastating damage ACEs can wreak. The presenters have written a beautifully engaging story with colorful illustrations and comforting, rhyming verse directed at these children, providing concrete methods for the children and important caregivers to utilize in combatting ACEs. Participants will learn about the family disease of addiction, how it impacts children, what ACEs are, and how Timbi can be used to teach children strategies they can use whether alone or with a trusted adult to help mitigate their devastating effect.

Bio: Nashville-based author and speaker Trish Luna co-wrote the much-heralded children’s book, “Timbi Talks about Addiction.” Trish wrote the first draft of this story more than 30 years ago for her then very young children, Nick and Sami, as their father struggled with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), a struggle that eventually took his life. Trish knows first-hand the shame, stigma, and chaos that comes from dealing with a loved one’s addiction which can impact generations to come.

Presenter: Monty Burks

Description: Mr. Burks will explain how the Tennessee Community Faith-Based Initiative, the Faith-Based Community Coordinators, and the Lifeline Peer Project connect the continuum of care across Tennessee

Bio: Monty Burks, CPRS, PLC, PhD, serves as the Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, where his role is engaging and connecting Tennessee’s faith communities to the behavioral health care system, with the goal of expanding addiction and mental health support services across the state. He also oversees the Tennessee Lifeline Peer Project, a state program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with people who suffer from addiction and the Tennessee Faith Based Community Coordinators, whom seek to help congregations build their capacity to combat addiction and mental health issues in their respective community.

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM                           Evening Activities
                                                                    Opening Reception
                                                                    Silent Auction

                                                              Entertainment
                                                                     
Darryl Worley


Wednesday, August 25th

7:00 AM - 7:45 AM                          Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM                           Opening Remarks & Welcome Messages
                                                             
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM                         Keynote - Maximizing Opportunities with Justice-Involved People
                                                                                 Judge Duane Slone, TN AOC

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM                       Break

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM                        Sessions

Presenter: Gary W Cordell

Description: The purpose of the program is to increase the safety of victims of crime, law enforcement, criminal justice personnel and the general public by providing access to timely information concerning the custody status of offenders in county jails. Victims and other concerned citizens can register anonymously by telephone (1-888-868-4631) or register at the website to be notified in the event of an offender’s release, transfer or escape.

Bio: Gary Cordell joined the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association in December of 2013 as the statewide SAVIN Coordinator. SAVIN is the automated victim notification system that allows victims of crime to tract an inmate’s status while in the County jail system.

Prior to coming on board with the Association, Mr. Cordell served as the Director of Division of Consumer Affairs for the state of Tennessee where he implemented the first statewide initiative to link County Sheriffs to state agencies in an effort to improve communication and to build a distribution network for identity theft and scam prevention printed materials.

Before coming to state government, he had a successful career in the private sector as President of Cherokee Equity Corporation, a Nashville based holding company and as Chief Operating Officer of Clayton Associates, a Brentwood, Tennessee based Venture Capital Firm.

Mr. Cordell has served as Chairman of the Board of Goodwill Industries, Chairman of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee, Board member of Park Center, Alumni Board member for Leadership Nashville, and currently serves on the Board for CrimeStoppers of Nashville, The Nashville Rescue Mission and is a National Committee member of the National Sheriffs’ Association committee on Domestic Assault and Crime Victims. He also served as Campaign Manager for former Governor Winfield Dunn.

He holds a B.A. Degree from Covenant College and a Master of Arts degree from Trevecca University.

He and his wife Kathleen have five children and reside in Franklin, Tennessee.

Presenter: Tabatha Curtis, Statewide DEC Coordinator

Description: Participants will have the opportunity to hear real life stories of young adults who lived the life of a drug endangered child. Panelists will share their stories of what they endured living in these environments and the trials and tribulations. Panelists will share how they have overcome these circumstances and influences in their lives. Panel will be moderated by Tabatha Curtis. If time allows, participants will have an opportunity for Q & A.

Bio: Tabatha Curtis is the former Director of the Franklin County Prevention Coalition. She has over fourteen years of experience working in the field of prevention and over twenty-seven years of experience in working with youth and families. Ms. Curtis is the TN. Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Statewide Coordinator. Tabatha is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, a graduate of the CADCA Academy, a National Drug Endangered Children trainer and a Level II Certified Prevention Specialists.

Presenters: Donna Turner, April Buckner, Trinity Minter

Description: An overview of the programing, opportunities and reunification efforts for incarcerated women within the Tennessee Department of Correction. Examination of the current child visitation program in two (2) State prisons. Discussion of what staff learned, effects of the program and takeaways. The workshop will be lead by: Director Donna Turner, TDOC Office of Investigation and Conduct, TDOC Correctional Administrator April Buckner, Rehabilitative Services and TDOC West Tennessee Correctional Administrator Trinity Minter, Operations Division.

Bio: Director Donna Turner is a native of West Tennessee and is a current member of the Tennessee Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Board. She has been in law enforcement since 1983 in Tennessee and served in various positions in local police departments, Sheriff's Offices, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and most recently the Tennessee Department of Correction law enforcement branch, the Office of Investigations and Conduct (OIC). OIC conducts criminal and administrative cases across the State in prisons and the community supervision offices with a nexus to TDOC inmates, offenders and staff. Throughout her career she has been an advocate for children through conducting criminal investigations and maintaining memberships in support resources for children services. Her career focus has been in forensics and the criminal investigations aspects in prosecuting suspects and supporting victims of those crimes within the communities she has served.

April Buckner serves as the Correctional Administrator for the TN Dept. of Corrections Rehabilitative Services division.

 Trinity Minter is the West Tennessee Correctional Administrator for the TN Dept. of Corrections Operations division.

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM                     Break

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM                      Sessions

Presenters: Richard Kennedy & Russette Marcum-Embry

Description: This workshop will discuss the mission and vision of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. The mission being “we lead systems improvement for all children and families through data-driven advocacy, education, and collaboration. TCCY’s vision is to “strive to become the premier leader in children and youth systems improvement through innovative and transformative approaches and practices.

Bio: Richard Kennedy is the Executive Director for TCCY, a position to which he was appointed in June of 2016. Kennedy has spent his entire professional career working directly with and advocating for children and youth.

Russette Marcum-Embry is a Grants Manager for TCCY, specifically dealing with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) grants.

Presenter: Jerry Moe

Description: This workshop introduces participants to a variety of resources to assist children from families hurt by addiction to initiate and deepen the healing process. Come fill your "tool box" with stuff that really works , so you can make a difference in a child's life.

Bio: Jerry Moe, MA, is the national Director of Children's Programs at Hazelden Betty Ford. He is an author, lecturer, and trainer on issues and solutions for children and families hurt by addiction. His many books include Through a Child's Eyes: Understanding Addiction and Recovery. He was featured in the Emmy award winning Nick News special "Under the Influence: Children of Addiction" and appeared on NBC Nightly News to discuss the opioid/heroin epidemic and its impact on children. He is the 2020 recipient of the Leonard K Firestone Award and served as a key advisor and consultant to Sesame Street on its Parental Addiction Initiative.

Presenters: Monica & Morgan Davis

Description: The mother-daughter duo shares their experience in creating an inclusive, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed  "one-stop-shop”, for survivors of sexual assault, abuse, neglect, or individuals that have been a witness to a crime. They also show how you can ensure that everyone, no matter the color of their skin, ethnicity, or immigration status, receives a best practice trauma-informed care treatment.

Bio: Monica Davis, CEO, and Founder of Lighthouse Advocacy and Healing Center, has over 10 years of experience in advocacy and working with vulnerable populations, specifically those who have experienced sensitive crimes. She has worked with multi-disciplinary teams and rural, urban, incarcerated, high-risk, and vulnerable populations. Her focus is on developing programs that create cultural change by encompassing best practices and trauma-informed, evidence-based approaches to treatment, encompassing inclusion, diversity, and equality. She has her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Early Childhood, with an emphasis on Addictions and Crisis Intervention.

12:30 PM - 12:45 PM                     Break

12:45 PM - 2:00 PM                        Keynote Luncheon - The Healing Neen
                                                                    Tonier Cain,
 Trauma Informed Care Expert & Trauma Survivor

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM                          Break

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM                          Sessions

Presenter: Andrea L. Darr

Description: This workshop offers innovative best practices for helping to mitigate the negative effects experienced by children’s exposure to trauma and highlights a promising initiative, "Handle With Care" between schools/ child care agency, law enforcement and treatment providers. “Handle with Care” provides the school with a “heads up” when a child has been identified by law enforcement at the scene of a traumatic event. Schools are responding with interventions to help mitigate the trauma and mental health providers are co locating at the school to provide services. Handle with Care programs promote safe and supportive homes, schools, and communities that protect children, and help traumatized children heal and thrive.

Bio: Andrea Darr is the director of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice which promotes and supports a statewide trauma informed response to child maltreatment and children’s exposure to violence. The Center, housed in the Crimes Against Children Unit at the WV State Police, streamlines resources and minimizes duplicative efforts to address challenges, barriers, gaps and needed improvements in working child maltreatment cases. The Center includes the WV Children’s Justice Task Force and the WV Handle with Care Initiative. Before devoting her work full time on children’s initiatives, Andrea served as the Coordinator of Victim Witness Services for the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute from 2005-2015. In that capacity she coordinated with prosecution based victim witness assistance programs as well as community based programs to improve their collective knowledge concerning available resources and information and to establish a bridge between local, state and federal agencies regarding victim issues. Andrea has also worked in direct services with victims of crime, violence and abuse while serving as the Victim Liaison at the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Presenter: Judge Duane Slone

Description: In operation since January 2014, the "Recovery Cabin" located in rural East Tennessee has provided a healthy home to over 90 women with substance use disorders. The program, which gives priority to pregnant women, has resulted in twenty four healthy births. During this session the audience will hear from Judge Duane Slone, Patricia Williams, the Recovery Cabin Director, and Mallie Moore, it's first resident and expectant mother who provide the attendees with information about the operation, lessons learned and successes of the program

Bio: Judge Slone, a former drug trafficking prosecutor, was first elected to the 4th Judicial District Circuit Court in 1998 and in 2009 he co-founded his judicial district’s Drug Recovery Court. He is recognized nationally as an effective collaborator and innovator for his efforts to address the Opioid Driven Addiction Crisis. Currently, Judge Slone serves as Chairman of the 8 State Appalachian-Midwest Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative, the Substance Misuse & Addiction Resources for Tennessee “SMART” Justice Network, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference Problem Solving Court Committee. He is a steering committee member of the National Rural Justice Collaborative and “SMART” Policy Network. Additionally, Judge Slone is a member of the National Institute of Drug Addiction JCOIN Practitioner Advisory Board, and the SAMHSA Advisory Committee for Women’s Services. Judge Slone received the 2019 National Center for State Courts William H. Rehnquist Judicial Excellence Award, the nation’s highest state court judicial honor in recognition of his innovative work addressing the Opioid Crisis.

Presenter: Stephanie Etheridge

Description: A primary focus of the Family Preservation Initiative is to work with children, youth and parents, prior to petitions being filed in juvenile court, utilizing a trauma-informed, multidisciplinary approach and response.

Bio: Stephanie Etheridge is the Juvenile Court Manager/Statewide Judicial Safe Baby Court Coordinator for the Administrative Office of the Courts. She has led in the development and implementation of 12 Safe Baby Courts throughout Tennessee. She is a member of a multi-disciplinary team comprised of leaders from the Departments of Children’s Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Administrative Office of the Courts. She is also responsible for coordinating conferences and trainings for the Juvenile Court Judges, Court Administrators, Youth Service Officers, and other Juvenile Court personnel. She represents the Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in a number of statewide initiatives, task forces, advisory councils, and work groups. She previously served as conference coordinator. Prior to the Administrative Office of the Courts, her work experience includes two years as a foster care case manager for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and almost six years as a Child Protective Services Investigator.

Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee Technological University with concentrations in early childhood education, special education, and child and family development/relations. 

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM                           Break

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM                           Sessions

Presenters: Maggi Duncan & Kim Wallace

Description: Participants will learn to identify traumatic events involving children and understand the impacts of these traumatic events on children and trauma informed approach. General information will be provided about the Handle With Care (HWC) program in Tennessee. Presenter will share guidelines for Law Enforcement with the Handle With Care Program as well as Policy and Legal Pitfalls to Avoid.

Bio: Maggi has served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) since November of 2000 and was the first professional director hired by the police chief’s organization. She also serves as the association’s policy and government affairs director as she facilitates all public safety policy matters as well.

Presenter: Nina Spinelli

Description: This presentation will provide an outline of the current research surrounding implicit bias; review the links between missed school days and entry into the juvenile justice system; review the current research of missed school and SUD usage; and, provide ideas for address this critically important societal issue.

Bio: Nina Spinelli is the Director of the Juvenile Arbitration Program housed in the Office of the Solicitor – Second Judicial Circuit. Ms. Spinelli holds her BA in Political Science from the University of South Carolina – Aiken and her Master of Public Administration from Augusta University. Prior to the joining the Office of the Solicitor, she served as the Program Coordinator with the Foster Care Review Board in the Office of Governor (South Carolina).

Presenter: Jennifer Hilton

Description: This course is an introduction to Mental Health First Aid, MHFA USA, and the many evidence based formats and versions available to individuals for certification. By taking this workshop individuals can decide which ones are best for their community needs as well as possibly recognize new ones they didn't know existed before. We will also identify for multiple specific populations and cultures different reason that a variety of individuals and professions should be certified in Mental Health First Aid. The individuals will get guidance and leave with a few tools and ideas on how to get to Mental Health First Aid Training in their area in the most cost effective manners possible. No one will with out something whither it is with an idea on how to start training in their community, maybe it will be handouts on how to start a conversation on mental health, it could be a new found enthusiasm the #BeTheDifference, or possible all of these! Either way Mental Health First...for all, Yes Please!

Bio: Jennifer Hilton has been in the Mental Health and Substance abuse field for over 23 years. She is the WestCare Foundation’s Director of Training and Technology Transfer. As a member of the WestCare Foundation’s Professional Services Department, she leads development of and directs training for WestCare’s staff of 1500+ across 19 states and 3 US territories. Ms. Hilton has received her certification as a Crisis Prevention Intervention Instructor (2004), a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Adult and Youth Instructor (2008), and most recently as a safeTALK Trainer in 2018.


5:30 PM - 10:00 PM                        Grand Ole Opry - Optional / On your own

Thursday, August 26th

7:00 AM - 7:45 AM                          Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM                          Opening Remarks & Welcome Messages
                                                                TN Governor Bill Lee

                                                            Keynote - Changing the Conversation
                                                                                Carlton Hall, President and CEO, Carlton Hall Consulting

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM                          Break

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM                        Sessions

Presenter: Rebecca Bevans

Description: Child sexual abuse is a public health crisis in America. It is the most under reported crime yet with current statistics we know that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused prior to their 18th birthday. There are things that every adult can do to make the world a little safer for a child. This training will review prevention techniques that can be utilized and provide audience members with the education needed to help keep kids safe.

Bio: Rebecca Bevans received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of San Francisco with minors in Criminal Justice and Latin American Studies. During this time, she spent a year interning for Victim's Services at the District Attorney's Office. After college, Rebecca worked as a Team Leader at a Level 14 residential facility and then as a Behavior Specialist for children at risk of exiting public school. After moving to Nashville in 2015, Rebecca began her career with the Department of Children's Services as a Case Manager before becoming a Training Program Manager in the Office of Child Safety. In 2017, Rebecca took over the role as the Director of Training and Program Development.

Presenter: Tabatha Curtis

Workshop Title: TN Drug Endangered Children Response Team Panel

Description: Participants will have the opportunity to learn from six drug endangered children response team coordinator panelists moderated by Tabatha Curtis. Panelists will share lessons learned from the development of their teams at the local level. Panelists will discuss the importance of data collection, creating awareness projects and building local capacity. Panelists will also highlight individual successful projects and programs.  Participants will have an opportunity for Q & A.

Bio: Tabatha Curtis is the former Director of the Franklin County Prevention Coalition. She has over fourteen years of experience working in the field of prevention and over twenty-seven years of experience in working with youth and families.  Ms. Curtis is the TN. Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Statewide Coordinator. Tabatha is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, a graduate of the CADCA Academy, a National Drug Endangered Children trainer and a Level II Certified Prevention Specialists.

Presenter: National DEC

Workshop Title: DEC: Promising Practices

Description: National DEC staff along with DEC Leaders from across the country will speak about some of the great work happening to help children and families impacted by substance use. Speakers will discuss DEC promising practices utilized in their area/state and provide insight as to why there was a need and what the impact of the promising practice has been. Come listen and gain insight on what is happening across the country and how you can utilize these promising practices in your community and state!

Bio: Several National DEC staff and several DEC Leaders will be speaking at this session.

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM                     Break

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM                     Sessions

Presenter: Rebecca Bevans

Description: Domestic violence is a serious and challenging experience for children who are exposed to it. This training discusses the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare. Participants will learn how the Department of Children's services is partnering with the non-offending caregiver and holding perpetrators accountable for their behaviors as a parenting choice which impacts their children. Learn how identifying and assessing domestic violence and its impact is critical in reducing risk and potential trauma experienced by children.

Bio: Rebecca Bevans received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of San Francisco with minors in Criminal Justice and Latin American Studies. During this time, she spent a year interning for Victim's Services at the District Attorney's Office. After college, Rebecca worked as a Team Leader at a Level 14 residential facility and then as a Behavior Specialist for children at risk of exiting public school. After moving to Nashville in 2015, Rebecca began her career with the Department of Children's Services as a Case Manager before becoming a Training Program Manager in the Office of Child Safety. In 2017, Rebecca took over the role as the Director of Training and Program Development.

Presenter: Brian Maus and Renee Salyers

Workshop Title: Breaking the Cycle of Addiction: Successful Strategies to Support Youth and Families Affected by Substance Use

Description: This presentation will highlight successful program activities, outreach and prevention strategies that lead to improved outcomes for youth and families affected by the disease of addiction. The workshop will begin with an overview of the negative impacts opioids and other substances have had on children and families in urban and rural communities across the country. Panelists will then present an overview of Camp Mariposa, an award-winning national addiction prevention and mentoring program that serves youth ages 9-17 who have a close family member who struggles with a substance use disorder. The program uses a group and peer mentoring model that combines educational and therapeutic elements (such as communication skills, life and coping skills, education about drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs) with traditional camp experiences such as ropes courses, canoeing, hiking and camp fires. Panelists will share proven strategies to engage youth and families impacted by substance use in the family and will highlight successful interventions used in the program to support youth. Participants will learn how the group and peer mentoring approach used by Camp Mariposa is associated with more positive life outcomes for youth at high-risk for both early substance use and involvement in the juvenile justice system. Finally, panelists will lead a discussion of how elements of Camp Mariposa’s innovative approach could be adapted to meet the unique needs of youth and families in a variety of community settings. Panelists will include representatives from the national Camp Mariposa program as well as front line staff from the Camp Mariposa program in Tennessee. By attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Identify multiple ways the substance use disorders impact youth

2. Identify the core components of the Camp Mariposa model

3. Learn the benefits of group and peer mentoring for youth affected by a family member’s substance use

disorder

4. Share specific strategies to support youth and families in their local communities

Bio: Brian Maus is the Director of Addiction Prevention & Mentoring Programs at Eluna and oversees all aspects of Camp Mariposa, a national, award-winning, evidence-informed addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth affected by the substance use disorder of a close family member. He has over 30 years of experience working with children, teens, and families from diverse backgrounds.

Renee Salyers is the Regional Administrator of WestCare Tennessee and has been instrumental in starting Camp Mariposa locations in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. She has worked in various roles with WestCare since 2006. Prior to WestCare, Ms. Salyers worked in various government programs in Kentucky.

Presenter: Stephanie Strutner, MPH, CPSII

Description: During this training session, participants will examine the infrastructure of substance use prevention coalitions in Tennessee, their effectiveness, and how they collaborate with community partners. Through the discussion, participants will explore case studies of how coalitions have effectively improved local outcomes through collaboration with the justice system and how they can connect with a local coalition.

Bio: A retired substance use prevention coalition director, Stephanie Strutner, MPH, CPSII is the CEO of the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee and owns and operates an independent consulting firm, Catalyst Evaluation Group, through which she provides support to clients through measuring impact and conducting biostatistical and epidemiological analyses. She also serves as consultant and trainer for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) where she teaches the intensive three-week National Coalition Academy for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. She is a trainer and consultant for the Alliance of Better Nonprofits in Knoxville where she helps support local charities to operate using effective business models and evaluate effectiveness to achieve sustainability and serves as the part-time CEO for the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee.

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM                     Break

12:15 PM - 2:00 PM                        Keynote Luncheon - Addiction Is Not a Moral Failure

                                                                  Dr. Stephen Loyd, Medical Director, Cedar Recovery Center

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM                           Break

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM                           Sessions

Presenter: Amy Koslick

Workshop Title: Tennessee's Specialized Drug Exposed Child Teams

Description: Discuss the complexities involved when working with families involving drug exposed children. Discuss roles and responsibilities of the Drug Exposed Child Team, including the incorporation of the Plan of Safe Care. Learn about current statewide initiatives to address policy, treatment, and service provision to this population.

Bio: Amy Koslick is the Senior State Director of Investigations, Office of Child Safety, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Koslick has served in a child welfare role for 27 years, serving in numerous capacities within the Department of Children’s Services. Her career includes working the frontline with children and families, serving in various management positions at the local level, working with community partners, and leading statewide project initiatives. She has been instrumental in supporting and implementing systemic changes within DCS such as the Multiple Response System, creation of the specialized drug teams, supporting Safe Baby Courts, and the reorganization of child protectives services. In her current position, Koslick is responsible for over 800 child protective services case managers across the state.

Presenter: Janet Watkins

Workshop Title: Resilience - Everyone Plays a Role

Description: During this presentation, attendees will learn about building and enhancing their knowledge on trauma-informed care in the context of adverse childhood experiences and resilience. Janet will discuss how to examine and integrate practices that promote resilience of students and families and highlight many ways to maximize student and family supports.

Bio: Janet Watkins serves as Project Coordinator for Tennessee Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (AWARE) for the Tennessee Department of Education. Janet coordinates and manages the Project AWARE grant and mental health first aid training to youth serving adults statewide. She also coordinates the trauma-informed schools project for the Tennessee Department of Education. She is currently certified to provide training in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Mental Health First Aid for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety, Building Strong Brains-Strategies for Educators, PREPARE, and Restorative Practices.

Presenters: Stacee Read, Eric Nation, Allison Smith, Russell Smith, Dr. Halleh Seddighzadeh

Workshop Title: Drug Endangered Children and Human Trafficking: Identifying Intersections and Providing Opportunities for Children

Description: There is a disconnect across the country on how substance use and trafficking are connected and what professionals and volunteers can look for and how the can help. This presentation will look at both drug endangered children and human trafficking individually. And then will look at their intersections to increase knowledge of the issues as well as ideas of how to identify and help these at-risk children. Presenters will provide data, information, and examples to round out the picture for participants.

Bios: This workshop is being led by a group of National DEC staff and DEC Leaders from across the country.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM                           Break

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM                           Sessions

Presenter: Lynne Farrar

Description: This workshop will cover the mission of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) from the local level, through the state and national network. Topics will include:

  1. Basics of CASA Advocacy – what does a CASA Volunteer do exactly?
  2. State Statute for CASA
  3. CASA’s place in the child welfare system
  4. The role of Tennessee CASA and National CASA
  5. Training and Technical Assistance Opportunities
  6. Questions & Answers

Bio: Lynne Farrar has been in the nonprofit field serving children and families for 35 years, 21 of which have been with CASA. In 2014, Farrar became the State Director for Tennessee CASA Association, Inc. with the mission to support, develop, expand and unite local CASA programs in recruiting and training volunteers to advocate for Tennessee's children who have been abused and neglected. The TN CASA Network consists of 31 programs serving 57 counties with over 1,500 volunteers advocating for 5,300 abused children in juvenile court.

Presenter: Amy Ronshausen

Description: By sharing examples collected, attendees will recognize and identify the marketing strategies employed by the marijuana industry. Attendees will identify specific impacts to youth. Examine the impacts of marijuana on community health to include youth risk analysis and impacts on physical and mental health that could be increased by COVID 19. Examine strategies for change. Explore strategies to prevent youth use and increase perception of harm.

Bio: Amy Ronshausen is the Executive Director of both Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), national nonprofit organizations that work prevent substance abuse, increase access to evidence based treatment, and promote sustained recovery. Mrs. Ronshausen has dedicated most of her adult life to the work of drug demand reduction. In her thirteen years with Drug Free America Foundation and S.O.S, she has assisted in coordinating successful grassroots advocacy campaigns to promote sound drug policy, analyzed and tracked state and federal drug policy legislation, and trained prevention professionals at local, national and international conferences. Mrs. Ronshausen regularly testifies on issues related to drug demand reduction on the local and global stage. Mrs. Ronshausen volunteers as the Executive Director for the Florida Coalition Alliance, representing over 30 community anti-drug coalitions. She chairs the Marijuana Task Force as part of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, and serves on the Pinellas County Opioid Task Force. Mrs. Ronshausen serves on the board of Informed Families, is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) and is a trainer for the Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC). In 2019, Mrs. Ronshausen was elected as International President of the World Federation Against Drugs, a multilateral community of non-governmental organizations and individuals.

Presenter: Scott Henderson

Description: The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children is introducing a mobile application September, 2021. The mobile app project is funded by a grant from OVC. Participants will learn about the mobile app phase 1 features including:

    - DEC resources and services for children, families and communities nationwide - local, accessible, comprehensive

    - Peer to Peer sharing: support, encouragement and hope

    - DEC resources and services for professionals nationwide - local accessible, comprehensive

    - DEC resources and services for alliances - peer to peer sharing, NADEC resources, data collection, news

Bio: Scott is the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children's executive director. He has 22 years of nonprofit executive leadership experience. For fifteen years he served as the executive director for organizations that provided education, leadership development and programs for children, youth and families at risk. For the next five years he served as executive consultant to nonprofit organizations in transition leading strategic planning, board and staff development and clarifying mission, vision, services and programs. The experience serving children and youth at risk due to a variety of circumstances was transformational for Scott. The programs and partnerships he developed were designed around recognition, action and on-going support in order to provide a future filled with hope for those children, youth and their families.

4:30 PM - 10:00 PM                        Evening Activities
                                                                    
General Jackson Showboat - Boards at 6:15 PM
                                                                    Downtown Nashville Shuttle - Call Front Desk for more info


Friday, August 27th

7:00 AM - 7:45 AM                          Breakfast

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM                          Opening Remarks & Welcome Messages

8:45 AM - 10:00 AM                        Sessions

Presenter: Eric Nation, Stacee Read, Scott Henderson, & DEC Leaders

Description: Over the last couple of years National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children has received requests for longer open space, question and answer opportunities. The 2021 Conference is a great opportunity to offer this! This workshop is a panel Q & A format with NADEC staff and several DEC leaders. Join us for an opportunity to ask questions, and hear other participant's questions, in an open format, panel discussion.

Bio: The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children staff help form and sustain state, tribal and local multidisciplinary alliance nationwide. Our mission is to teach early identification, response and appropriate intervention services to children and families affected by parental or caregiver substance misuse. We equip comprehensive, multidisciplinary alliances, communities, organizations and individuals with access to our national resource center, trainings and technical assistance. Our vision is 100% healthy, safe children, families and communities free from the negative impact of substance misuse and drug activity.

Presenter: April Osborne

Workshop Title: “Even when you know, you don’t know” A Mothers Personal Story

Description: Seeing the warning signs.  What does the “gateway drug” mean?  What you see, that you don’t see.  What are the “next” questions you ask the youth.

Bio: Ms. Osborne has worked for the TN Department of Children's Services for over 25 years. She started in the child welfare as a CPS investigator and Foster Care worker. Ms. Osborne has worked in multiple leadership roles, including a Deputy Regional Administrator for nine years and most recently as the CPS Statewide Director for two regions in Tennessee. Ms. Osborne previously worked for the Department of Family and Protective Services in Dallas, Texas and for the Medicaid Waiver Program in Louisiana. Ms. Osborne's proudest accomplishment is being a mother. She experienced the love, joy, frustration and loss of raising her 19-year-old son. Ms. Osborne personal mission is to positively impact one child, one family with her story. Everyone has a story - it's what we do with that matters.

 

Presenter: Tommy Farmer, TBI SAC & TDDTF Director

Workshop Title: Drug Trends in Tennessee

Description: Coming Soon

Bio: Tommy Farmer is the Director and TBI Special Agent in Charge of the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force, a position he has held since 2007. Prior to his State service, Tommy served as an Investigations Lieutenant at the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM                     Break / Room Checkout

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM                     Keynote - Joining Hands for the Children: Safety, Healing, and Thriving
                                                                 Jerry Moe,
National Director of Children's Programs at Hazelden Betty Ford

12:00 PM                                           Conference Ends

Thank You to our 2021 Conference Sponsors!

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TDMHSAS
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Westcare
TNOA
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