Workshop Sessions

The 2019 Passport to Careers Conference will feature 24 breakout sessions across 2 days. Each workshop centers on one of the seven life domains from the Seven Life Domains framework – originally published by Dr. Yvonne Unrau at Western Michigan University as Part of the Fostering Scholars programming. You can read more about that program, as well as WMU’s Fostering Success Coach Training Program here.

The Seven Life Domains framework acknowledges that while education is the central focus for the student, stability in other life domains is integrally tied to the understanding of what alumni of foster care need to thrive and succeed in college. Our conference will be focusing on the Whole Journey – all of the supports and interventions important for a student’s success in post-secondary.

Check out the workshop session descriptions below and pre-plan your conference experience for May 15 and 16! 

5/15 Session A – 1:00pm – 2:15pm

Supporting Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Under Senate Bill 6274 – Christina Dukes (National Center for Homeless Education), Kenya Haynes (National Center for Homeless Education)

Join presenters from the National Center for Homeless Education to explore foundational concepts for implementing Senate Bill 6274, which expanded Washington’s Passport to Careers Program to include youth experiencing homelessness on their own. Topics to be covered include: Who is considered an unaccompanied homeless youth under SB 6274? What are some of the educational barriers and challenges UHY experience? What supports are provided to UHY under SB 6274? What action steps can be taken to begin the process of identifying UHY and connecting them with SB 6274 supports that will set them on a path to higher education access and success?

Communicating and Relating More Effectively Across Poverty BarriersDr. Donna Beegle (Communication Across Barriers)

In Dr. Beegle’s research, 92 percent of parents living in the crisis of poverty reported “not knowing what to do next,” when leaving helping professionals. This session explores tools for communicating and relating more effectively across poverty barriers. Dr. Beegle provides a deeper understanding of how income, educational opportunities, and life experiences with foster care and poverty shapes world view, communication and how we relate to others. The fundamentals of effective communication (perception, identification, motivation and empathy) are addressed along with concrete strategies for reducing misunderstandings.

Understanding Historical Trauma of Foster Care for Tribal PeoplesRebecca Black (Quinault)

How well do you understand the historical trauma of local tribes near you and your organization associated with forced removal of our children? Do you know how Washington state ranks over all in the United States in dis-proportionality and over representation of tribal kids in foster care? Is your organization culturally responsive to our tribal kids in care? All the rage and the “it” catch phrase of organizations today, but do you really know what it means from a tribal perspective? Does your organization have a diverse work force that culturally, linguistically and spiritually represents our People? Are you ready to have the tough conversation about why you do not? Institutional racism and white saviorism is deeply entrenched in child welfare policies and practices, join me in the conversation about how we can serve tribal children better.

A Unique Point in Time: Washington’s State is ready to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessnessElysa Hovard (A Way Home Washington), Jim Theofelis (A Way Home Washington)

There are an estimated 13,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults that access homeless services in Washington State. In partnership with the Office of Homeless Youth, A Way Home Washington is leading the way of building a, “Yes to Yes,” system that has the capacity to house all young people that are experiencing homelessness. Come learn about our ground-breaking work that holds equity and young people at the center of the movement. 

adolescent2Adult: An Overview of Medicaid/Health Coverage for Alumni of Foster CareLindsey Greene (Coordinated Care), Heather Perry (Coordinated Care)

Coordinated Care’s Apple Health Core Connections is the Medicaid program that serves youth in foster care and alumni of foster care (ages 18-26). As youth transition from adolescence to adulthood, AHCC believes that youth and their advocates should know 3 key things: 1. How to access physical and behavioral health services, 2. their health care rights (what is protected and how to access records), and 3. what Medicaid covers (including dental, vision, reproductive health care, transgender services, prescriptions, preventative care, and urgent/emergent care). For youth not covered by AHCC, the workshop will address how youth can enroll in Medicaid.

Building Community Connections for Youth and Programs Alike: Strengthening Ties Between People and Among Programs to Benefit Youths’ Postsecondary GoalsAmy M. Salazar (Washington State University-Vancouver), Angelique Day (University of Washington), Sara Spiers (Washington State University-Vancouver)

This presentation describes strategies for building community connections on multiple levels, with a common aim of supporting the postsecondary goals of youth in care. First, Amy Salazar and Sara Spiers will discuss their efforts to recruit postsecondary-experienced community mentors for foster youth interested in pursuing higher education in SW Washington. Next, Angelique Day will discuss building connections among campus support programs across the country through the National Research Collaborative for Foster Alumni and Higher Education. She will also discuss the status of a federal bill designed to fund campus support programs, which would allow for more robust community building.

5/15 Session B – 2:45pm – 4:00pm

Building Campus-Based Networks of Support for Foster and Homeless Youth Under SB 6274Christina Dukes (National Center for Homeless Education), Kenya Haynes (National Center for Homeless Education)

Join presenters from the National Center for Homeless Education to explore how to develop a campus-based support network for foster and homeless youth in keeping with new requirements of Senate Bill 6274, which expanded Washington’s Passport to Careers Program to include youth experiencing homelessness on their own. Topics to be covered include:
– SB 6274 101: Who are unaccompanied homeless youth and what supports are extended to them as a result of SB 6274?
– Key ingredients: Common components of campus-based support networks for foster and homeless youth
– Bright spots: Examples of model campus-based support networks from across the country
– Next steps: Action steps for building a robust higher education support network in your area

Aligning programs for impact: TRIO & PTC Debra Lewis (Central Washington University), Julie Skokan (Grays’ Harbor College), Kathy Nguyen (Highline College), Allison Werling (Everett Community College), Fredrick Kingston (College Success Foundation)

Join designated support staff from Central Washington University, Everett Community College, Highline College and Grays’ Harbor College to discuss best practices in program alignment between TRIO and Passport. This panel discussion will cover concrete program ideas and resources, common challenges, and end with an interactive discussion about best practices. 

Passport to Careers – A Program Expansion Overview Dawn Cypriano McAferty (Washington Student Achievement Council)

Learn about the Passport to Careers program expansion that was passed by the legislature in 2018 and the resources available to help you support eligible students.

Following Our Students’ Lead: lessons and practices from designing career pathways materials with students facing housing instabilityDale Yee (Washington College Access Network), Michelle Alejano (Washington College Access Network), Mehret Tekle

This highly interactive workshop will share a study and group practices on directly engaging students to create knowledge and tools that are student-informed and scalable.  It is based on a 2018 statewide collaboration that worked closely with students experiencing housing instability to inform and co-develop college access programming and resources.  Our focus groups and surveys showed that while students fundamentally understand the value of college, they lack awareness of the pathways and faith in the system to consider it a viable option.  Together we will learn from this process and the collective experience of all participants.

Apprenticeship 101 Panel– Karen Dove (ANEW)

Come learn about pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities from experts in the field. Learn about career exploration resources, how to collaborate with local apprenticeship partners, and tools you can use to ensure your students have access to apprentice-able careers.

Screening of Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope (2016) and Film Discussion Lindsey Greene (Coordinated Care), Heather Perry (Coordinated Care)

RESILIENCE: THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS & THE SCIENCE OF HOPE chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease. RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress.

Following the film, participants in the workshop will discuss what actions they will take and what actions they would like to see their communities take to promote resilience.

5/16 Session C – 10:30am -11:45am

The Intersection Between Formal and Informal Helping Relationships: Relational Permanence After Leaving Foster CareDr. Alfred Perez (Seattle University)

For many emerging adults leaving foster care also means ending, reestablishing, and renegotiating relationships with biological family, caregivers, social workers, and other professionals. Continuing and establishing psychologically and socially meaningful relationships can mitigate distress during this critical transitional period. This workshop will explore concepts of relational permanence within the context of formal and informal helping relationships. Attendees will understand how formal helping systems (e.g., campus support programs, social workers, and other professionals) intersect with informal supports (e.g., biological and chosen family & peers) to bolster subjective and psychological well-being for emerging adulthoods with foster care histories.

Health and Wellness with Indigenous PeopleJeanne McMinds-Jackson (Coordinated Care), Kateri Joe (Treehouse)

Learning to model best designs when working in Indian Country. – Using a traditional introduction, using circles, and history/ context of the importance. Creating a tool kit (4-5) for best practices to take away when working with Native Plans. Learning what the gaps are first from the community.

Understanding the Unique Needs of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Molly Dagget (DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance), Dorthy McCabe (Catholic Community Services International Foster Care Program), and Dawa Sherpa (Lutheran Community Services Refugees Northwest Foster Care Program)

Come learn about foster youth in the federal Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program and find out how they get to the U.S. and Washington State; what their unique needs are; and how they can best be supported in their educational and career journeys.

Navigating Resources and Building Life Skills: Housing Stability and Sustainability – Julie Brown (Accelerator YMCA) , Joseph Esch (Accelerator YMCA), and Roman Phan (Accelerator YMCA)

The Accelerator YMCA supports youth and young adults in various program areas to achieve stability and meet their housing, employment, education and life skills goals. We will present on our partnership with Youth Villages in implementing the LifeSet program model, working with young adults ages 18-22 in King County. This will include a conversation on utilizing assessments to identify needs, strengths, and protective factors. We will also discuss how LifeSet and the other housing programs at the Accelerator YMCA support young people as they navigate resources and walk through the housing process in an effort to obtain and maintain stable housing.

A-B-C’s of ETV – Kathy Ramsay (Department of Children, Youth and Families), Victoria Ackerman (Department of Children, Youth, and Families)

The transition to post-secondary education can be challenging for young people generally, but it is understandably more challenging for our foster youth and young adults. In this workshop we will discuss the benefits available to assist foster youth with post-secondary education by utilizing the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program. You will learn the nuts and bolts of the ETV program and some exciting new changes.

Supporting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Accessing Post-Secondary Education: Lessons from a Drop-In Center Based Intervention –Rachel Peterson (Washington State University-Vancouver)

This session will provide an overview of street culture and how the experience of homelessness impacts educational goals and post-secondary access and retention for young people. Offering insight for providers who wish to bridge the gap between street culture and academic culture, this session’s content and reflective opportunities will draw from surveys of youth experiencing homelessness, a study of homelessness among students at a rural university, and the presenter’s experience implementing and evaluating a post-secondary access intervention based in drop-in resource centers serving youth experiencing homelessness.

5/16 Session D – 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Pathways to Student Success in the Trades –Anna Bennett (Lake Washington Institute of Technology), Jon Bersche (City of Seattle), Jerry Jordan (Renton Technical College), Steven Weaver (Lake Washington Institute of Technology)

Learn about the different pathways to a career in the trades in Washington State. Topics will include pre-apprenticeship programs (with and without college credit), apprenticeship (union and non-union, with and without college credit), and trades programs in the Community and Technical Colleges. Hear from major organizations as well as student stories.

Engaging Young People with Passport – Leah Nguyen (The Mockingbird Society)

Join young adult facilitators from The Mockingbird Society for an interactive training that will include tips on how to engage young people through the Passport program using a trauma-informed approach. Facilitators with experience as Passport recipients will act as consultants in the workshop, creating an two way, facilitated conversation where they will ask participants questions about what they have done, what worked, what has failed, helping them to troubleshoot their approaches so they are more effective and participants can ask them questions about their experiences as students. 

Indigenous Intelligence- Sui-Lan Hookano (Enumclaw High School)

Learning to navigate our world through multi-identity while remaining our true authentic self. Looking deeper into questioning. How are our students seeing themselves? How are they being represented within the curriculum or are they invisible?  How to dismantle the policies and procedures that are keeping indigenous people invisible ie. Indigenous Peoples Day vs Columbus Day. How are we changing it to empower our indigenous students, and how are we teaching other student, their peers about indigenous contributions.  How are collective histories and past traumas materializing in the classroom?

Igniting Incentives- Brian Davidson (Whatcom Community College)

The tinder is dry and set for fire, but we are missing matches. At least that is what it seems like when we think about how to utilize our Incentive Grant dollars. In this workshop, we will use design thinking exercises to collaboratively generate concrete, innovative, and actionable uses for these funds. Participants will unwittingly contribute to the Incentive Grant use possibility spectrum and walk away with a customized and prioritized implementation plan.

Sexual Health in Foster Care: Skill building for Advocates- Lindsey Greene (Coordinated Care), Heather Perry (Coordinated Care)

Sexual Health and Foster Care examines reproductive and sexual health in relationship to the foster care system. Foster youth often have higher rates of risky sexual behavior, higher rates of negative sexual outcomes, higher rates of sexual exploitation, and become sexually active earlier than their peers. This training will help participants better understand the sexual health needs of foster youth and how they can help meet these needs. This training was developed in response to needs identified by Mockingbird Society youth and in collaboration with DCYF and an Associate Professor of Adolescent Medicine from Children’s Hospital.

Innovative Public/ Private Partnerships – How Comprehensive Case Management Impacts Educational Outcomes for Youth Experiencing Homelessness –David de la Fuente (Communities in Schools of Kent), Jaime Greene (Communities in Schools of Renton), Michele Starkey (Renton School District)

Come learn more about case management as a tool to address the holistic needs of students experiencing homelessness, and unaccompanied homeless youth in particular. A panel of local school district staff and non-profit leaders will provide examples of the Communities In Schools model of Integrated Student Supports (ISS) that places highly qualified staff inside schools, to address the identified needs of each school and its individual students who are facing academic and non-academic barriers to achievement, including innovative partnerships between Communities In Schools affiliates and local school districts to address the unique needs of students experiencing homelessness in their districts.