NIPFC Trainings

NIPFC's Training Menu

To inquire about any of these trainings, please email us at familyfinding@senecacenter.org or call us at (510) 654-4004 x2238. All training is customized to meet the needs of your individual group and any planning and coordination calls prior to training are included in the cost of the training. We recommend that you schedule your session(s) at least 4 months in advance however, please inquire with us for details since our calendar is frequently updated.
  *Please note that soft copies of the training materials will be sent to you however, each party is responsible for making handouts for their participants.

Family Finding Training and Consultation Series (6 sessions over 6 months)
This customized series includes an orientation as well as a comprehensive and detailed training of the 6 steps to finding family. Included is a deliberate focus on preparation of child welfare staff, youth and family and other professionals. This series is designed to assist jurisdictions in their efforts to implement family finding and also provides interactive and supportive case specific consultations designed to address obstacles and challenges unique to each case, community and agency.

Lighting the Fire of Urgency (1 to 2 full day sessions)
This presentation highlights the adverse outcome trends for foster youth and focuses on the need to prevent multiple placements, long term foster care plans or exiting from the system without a permanent family connection. The struggles youth will face after leaving the system without a permanent family or committed adult include isolation and loneliness, unresolved grief and loss, homelessness, joblessness and lack of educational opportunities. This training provides a unique perspective of what we can do to prevent many of these outcomes and how important it is that we realign our focus on these issues prior to and immediately after removal, rather than waiting until youth age out of the system.

Making Connections Happen (1 to 2 full day sessions)
An overview of family finding values and principles followed by an explanation of the six steps to family finding and a description of the practice. The remaining day and a half are spent in teams where participants will practice the first two stages (discovery and engagement) to find as many potential connections as possible for their most lonely children. Trainer will assist team members in implementing the practice and overcoming emerging barriers.

Consultation /Field Training
Consultation/field training provides personalized assistance in the administration and practice of family finding and engagement processes, and case specific review. These sessions can be held in conjunction with any other trainings listed and can be held prior to or following the implementation of a family finding or permanency related pilot/process. Sessions promote the effectiveness of the supervisor relationship, support and provide strategies to integrate these models into daily practice, and further the development of system-wide protocols, county-wide procedures or state-wide programs.

Fatherhood Trainings and Workshops (half to full day session)
This training highlights the continued need to recognize the importance of the father and child relationship and to shift practice to be inclusive of fathers at all stages of the dependency/delinquency proceedings Strategies designed to immediately and routinely identify, locate, notice and meaningfully engage the father and his family are discussed and developed. A detailed framework for involving fathers in the lives of his children and examining the power of his presence despite systemic and social impediments is included.

AB938 Training (half to full day session)
Customized for California Counties in their development of processes to comply with the newly enacted AB-938 (Fostering Connections – Notice and Engagement of Relatives). Included is an overview of Federal and State legislation with an emphasis on how to use this process as a permanency “springboard,” by expeditiously locating and meaningfully engaging relatives (including non-custodial fathers) who could be provide a supportive relationship or placement. County specific development and implementation of front-end work (i.e., providing intensive family finding and engagement to prevent removal or in support of the permanent plan) are main foci.

Collaboration/Building Relationships (half to full day session)
Occasionally efforts to systematize permanency can become bogged down within the complexity of multiple systems that are not linking effectively. The National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness team can assist you in building or enhancing the effectiveness of your collaborative effort through facilitated sessions to promote better understanding of roles and responsibilities within your collaborative. Preparation for this training includes telephone or face-to-face conversations with the management of each stakeholder group to gain insight into the needs of the jurisdiction. Discussions include a focus on shared leadership, team building and problem solving. The group will develop action planning, next steps and future assessment of the processes developed.

Facilitation of Strategic Planning Discussions (half to full day session)
These sessions are developed with input and conversation with each specific county stakeholder managers and directors. They are designed to bring the decisions makers to the table, discuss needs and direction of the group and develop strategies and tools to implement county permanency programs and pilot projects. The purpose of these facilitated discussions is to guide the alignment of permanency goals to existing or developing strategic programs and system improvement plans, identify challenges and opportunities and as a team, develop next steps in the implementation of permanency related programs within their community.

Family Finding and Permanency Strategies in Juvenile Justice (full day session or combined with Family Finding Training Series)
Beginning with an orientation and facilitated discussion surrounding the unique issues of youth entering or currently placed in an “out of home setting” within the juvenile justice system, county probation is lead through the state and federal permanency requirements. Thereafter, these county probation professionals are guided through the development of implementation processes for steps to family finding and engagement as well as other permanency related strategies.

Understanding and Supporting the Process of Grief and Loss in Children and Youth (half to full day session)
Being separated from loved ones and being torn from home and everything familiar is devastating for children and youth. The resulting experiences of loss and grief are profound and lasting. Because children have no choices in this experience, the impact for them is more severe than that for the adults in similar events. The training is designed to increase understanding, awareness and strategies for caretakers and providers who will help the child process, cope and eventually integrate the overwhelming and persistent feelings they are struggling with. We have incorporated experiential exercises to build empathy and sensitivity in care providers.

The Impact of Trauma on Child Development and Learning (half day session)
In this training trauma will be illustrated and addressed from the perspective of the neuro-physiological impact on child development and learning. Participants will learn about problems and the risks of normalizing behavior in traumatized children. Participants will become familiar with the signs and symptoms of internal and external triggers experienced by children with specific interventions geared to creating regulation in the stressed out child. The importance of relationship and regulation to help facilitate the healing process will be discussed. Finally, the group will learn about secondary trauma and how they can minimize its impact.

Compassion Fatigue AKA Vicarious or Secondary Post Traumatic Stress Impacts (half to full day session)
Addressing stress in the workplace has traditionally been avoided or seen as a distraction to the delivery of service. This highly interactive training integrates stress management techniques and strategies off and on the work site without interrupting productivity. Participants are encouraged/prompted to understand their vulnerabilities, recognize early your own and your colleagues warning signs of vicarious stress., and utilize successful self care strategies to regain a state of neuro-physiological regulation This approach can be applied to unique work settings to strategize appropriate opportunities to incorporate self care concurrent with work performance.

Kinship/Grandparent Caregivers for the Professional (1-2 day full day sessions)
This training is designed to inform professionals of the growing trend of Grandparent placements and their need for distinct and individualized preparation, training and engagement. The interactive workshop is designed to assist the professional in the development of specialized and routine engagement skills, and to support the development of a life-long relationship, thus preventing return to foster care. Included is a discussion of certain grief and loss issues that are unique to the grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

Kinship/Grandparent Preparedness Training
This training designed to assist Child Welfare Staff, Counties, FFAs, Grandparent Resource Centers or community-based outreach trainings through a tailored workshop to include topics such as navigating the dependency/delinquency court process, preparing for a life-long commitment with a relative in care; grandparent and relative rights and responsibilities; how to seek Guardianship status; differences between Guardianship and Adoption; how to access resources and supports while providing care for a relative.

Presentations/Conferences
The Family Finding Team is equipped to provide keynote addresses, workshops and community outreach on any of the subjects provided in this summary. The Family Finding team focuses on attending and presenting at conferences that ideally would have an impact on the child welfare community, including Judicial Officers, Attorneys, CASA and other service providers who work in the dependency and delinquency systems.

Discovery and the Search Process (can be performed by phone/Skype)
Using internet Search engines to locate relatives for youth in Foster care. Focuses on using free, paid and premium search databases, including social network searches. Emphasis on mining the case files, basic search strategies, and reading the data. Can be performed by phone/Skype.

Hands-On Search Training
Live in-person training where we take actual cases and walk you through the search process and strategies, including using your in-house databases, demonstrating other possible database options, and advanced interpretation of the data.

Advanced Search Strategies (can be performed via phone or Skype)
Getting the most out of your database searches. Discusses strategies to increase your effectiveness in the search process including choosing the right database, leveraging paid sites to find free information, when to use free services and when it is necessary to use paid services. Also includes strategies in locating difficult to find relatives. Includes advanced interpretation of the data.

Square-Peg Teens in Round-Hole System: Let's Stop the Insanity (keynote presentation)
We must stop the practice of placing square-pegs in round-holes and recruit permanent square-peg parents for every square-peg teen due to be discharged from the foster care system completely alone. To see Pat O’Brien deliver this keynote at Emory University Law School, click here.

The Saving F.A.C.E. Approach to Finding Permanent Parents for Every Teen (half day session)
This presentation discusses how to find unconditionally committed permanent parents for teens using this three prong recruitment approach: Friends, Acquaintances, & Community Education (F.A.C.E). We explain the need to find permanent homes for every teen in our care in order to prevent their homelessness upon discharge from care and dispel myths about where the homeless come from. From there, the workshop moves to a discussion about permanency planning goals and how an inappropriate goal can cause half the homelessness in our culture. We discuss outcome studies about what happens to youth after their discharge from foster care alone and how our attitude is the only obstacle to finding permanent parents for any teen in our care. Then it’s time to get practical with how-to guidance for finding permanent parents for every teen in our care using the Friends Approach (recruiting people the youth know), The Acquaintance Approach (Introducing the Youth to persons recruited through general recruitment techniques he or she will get to know), and how taking an approach of Community Education that leads many of the folks from the general public to consider adopting these much older youth.

Unconditional Commitment:  The Only Love That Matters (half day session)
There is a great need for prospective and current parents to become unconditionally committed to the children that they care for, particularly teenagers, in order to prevent disruptions in permanent family homes. The emphasis here is that every child in foster care needs one placement and one placement only, and the challenges to unconditional commitment are explored and addressed.

Laughter for the Health of it:  The Importance of Laughing Even When Nothing Seems Funny (half day session)
Laughter is important for both human emotional and mental health and it can play a helpful and healing role in parenting and everyday work and family life. Laughing is one of the healthiest things one can do when confronted with the major stresses and emotional pains in life. This presentation will highlight how one can bring more laughter into both home life and work life particularly during those times when nothing seems funny.

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