DCSD Virtual Training Series



CASA and FCRB Volunteers and Staff are critical voices in child welfare proceedings throughout Arizona. The following trainings are provided to reinforce the importance of the work done every day in child welfare and to bring to participants challenging information and perspectives.


---------------------- THE FOLLOWING TRAININGS HAVE ALREADY OCCURRED --------------------------

Understanding How Decisions About Safety Are Made - A Training for CASAs and FCRB Members , Hon. Anna Young, Yavapai Juvenile Court  RECORDED WEBINAR
June 24, 2024, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm 
Learn about the safety model that judges follow in making decisions about the removal of children, what needs to happen during the life of a dependency case to ensure children’s safety, and in determining when children can be safely returned to their parents.

Domestic Violence Traumatic Brain Injury,  Ashley Bridwell – Dignity Health (Barrows)
May 14, 2024, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 
Currently Program Coordinator, Barrow Bridge Neuro Rehabilitation and the Barrow Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury Program, she realizes that many people are reluctant to reveal their disabilities. By channeling her desire to express gratitude and help others experience a dose of the care and concern she experienced with her family and friends, Ashley co-developed the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Domestic Violence (DV) Program at Barrow. The first of its kind, this program treats DV some identified survivors from five community shelters for repeated injuries often sustained from long-term abusive relationships.

AzEIP Information Session,  Lisa Valle Community Relations Liaison Dept. of Economic Security Arizona Early Intervention Program
April 18, 2024, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm  RECORDED WEBINAR

AzEIP provides developmental screenings and evaluations to determine if a child is eligible for educational support  and services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). We will review the statewide interagency system of services and supports for infants and toddlers, birth through two years of age, with disabilities or delays. We will discuss the referral process, eligibility determination, and the family’s journey with AzEIP. We will share resources and information for you to share with families you support.

Extended Foster Care Update, Barbara Guillen, MSW Permanency & Youth Services Manager, Department of Child Safety
April 9, 2024 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  

In this presentation we will address the various options available for foster youth who will transition to adulthood. Barbara will provide guidelines for the extended foster care program, including updates coming later in the year. There are changes you will want to know about that will potentially benefit the youth with whom you work.

Navigating the Health Care System for Arizona’s Foster Children, Nichol Khan M.Ed., MSW, Senior Analyst, Mercy Care Children's System of Care, Amelia Cearlock, MSW, System of Care Administrator, Comprehensive Health Plan, Department of Child Safety
March 25, 2024 11:30 pm – 1:00 pm   RECORDED WEBINAR

We are pleased to present a training all about how to navigate the behavioral health system for a foster child. 
Join this webinar if you have ever wondered any of the below questions: 
•    What is the health plan for Arizona’s foster children and how does a foster child access care? 
•    Who or what is the role of behavioral health for a child in the foster care system, and who can you reach out to if services are not timely? 
•    What is the System of Care team within DCS CHP, and what is their role? 
•    How would you as a Dependency Judge, Dependency or Delinquency Attorney, CASA Volunteer, or FCRB Volunteer assist in helping to ensure the child in front of you has the services in place to be successful? 

Judges' Round Table, Hon. Peter Hochuli, Pima County Juvenile Court, Hon. Angela Kircher, Coconino County Superior Court, Hon. Monica Stauffer, Greenlee County Superior Court
September 14, 2022, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  

The Judges' Round Table discussion with judges from Pima, Coconino and Greenlee Counties will share their views and experiences from the dependency bench. This is a great opportunity to ask non-case related questions directly to the Judge. Being a volunteer, talking a to a judge is a rare opportunity. Now is your chance.


Critical Conversations to Communicate Effectively Across Differences, Michele Chesher and Oralia Gracia-Alinea, Casey Family Programs
August 22, 2022, 10:00 am  – 12:00 pm  RECORDED WEBINAR
This session will focus on skills to engage in courageous conversations and help to understand and acknowledge differences that can make working together challenging. For example, position, power, race and ethnicity, gender identity, life experiences, to name a few that can sometimes show up in interactions as Microaggressions — both consciously and unconsciously. This session will also explore strategies and tools for communicating effectively across differences, including the Multicultural Guidelines, RUAD: Recognize, Understand, Appreciate, Difference, and the Super 8: A Dialogue Structure and Process for Facilitation. Participants will receive ways to work together across differences and leave this session with strategies and techniques to engage in courageous conversations in both their professional and personal lives.


Pascua Yaqui Culture & Child Rearing, Tony Sanchez, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
July 14, 2022, 10:00 am  – 12:00 pm  
The Yoemem Tekia Foundation was started to Preserve and Perpetuate the Yaqui Culture, History and Language for future generations. Yoemem Tekia means the Peoples Duties to the Creator. To Clearly understand the Yoeme (Yaqui) world Tony Sanchez will address Their Relationship to the Land, Yoeme Identity, History, and Culture, Yoeme Traditional Family Values: Relationship Building and Family Strengthening. All key factors when placing Indian children with foster families.


Parent Engagement Strategies for Advocates, Cynthia Bowkley, J.D., CPPM, SEP, 
June 9, 2022, 1:30 pm  – 3:30 pm  
Cynthia will be emphasizing the importance of engaging parents in their cases and making every attempt to ensure their understanding of the circumstances that caused their child’s removal from their home and what they, as parents, need to do to facilitate their child’s return.


Candid Discussion on Challenges for Foster Children - Youth Panel, Hon. Peter Hochuli (Moderator), Pima County Juvenile Court, Panel of Former Foster Youth 
May 6, 2022, 10:00 am  – 12:00 pm  
A Youth Panel that have aged out will give you their unique perspective on their experience in the Foster Care System. They want to work with you to help other foster kids to overcome obstacles and make this frightening process more manageable. The Foster Care Alumni of America Youth Panel discuss the difficulties and barriers they experienced while in the foster care system.


Surviving Our Work - How to Handle the Stress of Being a Volunteer (Part 2), Jude Clark (CASA Coordinator), Jill LaBrie (CASA Coordinator), Bonnie Lawrie-Higgins (CASA Volunteer), and Amy Brandhuber (CASA Program Supervisor)
April 8, 2022, 9:00 am - 11:30 am  RECORDED WEBINAR

Continuing on from the March 1 presentation, this session provides an advanced perspective on the trauma and stress that is a part of the child welfare system while further discussing the power of empathy. 


Surviving Our Work - How to Handle the Stress of Being a Volunteer (Part 1), Jude Clark (Pima County CASA Coordinator), Jill LaBrie (Pima County CASA Coordinator), Bonnie Lawrie-Higgins (Pima County CASA Volunteer), and Amy Brandhuber (Pima County CASA Program Supervisor)
March 1, 2022, 9:00 am - 11:30 am  RECORDED WEBINAR

This training focuses on the stress and vicarious trauma that CASA Advocates and FCRB Volunteers encounter in their work with the child welfare system. This training provides concrete ways one can successfully address vicarious trauma experienced through our work. The training also provides an overview of how trauma effects the brain and how to work with traumatized children and families served by the child welfare system.


Every Youth Needs Someone, Sharrica Miller, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC
February 7, 2022, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Picture a foster child as they experience a tremendous amount of instability shuffling from home to home.  They have a constant fear and anxiety of the unknown, and a remarkable loss of security due to others making decisions about their life.  Child welfare professionals and foster families often act with the best interest of the child in mind, but may be unaware of the emotional strain that foster care elicits.  There is strong evidence to suggest that foster youth who have at least one loving, stable adult in their lives experience better life outcomes in comparison to youth who do not.  The overall goal of this presentation is to highlight best practices for ensuring that youth are able to meet this goal as early in their foster care journey as possible. Part informative, part inspirational, this presentation will highlight Dr. Miller’s 12-year journey through foster care and provide a concrete example of the importance that child welfare professionals and others that work in this arena can have on the lives of foster youth.


Protective Factors - The Effects of Domestic Violence on the Home, Jon McCaine, PhD, Lighthouse Program Supervisor
March 30, 2021, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm  RECORDED WEBINAR

Picture a child in an abusive and chaotic home, systematically confused and misled, adults lying or ignoring what is happening. The persistent, traumatic environment of the home where domestic violence happens leads to visible and invisible injuries. How can you better recognize the signs of domestic violence and for what services can you advocate that would prove most effective in the recovery of the child and the family? Join Dr. McCaine for a vibrant and engaging discussion about the effects of domestic violence and how you might help to improve safety and permanency for affected children and families.


The DCS Service Array - A Response to Family Needs, Culture, and Readiness to Change,  Katherine Guffey, Arizona Department of Child Safety
May 6th, 2021, 2pm – 4pm  RECORDED WEBINAR

Picture a DCS investigator meeting with a parent – “Let’s talk about how to strengthen your family to make sure DCS doesn’t get another call.” The agency is undergoing a significant change in the way they deliver key services to families, both before and after the removal of a child. A new range of services has been developed to help encourage growth in a parent’s behavioral, cognitive and emotional characteristics that go hand in hand with protecting their child. Katherine Guffey will talk about the new placement matrix and show how, under the Family First Prevention Service Act, a child can receive services to avoid disruption. She will discuss how the new Nurturing Parenting Program and Family Connections provide services based on a family’s need and not a case status. Katherine will outline the important role that Court Volunteers can play in reviewing and advocating for the appropriate services and outcomes for children and families.


Engaging Fathers Early and Often, Neil Tift, Native American Fatherhood and Families Association
June 9th, 2021, 10am – 12pm  RECORDED WEBINAR

Picture a home without a father – a common event for foster children. Fathers are absent from the homes of 75% of the children placed in foster care nationwide. Engaging fathers of foster children is important, not only for the benefit of the child-father relationship, but also for making placement decisions and gaining access to valuable family resources. Children with involved fathers use less drugs and alcohol, do better in school, and have higher self-esteem and pro-social behaviors. Participants will explore the benefits of effectively engaging fathers, both in the home and in the courtroom .Participants will discuss the rights of nonresident fathers and ways to help ensure more meaningful paternal participation in the case planning process. Hurry and register now.


Healing Our Families, Hearing Their Story, Jerry Tello, National Compadres Network
July 22nd, 2021, 6:30pm – 8pm 

Picture a story that is the “medicine”, the process from which one detoxifies and learns to break the cycle of painful and harmful relationships, guiding the parent and child through a journey to recover their sacredness. Mr. Jerry Tello is considered an international expert in transformational healing, men and boys of color, racial justice, and community peace and mobilization. “In order to maintain balance and harmony in our lives and that of our children, through this present climate of much anxiety, fear and disconnectedness, we need to re-root ourselves in these values – dignity, respect, trust and love for oneself and for all people, especially those in need of our advocacy and prayers of healing.” Jerry Tello


Arizona Child & Adolescent Survivor Initiative, Bianca Harper, DSW, LCSW, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University
August 18th, 2021, 10am – 12pm
October 19th, 2021, 12 pm – 1:30 pm  RECORDED WEBINAR

The Arizona Child & Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI) is a statewide program that provides a wide range of free, specialized services to children who lose a parent (or caregiver) to intimate partner homicide. Our services include trauma therapy, mentoring, peer support groups, therapeutic wilderness-based trips for child survivors, intensive case management, assistance with Victim Compensation and Victims’ Rights, and other victim services to meet the complex needs of intimate partner homicide survivors and their families.  


Through the Lens of Implicit Bias, Shawn Marsh, PhD, University of Nevada, Reno
September 9th, 2021, 1pm – 3pm  RECORDED WEBINAR

Picture a world without bias – can you do that? This session will first explore some explicit biases individuals endorse as a conscious preference, both positive and negative. Dr. Marsh will then speak on implicit biases, those that operate outside of one’s awareness. These biases are expressed through “schemas” or mental maps by which we process routine information with little or no conscious thought. Take a journey with Dr. Marsh to learn how we might work to reduce the effect implicit bias may have on our decision making. You don’t want to miss the ride…


Parent Peer Support - Making the Difference, Karin Kline and Paula Brunswick, Family Involvement Center
October 21, 2021, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.  RECORDED WEBINAR

Picture a parent who feels lost in the system, like everyone is against them and just doesn’t understand.  Maybe they wish they could talk to someone who had already gone through the same process, someone who could understand what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes.  Enter the Family Involvement Center and Parent Peer Support.  Parent Peers have personal experience with the child welfare process and are there to listen and help parents understand.  Besides sharing new skills with parents that support positive parenting and self-care, they help them better prepare for court hearings, Child and Family Team meetings, school meetings, and more.  More support for parents can mean more success, whether reunification occurs or they are just able to be a more positive part of their child’s life into the future.  We know if you attend this session, you will see how Parent Peers can make a difference…


Careful Placement and Care of our Foster Children - The FFPSA, Hon. Joseph Kreamer, Presiding Juvenile Judge, Maricopa County Superior Court
November 18, 2021, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm.  RECORDED WEBINAR

Picture a case manager choosing a caregiver for a new foster child.  If family placement is not appropriate or available, what options are there?  Newly enacted federal legislation, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) includes provisions to encourage family like placement for foster children.  This presentation will review caregiver options, including the new Qualified Residential Treatment Program caregiver type.  The presentation will also include discussion on prevention, namely how to safely stop children from entering or staying in the foster care system for longer than necessary.  You won’t want to miss this session…