2018 Conference

September 17 – September 18

Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel
3501 Atlantic Ave
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Download the conference brochure:  VALCPA2018

Purchase tickets at Eventbrite or download the registration form:   2018 VALCPA Conference Registration.


Our keynote is speaker is Daniel Goldschmidt, MT-BC.  You can see his TedTalk HERE.

Regardless of age, gender, culture, or any other aspect of identity almost everyone has a personal connection with music. The arts have been shown to offer a successful medium for intervention – not just in expressing emotions, but also in movement, speech, bonding, and many other goal areas. This presentation will talk about the science behind music perception, as well as how music can be used to help children and families in many different situations.


Music Based Interventions with Daniel Goldschmidt

Dive deeper into the use of music with specific interventions with children and families in foster care and adoption. This breakout session will be a more interactive and small group-based experience as a follow up to the keynote address. Come away with techniques to use in home visits and sessions!


Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment Tactics by Jessica Carty and Cindy Davis

How can we find our families? Connecting Hearts in Virginia and DePaul are two contracted recruitment agencies for the Virginia Department of Social Services. We have worked collaboratively to collect data from the former grant year and current grant year, which explores Market Segmentation Analysis, agency best recruitment strategies, and unsuccessful recruitment tactics to further find the resource families our children deserve.


So I Have a Kid On My Caseload Who Has Problematic Sexual Behavior.  Now What?! by Kellie Evans, LCSW, CSOTP

This workshop will explore working with children and adolescents who have problematic sexual behavior from the perspective of a TFC/Adoption case worker. Participants will learn about this special population, become familiar practice guidelines to include sibling incest reunification and explore treatment planning and case management strategies.


Introduction to Collaborative Problem Solving by Carmen Dailey, MIS

In this foundational course, participants will be introduced to Collaborative Problem Solving (“CPS”), a trauma-informed approach to problem solving, skill building and relationship building with kids. This intro training focuses on Collaborative Problem Solving’s mind-shift away from conventional wisdom, to a skill, not will lens as a way to understand the problems youth encounter.  Delivered in an interactive and engaging format, the training will offer hope and tools to solve even the hardest problems kids face.


Unpacking the Baggage:  Protecting the Family, Child, and Agency through the SAFE Home Study Model by Diane Underwood

Parenting children who were not born into the family often means that the child has experienced trauma prior to joining the family. Traumatized children often bring challenging behaviors to healthy families. To ensure the family remains healthy and the child is not re-traumatized, the home study should explore 9 areas of family dynamics – assessing issues, behaviors, and events which could impact a person’s ability to parent under stress.


Understanding Attachment Styles and Sensory Processing Disorder by Sara Buckheit, LCSW and Lauren Weidner, MSW

Trauma exposed children have great difficulties in forming trusting relationships with others. They often are unable to form positive relationships and have challenges attaching to caregivers. They may express their needs in a negative manner as a result of poor self-regulation skills and lack of felt safety. It is often our job as parents or social workers to help identify that need to help the children we work with. We become detectives and determine what is causing the child to act out and why they do not feel safe. Sensory Processing Disorder is commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed. SPD will cause a child to display negative behaviors and no one may understand why. This training will provide participants with the tools to identify different attachment styles and symptoms of SPD. It will provide interventions for parents and social workers to use when a child’s sensory needs are not being met.


Why Are ADHD, Autism/Asperger’s, OCD, & ODD Spiking?  Causes & Solutions by Tom Shenk

Understanding the root causes of focus, academic, behavioral, emotional, and social challenges like ADHD, learning disabilities, ODD, dyslexia, autism/Asperger’s, OCD, and processing disorders.  Why the dramatic rise? What can be done?  This session will include (1) practical, Brain-Friendly tips for working with challenging students at school & home; (2) creating Brain-Friendly homes to build healthy brains in your kids; and (3) how Brain Balance rewires the brain so focus, academic, behavioral, emotional, and social challenges like ADHD, learning disabilities, ODD, dyslexia, autism/Asperger’s, OCD, and processing disorders dramatically improve.


Vicarious Trauma Exposure, Secondary Trauma, and Compassion Fatigue in Foster and Adoptive Parents by Bronwyn Robertson, LPC

Children and youth in foster care and/or who are transitioning into adoption are four times more likely to have trauma-related disorders than other children. Foster and adoptive parents are also at increased risk of developing trauma-related conditions and symptoms due to vicarious exposure to trauma. Studies show that Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue, both associated with vicarious trauma exposure, are prevalent among foster and adoptive parents. This presentation will explore the impact that vicarious trauma exposure can have on foster and adoptive parents, unique risks factors for foster/adoptive parents in developing secondary trauma and compassion fatigue, and ways professionals can support parents who may be at risk.


An Appreciative Approach to Leadership by Wade Puryear, MEd, MS

Appreciative Leadership is a model of leadership developed by Diana Whitney and others that focuses on the creative potential and positive power held within individuals, teams, and organizations.  It was born out of David Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry model and seeks to find the root causes of successes rather than the root causes of problems.  Appreciative Leadership promotes five strategies to bring out the best in others.  This presentation will focus on two of those strategies, Inquiry and Inspiration, as well as the overall philosophies of Appreciative Leadership.  Participants will have the opportunity to practice these strategies and reflect upon their own personal experiences with positive leaders and successful adventures in the workplace.


Project LIFE by Melissa Lee and Aaran Kelley

Project LIFE and VDSS are partnering together to offer an interactive workshop focused on youth engagement. Participants will learn the importance of youth voice, how to engage youth in the transition planning process, and how to overcome some of the challenges one might experience when implementing youth engagement. A youth in foster care will be present to co-facilitate the workshop and share his/her experiences related to transition planning and the importance of empowering youth to use their voice.