Oct 2, 2008    #094
Contact: Laura Pate Byerley

Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association Conference Begins Oct. 14Event unites parents, family advocates and social work students

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) College of Arts & Sciences and School of Social Work are sponsoring the sixth annual Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association (MFCAA)Conference on Oct. 14 and 15 at the University Center, 5000 Holmes. The conference will provide information for biological, foster and adoptive parents; child and family advocates; lawyers, judges and juvenile officers; counselors, therapists and their supervisors; school administrators, teachers and staff; and students in social work and related fields.

Registration will be accepted until the day the conference begins, and registration forms are available at: Conference fees cover two days of presentations, parking, lunch and one evening’s attendance at the MFCAA's Tuesday dinner auction. The Foresters - a Kansas City civic group - will host the fundraising auction.

Virginia Lewis Brunk, regional director of the Jackson County Children’s Division will present the keynote speech – “Collaboration and Communication: Increasing Stability for Children in Foster Care” – at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 14.

Dr. Rosalyn Bertram, conference co-chair and assistant professor at the UMKC School of Social Work, said she expects about 300 people to attend the conference. Bertram said the conference will explore and integrate perspectives of parents, family advocates, the legal system and service providers.

“It’s not efficient or effective when child welfare, juvenile justice, family court, mental health and education systems work separately with a child and family,” Bertram said. “This conference provides an opportunity for families and service providers to share perspectives and to better understand and collaborate with each other.”

The conference will feature the following presentations/discussions:

-“Overlooked Strengths of Children and Their Many Families” – Led by a panel of foster and adoptive parents

-“Can Foster Parents Unionize?” – Presented by Richard von Glahn, organizing coordinator of Communications Workers of America Local 6355 and Heather Morelan, organizer of United Foster Parents of Missouri/Communications Workers of America Local 6355

-“He Fought the Law and the Law Won: My Foster Child Has Been Arrested!” – Presented by Lori Burns-Bucklew, JD and Jill Katz, JD.

-“From Foster Child to Family Member” – Presented by Karla Deringer Hurrell, master foster parent trainer

-“Working with Neuropsychological Difficulties in Children and Adolescents” – Presented by Dr. Carolyn A. Karr, director of Community Counseling and Assessment Services at UMKC

-“Transition Planning for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Foster Families of Youth with Disabilities” – Presented by Tracey Williams, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kansas

-“Kinship Care: Helping Children Thrive in ‘Real’ Homes” – Presented by Betty Parker Blackmon, JD and MSW with the UMKC School of Social Work

A complete schedule of conference presentations can be found at: .

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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