DCSD Virtual Training Series

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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.


Every Youth Needs Someone - Sharrica Miller, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC

February 7, 2022, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm REGISTER

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.


Previous Webinars

Protective Factors – The Effects of Domestic Violence on the Home Webinar 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 new 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 (ACASI) Bianca Harper, DSW, LCSW, Arizona State University and 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, Ph.D., 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, Paula Brunswick, Family Involvement Center and Peer Parent Panel

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 Honorable Joseph Kreamer

November 18, 2021, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm.

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…