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D1       Navigating Foster Youth on a Journey to Success
  • Rashida Elimu, Guardian Scholars Supervisor, Promises2Kids
  • Nehemyah G., (Tentative, Promises2Kids Guardian Scholar Scholarship Recipient
Come learn about Promises2Kids, a leader in San Diego County for nearly 40 years, creates a brighter future for foster children. From the moment they come into foster care and through to adulthood, Promises2Kids provides the hope, support, and opportunities these special individuals need to change their lives for the better.  Our programs include the Polinsky Children’s Center, Camp Connect, Guardian Scholars, and Foster Funds.  With an over 85% graduation rate for foster youth pursuing higher education in Guardian Scholars, Promises2Kids has found success in its mentoring, 1:1 individualized support, and sibling connections.

D2       Increasing Access to Higher Education: California Community College Foster Youth Support Programs
  • Holly Siino, Equity Specialist, Foundation for California Community Colleges
  • Jessica Smith, Senior Specialist, Equity, Foundation for California Community Colleges
  • Colleen Ganley, Specialist, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
Come learn about foster youth programs and initiatives that support foster youth students in California’s community colleges, including Foster Youth Success Initiative programs, NextUp/CAFYES, and Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success Independent Living Program (YESS ILP). You will learn about partnerships between direct services providers, community based organizations, foster youth college students, and California’s community colleges. Also hear about the potential benefits available to foster youth students, watch a video about foster youth supports on community college campuses, and play an interactive game tying it all together.  There will be time for Q&A.

D3       TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) & the TAY Population
  • Renae M. Dupuis, Trauma Specialist and Director, RESPITE Program, OC United
As a supportive adult in the life of a transitional-age youth, you have the opportunity to help mentor their brains to learn how to develop a sense of self-worth, connection to community, and the ability to self-regulate. In this session, learn about the TBRI tools needed to provide a high-structure, high-nurture environment that will train young brains to learn to trust and engage in healthy relationships, leading them to effective problem-solving and decision-making.

D4       Charting the Course: College and Career Planning for TAY
  • Jessica Petrass, Project Manager, John Burton Advocates for Youth
Come to this workshop and learn practical online tools to assist youth with college and career planning, such as www.cacareerzone.com, Salary Surfer, and CA College Pathways. You will be able to explore some of these online tools within the session! You will have the opportunity to become more familiar with the various postsecondary education pathways, including career and technical education, and the benefits available for foster youth at California’s higher education institutions.  Leave with a copy of the Foster Youth Educational Planning Guide to help youth chart a course that is in line with their interests, goals and strengths to achieve self-sufficiency.

D5       Family Law and Immigration Rights for Foster Youth
  • Liza M. Davis, Staff Attorney,  Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Gracie Johnson, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Foster youth are twice as likely as other youth to have a child by age 19 and are more likely to fare poorly and face severe challenges in education, employment, and keeping their family together. Undocumented or immigrant foster youth face even bigger hurdles in education, employment and keeping their family together because they often don’t qualify or don’t know how to access the assistance they need to access financial aid, certain benefits, and a work permit. This session will provide an overview of issues commonly faced by parenting/immigrant foster youth and advocacy tools that can be used to eliminate those barriers. We will focus on the right of parenting foster youth and immigrant foster youth in the family law and immigration law context.

D6       Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking:  A Survivor – Thriver Informed Approach
  • Melissa J. Gomez, Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking (PACT) Project Director, Child and Family Policy Institute of California
  • Russell G. Wilson, Anti-Trafficking Expert, Researcher, PACT Consultant, Child and Family Policy Institute of California
  • Jamelia Hinds-Vicks, PACT Consultant, Child and Family Policy Institute of California
This interactive workshop explores an ethical framework for approaching survivor-thriver informed service provision. It will be led by two members of the Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking (PACT) Consultant Team, who engage their lived experience and expertise, to improve statewide child welfare programs serving youth and young adults vulnerable to, or experiencing sex and/or labor trafficking. Attendees will learn guiding strategies for organizations, or individuals to engage survivor voice while avoiding re-traumatization or tokenism.  A “Toolkit for Building Survivor Informed Organizations,” published by the Office of Trafficking in Persons, will be made available electronically.

D7       Youth Engagement Project- Incorporating Youth Voice on a Child Welfare/Probation County Level and Statewide Level
  • Lauren Mendez, Project Associate, Youth Engagement Project
  • Arielle Rubio, Stanislaus Senior Ambassador, Youth Engagement Project
  • Sheelah Grant, CSA Manager, Stanislaus County Child Welfare Agency
Why is it important for youth voice to be heard in child welfare and probation departments at county and statewide levels?  Because youth voice can improve outcomes in policies and programming. Come hear how the Youth Engagement Project (YEP) has been successful in engaging youth on levels. Obtain strategies on how to properly have youth voice incorporated in your area  Learn how this program directly affects the youth by empowering them to be decision makers on policies, procedures and practices and giving them professional opportunities to grow and learn. Also hear how YEP has helped their youth professionals develop self-sufficiency, supported them through professional personal goals and fostered stability.

D8       One Degree: Find Community Resources Near You
  • Cecilia Mejia, Los Angeles Community Navigator, One Degree
One Degree is a technology-driven nonprofit that empowers people to build a path out of poverty for themselves and their communities. You will learn how to navigate our free platform that helps low-income and at-risk individuals identify, find and utilize local service resources they need to achieve social and economic mobility. Bring your devices (laptop, tablet, or cellphone) to follow along and experience having thousands of resources accessible anytime and anywhere to meet your diverse needs. We will provide educational handouts and guides to support further platform exploration at participants' convenience.


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