SFTI: Strengthening Families Training Institute

Every year the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund convenes the Strengthening Families Training Institute (SFTI) which brings together over 200 child advocates, prevention practitioners, educators, and parents from throughout Idaho to learn how to prevent child abuse and neglect from national and local experts and to share their experiences with each other.

2022 SFTI Wrap-Up

Theme: Planting the Seed of an Idea: Bringing our Work to Scale

After two long years of no in-person events, we were all anxious to gather together. This year’s SFTI was so special as we got to reunite. Most of the meeting format was very familiar to previous SFTI attendees: an opening keynote, followed by a workshop by the keynote, 3 parallel workshop sessions, a final panel discussion, and the conference culminated in an awards ceremony where several organizations were commended for their contributions to preventing child abuse and strengthening families in their Idaho communities.

Christina Bethell delivered her Keynote “From Awareness to Action: Taking the Leap to Bring Healing, Equity, and Flourishing to Scale” Dr Bethell’s keynote had a focus on promoting child, family and community flourishing, even amid the adversity and trauma present in society today.  Steps and skills to shift to a flourishing paradigm will be outlined, including key skills, enabling policies and foundational mindsets essential to restore innate capacities for individual, relational and community resilience and healing. 

Through collaboration across health, education, social services and with families and communities, we can implement the science of thriving and create a joyful process that establishes the transformational resilience needed to face current challenges with hope, creativity and commitment to the well-being of all children, families, communities and ourselves.

Participants then had their choice of 8 workshops. On Day 2, there were more workshops and we closed the event with awards and an inspiring panel with Luis Granados and students from the Breaking Chains Academy of Development.

The Ed Van Dusen Legacy Award

The Ed Van Dusen Award for Exemplary Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, or The Ed! for short, is presented each year to a program selected by the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund‘s Board of Directors, which exemplifies deep commitment to and successful practice in preventing child abuse and neglect. This year we celebrated the work of the Bikers Against Bullies Idaho Falls Chapter.

Bikers Against Bullies USA is a not-for-profit group created by bikers, but not limited to bikers, that is committed to creating awareness and educating both children and adults on the benefits of living in a society of respect for each other combined with self-empowerment.

What do we do to impact the kids?

1-We do an interactive assembly in schools. We teach the kids to be themselves and to accept others differences as well.

2- We place buddy benches in the schools and teach the kids what the meaning of a buddy bench is. The Buddy Bench is a place where children can go if they have no one to play with. Kids who see someone on the bench can then go over and ask them to play.

3- We go to kid’s residences that have been bullied and empower them. We let them know they have people who care about them and their situation.

4- We work with Clandestine Kringle and take 5 families each year and do a special Christmas event for them. We buy all the gifts for the families from proceeds throughout the year and from sponsors.

5- We work with many resources like Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, Food Bank, etc., and make sure families are cared for and getting the proper help to address the types of abusive behaviors in their lives.

Why does our program work?

We use the power of the motorcycle to open the kids’ eyes and ears in what we call the wow factor.  We get to know them better and do interactive skits to show them how to deal with a bully as well as who to speak with if a situation arises. Most importantly, we teach them to be kind to each other with non-violent actions.

We strive to create a society in which our mutual respect will create a new role model for others, and through our actions enable others to have the confidence to emulate non-violent behavior and reiterate our positive message of inclusion for others. Our hope is to provide early intervention within the schools and other community resources that work with youth, providing education on the difference between abusive (bullying) and non-abusive behaviors.

The Pinwheel Awards

In 2016, the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund Board began a new tradition to recognize people and groups who have made significant contributions in the past year. The Pinwheel Awardees for 2021 -2022 are:

Idaho Public Television – When the idea for a documentary focused on how Idahoans faced with adversity developed resilience was presented, IPTV did not flinch.  Resilient Idaho: Hope Lives Here has become a tool for learning about ACEs and how we can prevent and respond to them.

Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center– Faced with the community trauma of a school shooting, UVCAC brought its skills in dealing with individual trauma to the community level.  Upper Valley has consistently placed prevention alongside their intervention work.

Imagination Intitative – When schools went online in North Idaho, this project went to work rehabbing computers and making them available to families that didn’t have adequate technology.  Over 250 families have been helped since Imagination Initiative Inc. started in 2020.

United Way North Idaho– Advancing the common good in a community is less about helping one person at a time and more about changing systems to help all of us. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthy. These successes alone surely help diminish community issues of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse.

Region I CASA—Over the years CASA NI recognized the need not only to help the children per se but to also assist reunited families.  Recognizing the positive aspects of providing “concrete support” as a foundation of Strengthening Families NI CASA added Project Permanency to their task list.

 

2022 SFTI Materials

2022 Keynote and plenary workshop RECORDING

2022 Capnote RECORDING

Christina Bethell Keynote

Workshop 2B Child Welfare in the Age of Family First

Workshop 1C Creating the Conditions for Thriving Children, Families, and Communities

2022 Brochure

Workshop 4A Libraries Help Families Build Protective Factors

Workshop 4B The Community School Strategy: Strengthening Families and Building Resilience

Workshop 1D It Isn’t Just for Parents TBRI Intro

Workshop 1A Children’s Issues in Indian Country

2021 SFTI Wrap-Up

The 2021 annual Strengthening Families Training Institute was held online!

BrochureSFTI2021

Day One KEYNOTE: The Power of Prevention

Melissa T. Merrick, PhD, is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, the nation’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. She has nearly 20 years of clinical, research, and leadership experience related to the etiology, course, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Previously, Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, and served on a detail in the Office of the Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families. In partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, she served as the lead scientist for the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study at CDC for 8 years. Dr. Merrick successfully leverages her clinical and research experiences to communicate and disseminate the critical public health importance of preventing early adversity to key stakeholders with diverse priorities, backgrounds, and knowledge, including legislators, business and civic leaders, and members of the academic and medical communities.

 

Dr. Merrick received her BA in psychology, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, joint doctoral program in clinical psychology, where she served as a program coordinator for the San Diego site of the Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect consortium. Dr. Merrick was a National Institutes of Health-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of Miami Child Protection Team (CPT), where she was involved in a multi-site program of research that examined child maltreatment risk and protective factors in families evaluated by CPTs across the state of Florida.

Dr. Merrick is married and has two young children who keep her grounded, thankful, and hopeful for a brighter future for all children.

Day 2 Keynote:  Dr.  Sarah Watamura

Sarah Enos Watamura, PhD, Professor & Chair, University of Denver

Dr. Sarah Enos Watamura is Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Denver where she directs the Child Health & Development Lab and co-directs the Stress, Early Experience and Development (SEED) Research Center. After training with Megan Gunnar, PhD, at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, she received her PhD from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University in 2005. She has longstanding interests in children¹s physiologic regulation, their development within caregiving contexts, and in understanding mechanisms and trajectories from early life stress to later physical health, mental health, cognitive/educational, and socio-emotional outcomes. Her work focuses on the unique stressors and buffers in families experiencing poverty and among newly immigrated and refugee families and includes testing promising intervention approaches. Recent projects test and develop interventions to support families facing adversity, including those that target the wellbeing of the adults in children’s lives who themselves may have history of adversity.

 

CAPNOTE: Corey Best and a panel to discuss race equity in Idaho

 

Corey B. Best is first, a dedicated father. While originally from Washington, DC, he now resides                                             in Florida. This is where Corey began his transformation into leadership training, systems building, family engagement, anti-oppressive practice, promoting protective factors, social equality and highlighting “good enough parenting” for those impacted by the child welfare system.

Mr. Best is commonly known as a leader and skilled facilitator that brings a combination of lived and professional experience as he organizes for child welfare justice and transformation. His innovative style and approach led him to receive the 2016 Casey Family Programs Excellence for Children’s Award. This work has allowed Corey to take leadership to the next level. His perspective is that a leader must have a set a values and behaviors that embrace diversity, shared power and social contribution to see lasting changes within our communities.

Corey is Certified in the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Fund’s Bringing the Protective Factors to Life in Your Work. In addition to several speaking and technical assistance opportunities, he proudly serves as an active member Board member with Alia.  His role has also morphed into a Professional Guide for the Alia Innovation Cohort.   Corey has also mobilized countless communities to intentionally share power, while infusing perspectives of constituents in practice and policy changes that directly impact communal wellbeing.  In short, Corey’s mission is to positively influence the lives of children, families, and communities through curating emotionally safe and racially equitable relationships.

 

2020 SFTI Wrap-Up

Theme: Flourishing In Hope

Screenshot 107

After postponing from March due to the coronavirus, this years’ SFTI was a fully virtual format and was held on September 2-4. Despite the distance between us, we embraced the new format and delieved all the elements that make our in-person conferences so special. Most of the meeting format was very familiar to previous SFTI attendees: an opening keynote, followed by a workshop by the keynote, 3 parallel workshop sessions, a final panel discussion, and the conference culminated in an awards ceremony where several organizations were commended for their contributions to preventing child abuse and strengthening families in their Idaho communities.

Dr. Sege and his team from Tufts University in Boston presented a keynote focused on “Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences” (HOPE) with a follow up workshop to help us learn to use new tools for building Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs).

On Day 2 participants had their choice of 8 workshops. On Day 3, there were more workshops and we closed the event with awards and a panel of formerly homeless mothers who talked about their experiences raising children while dealing with unstable housing. CATCH’s Abby White helped guide the discussion.

Link to Worskshop Presenters handouts and slide presentations: Conference Padlet

We assembled all the recordings of our recently wrapped SFTI2020 onto our YouTube channel. So much important and inspiring information was conveyed during the 3 days of the conference and we want it to make it available to as many people as possible! If you attended but missed a workshop, you can now watch it; and if you didn’t attend the conference at all, you can now obtain the valuable information conveyed as if you did.

SFTI2020 Online YouTube Channel with all conference recordings: SFTI2020YouTube

 

The Ed Van Dusen Legacy Award

The Ed Van Dusen Award for Exemplary Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, or The Ed! for short, is presented each year to a program selected by the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund‘s Board of Directors, which exemplifies deep commitment to and successful practice in preventing child abuse and neglect. This year we celebrated the work of the Protect Idaho Kids Foundation.

Protect Idaho Kids Foundation (PIK) was founded by Bruce Wingate in 2011 in the wake of the death of Robert Manwill from unthinkable abuse. Hundreds of people came out to look for Robert before he was discovered dead in a canal near his home. Bruce was so moved that he felt he needed to do something to make sure nothing like that would happen again. For the last five years, PIK has organized groups working to change the religious exemption to medical neglect in the community and at the legislature.

Bruce and PIK have been champions for children’s rights and protections. Like Ed Van Dusen, Bruce has a passion for protecting kids who need adults in their corner. He and the organization he heads received well-deserve recognition for never giving up on these kids.

 

The Pinwheel Awards

In 2016, the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund Board began a new tradition to recognize people and groups who have made significant contributions in the past year. The Pinwheel Awardees for 2019 -2020 are:

Janet Goodliffe – as a member of ICTF’s board for 15 years and previous work with Madison School District, Madison Cares, and other community involvement, she has shown incredible dedication to improving the lives of Idaho families.

Idaho Resilience Project – for bringing Idaho together to build resilience. IRP has accomplished a lot in a year including creation of the Resilient Idaho collaboration with Idaho Public Television and the launching of 2C Kids Succeed as a place-based initiative.

Panhandle Health District – has played a strong role in strengthening families through a variety of strategies including WIC, two home visiting programs, and pro-moting literacy through collaborations with local libraries.

Idaho Commission for Libraries – for promoting strong families through its network of over 150 libraries throughout Idaho. The Commission’s efforts in concert with library staffs in small and large Idaho cities, afford re-sources to Idaho families that help them learn skills and resil-iency to prevent abuse and neglect

Thomas Patterson, MD —for leadership in encouraging use of ACE and resilience screening tools for medical practices in Idaho. His enthusiastic and passionate efforts kicked off a learning collaborative statewide that now involves several practices throughout the state.

Rock the Blue Zoom Group Photo

 


 

2019 SFTI Wrap-Up

Theme: Sharing Our Stories

The momentous 20th Anniversary of our Strengthening Families Training Institute for 2019 was held March 7- 8. Thanks for joining us in Boise for “Sharing Our Stories”, this year’s theme. Patrick Mitchell, the “Down-to-Earth Dad” was our keynote and addressed the conference on “Getting and Keeping Good Men Engaged”. (Click on the image below for 2019’s conference program.)

sfti2019image

SFTI2019 Photo Collage

Ed VanDusen Award

The Ed Van Dusen Award for Exemplary Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, or The Ed! for short, is presented each year to a program selected by the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund’s Board of Directors, which exemplifies deep commitment to and successful practice in preventing child abuse and neglect. This year we celebrate the work of The Mahoney House.The Mahoney House is a great example of the kind of work that can be done in a rural and isolated community–of which Idaho has many! Because it is a small agency in an isolated rural community, The Mahoney House staff has to wear a lot of hats. Although organized as a domestic violence program, it has taken on youth empowerment, protective factors based parenting classes and a broad effort to educate about ACES and protective factors. The Mahoney House staff has worked with schools, the local hospital, social service organizations, and city government to increase awareness of the impacts of adverse childhood experiences and the importance of building protective factors in an impressive way. Through an ICTF grant The Mahoney House trained its staff in the STRONG curriculum and has been providing parenting classes.

Pinwheel Award Winners:
Wickes MacColl— Stewards of Children Instructor and early pioneer in Idaho’s use of this child sexual abuse prevention curriculum.
Katie Simmons— Director of ICARE, a project of St. Vincent de Paul, Coeur d’Alene.
Jane Zink— Leadership Director, IdahoSTARS Project, Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children.
Advocates Against Family Violence in Caldwell serves victims of domestic abuse and their families in Canyon County.

Workshop Handouts
Here are the Powerpoint presentations and other documents that select workshop speakers were willing to share with participants:

Jane Zink / Maureen Durning: What Connects Us

Rama Dean / Kevin Smith: Strengthening Families During Resettlement

Dr. Sheila Sturgeon Freitas: In-Depth Look at Resilience for Children Raised with Trauma

Lori Watson: Pick a Model – Ethical Decision-Making

Phyllis Vermilyea / Audra Green: Increase Access & Decrease Barriers Through 5 Protective Factors

Julie Meek: Hand Model of Brain
Mission Statement
COMPASSION SATISFACTION AND COMPASSION FATIGUE
Self-Care Assessment
Self-Compassion Meditation
Resiliency Plan
Resiliency Plan 2
Symptoms of Secondary Trauma & Stress
The Healthy Mind Platter
The Rain of Self-Compassion
Three Good Things
Caregiving Timeline

 


 

SFTI 2018 Wrap-Up

Theme: Together We Build Hope

2018’s SFTI Conference Brochure

The 2018 Strengthening Families Training Institute was held March 6-7, 2018 at the Riverside Hotel. The theme was “Together We Build Hope” and the keynote address was from Dr. Beverly Fortson from the CDC

sfti18Collage

 


 

2017 SFTI Wrap Up

Theme: “We’re All in this Together”

Conference Brochure
Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Sanders
Evolution of Hope: How we can ensure the safety and success of every child in America
Workshops

1A: Getting the Word Out – Using Data to Tell Your Story

1B: Housing First! A Concrete Support that Strengthens Families

1D: Building Strong Families to Prevent Child Neglect: The Colorado Community Response Program

2A: Protective Factors for Families Dealing with Mental Illness

2A: Resources

2B: Parenting and Culture

2C: The Protective Factors and Practical Practice

2D: Social Media: It’s Essential!

3A, 4A: Protecting Against Neglect, Parts 1&2

3C: Proactive Media Relations: Taking Control of Your Story

3D: Self Care is Self Regulation

4C: Social Workers Advancing Social Change: Our Ethical Responsibility to Engage in Advocacy & Organizing

4C: Handout

4D: Raising a Child with a Disability: Real Stories About How the Protective Factors Promote Strong Families

The Ed Van Dusen Award 2017 is presented to Family Services Alliance of Southeast Idaho
The Ed recognizes and rewards a particular child abuse prevention effort in Idaho that is
creative, innovative and impacts the community in a positive way by preventing the abuse
and neglect of children.

1TheED2017 Family Services Alliance
Sarah O’Banion FSA Staff Members
SFTI 2017 Pinwheel Awards:
Recognizing individuals and organizations whose work embraces the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
1BSD Award 1Buhl Award

Boise School District Buhl school District

1Parma Award 1Janet Guerin Award

Parma School District Janet Guerin

Our Refugee Panel:This panel of trained refugee storytellers shared their challenges, insights,
and experiences of parenting or growing up in their home countries and now in Idaho.
Panel2017

 

 


 

2016 SFTI Wrap Up

Theme: Connect the Dots

Opening: What’s your dot?

dots1

lil girl 2

Conference Program

 

Keynotes:

Cindy & Paula’s Darkness to Light

Ben & Bart’s Promoting Positive Norms

Ben & Bart’s Post It Exercise

A video message from Ben

A video message from Bart

 

Workshops:

1B- Strengthening Families 101foster youth board

1C- Why Words Matter

1D- ACE’s Onward!

2A- Extending Our Reach in Idaho

2B- Healthy Fatherhood

2C- Say YES to Safe Sleep

2D- Ethics

3B- Self Care

4A- Babysteps and Beyond

4C- A Path Forward, Policy Options

4D- Crying Baby Implementation

 

1 2016

 

 


 

2015 SFTI Wrap Up

Theme: Two Days of Hope and Resilience

2015 SFTI boy 1

2015 Brochure

Materials provided by presenters of the 2015 SFTI:

 

Beverly Haugen and Sherry Iverson Crying plan workshop

Why a Crying Plan Help Us Know Your Baby

 

Dr. Paul MacPherson on Shaken Baby from Call to Action 3

Crying & Abusive Head Trauma

rev1

Heather Kemp- Nurturing Parenting

Nurturing Parenting Programs

 

 

Pat Stanislaski workshops and key note

Dr. Noreen Womack

Roger Sherman

Alyssa Reynolds Ethics Workshop

  • Cultural Humility and Ethics

Presenting The Ed Van Dusen Legacy Award check to Richard Johnson of Family Advocates

 


 

2014 SFTI Wrap Up

Theme: Sending Forth Ripples of Hope to Take Prevention to Scale

SFTI JUmping Kid 2014 Brochure

 


2013 SFTI Wrap Up

Theme: Making the Connections

 

Materials provided by presenters of the 2013 Strengthening Families Training Institute.

Click on the Presentation titles to access Power Point slides.

Caren Kaplan MSW, National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds
“The Social Ecology of Child Neglect and its Prevention”
“Role of Child Maltreatment Prevention in Differential Response Systems”

Anne Tierney M. Coun., LCP, Idaho Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers
“What is INCAC?”

Beth Jacob OTR/L and Kelly O’Leary MS, CCC-SLP, St. Luke’s ELKS Rehab
“Parenting Special Needs Children”

Erika Wainaina LMSW, Marian Woods LCSW, Laura Alfani MPH, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
“Unnatural Causes”

Ross Mason BA, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
“Children of Incarcerated Parents: What You Need to Know”

Satya Kline M. Ed., Healthy Families America
“Untangling the Power that Binds: Working With Parents With Histories of Early Childhood Trauma”