- This event has passed.
Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference
September 19 - September 21
The Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference is a biennial event and is a joint collaboration across the family support continuum, from prevention and public health through restoration and child welfare. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we approach and do our work, and the pandemic–not to mention everything else going on in the world–has left many of us tired for so many different reasons. We hope that this conference will bring you new ideas and new energy to bring to life our conference theme, Flourishing in Times of Change.
Feel Safe Registering for the Conference
As the conference approaches, conference planners will review local, state and federal guidance related to COVID-19 and take appropriate safety precautions to protect the health and safety of conference attendees. Furthermore, if the conference has to take place virtually, the $50 registration cost will be refunded.
What Can I Expect at the Conference?
It is our sincerest hope that through active participation in workshop sessions, networking, and robust discussion that each conference participant will grow in their knowledge of effective child abuse prevention strategies and protective factors that strengthen families.
The schedule for this conference is being finalized, but don’t wait to register today to enjoy a great line-up of presenters–and plenty of time and ways for you to focus on your well-being in addition to learning. Throughout the conference, we will be hearing from national and statewide experts with talks focusing on these topic areas:
Wendy Ellis, DrPH
Dr. Wendy Ellis is an Assistant Professor in Global Health and the Director of the Center for Community Resilience at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. The Center for Community Resilience seeks to improve the health of communities by enabling cross-sectoral partners to align policy, program and practice to address adverse childhood experiences in the context of adverse community environments–or as Dr. Ellis has coined it “The Pair of ACEs”. This innovative framing of ACEs, with an explicit focus on equity and prevention, has had a substantial influence on local initiatives, programs, public health initiatives and local, state and federal policy.
Dr. Dwinita Mosby Tyler
Dr. Dwinita Mosby Tyler specializes in the development and delivery of equity, leadership, diversity, cultural responsiveness, and inclusiveness training programs and strategies. In addition to founding The Equity Project, she is also the founder of The HR Shop, a human resources firm designed to support nonprofits and small organizations. Dr. Mosby Tyler is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion Officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado—the first Black woman to hold that position in the organization’s 100+ year history. She is also the former Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for the City and County of Denver—the first Black woman to hold that position in the 63+ year history of the agency.
Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.
Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.
Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at NonprofitAF.com.
Getting to Equitable and Anti-Racist Practice
We are committed to developing and implementing anti-racist and anti-discrimination practices. How do we actively prioritize anti-racism and anti-discrimination in our relationships, communities, workplaces and systems? How do we sustain and institutionalize that change? What conversations need to happen to recognize the things that make us uncomfortable and how are we actively seeking change?
Sessions in this topic area may include explorations of work that has been, and is continuing to be, implemented in organizations and communities to reach equitable practices (concerning race, systemic racism, sexual orientation, etc.), with a focus on how this work can be expanded and prioritized.
Elevating Family and Youth Voice
Families look a lot of different ways, inclusive of single parents, foster and adoptive families, kinship providers, two-earner families, and more. Family engagement across all kinds of families is a key component in successful programming, and it is important for organizations/agencies to include Family Voice in a meaningful and successful way.
Sessions in this topic area may focus on how incorporating Family Voice builds and strengthens relationships especially as it relates to COVID, building empathy, working through conflict, social-emotional competence and behavioral health, school liaisons, and accessing and navigating public systems and services (e.g. Child Welfare, TANF, etc.). Other areas to explore could include involving families in an equitable manner (i.e. compensation), mentorship and coaching, recruitment and retention, welcoming and including family and youth voices, and using family and youth voices to direct the work we do.
Supporting Workforce Care
Recognizing that self-care can look very different from one individual to the next, these sessions will address how self-care is important all of the time, but especially in light of COVID fatigue, and certainly vital in light of an anti-racist movement. These sessions can provide an opportunity to practice self-care; discuss self-care techniques or activities for individuals, families, and workplace environments; and address other opportunities for taking care of ourselves.
Sessions in this topic area can also contain workforce management content related to recruitment, retention, change management, transitions, and supporting workforce care/self-care.
Collecting and Leveraging Data
There has been a lot of interest in recent years in using data to make informed decisions and gain insight into programmatic and community needs. In these sessions, learners will explore new and innovative technologies being used to collect and analyze data, tips on sharing data across sectors, and a chance to share studies and research (both quantitative or qualitative) related to the field.
Highlighting the Importance of Male Involvement
The work of strengthening families can sometimes focus on moms or women caregivers, in a field dominated by women. These presentations will raise awareness on the importance of intentionally giving space to fatherhood and male involvement, including male recruitment and retention, engaging men and male caregivers, and creating or revising policies and practices so that they are inclusive of male involvement.
Sessions in this topic area may include opportunities to build skills and knowledge on how this has looked in practice, as well as upcoming opportunities.
Working Together to Maximize Resources
Collaboration, cooperation, alignment, resource sharing, oh my! How does collaboration in your relationships with partners maximize resources in your work? How has working together strengthened the families and communities you serve? Examples could include shifts in practice, new collaborative partnerships, concrete resource sharing, or referral practices.
Sessions in this topic area could also include opportunities on how to think differently about funding sources, blending and braiding funding sources, and funder-led discussions.
Since the last time we met in 2020, there have been many new practices and programming established, both in response to COVID and in response to our ever-changing world. Do you know of an example where agencies, organizations and/or communities innovated in their work with children and families as a result of COVID that is continuing in a post-pandemic space? What shifts in practice took place? What have you done that has advanced the strengthening of families and promotion of the protective factors? What creative solutions have been developed or implemented to respond to the needs of families? What lessons have you learned, or what are you planning to continue, and why?
Whether big “P” around state and national level policy change, or little “p” for organizational policy change, there is a lot going on in this area. These presentations will focus on levels of change and adaptations that have already taken place, or ones that are in the works. These can be informative or awareness-building, as well as opportunities for attendees to give input and feedback on policy changes impacting families in Colorado.
Presented in Partnership by: