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​Conference materials

​2023 Conference
San Marcos, Texas

The 2023 Conference was hosted by Texas State University. Presentations from the event appear below. 

Foster Care Liaison 101 Training 

Brenda Sweeten, University of North Texas
Christine Lynn Norton, Texas State University

K-12 to Higher Education

Felicia Penn and Hollye Pickett, Department of Family and Protective Services
Dr. LaTrenda Watson, Texas Education Agency
Aimee Corbin, ​Children's Commission

​2021 conference
Virtual

General & legislative updates

Presented by:
Christine Norton, Texas State University
Andy Homer, Texas CASA
Debra Emerson, Department of Family and Protective Services

Our Reach board members provided a thorough overview of the legislative session and COVID related resources for foster alumni and higher education professionals.

Education Reach logo

​Foster Care Liaison 101

Presented by:
Brenda Sweeten, North Texas University and
Amy O'Keefe, Texas Women's University

Reach's Foster Care Liaison 101 Training is a "must" for all new foster care liaisons or liaisons who might need a refresher on how to stand up a program. Learn the essential components of creating an intentional space for foster alumni on your campus. Follow the link to view this training.

Education Reach logo

2020 Conference
Postponed due to COVID

2019 Conference
Austin, Texas

​The 10th Annual Education Reach for Texans Conference was hosted by the Texas Institute of Child and Family Wellbeing, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and Austin Community College along with local partners.

2018 Conference
Denton, Texas

The 9th Annual Education Reach for Texans Conference was hosted by North Central Texas Community College (NCTC), Texas Woman’s University (TWU), and the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas. The keynote speakers, Angelique Day and Liliana Hernandez, provided a Federal Policy Overview of Foster Care Alumni in Higher Education.

Breakout Session 1:

Adverse Childhood Experiences
Richard Capodagli


The Resilient Student: Using a Coaching Model to Foster Care Alumni in Educational Settings - Pioneer II
Felisha Burleson
“C” What’s Happening!
Jennifer Jones


A Convergence: Foster Care, Education,& Homelessness
Brett Merfish & Gabriella McDonald

Afternoon Keynote: Federal Legislation for Foster Alumni and Post-secondary Education
Dr. Angelique Day & Liliana Hernandez

Breakout Session 2:

Support, Advocacy and Presence in Helping Youth Achieve Educational Goals
Holly Durham


Fostering Success: A Threefold Proactive Process
Dr. Javier Flores, Gigi Scott & Casey Theiman


Traveling the ETV Pathway: Tips for Sure-Footed Success
Brandi Purswell & Jennifer Conn


Managing Relationships with Dean of Students, Judicial Affairs, Greek Life, Housing, Athletics, Academic Affairs and more
Brenda Faulkner, Kelyn Green & Morgan Scott

Breakout Session 3:

Nothing About Us, Without Us: Discovering What Foster Care Alumni Want and Need from You (panel discussion)
Brenda Sweeten, Emily Williams, Maryssa Vasquez, Dellandra Adams & LaThisa Soders


Innovative Programs through On Campus Collaborations
Sarah Matteson


Tapping into Transition Centers
Madeline Reedy & Shannon Bowling


Transitional Living Services and Benefits for Foster Care Alumni

Traci Baker & Tom Ellison

Breakout Session 4:

2017 Conference
Texas A&M University - Commerce, Commerce, TX

Texas A&M University-Commerce graciously hosted the 8th Annual Convening to an eager crowd of 130 on June 11-13th, 2017. Presentations for the event are listed below. See the convening program for other details on the meeting. 

Accountability, Program Evaluation, and the Casey Family Programs’ Framework for Program Enhancement:
A Trio of Sustainability Facto
rs

Nerissa LeBlanc Gillum, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Family Studies, TWU
Amy O’Keefe, Director of Campus Alliance Resource Education (CARE), TWU
Monica Mendez-Grant, Vice President of Student Life, TWU


Your Voice is Heard: Discussing Foster Care Alumni Rights
Jason Robbins, MSW

Transforming High Mobility Into Momentum: Moving Highly Mobile Youth Towards Post Secondary Success
Vicky S. Dill, Ph.D. UT Austin
Mr. Ken Martin, B.B.A. UT Austin


STAR Heath Foster Care Medicaid Transitioning Youth Orientation
Mary Armstrong LPC, LCDC Senior Manager Foster Care Training, STAR Health Foster Care Medicaid, Superior Health Plan, Cenpatico Behavioral
Tara Hosch, BA/BS Senior Trainer Senior Manager Foster Care Training
Gloria Fobbs, LMSW Senior Trainer Senior Manager Foster Care Training


Foster Youth Transition Centers
Madeline Reedy, Senior Director, Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC), CitySquare

Creating a Pathway Towards Success: The basics of starting a foster care alumni program on your campus
Jennifer Alaniz
Ashley Ochoa, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Center for Student Success, Fostering Towards Success, Advisor
 

Navigating the Education Training Voucher (ETV) Waters: Tips for Smooth Sailing
Sarah Humphrey, BCFS Health and Human Services, ETV Specialist
Brandi Purswell, BCFS Health and Human Services, ETV Specialist

2016 Conference
El Paso Community College - El Paso, TX

The 7th annual convening at El Paso Community College in El Paso, TX on June 6 & 7, 2016 brought many state leaders and stakeholders to the table to discuss the future work needed to support foster care alumni in achieving post-secondary success. Presentations from the event appear below. Also, see the convening program for details of all presentations.

Foster Care and Student Success
Kelly Kravitz, Texas Education Agency

 education_reach_2016.pdf 

Foster care data infographic.pdf

Advocacy and Collaboration for Foster Care Alumni
Tym Belseth, TDFPS

improving_the_foster_care_experience_-_copy.pptx

Building a Successful Alumni Support System on Your Campus
Shannon Ramsey, TDFPS and Dr. Christine Norton, Texas State University

education_reach_for_texas_june_2016_el_paso_final_june_1_2016.pptx

etv_flyer_rev_r1__8.1.14.pdf

handout_for_college_foster_care_liaisons_and_foster_care_students_may_2016.pdf

The Ins and Outs of ACH - SIL Supervised Independent Living Program
Carla Storey, ACH
sil_presentation_for_casa_4-6-16.pptx

Managing Finances and Resources
Steven Christopher, Roseanne Lahti, and Angelica Canano  from Austin Community College, Campus Champions

foster_care_at_acc_-_6-16.pptx

Birth of a National Movement
Dr. Wade Bradfute, Austin Community College and Education Reach Board Member

birth_of_a_national_movement_040530-1.pptx

Life Without a Safety Net: Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
Madeline Reedy, Transition Resource Action Center

life_without_a_safety_net.pptx

Afternoon Keynote (Day 2): The Fostering Success Coach Model
Jamie Bennett, Center for Fostering Success at Western Michigan

identity_ppt-texas.pptx

tx_reach_ppt-coaching.pptx

2015 Conference
Dallas County Community College - Dallas, TX

The 6th Annual Texas Reach Convening was hosted by Dallas County Community College District at their Bill J. Priest Campus in Dallas on 2-3 June 2015. Presentations from the event appear below. Also see the convening program for details of all presentations.

Click on the "Convening Proceedings" link above to access a summary of the 6th annual meeting. The document informs readers of keynote session content, legislative updates, CPS Transformation plans, and much more.

Existing Programs: UNT PUSH

Norma Davila, BCFS Health and Human Services, San Antonio Transition Center
Kelli Rhodes, Restore Education
Kerri Rhodes, Restore Education

Existing Programs: TWU Frontiers

Sheila Bustillos, Graduate Research Assistant & PhD Candidate, Texas Woman's University

Texas Woman's University Frontier Program

Ryan Mayer, Development Officer, Texas Woman's University

Working with Foster Children

Mark Dittloff, LPC, Denton County Counseling Center

Leveraging Community Partnerships to Break Barriers to College Access

Brenda Sweeten, University of North Texas

Effectively Managing Finances and Resources

Loretta Edelen, Community Outreach Director & Foster Care Alumni Coordinator, Austin Community College
Chris Owens, Advising Supervisor & Campus Champion, Austin Community College
Kathy James, Advising Supervisor & Campus Champion, Austin Community College

Creating Pathways to Post-secondary Foster Care & Education Initiatives

Kelly Kravitz, Foster Care Education and Policy Coordinator, Texas Education Agency

All Church Home, Child & Family Services, Supervised Independent Living Programs: the Ins and Outs

Carla Storey, Senior Director - Residential Services, All Church Home

2014 - Austin Community College, Austin

The 5th Annual Texas Reach Convening was hosted by Austin Community College at their Highland Campus in Austin on 30 May 2014. Presentations from the event appear below.

Keynote Address

Scott McCown, Children's Rights Clinic Director, University of Texas School of Law

Transition for Foster Alumni

Peggy Roark, Director of Training & Professional Development, Hill Country Youth

Foster Care Alumni (FCA) in Higher Education: The Potential of a Strengths Framework

Toni Watt, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Texas State University-San Marcos
Christine Norton, Assistant Professor, Social Work and FACES Coordinator, Texas State University-San Marcos
Courtney Jones, Texas State University-San Marcos

Training/Certification for Child Placing Agencies: Becoming Familiar with Psychotropic Medications

Sandra Galindo, Regional Nurse Consultant, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Effectively Managing Finances & Resources

Loretta Edelen, Director of Outreach, Austin Community College
Marshall Levett, Counselor/Professor, Austin Community College
Chris Owens, Advising Supervisor, Austin Community College

Getting Started: Accessing Grants and Services for Foster Youth

Kristin Boyer, Philanthropy Director, Texas Guaranteed Loan (TG)
Ryan Mayer, Texas Woman's University

Birth of a National Movement

Clint Rodenfels, President and Executive Director, Education Reach for Texans

What's it All About: State and Federal Services for Foster Youth

Tymothy Belseth, ETV/Youth Specialist, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Jennifer Elizalde, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

2013 - Lone Star College, Houston

The 4th Annual Texas Reach Convening was hosted by Lone Star College-University Park in Houston on June 3 & 4, 2013. Presentations from the event appear below.

Keynote Address

Dr. John Seita, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Foster Youth and LGBT Issues

Dr. Maria Scannepico, University of Texas Arlington
Dr. Kirstin Painter, Tarrant County MHMR

Legislative Updates / CPS Overview

Audrey Deckinga, Assistant Commissioner, Child Protective Services

Importance of Self-Identifying for Service and Support

Kathy James, Foster Care Alumni Champion, Austin Community College
Lee Reichardt, Foster Care Alumni Champion, Austin Community College
Kay Cee Bruce, Foster Care Alumni Mentor, Austin Community College
Gabby Valladares, Youth Specialist, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Texas College and Career Initiatives

Kelly Kravitz, Liaison, Texas Education Agency

Techniques & Best Practices to Identify, Track and Retain Students in Your Program

Terri Jaggers, President, Montgomery County CPS Advisory Board
Dr. Christine Lynn Norton, Assistant Professor, Texas State University School of Social Work, FACES Coordinator

What's It All About: Finances & Resources

Whitney Vela, BCFS, San Antonio
Christopher Goldsberry, Assistant Director of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, University of Texas at San Antonio

Effectively Managing Finances & Resources:  Money is No Object

Loretta Edelen, Community Outreach Director, Foster Care Alumni Coordinator, Austin Community College
Sylvia Galvan-Gonzalez, Dean of Student Services, Campus Champion, Austin Community College
Christopher Owens, Advising Supervisor, Campus Champion, Austin Community College

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