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2018 Youth Workers Conference: Agenda
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youth worker 2018 agenda

Monday, October 8

8:30 – 9:30 am Registration and Continental Breakfast

Register for the Conference

Lodging Information

Conference Agenda

Speaker Biographies

9:30 – 11:30 am

Opening Keynote: Be the Exception
Annie Meehan
This speech highlights living outside of the traps of labels, characterizations, and job titles. Getting on the path to uncovering and expressing your authentic self is what makes your life’s journey rich. In this interactive presentation, Annie dives into the “7 ways of being” (honest, gentle, flexible, healthy, courageous, open and authentic) necessary to transform your life and live your true passion and potential.

You can expect to learn the value of how “being” is often more important than “doing.” Let Annie uplift you with the awareness of how you could be just another “expert” in the world or how you could “Be the Exception.”

11:30 – 12:00 pm Awards Ceremony
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 2:30 pm

Breakout A

A1: Staying Out of Power Struggles – Treating Oppositional Defiance Disorder (Part 1 of 2)
Dean Grace, Charlie Orsak and Joe Wotruba

Power struggles are NOT all about attention! This two-part workshop will help youth workers understand the temperamental and perceptual differences underlying oppositional behavior. We’ll use a trauma-informed perspective for understanding why ODD kids resist adult efforts to help and what we can do about it. Participants will learn to respond effectively to the provocations of these youth, to correct their misconduct, and to help kids be kids.

A2: Professional Boundaries
Angie Erickson

In this session, participants will further their understanding of professional boundaries and explore why boundaries are integral to creating a positive environment and experience when working with youth, individuals, and families.  The session will include defining professional boundaries and how they can be crossed, tips to maintain healthy boundaries, and the process of victim grooming and warning signs to look for. 

A3: Creating a Culture of Safety
Cassandra Vokoun and Blythe Navarro

The purpose of this presentation is to help youth care workers create a safe environment for youth to live in. This presentation will teach youth care workers to use positive relationships to create a culture of safety.

A4: Enhancing Protective Factors through Life Skills and Vocational Development
Stacey Trushenski-Carlson

Youth in residential treatment often have a deficit in independent life skills, which inhibit their ability to mitigate risk and successfully transition back to the community. The Vocational Program at Mille Lacs Academy focuses on enhancing life skills of our clients, with the goal of reducing recidivism through increasing protective factors. We have the belief that vocational and life skills training play a central role in helping youth build self-esteem, increase competency, develop prosocial relationships, and formulate healthy hobbies. When we enhance protective factors, we mitigate risk, reduce recidivism, and increase the likelihood of successful transition back to the community.

2:45 – 4:15 pm

Breakout B

B1: Staying Out of Power Struggles – Treating Oppositional Defiance Disorder (Part 2 of 2)
Dean Grace, Charlie Orsak and Joe Wotruba
This session is the second in a two-part series.

B3: Self-care: How to Prevent Burnout
Denise Dallas and Amanda Kampa

In this workshop we will discuss how the work we do impacts us all in many different ways. We will look at how people can identify burnout in themselves and their team members through understanding the warning signs and learning how to address them. We will also be discussing the importance of self-care plans and how they help enhance a healthier work environment.

B4: Enhancing Protective Factors through Life Skills and Vocational Development
Stacey Trushenski-Carlson

Youth in residential treatment often have a deficit in independent life skills, which inhibit their ability to mitigate risk and successfully transition back to the community. The Vocational Program at Mille Lacs Academy focuses on enhancing life skills of our clients, with the goal of reducing recidivism through increasing protective factors. We have the belief that vocational and life skills training play a central role in helping youth build self-esteem, increase competency, develop prosocial relationships, and formulate healthy hobbies. When we enhance protective factors, we mitigate risk, reduce recidivism, and increase the likelihood of successful transition back to the community.

4:30 – 6:30 pm Bean Bag Tournament
6:30 – 7:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Monday Night Football
Watch the big game on the big screen – poolside
8:00 – 11:00 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 play music throughout the night to inspire continued networking and Youth Worker Conference fun.
7:30 – 11:00 pm Bonfire on the Beach
(Weather and interest permitting - share your interest with conference hosts.) 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 evening.

Tuesday, October 9

7:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 am

Breakout C

C1: Dealing with the Hand You’ve Been Dealt: Building Resilience
Dean Grace

What do we do every day to help traumatized kids? This workshop will examine the profound positive impact building resilience has for the youth we work with. Dr. Grace will introduce a simple step-by-step model empirically proven to mitigate the destructive impact of trauma and effectively help youth strengthen three key skills needed for responsible behavior.

C2: Self-care and Self Awareness for Mental Health Professionals
Nergis Petersen

Self-Care is a subject that is frequently discussed for the well-being of all professionals. Particularly, to prevent burnout in the mental health field, self-awareness has been a critical part of wellbeing, as compassion fatigue is common. Most individuals have a general familiarity with the notion of caring for self, but often the practical applications of self-care are overwhelming and research shows most people are not successful in follow through. This workshop will demonstrate the importance of having clear insight and perspective on our own strengths, thoughts, emotions, triggers and motivation. It is also informative, practical, engaging, research-based and interactive. Participants will leave with a clear sense of self-awareness, specific tools to manage stress and a detailed understanding of their own needs resulting in a customized plan for their self-care.

C3: Safe Harbor in the Storm: Minnesota’s Response for Sexually Exploited Youth
Dina Chou and Kate LePage

The Safe Harbor Law has led to the implementation of a victim-centered system of response to identify youth victims of sexual exploitation and move them toward healing. Attendees will learn about sexual exploitation, MN Safe Harbor, and how they can join efforts to respond to youth victims with a trauma-informed approach and become an important part of the Safe Harbor system of care for youth.

10:45 – 12:15 pm

Breakout D

D1: Trauma Informed Care’s Most Important Step!
Leslie Chaplin

“What happened to you?” is the question all great TIC counselors and therapists know to ask, but what comes after that? The tough, yucky, icky stuff we hear and see after that can make for a long shift, a tough week, and little to get excited about. That is because we are missing the Most Important Step! What comes after the trauma, for our kids and for our staff? In this workshop you will learn how to move on from the trauma and into the resilience that keeps us all going in our fulfilling and purposeful work.

D2: It’s OK to Call Us Queer and Other Things to Know About Us
Kathy Hermes and Khayman Goodsky

This presentation is part of educational outreach done by Lutheran Social Service’s Together for Youth; a social support group for LGBTQI2S and allied young people. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges young people (and adults) face, from living life in the closet to being out and proud. In addition to personal stories, topics covered will include presumed heterosexuality, heterosexual privilege, cisgender privilege, homophobia and transphobia. Micro-aggressions and micro-affirmations will be covered as well as the important of allies. Emphasis will be placed upon trans/non-binary identities, policy protections and more considerate workplace practices.

D3: Person-centered Thinking: What Does That Mean?
Paula Minske

We can all say we are person centered in our thinking BUT is that really true? In this workshop you will be able to explore what it means to be person centered in your thinking and how to put that into action. Come learn how to use person centered thinking skills to gain a better understanding of the youth we support.

12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch
1:30 – 3:00 pm

Closing Keynote: Evidenced Based Practices for Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders
Dr. Timothy Walsh

People with mental health disorders are more likely that people without mental health disorders to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder. Early detection and treatment can improve treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring disorders. During this session participants will learn how to identify co-occurring disorders and integrate evidenced based practices in a service and clinical supervisory model to best serve their clients.

This workshop will give an overview of the most common co-occurring disorders, discuss how they can be difficult to diagnose, and how they can increase the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. Time will be spent discussing how to integrate evidence based practices into their service and clinical supervisory model. Audience participation questions will help develop these learning points.

About Us

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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1919 University Ave. W. Ste. 450
St. Paul, MN 55104
Phone (651) 927-3690
Fax (651) 927-3760
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