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2015 MCCCA/MNJDA Youth Worker Conference
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This conference is co-sponsored with the Minnesota Juvenile Detention Association and features multiple break-out workshops, inspiring keynote presentations, youth panels and more.

10/5/2015 to 10/6/2015
When: October 5-6, 2015
Where: Holiday Inn
75 37th Ave. S.
St. Cloud, Minnesota 
United States
Contact: Mary Regan

Online registration is closed.
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If you prefer, you can download the PDF for registration HERE and mail or fax to the MCCCA Office.

About MCCCA:
The Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies is a statewide association of providers of treatment services for children, adolescents and their families. The MCCCA mission is to promote leadership, advocacy and quality. For more information go to or call the MCCCA office at 651-290-6264 with any questions.

About MnJDA:
The Minnesota Juvenile Detention Association is an organization that enables personnel of juvenile detention, secure juvenile corrections and, juvenile holdovers to join together in mutual efforts to improve youth care standards, facilities and services. MnJDA’s mission is “improving juvenile justice through collaboration, training and legislative input.”


  MCCCA or MnJDA Members Non-Members Student/Intern*
Full Conference $170 $225 $100
One day rate $125 $160 $70


Hotel Information

St. Cloud Holiday Inn & Suites
75 37th Ave. S., St. Cloud, MN 56302
Phone: (320) 253-9000 | Fax: (320) 253-5998

Special room rate for participants:
Standard: $82.95 single/double
Suites: $94.95 single/double

Mention you are with the Youth Worker Conference.

Rooms will be held until September 19, 2015.

travis lloydKeynote Travis Lloyd

Travis Lloyd is a motivational speaker, author, trainer, and consultant with a background as a health care professional and adjunct professor. He is known to share stories of overcoming and inspiring others through real life stories, poetry, and song. As a former hopeless youth who feared his lifestyle would lead to prison, Travis began seeking to discover how to live a life of passion and purpose.

At the age of 23, Travis found what he was seeking for and dedicated the next seven years of his life to gaining the experience and developing the skill necessary to help others do the same. He enjoys speaking, emceeing, and performing for both youth and adult audiences. His past venues range from middle and high schools to universities, juvenile justice, child welfare, and corporate conferences.

Having experienced and overcome foster homes, homeless shelters, and a stay in an adolescent mental health unit enables Travis to offer hope, not only to audiences across the country, but to his own community. Travis previously served as a Mental Health Mobile Crisis Worker, and still occasionally serves as an Adjunct Professor and licensed emergency nurse in a pediatric hospital.

Travis is a board member of Foster Care Alumni Of America, VP of the Our Fields Of Hope Foundation, Google Certified contributor of Social Work Helper Magazine, and Foster Focus Magazine, co- author of Fostering Hope For America, and author of Overcoming Emotional Trauma: Life Beyond Survival Mode.


  • MH – Mental Health Setting
  • CORR – Corrections Setting
  • B – Both

» See the full list of speaker bios here

Monday, October 5

9:00 – 10:00 am   Registration and continental breakfast
10 am – 12 noon  Just One Person - Keynote Travis Llloyd
12:00 – 1:00 pm   Lunch Buffet (poolside)

1 – 2:30 pm  Breakout Workshops I:

A. Youth Panel: Youth Perspectives on Out of Home Placement  (B)
Travis Lloyd
This workshop, facilitated by our keynote speaker Travis Lloyd, will provide an opportunity to hear from youth who have been in placement.

B. Winning the Generation Game: A Guide to Working with the Ages  (B)     
Aron Bradford; Tom Biley, Woodland Hills
Be ready to laugh and learn all at the same time!  Our journey will take us from Baby Boomers to Generation Z.  We will dive into the generational differences seen in today ’s workforce and relate it to our ability to interact with both co-workers and youth.  The strengths and challenges of each group will be identified as well as the specific barriers that the generations may face in today’s workplace.  We will also identify ways in which to overcome these barriers.  Our goal is to enhance others’ understanding of, and ability to work and achieve success with, a multi-generational environment.
C. MN Street Gang  (CORR)
Kari Gustafson, MS, Program Coordinator, Anoka County Corrections
An up-to-date interactive opportunity to see and hear the latest movement and development of street gang activity in Minnesota. Minnesota gang activity is not limited to the metro twin city area and IS NOT just a St. Paul/ Minneapolis issue. Attend an interactive, multimedia presentation to discover the trends and movement in the area of organized gangs.

D. More Than FASD: The Whole Child Approach  (B)
Jeanne Ketola, MA, LPCC, St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development
When a child is diagnosed with an FASD, parents often receive limited advice on “what to do.” FASD is complex and requires a more in-depth, multidimensional approach that maps out the “whole child.” Furthermore, therapeutic interventions must be integrated for optimum results. Many children with FASD are experiencing the effects of trauma, attachment, adoption, or multiple foster care placements and sensory integration issues.  Jeanne Ketola presents an innovative model that explains the whole child concept and why issues such as trauma must be recognized in order to improve outcomes. 

E. Grooming Part I  (CORR)
Julie Snyder, Lisa Cain Becking, MN Department of Corrections
3 hour training to discuss appropriate sexual and personal boundaries within MN DOC licensed facilities. Join discussions about how juveniles can and do manipulate staff and peers in the juvenile residential and detention setting and how residents “groom” those around them to meet their personal needs. We will also explore ways juveniles “groom” staff to set them up or to show power and control over their peers. And last but not least, we’ll analyze how staff manipulate residents to be victimized and how staff “groom” their co-workers to prey on the residents in residential and detention settings. This is meant to be an interactive training with audience participation. 

2:45 – 4:15 pm Breakout Workshops II:

F. Trauma & Attachment in Residential Care Youth  (MH)
Jennifer Dynes, PsyD LP, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Hennepin County Mental Health Center (MH)
Youth in residential care often present with a complex combination of behavioral difficulties, mental health diagnoses, and psychosocial stressors.  Frequently, these children also come with a history of childhood abuse, multiple foster care placements, significant traumas, or a combination of all three. This workshop will explore the connection between past childhood trauma and current emotional and behavioral problems. Participants will leave with needed tools to understand and intervene with some of the most challenging children and adolescents. This workshop relies on participant interaction, so come prepared to actively engage in the conversation! 

G. Problematic Sexual Behaviors in Youth: Myths and Perceptions  (B)
Paula Minske, LMFT, Clinical Director; Denise Dallas, BSW, Training Coordinator, Mille Lacs Academy (B)
Our perceptions influence how we may view and identify a youth’s needs. In this workshop we will explore the perceptions and myths in working with youth with problematic sexual behaviors. This includes understanding the clinical and developmental stages of adolescents.

H. Trust Me! – A Parent’s Perspective (MH)
Tamber Sherman, parent and co-facilitator of a parent support group
By the time our children come into your care, many of them have a long history of behaviors, diagnoses, interventions and treatments. Please join Tamber to hear what it's like from the parent's perspective.

I.  Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Desistance  (CORR)
Scott Nyegaard, Residential Treatment Program Director, Northwestern MN Juvenile Center
This training will update practitioners on the use of MET and Desistance theory.  MET is based upon Motivational Interviewing, yet simplifies an often complex application of MI skills.  This training will focus on using 4-6 sessions to Build Motivation, Strengthen Commitment to Change, and Supporting Change.  It is expected that participants would be familiar with MI skills to implement MET.  This training is part of a CHAMPS 2nd Chance Grant Project with the National Institute of Corrections.
J. Grooming Part II  (MH) (see description for E.)

4:30 – 7:00 pm   Hospitality and Light Appetizers
5:00 – 7:00 pm   Volleyball, table tennis, pool tournament

Tuesday, October 6

8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast Buffet

9:00 – 10:30 am  Breakout Workshops III:

K. The State of the State: Trauma Informed Practice in Corrections Settings  (CORR)
Chris Bray, Co director Ambit Network, U of MN; Doug Latuseck, Associate Warden, MCF-RW; Linda Hansen, Clinical Program Manager Dakota Co. Juvenile Community Corrections, Cindy Powell, Mental Health/Clinical Care Coordinator Olmsted Co. Juvenile Probation
Research continues to show that most youth detained in juvenile detention centers have been exposed to both community and family violence and many have been threatened with, or been the target of such violence (Abram et al., 2004, Wiig, Widom, & Tuell, 2003).  Studies also demonstrate that youth who have multiple exposures to victimization are at higher risk for delinquent behaviors. (Chapman et al., 2007). This panel presentation is designed to provide an overview of trauma-informed practice in MN’s juvenile correctional system.

L. Understanding and Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)  (B)
Dr. Dean Grace, Director of Training and Development, Northwood Children’s Services
Minnesota’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) provided scientific evidence that adversity in early life increases serious physical, mental and behavioral problems later in life.  The workshop will review those findings, introduce the brain science that explains why they occur in such a predictable pattern, and, most importantly, describe how we can build resilience to overcome the negative impact of early trauma.  If you want to understand what it means to be “trauma-informed” this is a great place to start.

M. The Positive Power of Proper Praise: Catch’m Being Good!   (B)
Richard Heitke, LPCC
Research has shown that praise, when done well, is a powerful change agent in the lives of children.  It far outweighs the power of correction and discipline in changing behavior and can motivate and empower our clients.  It seems easy but the way that we praise, how and when we use praise and the way that we deliver praise all have a significant impact on its effectiveness.  This workshop will equip you to deliver effective praise that will change client behavior.

N. Confessions of a Gamer  (B)
Timothy Swedberg, Youth Counselor, Evergreen Crisis Shelter
Whether you regularly game or have never played an electronic game, you will definitely learn things you didn’t know…about what your children and your students are doing in interactive electronic games and how this is significantly different from online movies and music. This presentation will help participants understand the subculture of video gaming from the inside out, the potentially addictive nature of gaming, the related privacy implications of online gaming, and the breadth and scope of the video game industry. This presentation is intended to bridge the gap between video gaming subculture outsiders (often parents) and insiders (often youth) to improve communication and early intervention. During this session, the presenter will share both research and his personal experience of what it is like to be so intensely connected to the virtual reality found in electronic games and the resulting disconnection with other relationships with real human beings and other important asset-building and developmental activities.

O. Little Things Mean A Lot: From Micro-Inequities to Micro-Affirmations – Awareness Session   (B)             
Tonya Palmer, Manager; Shawn Sorrell,  Hennepin County Inclusion and Diversity Division
This workshop introduces participants to the business case for eliminating micro inequities and demonstrates how to counter them with valuing behaviors we call micro-affirmations, through exercises and scenarios. Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the impact of micro-messages on individuals and teams
  2. Understand the business case for eliminating micro inequities and furthering inclusion
  3. Describe how they can, as a leader and as a team member, eliminate micro inequities
  4. Use micro-affirmation to value others

10:45 – 12:15 pm Breakout Workshops IV:

P. Implementing a Culture of Care in a Residential Setting    (MH) 
Deveny  Brolsma; Blythe Navarro, Senior Counselors, Gerard Academy
Learn how the implementation of new and innovative ideas can change the culture throughout your organization. This workshop will open your eyes to the importance of using multiple resources including training, technology, and inter-program communication to provide a unified culture of care throughout your facility.
Q. Trauma and ACES among Youth in MN Correctional Facilities  (CORR)
Dana Hurley Swayze, MSW, Juvenile Justice Analyst, MN Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs
Studies consistently show that youth in the juvenile justice system have been exposed to trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) at greater rates than their peers. Trauma exposure is known to contribute to a variety of social, emotional, mental health and behavioral challenges. This workshop presents 2013 Minnesota Student Survey data collected from youth in correctional facilities and compares their responses to those of youth in mainstream schools. This session will summarize the different types and levels of trauma reported by youth, and explore how ACEs affect mental health, substance abuse and delinquency. The session will discuss the importance of trauma-informed care in the juvenile justice system and highlight the particular risk factors of youth in correctional settings.

R. Motivational Enhancement and Desistance   (CORR) (see description for session I.)

S. Survivor's Story: Transgender Issues, Mental Health and the Vulnerability of Adolescence (B)
Nate Cannon, Speaker and Author of Running on a Mind Rewired
In this session he will discuss the intersectionality of his mental health, chemical dependency history and transgender identity, going back to his youth. The ways in which his mental health and transgender identity influenced my subsequent choices during adolescence changed life forever. This session will combine personal experience with educational aspects that will inspire, empower and impact all those who work with youth, particularly LGBTQ youth and those with co-occurring disorders.

T. The Positive Power of Proper Praise: Catch’m Being Good!  (B) (see description for session M.)

12:15 – 1:15 pm  Buffet Lunch (poolside)

1:15 – 2:45 pm   Breakout Workshops V:

U. Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)   (B)
Dr. Dean Grace, Director of Training and Development, Northwood Children’s Services
QPR is designed to provide those of us who, because of our contact with those at risk of suicide, are in the best position to identify and refer people thinking about suicide.  QPR training provides the skills to recognize when someone is at risk for suicide, to intervene effectively and know how to refer for help.

V. Trauma Informed Care  (CORR)
Vincent Vaughn, Corrections Supervisor; Karlie Castle, Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center
This presentation is developed around defining Trauma and Trauma Informed Care, educating on how trauma affects our clientele, and providing the best practice to interact with trauma exposed clientele. We do this through an interactive discussion, video presentation, and power point. Our goal is to identify what things we are doing well and what improvements we need to make.

W. Little Things Mean A Lot: From Micro-Inequities to Micro-Affirmations – Awareness Session  (B) (see description for session O.)
X. Trauma and the Body: Using Trauma-Sensitive Yoga for Healing  (B)
Sarah Super , MS, Learning and Development Consultant, Hennepin County
This presentation explains how psychological trauma impacts the physical body and how the body becomes an effective agent for healing.  The session is spent exploring trauma-sensitive yoga, an empirically-based healing practice for treating complex trauma founded at Bessel van der Kolk’s world-renowned Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Participants will gain an understanding for the trauma-sensitive qualities (such as offering choices) that can be used in any environment and experience trauma-sensitive yoga first-hand by Minnesota’s only certified trauma-sensitive yoga instructor. 

Y. Dispelling Myths and Understanding Psychosis  (B)
Andrea Lee, Director of Youth Programming, NAMI Minnesota
Psychosis is a mental health symptom that can be frightening and difficult to understand for those who haven’t experienced it. Learn to understand the warning signs of psychosis, how to assess a young person to see if they are at-risk of psychosis, and what may be causing this condition. Also learn about the stigma surrounding this condition, what the truth is about safety concerns, and get tips on communication with a young person experiencing a psychotic break.

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An Association of Resources and Advocacy for Children, Youth and Families
A professional association of therapeutic providers, AspireMN is a leading voice in maintaining and strengthening high-quality care and treatment for Minnesota's emotionally-troubled children, children with behavior problems and their families.

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