About the Event

AFFM conferences provide training designed specifically for families looking for unique and advanced learning opportunities. It is also an opportunity to network with families and other providers from across the state. This year’s conference focuses on strengthening hope, future and success.

Key Benefits and Takeaways
  • The importance of strengthening hope in children and adults
  • Understanding the process of Hope by engaging in Hope Centered goal setting
  • Importance of attachment and how the experience of trauma can have a profound effect on the physiology and psychology of children
  • Hearing the real hopes of children that were previously or are currently in foster care
  • Understanding legalities of kinship care
  • Implement an attachment-focused, grief and trauma-responsive approach to caring for children
  • The importance of communities and families engaging and partnering together
  • Reducing the risks to children and families with the protective factors
  • Learn about the successes and challenges that come along with new children joining your family- particularly if their culture, life experiences, and values are different from yours.
  • How to promote resilience in children, families, and communities
Who Should Attend

Agenda

April 22, 2022 08:00 am

Opening Remarks - Dr. Todd A. Landry Director, Office of Child & Family Services

Dr. Todd A. Landry
Director, Office of Child & Family Services

April 22, 2022 08:15 am

Keynote: Hope Rising

Chan Hellman PhD
Hope Research Center

A lot of people want to change their lives, but they are not quite sure how. They think of hope as a magic wish or an idea that is out of reach. Dr. Chan Hellman shares there is both science and power in hope to help people create the change they want in life.

At the end of the presentation, Dr. Hellman will host a live Q&A session for attendees.

April 22, 2022 09:20 am

Visit Exhibitor Hall

Take some time to visit the exhibitor hall! 

April 22, 2022 09:30 am

Hope as a Verb: Looking Inward to Lean into Action

Shannon Saxby
Youth Leadership Advisory Team

Lily Maass
Youth Leadership Advisory Team

This workshop will invite participants to examine the wins and losses of dreaming and goal setting in their own lives. Facilitators will guide the group through a process of mapping out where they’ve been and where they want to go, and thinking about the steps it takes to achieve short and long-term dreams. A panel of youth experts will incorporate key pieces of Hope Theory to bring attendees along in their journey of goal setting, creating and accessing community support, and being in the driver’s seat of their futures. This workshop will help participants explore their own patterns of goal setting and provide the tools to empower the young people in their lives through conversation and youth-adult partnerships.

April 22, 2022 09:30 am

The Protective Factor Framework for Strengthening Families

Denise Trafton, MSW
Maine Children's Trust

Heidi Aakjer, MPA
Maine Children's Trust

Protective factors are characteristics or strengths of individuals, families, communities or societies that act to mitigate risks and promote positive well-being and healthy development. Most often, we see them as attributes that help families to successfully navigate difficult situations. A protective factors framework is an organized set of strengths-based ideas that are used to guide programs, services, supports and interventions aimed at preventing child maltreatment and promoting healthy outcomes. The Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework from the Center for the Study of Social Policy distills extensive research in child and family development into a core set of five protective factors that everyone can understand and recognize in their own lives.


Goals/Objectives –
Participants will be able to:

  • List five protective factors that help keep families strong and prevent child abuse and neglect. 
  • Identify multiple strategies and everyday actions that help families to build those protective factors.
  • What it means to work with families in a strength-based way. 

Protective Factors Action Sheets

Protective Factor Slides

 
April 22, 2022 09:30 am

Kinship Care and Legal Responsibilities: Who to Call and When

Bette Hoxie
Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program

Elizabeth Stout, Esq
Volunteer Lawyers Project

The Kinship Program and Volunteer Lawyers Project have partnered to help bring hope to the legal and personal relationships of kinship families. This partnership will also provide information to attorneys and other professionals working with relative caregivers.

Kinship care is highly fraught with emotions, divided loyalties, and an array of grief and loss. Though kinship caregivers often report a great deal of joy that comes with raising their kin children it is not always easy, especially if they lack the legal authority to make important decisions. With over 30 years of experience, Bette and Liz will shine a light on helpful information that will guide a family through the emotional and legal difficulties faced by kinship caregivers and professionals.

April 22, 2022 12:00 pm

Lunch and Networking Time

Take this time to network with peers in the lounge, visit the silent auction, work on your scavenger hunt and eat some lunch! Make sure to take care of YOU!

April 22, 2022 01:30 pm

The Power and Application of Hope

Brett Hayes
Oklahoma Department of Human Services

The Science of Hope is powerful and leads to improved outcomes for children and adults. In this workshop, we will revisit the Science of Hope and learn how the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) applied Hope to become the first Hope Centered Organization. In addition, we will walk through the process of Hope by engaging in Hope Centered goal setting.

April 23, 2022 08:00 am

Opening Remarks - Travis Bryant, Executive Director of Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program

April 23, 2022 08:15 am

Building Bridges of Hope in our Families and Communities

Sue Badeau
Adoptive Parent, Speaker, Author - 'Are We There Yet'

Using images and facts about bridges, as well as anecdotes and stories spanning 40+ years of experience in the trenches of foster care and adoption, the presenter will paint vivid and often humorous pictures of foster and adoptive family life in a manner that illustrates the enormous power that families have in creating healing and wholeness for children. Stories will also illustrate critical lessons learned about the importance of communities and families engaging and partnering together to ensure the best outcomes and opportunities for children and youth to grow and thrive.

April 23, 2022 09:20 am

Take part in the Scavenger Hunt!

Have you looked in all the corners of the virtual conference for the scavenger hunt items? 

April 23, 2022 09:30 am

Fostering Resilient Environments

Kini-Ana Tinkham
Maine Resilience Building Network

Breakthrough research shows that early childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are linked to increased risks for physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health problems throughout life. They also can be passed down intergenerationally. Preventing and healing ACEs is possible.

Science also shows that resilience and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) influence health and well-being. The good news is that resilience, which includes positive connections, can be learned and cultivated at any age. No matter our age, there are science-informed ways to support resilience and build protective factors for all members of our community.  Breakthrough neuroscience will be reviewed providing participants with a model for understanding the nervous system and emotion regulation. The science of compassion and mindfulness will also be explored as strategies to build resilience in ourselves and foster it in the youth in our lives. Participants will leave with strategies, tools, and resources that support and promote resilience and well-being.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to…

  1. 1. Summarize the science of ACEs 
  2. Describe positive childhood experiences and their influence of well-being
  3. Describe what resilience is and how it can be promoted in children, families, and communities
  4. Explain emotion regulation and co-regulation  
  5. List 3 resilient strategies for promoting well-being

 

April 23, 2022 09:30 am

Communicating Today In A Diverse World For A Happier Tomorrow:

Travis Bryant
Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program

Marcus Stallworth
Co-owner Welcome to Reality, CWLA Director of Training and Implementation

Sophie Crooker
Adopted Youth

Cyndi Dolloff
Resource Parent

Bobbi Johnson
Office of Child and Family Services

Angela Okafor
Okafor Law Practice

The main purpose of this workshop will be to learn more about the successes and challenges that come along with new children joining your family- particularly if their culture, life experiences, and values are different than yours.

Facilitated by:
Marcus Stallworth
, Co-owner Welcome to Reality, CWLA Director of Training and Implementation
Travis Bryant, Executive Director Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program

Panel Members:
Sophie Crooker - Adopted Youth
Cyndi Dolloff - Resource Parent
Bobbi Johnson - Associate Director Office of Child and Family Services
Angela Okafor - Attorney, Bangor City Council, Entrepreneur

April 23, 2022 09:30 am

Adoption for a Lifetime: Finding our Lifeline when the Road is Rocky

Susan Badeau
Adoptive Parent, Speaker, Author - 'Are We There Yet'

Adoption has often been described as a gift that brings hope, joy, miracles and lifelong blessings to all involved. That can all be true. AND at the same time, adoption is hard. Grief, loss, anger, confusion, frustration – all of these emotions are experienced by both the children and adults involved in adoptions. Grief and loss related to being separated from everything and everyone one loves, challenges the system itself creates in our lives, emotions related to the loss of the life we once hoped for or dreamed about. Trauma, multiple foster care moves, disruptions or ruptures in attachment can contribute to many of these challenges for both children and the adults who love them. How do we cope with this mix of our own emotions while also helping a child to cope with theirs? How do we find and hold onto a lifelong, when it seems like we can’t find enough strength to put one foot in front of the other? When we started down our adoption path and heard the phrase, “it’s a lifetime commitment” is this – this experience right now – is this really what we signed up for? Participants in this workshop will also become informed, inspired and better equipped to implement an attachment-focused, grief and trauma-responsive approach to caring for children, while adding skills to their resiliency-building tool kit and understanding the important role of creating and sustaining hope.

April 23, 2022 12:00 pm

Lunch and Networking Time

Take this time to network with peers in the lounge, visit the silent auction, work on your scavenger hunt and eat some lunch! Make sure to take care of YOU!

April 23, 2022 01:30 pm

Through A Child’s Eyes: Understanding The Effects of Attachment & Trauma

Jim Harris
Owner of Opportunities Consulting Services and the Associate Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University

Unfortunately, if you are working with children and families today, you are likely encountering the effect of attachment disruption and trauma.  In this session Dr. Harris helps you better understand the developmental importance of attachment and how the experience of trauma can have a profound effect on the physiology and psychology of children.  Dr. Harris will explore different types of attachment and how they can impact the developmental trajectory of children.  He will also explore how understanding these potential effects can help us provide more responsible and effective interventions.

Speakers

Chan Hellman PhD

Hope Research Center

Chan Joined the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Chan is a professor in the Anne & Henry Zarrow School of Social Work and Founding Director of the Hope Research Center. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Pediatrics for the OU College of Medicine and the Department of Health Promotion Science for the OU College of Public Health.

Chan’s current research is focused on the application of hope theory to predict adaptive behaviors, and hope as a psychological strength that buffers stress and adversity among those impacted by family violence. In this context, he is also interested in the impact of prevention and intervention services on improving client hope and wellbeing. The Hope Research Center is focused on developing, testing, and implementing a trauma-informed and hope-centered framework for human service agencies. The HRC partners with these agencies to conduct outcome evaluations to improve the hope and well-being through effective program service delivery.

Hope is the belief that the future will be better and you have the power to make it so. Hope is based on three main ideas: (1) the ability to set desirable goals, (2) ability to identify viable pathways to these goals, and (3) the capacity to dedicate mental energy or willpower to pursue these goals.

The science demonstrates that hope is a critical psychological strength. Hope is easily measured in children, adults, and communities. Hope can be increased and sustained through effective programming. Hope is one of the most important predictors of positive outcomes for human service agencies.

Shannon Saxby

Youth Leadership Advisory Council

Shannon Saxby joined the YLAT team in 2011 and has been inspired ever since! Hearing the experiences of young people, and what youth in care are currently facing motivates Shannon to think creatively with her partners to create sustainable changes and reforms to the child welfare system in Maine. Shannon often describes her connections with young people as “humbling” and feels truly lucky to be a part of their journeys. You’ll see Shannon facilitating at YLAT meetings, panel presentations and training, and as the voice behind the YLAT social media pages. Currently, Shannon serves as the Adult Liaison for Maine’s partnership with the Foster Youth in Action, a national organization that brings a network of programs, like YLAT, together to create a larger voice for youth in foster care. When Shannon isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time with her daughters, reading a good book and catching up on her favorite TV shows with her fur babies.

Lily Maass

Youth Leadership Advisory Team

Lily Maass joined YLAT in 2019 after studying Child Development and designing and implementing teen programming in a variety of settings. Lily’s passion for working with youth and young adults stems from the belief that all young people hold an inherent ability to strengthen the systems and communities they engage with through sharing their expertise and unique perspectives to enact change. Outside of work, Lily loves to try new recipes, relax on the beaches and in the woods of Maine, and spend time sitting on the porch with friends listening to old music.

Denise Trafton, MSW

Maine Children's Trust

Denise is the Prevention Support Specialist for Maine Children's Trust. Maine Children’s Trust coordinates Maine’s network of Prevention Councils. Denise provides curricula training and technical assistance to council staff. Denise assists each Prevention Council to successfully implement county specific primary prevention services that include raising awareness of child abuse prevention, providing evidenced based parent education, and training professionals that work with children and families.

Heidi Aakjer, MPA

Maine Children's Trust

Heidi is the Assistant Director and Prevention Coordinator at Maine Children’s Trust, a statewide organization that works to strengthen families, promote healthy relationships, and support communities to prevent child abuse and neglect. In this role, she develops and implements statewide prevention messaging, planning, program implementation as well as efforts to strengthen the network of Prevention Councils located in every county in the state. Heidi has 20 years of experience in working in child and family services including family court, the juvenile prison system, children’s homes, school systems, and child abuse prevention services. Heidi enjoys spending time outside hiking and boating with her husband and two sons.

Bette Hoxie

Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program

Bette is mother to 21 children: 3 biological, 8 adopted and 10 former foster children who consider Bette their Mom. Bette has cared for over 150 foster children since becoming licensed in 1972. Bette laughs when she thinks about how she imagined retirement and the reality at 75. Bette is now a caregiver, through guardianship through probate, to a super active toddler who happens to be diagnosed as autistic as well as a licensed foster parent to a 6-year-old grandchild. Bette has worked in the child welfare field as an advocate for adoptive, foster and birth parents of special needs children since 1980 and has been providing an array of training since 1984. Bette specializes in providing training to individuals caring for children who have had prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs. She is the former Executive Director of Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program, and currently the Kinship Supervisor.

Elizabeth Stout, Esq

Volunteer Lawyers Project

Elizabeth Stout received her law degree from the University of Maine School of Law and joined the Maine Bar in 1990. Since then, she has worked as an Assistant District Attorney, an Assistant Attorney General in child protection, a family law attorney, guardian ad litem (GAL) and mediator. In 2020, Liz joined the Volunteer Lawyers Project as executive director. Liz lives in Portland with her husband.

Brett Hayes

Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Brett Hayes has worked at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for 14 years and currently serves as the Director of Hope Transformation where he leads the organization’s statewide efforts to infuse the Science of Hope to improve outcomes for children and families. Brett strongly believes in the Science of Hope and has seen firsthand how applying this practice can improve the lives of all Oklahomans. He serves as a co-chair on the Children’s State Advisory Workgroup and is a member of the Trauma Inform Care Task Force. Brett earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Brett resides in Oklahoma City and is adoptive parent of three children and a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Sue Badeau

Adoptive Parent, Speaker, Author - 'Are We There Yet'

Sue Badeau trains, consults and speaks nationally and internationally on trauma, racial justice, family engagement, self-care and more and serves in leadership capacity for Justice for Families, the Association for Training and Treatment of Trauma in Children (ATTACh) and Imara International. She is an in-demand consultant for numerous public and private child welfare, youth and adult justice and mental health agencies, courts, prison systems, and other organizations in the USA, Canada and Kenya. After receiving a degree in Early Childhood Education from Smith College, Sue worked for many years in child welfare and juvenile justice systems. She has worked closely with the North American Council on Adoptable Children. National Child Traumatic Stress Network, A Second Chance, Inc., All Children, All Families, the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Casey Family Programs and the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. Sue has developed curricula and provided training in all fifty states, several Tribal nations and internationally in North America and Africa. Sue and her husband, Hector are lifetime parents of 22, two by birth, 20 adopted and have also been foster parents to 75 and hosted refugees from Kosovo and Sudan. They have co-authored Are We There Yet: The Ultimate Road Trip, Adopting and Raising 22 Kids and Building Bridges of Hope: A Coloring Book for Adults Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma. Sue and Hector grew up in New England, raised their family in Philadelphia and now live in an RV with a landing pad in North Carolina and dividing time between work, speaking engagements, their many grand and great grandchildren and volunteer trips to Kenya.

Website: https://www.suebadeau.com/

Kini-Ana Tinkham

Maine Resilience Building Network

Kini-Ana Tinkham, Executive Director, Maine Resilience Building Network Kini-Ana Tinkham is the Executive Director of the Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN). Kini works to improve the health and well-being of children, families and communities by advancing the MRBN mission through capacity building, system integration, policy and advocacy. Kini has worked in public health and healthcare for close to 40 years as an RN, educator, advocate, and leader. She brings system transformation leadership to advance health equity, wellness, and improved health and well-being. In addition to her work at MRBN, her career expands across maternal and child health, home visitation, school-based health centers, youth leadership, education, clinical healthcare delivery, and public health. Kini has served as a school board member and Chair of the RSU #38 school committee and a past recipient of the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) Youth Leadership and Advocacy Award. Maine Resilience Building Network: www.maineresilience.org

Travis Bryant

Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc. & The Kinship Program

Travis is the Executive Director for Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine & The Kinship Program and has been working with AFFM for 7 years. Travis serves on the Maine Child Welfare Advisory Panel, The Justice for Children Task Force, and is Coordinator for the Resource Parent Advisory Committee. Travis spent his childhood years with his mother and stepfather who provided foster care for youth in Maine. Later in life, he received his undergraduate degree in Mental Health and Human Services from The University of Maine Augusta and then went on to earn his MSW from the University of New England. Travis values family connections and building supportive communities. Travis enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering as a youth sports coach and is the Vice President of the local Youth Hockey Association. First and foremost, Travis is a proud husband and a father of three boys ages 11, 12 & 15.

Marcus Stallworth

Co-owner Welcome to Reality,
CWLA Director of Training and Implementation

Marcus Stallworth, LMSW, has spearheaded several initiatives to promote the engagement of Fathers, the prevention of abuse and neglect, and the dangers of Social Media. He has direct experience educating and supporting Human Trafficking and Sexually Exploited victims, training staff on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and advocating for youth in Foster Care. Marcus is the Director of Training and Implementation at the Child Welfare League of America and is also co-owner of Welcome 2 Reality, LLC which focuses on providing media literacy and education for students and parents regarding media literacy and technology.

Sophie Crooker

Adopted Youth

Sophie is 14 and is a freshman in high school. Adopted as an infant, she is passionate about promoting the interests of adoptive families and children and cares deeply about diversity and inclusion. She enjoys running track, playing volleyball, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.

Cyndi Dolloff

Resource Parent

Cyndi is a single parent as well as an educator. Children learn how to respond to others by watching the adults around them.

Bobbi Johnson

Office of Child and Family Services

Bobbi is the Associate Director of Child Welfare Services for the Office of Child and Family Services within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Bobbi has experience with community building at both the local and statewide levels and has been instrumental in moving the work of child welfare from an agency responsibility to the shared re- sponsibility of families, OCFS and community partners.

Angela Okafor

Okafor Law Practice

Angela Okafor is an immigrant from Nigeria, currently living in Bangor with her three children. She is the sole practitioner at Okafor Law Practice and the owner of Tropical Tastes & Styles International Market and Gela's Hair Braiding & Crafts. Angela is the first person of color and first immigrant to serve on the Bangor City Council. She is an Americorps Vista Member working with the Maine Multicultural Center and a Husson University MBA 2022 student.

Jim Harris

Owner of Opportunities Consulting Services
and the Associate Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University

Dr. Jim Harris is the owner of Opportunities Consulting Services and the Associate Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University. He has had several roles in the health and human services field throughout his career as an early interventionist, parent educator, educational consultant, university professor, and behavioral health therapist. Dr. Harris has presented at a variety of conferences from the local to the international levels on such topics as behavioral intervention, parenting, positive behavior support, trauma-informed care, organizational change, and many more. He is the creator of “10 Things You Need to Know About Kids”, an audio program that helps parents and teachers be more effective in their work with children. He has also worked with a variety of public and private entities including the Fred Rogers Company, United States Department of Education, the United States Department of Justice, and many more.

Dr. Todd A. Landry

Director of the Office of Child & Family Services

Dr. Todd A. Landry, Director of the Office of Child & Family Services: Dr. Landry holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas and a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. He earned his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, in 2018. Landry most recently was chief executive officer of Lena Pope in Fort Worth, Texas, a nonprofit that serves children and families with an array of prevention and early intervention services, including childcare, public education, mental health counseling, and juvenile justice. He previously served as director of Nebraska's Division of Child and Family Services and sits on national boards, including the Child Welfare League of America, a national coalition of private and public agencies working to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families.

Exhibitors

You may register as an individual or with a partner. If you register with a partner, you are agreeing to participate in the conference together.

To register with a partner use one email address. Enter the first and last name of the owner of that email, then add the second name under the partner field.

Registration is free for all MAINE resource families. There is a $30.00 registration fee for professionals and resource families from outside of Maine. Payments should be sent to AFFM 304 Hancock Street, Suite 2A, Bangor, ME 04401 Attention Monica Bushey

Register Now
Frequently Asked Questions
Your login details will be emailed to you ahead of the event. You can use these details to access the online event.
This is an online event. You do not have to travel to any specific location. You can participate anywhere that you have Internet access. The event is accessible from desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Yes, you will need to enter your name and email address to enjoy all the features.
NO. You do not need to download or install any software to participate in our conference. You only need to have access to the Internet.