2019 National RHY Grantees Training Workshop Resources

Critical Components of RHY Programs: Prevention, Aftercare, and Documentation

This institute provides information on FYSB’s requirements and expectations for prevention, aftercare, and documentation. Participants will receive information and practical application examples as well as an opportunity to share and discuss challenges and best practices from the field. This institute guides participants in developing an action plan for strengthening these programming components within their organizations.

Presenters: Danny Balkcom, Family and Youth Services Bureau; Tammy Hopper, National Safe Place Network - RHYTTAC; RHY Grantee Panelists

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Click here to access the workshop presentation supplement.

Helping RHY Transition from a “Culture of Survival” into a Culture of Thriving

Surviving is good, but it is not enough. Humans were never intended to reside in a state of survival. Living in a culture of survival impacts us biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. For many youth experiencing homelessness, exploitation, and trafficking, the culture of survival has become their primary place of residence. RHY programs can use seven trauma-informed practice principles to help youth find a path to a very different culture — a culture of thriving.

Presenter: Risa Rehmert, Director of Program Development, Wichita State University Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT)

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Meeting Youth Where They Are: The Effectiveness of Relationship Education

During this workshop, presenters will share how using evidence-based relationship education is effective and relevant to the needs of vulnerable youth by engaging youth to think about whom they are now and offering hope for a healthy future. Attendees will hear an RHY/TLP share a meaningful application strategy as well as the strengths and challenges of this method. Finally, attendees will experience an activity they can use with youth to discuss the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships. This activity is empowering and builds skills of self-awareness.

Presenters: Dixie Zittlow, Director of Outreach, The Dibble Institute; Mina Koplin, Program Manager for the Salt Lake County Milestone Transitional Living Program, Salt Lake County Youth Services

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Institutional Change: A Mountain Moved through Motivational Interviewing

This workshop describes one agency’s journey to implement Motivational Interviewing (MI) as a baseline engagement practice for serving youth and families at risk of homelessness. This session provides an overview of Motivational Interviewing as an evidence-based, well-researched practice that is effective at engagement, and describes the process used to change the organization, train all staff, and keep it alive through practice groups, fidelity monitoring, and outcomes surveys. Presenters will describe the methods used to teach MI, which uses “real play” rather than “role play.” This method increases understanding of the model and buy-in from staff at all levels because of its universal application to work and personal lives.

Presenters: Elizabeth Reid, Vice President of Clinical Quality and Young Adult Services, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, Inc.; Antwan Steed, Program Director, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, Inc.; Yolanda Ortiz, Program Director, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, Inc.

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Street Youth Outreach on Wheels

This workshop provides descriptions of innovative approaches to street outreach through collaboration and diverse funding that can be replicated on a national level and sustained long-term. These mobile models demonstrate the practice of meeting youth where they are. Through these models, communities experience greater collaboration, awareness, funding opportunities, and impact. The first model is an express food bus, an innovative, one-stop, mobile Safe Place® site that seeks to address multiple needs, including delivering meals funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The second model is a medical van for homeless and runaway youth staffed with street outreach workers and medical volunteers who provide crisis counseling and urgent care medical services operating daily in Boston and Cambridge. The third model uniquely integrates street outreach and the National Safe Place® Program with a 24-hour mental health helpline to provide 24-hour in-person crisis response and housing services, incorporating Youth Coordinated Entry to serve as an access point to all services.

Presenters: Michelle L. Tutunjian, Enterprise Officer, Fresno EOC; Peter Ducharme, Director of Programs, Bridge Over Troubled Waters; Michelle Gorman, Vice President of Youth Programs, Youth in Need

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Youth Employment Models and Strategies for RHY Programs

This workshop highlights best practices and strategies for providing the necessary preparation and support for RHY finding and keeping employment. The workshop explores the importance of public and private sector partnerships with community resources in realizing successful outcomes for youth. What is it that makes the difference, and how do professionals maximize the potential for sustained success?

Presenters: Kenneth Cook, Director of Runaway and Homeless Youth, Youth Emerging Stronger; David Durr, Service Area Director, Lighthouse Youth and Family Services

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Benefits of a Yoga Program for Youth in Shelter

Learn more about the benefits of yoga for youth in a shelter and for those who have a trauma history. Discuss ways to bring a yoga practice into shelter services. Learn about resources to help organizations develop a yoga program. The presenters will provide information about yoga’s therapeutic value and its relevance to the RHY field.

Presenter: Jen Cousineau, Shelter Program Manager, Child and Family Charities; Joli Guenther, Assistant Director, Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services

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Trauma and Mental Health Considerations in a Child Sex Trafficking Response

This workshop explores elements of trauma and mental health needs for victims of sex trafficking. The five guiding principles in working with traumatized victims are safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment. Participants will explore the next steps once a victim is identified and how to engage with a trauma-informed approach. This workshop also reviews assessment tools and best practices for child sex trafficking victims and explores case studies and mental health treatment to help victims become survivors of sex trafficking. Participants will learn how to have a trauma-informed approach with child sex trafficking victims. Participants will also learn how to develop a safety plan, ensuring the physical and emotional safety of victims and increasing coping skills to prevent RHY from becoming victimized by others in the community.

Presenter: Karen McHenry, Program Manager, Bellefaire JCB

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Know Your Client’s Legal Rights

This workshop is a roundtable discussion both for staff new to the field of runaway and homeless youth as well as the most experienced directors of programs. The roundtable serves as a tool to discuss: the wide range of legal issues faced by youth experiencing homelessness; how to find and access the legal resources available in each community (whether urban, small city, or rural); how to expand and improve legal services for systemic issues; and how to become equipped to find legal resources for the most troubling issues faced by youth. The goal of this session is for participants to learn how to meet legal challenges efficiently and productively.

Presenters: Linda Britton, Director of the Criminal Justice Standards Project, American Bar Association; Kelly Russo, Director of the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, American Bar Association

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Collaboration for Sustainability: Models of Social Networking for RHY Programs

This workshop highlights two models of collaboration which utilize social capital to improve outcomes for youth. The Latin American Youth Center’s collaboration with the Promotor Pathway® provides youth with longterm interventions and supports needed for lasting impact and a path to housing stability. A focus on transformative relationships, assessment of youth needed, and the significance of intentional collaboration is pivotal to success. The Crosswinds RHY Program has worked in collaboration with the Open Table to develop a sustainability plan by leveraging social capital and community-based partnerships. Staff from Crosswinds, Open Table, and youth with lived experience will provide information about how the program was developed and how it has led to more successful outcomes. Participants will be encouraged to incorporate lessons learned by Crosswinds to begin developing a social capital program in their communities.

Presenters: Susana Martinez, LAYC Chief Strategy Officer and National Network Director of the Promotor Pathway®, Latin American Youth Center; Shayna Scholnick, Promotor Pathway® Director, Latin American Youth Center; Karen Locke, Chief Operating Officer, Crosswinds Youth Services, Inc.

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Multicultural Trauma-Informed Care: Best Practices for Addressing Trauma and Diversity

This presentation addresses the importance of youth service providers acknowledging societal and personal biases in creating trauma-informed care that fosters positive minority youth engagement. Trauma-informed care models need to be adjusted and tailored to meet the culturally specific needs of diverse youth who experience trauma due to their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, ethnicity, and immigration status, in addition to the traumas faced by homeless youth. The presenters will provide an overview of the research-based evidence for trauma-informed care and its relevance to the RHY field. Participants will hear information about the work with a cohort of RHY grantees during the past year to enhance trauma-informed care programming and will provide information about the trauma-informed care-learning module for RHY grantees.

Presenters: James Bates, Lead Outreach Case Manager, Urban Peak; Nikolas Werner, Housing and Community Case Manager, Urban Peak; Kathleen Guarino, Senior TA Consultant, American Institutes for Research

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Let’s Get Classy: Empowering Youth Voices through Passion-Focused Curricula

This presentation focuses on creating passion-focused curricula for RHY. Through current models and theories of positive youth development (PYD), this session explores the benefits of utilizing youth voice, creating a positive group identity, and empowering youth to examine their strengths. This presentation highlights the importance of promoting self-worth and positive growth through curricula that are rooted in the individual characteristics of the youth served. The presenters will provide an overview of the theory and evidence behind PYD as well as its relevance to the RHY field.

Presenters: Rachel Hohneke, Outreach Case Manager, Urban Peak; Fatima Kiass, Outreach Case Manager, Urban Peak; Cindy Carraway-Wilson, Director of Training, Youth Catalytics

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Sustainability Through Change: Navigating Significant Organizational Changes

Research has demonstrated a link between the culture of an organization and the responsiveness of the organization to a crisis, funding losses, and changes in leadership. During the last few years, Cocoon House completed a capital campaign, built a new multi-use building with housing for youth/young adults and a drop-in center, and navigated significant leadership change. Although many lessons were learned during this process, Cocoon House was able to sustain funding, stability, and organizational leadership through these significant changes. This workshop helps attendees gain an understanding of the complexities, challenges, and successes of major organizational change. Topics include strategic planning, succession planning, communication, and adapting to major changes. The presenters will also share evidence supporting the link between organizational culture and sustainability.

Presenters: Rachel Mathison, Director of Programs, Cocoon House; Joe Alonzo, CEO, Cocoon House; Anthony L. Hemmelgarn, Industrial Psychologist and Organizational Consultant

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Cultural Competency in Community Engagement

As demographics increasingly change in communities across the country, the importance of client-centered care and culturally appropriate services is undeniable. Cultural competency is essential when working with diverse families and youth. This understanding begins with evaluating individual and organizational practices. This workshop explores understanding one’s own culture, the culture of an organization, and how to interact with the youth and families served in RHY programs. Additionally, participants will be introduced to resources available through Georgetown University’s National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC), supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health and Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Participants will also learn about the foundations of cultural and linguistic competence as well as hear about current research and empirical evidence concerning the importance of incorporating cultural competence into organizational practice as a foundation for the interventions and practices discussed.

Presenters: Tiffany Storey, Program Director, Children’s Aid Society; Mary Sims-Johnson, Executive Director, Madison County Citizens Services Agency

Click here to access the workshop presentation pdf (A).
Click here to access the workshop presentation pdf (B).
Click here to access the workshop presentation supplement (1).
Click here to access the workshop presentation supplement (2).

Best Practices to Support Young People in Housing First Programs

This workshop explores the rewards and challenges of Housing First as an effective housing assistance approach and highlights best practices that can be used by providers to support youth and young adults seeking and working to maintain their own safe and stable housing. In addition to Housing First, models and topics for discussion include positive youth development, harm reduction, and supported decisionmaking. Tips for engaging landlords and property owners will be shared as well as ideas for getting systems “unstuck.”

Presenters: Rebecca Kanitz, Director of Supported Housing, Pathfinders; Mindy Mitchell, Director of Individual Homeless Adult Services, National Alliance to End Homelessness

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Improving Outcomes for Homeless Youth through Early Family Engagement and Conflict Resolution

This interactive workshop begins with a summary of the empirical evidence demonstrating improved outcomes for young people through family engagement. Presenters will explore the development of an innovative intervention model by Marian Carney of New Beginnings, an agency delivering services to homeless youth and their families since 1980. The presenters will examine aspects of a family mediation model initially utilized almost 20 years ago as well as its evolution into an effective intervention today that incorporates the agency’s models of trauma-informed care, strength-based, positive youth development, risk reduction, and culturally sensitive techniques. This workshop explores family mediation and developing reunification plans as a preventative measure. Please note: This is an extended workshop scheduled to end at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Presenters: Rosie Moreau, Program Coordinator, New Beginnings, Inc.; Caitlin Ryan, Director, Family Acceptance Project®

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Connecting the Social Support Network Dots: Creating Opportunities for Permanent Connections and Social Capital

During this workshop, grantees will learn about the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent research into social capital — including peer supports and efforts to build and leverage permanent connections — in human services programs such as those that serve RHY. Presenters will review findings from literature reviews, interviews, and case studies and then describe existing practices being used by evidence-based practitioners from the field to help participants create and tap into social support networks. Participants will also discuss strategies for measuring permanent social connections and other types of social capital.

Presenters: Sofi Martinez, Social Science Analyst, Department of Health and Human Services; Shayna Scholnick, Promotor Pathway® Director, Latin American Youth Center; Karen Locke, Chief Operating Officer, Crosswinds Youth Services, Inc.

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Strengthen Your Positive Youth Development Mindset!

From a holistic perspective of adolescent health and well-being, adolescent behavior is influenced by many personal, social, and environmental factors, leading us to a broader view of adolescent development and a different approach to youth work. Using a positive youth development approach, they focus on competencies, opportunities, and supports young people need to thrive and make healthy decisions. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to new online training material on positive youth development. Presenters will explore key principles and trends in adolescent development that will change the way they engage with young people.

Presenter: Jutta Dotterweich, Extension Associate, Cornell University

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How to Retain Employees Through Effective Leadership and Management

This session explores research and best practices in non-profit leadership focused on positively impacting staff retention and employee performance. This workshop provides resources for leadership and management by offering perspectives from three agencies of varying sizes. Attendees will leave with a sense of the current research in the area of leadership and management and creative ideas for structuring career and salary incentives to retain high performing employees in an increasingly competitive job market. Please note: This is an extended workshop scheduled to end at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Presenters: Kami Diaz, LCSW, Executive Director, Central Texas Youth Services; Karen Willis, Programs Coordinator, Central Texas Youth Services; Paul Hamann, Executive Director, The Night Ministry; Melanie Heitkamp, Executive Director, Youthworks; Anthony L. Hemmelgarn, Industrial Psychologist and Organizational Consultant

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