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Youth Worker Conference 2016 - Agenda
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Register for the Conference

Lodging Information

Conference Agenda

Speaker Biographies

Monday, October 3

9:00 – 10:00 am   Registration and continental breakfast

10 am – 12 noon  Positive Youth Development: Transforming Young Lives
Keynote Dr. Brendtro
Early research on peer influence by the University of Michigan and Strength Based Services International identified the core growth needs of Attachment, Achievement, Autonomy, and Altruism. These brain-based needs undergird a wide range of youth development programs including the Circle of Courage resilience model and the Cal Farley’s Model of Leadership and Service. In psychological terms, these are the vital signs of positive youth development. If these needs are unmet, children show a host of emotional, behavioral, and learning problems. This discussion highlights evidence-based essentials for building strengths in all children and youth, including those in conflict in home, school, and community.

The call for evidence-based practice began in the medicine and has spread to all education and human service fields. As methods and models compete for the evidence-based seal of approval, complexity, confusion, and contradiction abound. As documented in Deep Brain Learning: Evidence-Based Principles for Education, Treatment, and Youth Development (Brendtro & Mitchell, ©2015 Starr Commonwealth), the scientific principle of consilience can be used to identify powerful simple truths. Specifically this entails combining research from natural science (particularly recent brain research), social sciences, practice expertise, and core humanistic values. The term “deep brain learning” refers to instilling enduring changes that transform lives.

12:00 – 1:00 pm   Lunch

1 – 3 pm  Connecting with Kids Who Outwit Adults
Keynote Dr. Brendtro
Many youth who most need positive adult relationships have experienced trauma and pain causing them to be “adult-wary.” They react with conflict or avoidance to even the most well-meaning adults. This presentation draws from the book Kids Who Outwit Adults which the presenter co-authored with a former youth at risk, Dr. John Seita, who is now a resilience scientist at Michigan State University. Young people who distrust adults keep them at bay with strategies of Fight, Flight, or Fool, or they Follow one another in group defiance of adults in authority. Successful youth workers need practical strategies to connect with kids in conflict, communicate in times of crisis, and restore harmony and bonds of respect.

1 – 3 pm  Understanding Suicide: Staring the Monster Down
Chris Caulkins
This presentation begins with a very personal story and then delves into the complexities of suicide and suicide related behavior by connecting themes of the overall conference to suicidality. Explore issues surrounding LGBT+, race/ethnicity, corrections, disasters, and vicarious and secondary trauma. Learn why stigma is such a big issue, how the individual perfect storm of events hits people, myths, risk factors, and how to render mental health first aid to a suicidal person.

3:15 – 4:45 pm  Breakout Workshops A

A1. Marshmallows, Swimming Mice, and a Quiz That 83% of Harvard Students Fail: What Can We Learn About Willpower and Neuroscience That Helps Us Work With Kids?
Jason Donahue
This presentation will focus on neuroscience research regarding willpower, relationships, the concept of hope, and frames of thinking in the development of human achievement. The participants in the presentation will be exposed to different activities and research findings to explore the relationships between what our programs and services are targeted for and how staff can examine their own approaches to youth, families, and their own teams to build resilience, emotional intelligence, and mental grit.

Specific areas of research that will be reviewed are as follows:
Walter Mischel’s research regarding self-control and its development as well as the power of relationships
Curt Richter’s research regarding the concept of hope
Angela Duckworth’s research regarding “grit” and its development
Carol Dweck’s research on “mindset” and frames of thinking regarding human performance

A2. Professional Boundaries in a Fuzzy Job  
Andrea Hendel
Ever wonder how you are supposed to build relationship with the clients you serve and think, how do I do this without becoming their friend and sharing my whole life experience? This is the workshop for you. Learn how to build positive, therapeutic relationships while managing to remain professional and with authority to do the best job you can.
        
A3. Neuroleptics: Off-label Use and Monitoring
Justin Kelley
Nurses and direct care staff see frequent off-label use of neuroleptics in psychiatry today. Join us for a presentation, discussion, and requirements for monitoring their effects (both intended and otherwise) and how to gain proper informed consent. Learn about MOSES and DISCUS screening tools that can be used by any member of the treatment team as well as how frequently they should be done. Learn about some common diagnoses that receive off-label neuroleptic use and the difference between typical and atypical neuroleptic drugs in a group for anyone from beginners to experienced staff who need a refresher.

A4. Working Proficiently with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex & Gender Non-Conforming Youth In Detention or Placement
Nancy Holmblad
Approximately 20% of youth within the juvenile justice system identify as LGBTI and/or GNC. Do you know how their needs differ? Do you know what the laws and recent court cases mean for you and your facility? Attendees will be able to develop and/or strengthen competencies in language, knowledge, and abilities when they participate in this session built on videos, some lecture and discussion and a few interactive experiences.

6 – 7:30 pm   Dinner
Join us in the Lakeside Dining Room for breakfast (meal is included with conference registration)

8 – 11 pm   Karaoke and DJ in the Bear Trap Lounge
No talent is needed to be a superstar at the Youth Worker Conference. Network and connect as you enjoy hearing new voices belting out favorite tunes of today or the past. The DJ will also play music throughout the night to inspire continued networking and plain old Youth Worker Conference fun.

7:30 pm   Bonfire on the beach
Meet and reconnect with colleagues as you relax and enjoy the classic Minnesota lake scene of watching the dimming daylight on the beach. As the fall chill settles, warmth of the bonfire along with the company of new and old friends will provide a wonderful backdrop to network, connect and enjoy the night.

Tuesday, October 4

7 – 9 am   Breakfast
Join us in the Lakeside Dining Room for breakfast (meal is included with conference registration)

9 – 10:30 am Breakout Workshops B

B1. Juvenile Corrections in Minnesota in 2016
Kathy Halverson
This presentation will explore the changing population of the youth who are involved in the Juvenile Justice system in Minnesota. Over the past 10 years the population of juveniles on probation in Minnesota has decreased by 50%. We will discuss the challenges with the changing dynamics of the juvenile population and strategies that are essential to effective programming.

B2. Supporting Parents of Gender Nonconforming and Transgender Youth
Samantha Schofield and Kristen Benson
Gender nonconforming and transgender youth have recently gained national media attention related to policies regulating their choice in restrooms. Although this increased awareness has contributed to greater visibility to an often ignored minority group, it also shines a light on an important gap in youth and family services: supporting the families of these youths. Participants of this presentation will learn about gender identity and how to support parents of gender nonconforming children based on research findings from a qualitative study interviewing parents of gender nonconforming and transgender youth.

B3. Breathe, Stretch, Repeat: Making Yoga a Daily Self-Care Routine
John Lukach
Yoga isn’t just for the ultra-lean and flexible! Come explore how to incorporate this powerful practice into your life. Learn breathing techniques, chair yoga, and a daily 10- minute routine. All levels are welcomed and encouraged. Make sure to bring athletic or loose fitting clothing to change into. Mats and fun are provided.

B4.  Facilitating Change in Others and Ourselves (Part 1)
Brent Henry
It was Thoreau who said, “The mass of mankind live lives of quiet desperation.” In order to facilitate change in others and ourselves, we need to understand that the external world is not the driving force in who we become or what we choose to create for our lives. This presentation will not only give you the tools to facilitate change in others, it will give you the tools to overcome your own barriers to growth.
  
B5. The Impact of Residential Treatment
Meaghan Bauer
Meaghan Bauer is a wife, mother of two, and is active in rescuing pit bulls that have been abused and mistreated. She grew up in a life of trauma, abandonment, and abuse spending much of her adolescence in placements. Meaghan will share her story as to how these multiple placements impacted the person she is today both positively and negatively. She has experienced mental health issues in adulthood and now has had the opportunity to reflect on and explain what she learned in her treatment as a teenager and how she copes today because of these experiences.

10:45 am – 12:15 pm Breakout Workshops C

C1. Utilizing DBT with Adolescents
Sarah Thilmony and Jacquie Conklin
In this training, participants will learn what Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is, how it has been modified to fit a residential treatment center model serving adolescents, and ways to utilize the DBT concepts with the youth in a variety of settings. Participants will also have the opportunity to practice DBT skills learned throughout the training and discuss how to use concepts of DBT into their current work.

C2. It’s OK To Call Us Queer And Other Things To Know About Us
Kathy Hermes and Youth Panel
This presentation is part of educational outreach done by Lutheran Social Service’s Together for Youth, a social support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied youth. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges young people face from living life in the closet to being out and proud. In addition to personal stories, topics to be covered will include presumed heterosexuality, heterosexual privilege, cisgender privilege, homophobia and transphobia. Micro-aggressions and micro-affirmations will also be addressed as well as the important roles of allies.

C3. Facilitating Change in Others and Ourselves (Part 2)
Brent Henry
It was Thoreau who said, “The mass of mankind live lives of quiet desperation.” In order to facilitate change in others and ourselves, we need to understand that the external world is not the driving force in who we become or what we choose to create for our lives. This presentation will not only give you the tools to facilitate change in others, it will give you the tools to overcome your own barriers to growth.

C4. Understanding and Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth
Alex Jackson Nelson
In this workshop participants will gain a broad understanding of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) identities, how to use language respectfully, advocate, and build skills to provide responsive services to youth who are TGNC. We will discuss risk factors in various settings and how youth workers can support TGNC youth by using a social justice lens while analyzing their work.

C5. Little Things Mean A Lot: From Micro-inequities to Micro-affirmations
Tonya Palmer and Shawn Sorrell
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:

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

12:15 - 1:15 pm Lunch

1:30 – 3 pm Breakout Workshops D

D1. Success through Transition: Incorporating Wellness & Recovery for Youth
During the Transition Years

Cynthia Fashaw and Nancy Howe
This workshop presents information from youth and young adult focus groups that details youth’s experiences of what helped, what didn’t help and what else was needed for wellness and recovery during their transition from youth to adulthood. Included are wellness and recovery experiences and needs of transition aged youth from diverse and cultural communities, youth’s perspectives on transition planning and services as well as recommendations on how to collaborate effectively with the youth you serve. In this 90 minute workshop professionals who work with youth will be challenged to incorporate wellness and recovery perspectives when providing transition planning and services.

D2. Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care: How to Recognize the Signs
Denise Dallas and Amanda Kampa
In this workshop we will discuss how the work we do impacts us all in many different ways. It is important that we recognize that this work will and does impact us. We will look at how people can become hyper vigilant, changes in personality, depression, physical aliments such as headaches, et. It is important that we understand the warning signs of vicarious trauma and learn how to address these signs. Enhancing tem building skills and developing positive attitudes among the staff and teaching the importance of self-care are key elements in reducing the effects of vicarious trauam. We will also be discussing the importance of debriefing situations of trauma and how that impacts our work environment and youth.

D3. It’s OK To Call Us Queer And Other Things To Know About Us
Kathy Hermes and Youth Panel
This presentation is part of educational outreach done by Lutheran Social Service’s Together for Youth, a social support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied youth. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges young people face from living life in the closet to being out and proud. In addition to personal stories, topics to be covered will include presumed heterosexuality, heterosexual privilege, cisgender privilege, homophobia and transphobia. Micro-aggressions and micro-affirmations will also be addressed as well as the important roles of allies.

D4. Little Things Mean A Lot: From Micro-inequities to Micro-affirmations
Tonya Palmer and Shawn Sorrell
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:

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

D5. Updating Practices and Facilities to Work with Transgender and Gender
Nonconforming Youth

Alex Jackson Nelson
In this workshop participants will learn practical skills to create and advocate for inclusive environments for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) youth. We will discuss resources and policies that forward organizational change: How to develop inclusive intake processes, housing TGNC youth, bathrooms and other facilities, privacy, advocacy in education systems and employment. Participants are encouraged to bring questions related to organizational/systems change. We will discuss and share resources. Participants are asked to have a broad understanding of gender identity and terminology used in the TGNC community in order to attend this workshop.

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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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