You are invited to the 2023 Shoulder to Shoulder Conference!

In-person Pre-Conference 4-6:30 pm
All Day Virtual Conference 8:45 am-3:45 pm
Cost is $25 for Pre-Conference, $35 for the all-day virtual Conference or attend both for only $50
Register here:

The Sunday Pre-Conference (10/15) will be held at ODHS East Branch, 11826 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR, from 4 pm to 6:30 pm. After a pre-conference reception, there will be a presentation on ‘Staying Connected with Traumatized Adolescents’. Yshai Boussi will present a fun, dynamic session where you will learn the stages of adolescent development and how childhood trauma often impacts that process. More importantly, you’ll learn practical strategies to help these wonderful young people develop more effective coping strategies, resilience, and healthy attachment.

Monday’s virtual conference (10/16) offers four sessions, including the following:

Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ+ Youth and Young Adults with Elliott Orrin Hinkle

Increase understanding and capacity to support and affirm LGBTQ+ youth and young adults… parents, caregivers, and providers must be proactive in learning what they can do to best support this population as well as considerations to keep in mind to not cause harm and further…trauma. Learn ways to provide supportive care that builds wellness, resilience, and increases protective factors.

Foundation for Preventing and Overcoming Blocked Care with Melissa Corkum and Lisa Qualls

If you’re a parent or caregiver, are you ashamed and bewildered by your lack of compassion? If you’re a professional, are you confused by parents who seem resistant to your suggestions? There is neuroscience behind why parents may feel ineffective and may experience a sense of apathy called blocked care. Blocked care is a self-protective mechanism in a parent’s nervous system, activated by excessive stress. This suppresses the higher brain functions needed for caregiving, causing their nervous system to develop a defensive stance toward their child. In this session, we’ll use neuroscience to explain how parents can shed their shame and make powerful changes, so they can reclaim the compassionate parent they want to be.

Who Am I? with Melissa Sampson-Grier

Please join Melissa as she discusses the importance of identity and the impacts it has on children, families & communities. Through storytelling, activities & dialogue – she will take us on a journey of establishing her own identity, what she has learned as a parent  & how this has shaped her work within child welfare & equity.

Born in June, Raised in April: Reclaiming the calendar to better understand ourselves and our collective humanity with April Dinwoodie

With the calendar as a guide, transracially adopted person and host of the popular podcast ‘Born in June, Raised in April: What Adoption Can Teach the World’, April Dinwoodie will candidly explore the importance of healthy identity development, the power of building strong relationships, and the urgency of facing differences of race, culture, and class.

This multi-disciplinary conference provides professional training and builds stronger partnerships on behalf of children in the child welfare system.

Who is Invited: resource/foster and adoptive parents, kinship caregivers, birth parents, advocates, caseworkers, social workers, lawyers, judicial officers, CASAs, Citizen Review Board (CRB), mental health professionals, medical professionals, educators, child care worker and anyone else who is supporting children and families connected with Child Welfare to attend the conference.

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