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B1       Get EmPOWERed: Know Your Rights!

  • Ahmed Nemr, Manager, Office of Foster Care Ombudsperson
In this action-packed workshop, you’ll learn about your rights as a foster youth and how to effectively advocate for yourself, including your new rights under AB175.  Get empowered with the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to maintain your personal rights!
B2       Fostering Reproductive Health: Healthy Sexual Development to Improve Self-Sufficiency, Stability, & Support for Youth in Care
  • Barbara Facher, Senior Social Worker, Alliance for Children's Rights
  • Mara Ziegler, Senior Social Worker, Public Counsel
  • Young person with lived experience parenting in care
At a time where teenage pregnancy rates are at historic lows throughout the U.S., the same trend is not true for a particularly vulnerable population of young people: adolescents and young adults in the foster care system. In fact, by the age of 19, young people in California’s foster care system are 2.5 times more likely to experience a pregnancy – and, critically, 2/3 of those young people do not describe those pregnancies as intended. In fact, some young people have experienced barriers to access the care, services, and education that would help them decide if, when, and under what circumstances to start a family. Facilitated by the multi-disciplinary team that comprises the Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth (LA RHEP), this workshop will present the latest data on sexual and reproductive health outcomes for youth in care to collectively unpack the structural barriers that have led to such outcomes, including lack of access to comprehensive sex education and confusion about youth’s reproductive health rights. The audience will be engaged in values/bias exploration and experiential activities to practice skills related to having healing-centered, age-appropriate conversations with TAY about sexual health. Lastly, the audience will receive information about local, trustworthy, and free sexual health resources to refer TAY (including expectant and parenting youth) to as part of your organization's comprehensive strategy to support young people's self-sufficiency, stability, & support.

B3       Taking Back Our Children- Identifying, Educating and Partnering to Empower our CSE Youth
  • Danielle Nieto, Social Work Supervisor, County of Fresno Department of Social Services
  • Melissa Chacon, Social Work Practitioner, County of Fresno Dept of Social Services
  • Nichole Castanon-Bletz, Social Worker III, County of Fresno Dept of Social Services
  • Ivette Medina Rocha, Social Worker III, County of Fresno Department of Social Services
Come to this workshop and learn how to identify youth who are at risk or have been victimized by commercial sex trafficking. We will show how to support and stabilize CSE youth, by providing information on trauma informed best practice.   We will also provide basic information to more advanced techniques on how to intertwine a web of support to help youth either leave the life or be prepared to protect themselves from it.  Child welfare social workers will share tips that have proved helpful in providing support with this population.  We will also discuss how to partner with community partners as well as give an overview of the work being done in Fresno County and how to implement and duplicate some of this work. 

B4       Foster Youth and Identity Theft/Cyber Safety
  • Jaime Barclay, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Symantec/NortonLifeLock
Young people in foster care face a range of unique risks when it comes to identity protection and cybersecurity. Foster youth move frequently and their personal information gets passed from person to person, making them targets for identity theft. During this session youth will hear invaluable information about actions you can take to monitor your credit as well a simple steps you can take to make your self more safe online. Resources will be offered to those dealing with identity theft and those interested in keeping themselves more safe online.

B5       Getting Back on Track
  • Danielle Gray-Smith, Education Coordinator, SPA 1, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Leeane Knighton, Education Coordinator SPA3, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Brian Ponce, Education Coordinator SPA7, Los Angeles County Office of Education
What to learn about ways to use your smartphone – other than gaming and social media? Come learn how to use your smartphone for self growth.  Find out how to access a pathway to higher education including: picking a program, accessing classes, and college books    Finding the best apps that work for your life like: apps that encourage brain growth, apps that help study habits and tracking you goals with a smartphone    The objective of this session will be for you to be able to see how valuable your smartphone can be in connection to higher education and life goals. You will be provided with a list of the latest app for furthering your educational needs.

B6       Preparing for Jobs in the 21st Century Workforce: Services for Youth and Students with Disabilities
  • Nancy Wentling, Staff Services Manager I, Program Policy Unit, CA Department of Rehabilitation
  • Shanti Ezrine, Legislation and Policy Technician, Program Policy Section
  • Jason Smith, Cooperative Programs Specialist, Cooperative Programs Section???????
Come to our workshop and:  •Learn about disability inclusion and the world of work.   • Increase your disability awareness and self-advocacy by hearing about success stories and   strategies for exploring and entering the 21st Century workforce.  • Become familiar with Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) Student Services and vocational services to support job exploration, career development, and employment by interacting with the DOR Student Services web pages.  • Explore the community of support for students and youth with disabilities by identifying DOR partnerships, including  schools, regional centers, and mental health agencies.  And, • Learn how to request and apply for DOR Student Services or vocational services.

B7       What is Work Readiness?
  • Vincent D’Averso, Mentor Program Director and Brisia Gutierrez, OYC Outreach and Engagement Fellow,     Alliance for Children's Rights
Have you ever wondered how to motivate youth to start thinking about their future career goals?  Are you looking to learn about more resources available to help youth explore their options and interests when it comes to work? This workshop will offer practical tips, resources, and tools that will help you frame these important conversations with young adults. And you will walk away with a better understanding on how to support career exploration and planning, and why post-secondary education is critical for a career path.

B8       Youth Homelessness in the Era of Extended Foster Care: Lessons Learned and New Opportunities

  • Angie Schwartz, Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, Alliance for Children’s Rights
  • Debbie Raucher, John Burton Advocates for Youth
Come hear an overview of the existing landscape of housing options for Transition Aged Youth in California.  We will be focusing on how the extension of foster care until 21 provides opportunities to support youth at a critical juncture in their development and current barriers within the extended foster care system that must be addressed to fully realize these opportunities.  We will also discuss recent budget actions that can help jurisdictions expand housing capacity, including new housing options for TAY attending college, and other changes to the law that can be leveraged to increase housing supports and services for TAY.

B9       CHAFEE GRANT, FAFSA & CADAA Application Stations

  • Student Aid Commission Staff

Are you enrolled in college? Are you thinking of enrolling into college? If so, you should complete your financial aid applications and we are here to help! This workshop is an E-Bus mobile application stations that provide onsite assistance for youth and young adults between the ages of 14 – 26. Those who participate will receive assistance in completing the Chafee Grant and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, those who are  noncitizen without a Social Security card or had one issued through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will receive assistance with completing the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). The eBusses are equipped with 16-20 laptop computers, printers, scanners, and access to the internet.

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