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Workshop Descriptions

Morning Workshops

1. The Cost of Caring: Secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and the importance of self-care

Presenter: Amy Korsch-Williams and Jennifer King, Case Western Reserve University


In this session, participants will develop an increased understanding of the prevalence and impact of trauma on youth and adults, as well as the potential secondary effects of working with and caring for individuals impacted by trauma. Information will be shared on ways to identify both overt and covert signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Participants will be provided with concrete action strategies to prevent and address burnout in meaningful ways and resources for the development of long-term self-care plans.


2. The Cuyahoga County Strategic Plan: How it affects the senior population

Presenters: Marlene Robinson-Statler, Executive Officer; Darlene Wade, Deputy Director; Richard Jones, Administrator; Division of Senior and Adult Services


This session will outline how Cuyahoga County’s new strategic plan will create opportunities for older persons and for agencies seeking funding through phase 2 of the Senior Center Innovation Initiative. Information on how providers can access information on the range of services for older persons will be shared. Participants will gain an understanding of new initiatives emerging from the county’s new strategic plan affecting older persons.


3. Do our services make a difference? How Cleveland Legal Aid uses text messaging to collect outcome data from clients

Presenter: Anne Sweeney, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland


This session will analyze a pilot project that used texting clients to receive advice or brief services. Presenters will share why the data are helpful: the client experience; development process and data; available technology; and how data can improve services.


4. Creating a shared language to treat the whole person: How one Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) integrates medical, behavioral health and substance use treatment

Presenter: Meagan Ray-Novak, Care Alliance Health Center


This session will outline the implementation of a person-centered care approach by a transdisciplinary team of social workers, counselors, medical providers and executive leadership. Participants will learn about the experience of developing shared medical-behavioral health visits, expanding trauma informed practices, and creating a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. Techniques that helped in the development of collective understanding and language to overcome challenges will be shared.


5. Practical Strategies for Effective Advocacy

Presenters: Douglas Beach and Cyndi Rossi, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging and William Tarter, The Center for Community Solutions


This session aims to empower participants with advocacy skills to make a positive difference in the lives of those they serve. Presenters will examine the dynamics of effective advocacy; identify advocacy opportunities; and outline advocacy strategies to educate legislators. Critical issues, such as food insecurity and hunger, will be addressed. Learn to become an effective advocate who will protect and create a voice for those we serve.


6. Strategies in Employee Morale and Retention: Healthy Environment = Happy Family

Presenter: Crystal Wallace, SOS Caregiver Resource Service


This session will explore strategies to increase employee morale and staff retention. Participants will explore effective and ineffective organizational experiences. The responsibilities of the agency, manager, and employee for effective practices will be reviewed. Participants will learn ways to develop and integrate strategies in their program and agency.


7. Wake-Up Call: CSU School of Social Work student policy advocacy for the families in the Greater Cleveland Series

Presenter: Michael Dover, Cleveland State University


In this session social work students will share research-informed fact sheets, advocacy letters, and policy briefs inspired by the families in the Cleveland Plain Dealer/ series, A Greater Cleveland. Students will present their research aimed at proposing specific policy changes that would seek to improve the lives of families included in the series. A range of policy strategies will be presented by the social work policy practitioners of the future.


8. "You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts”: Moving great teams forward in the midst of change

Presenter: Pamela Peek, Program Manager for Heights Family to Family Program, The Centers for Families and Children


This session will explore changes in social welfare and its impact on program service delivery. As supervisors attempt to motivate and navigate teams forward and offer creative solutions, discussion will explore how personal values and opinions can undermine the actions necessary to communicate and work through change. Strategies for managing change on both personal and professional level will be identified. Common mistakes encountered by supervisors will be addressed.


9. Building Capacities for Effective Social and Racial Justice Efforts

Presenters: Melissa McCollister, The University of Akron and Rev. Chris Long and Rev. Peter Newport, West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church


This session will explain how West Shore Unitarian Universalist is beginning to build capacity for effective social and racial justice efforts in its congregation and surrounding community. The presenters will review lessons learned in developing their program and ways to incorporate self-care and spirituality into social justice advocacy practice.


10. FreshLink: A community led approach to addressing barriers among nutritious food access 

Presenters: Rachael Sommer, FreshLink Program Manager for Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, Case Western Reserve University and Kara Bilkert, Mandel School MSSA Candidate


This session will highlight the research from the community ambassador model as a method of addressing the social connection barrier in nutritious food access. Participants will learn about the FreshLink project and its aim to increase awareness of and social connection to local farmers’ market using community ambassadors. Participants will practice the various training approaches used in the model for training the FreshLink Ambassadors in the field. The session will conclude with a practical application of these concepts and practices to the participants own work in their respective fields.


Afternoon Workshops


11. Building Research-Based, Data-Driven Community Organizations: The heart, mind and soul of the matter – lessons from a Community Research Scholar (CRSI)

Presenter: Rachelle Milner, West Side Community House


Data collection and research has increasingly shifted the methods of organizations to demonstrate great work in innovative ways. This session will review the implementation of research knowledge gained in building relationships with academic institutions and the connection with the heart, mind, and soul of the social worker. The presenter will challenge the mindsets of the participants to embrace the transparency of research and evaluation within their organizations and Identify possible research opportunities within their programs.


12. Integrating Treatment for Trauma and Substance Use Disorders

Presenter: Louis Weigele


This session will provide an overview of trauma and potential consequences in the individual experiences of trauma. Specific research on the impact of trauma and addictions will be presented. Specific models of trauma treatment will be presented and discussed. The integration of mental health/trauma treatment in the addiction treatment setting will be presented.


13. Peer Support in Child Welfare

Presenter: Karen Stormann, Division of Children and Family Services


This session will review the work the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services has undertaken to support the child welfare workforce related to the impact of secondary trauma. Participants will be presented with strategies and solutions for experiencing critical incidents and traumatic events. Self-care strategies and techniques that aid in improved organizational health, job satisfaction, resiliency, and staff retention will be discussed.


14. Becoming a Community of Hope: Social capital improves outcomes for youth aging out of foster care

Presenter: Amber Donovan, Amber Donovan Consulting, LLC


This session will share the Open Table® model and discuss the ways it has created better outcomes for youth in the Cuyahoga County. The process and community engagement around the model will be shared. Participants will explore the impact of social support and social capital on lifting youth out of poverty and develop an understanding of how trauma is mitigated through supportive relationships


15. Exploring Shared American Values to Improve Advocacy for System Change

Presenters: Victoria Winbush and Ken Frisof, Cleveland State University


This session will identify techniques that strengthen an understanding of shared American values – liberty, justice, equality – and operationalize this understanding to work life, volunteerism, and advocacy. Presenters will examine how personal interpretations of shared values can lead to social and political polarities. Participants will have the opportunity to practice holding space for sharing, listening to, and understanding shared American values.


16. Job Satisfaction When Working in a Challenging Environment

Presenters: Janice Steinmetz, BSW Coordinator and Patrick Horn, The University of Akron – Lakewood Campus


Despite our best efforts toward self-care, we can find ourselves stressed and dissatisfied with our jobs. This session will directly address stress related challenges and hazards in the field of social work. The participant will explore organizational culture and recognize attitudes and beliefs that can be controlled within a stressful work environment. Coping skills to manage work stress for effective and healthy practitioners will be reviewed.


17. Partnering to Address the Impact of Trauma: Work in the Cleveland Central community

Presenter: Richaun Bunton, Sisters of Charity Foundation


This session will share information about a partnership between the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood and Frontline Services to provide training and support around trauma. Participants will learn the importance and need to support students, families, and communities in coping with trauma. Participants will learn the ways trauma affects the brain. Quick tips to build resiliency will be shared. Participants will develop an understanding of the impact of trauma informed services on communities, community organizing and community stabilization.


18. Social Welfare and Inclusion: Lessons learned and practical strategies for Advancing Campus Inclusion

Presenter: Ann Lampkin-Williams, University of Michigan – Dearborn


This session will examine an initiative to forge a diverse and inclusive campus community, highlighting the unanticipated role that social work would play in this process. The presenter will highlight principles of inclusive leadership through the lens of social work practice and the policy, practice, innovation, and advocacy roles that social work championed in higher education. Discussed will be the characteristics of an inclusive campus community, creative strategies for success, and the role of micro, mezzo, and macro practice in inclusion.


19. Benefit Cliffs and Helping Families on the Path from Poverty to Prosperity

Presenter: Emily Campbell, The Center for Community Solutions


This session will introduce participants to the benefit cliff and how it can impact clients. New data will be presented which shows where Ohio working families would experience a benefit cliff (an increase in income that causes clients to lose public benefits). Participants will learn strategies to discuss the benefit cliff with clients in ways that encourage them to continue earning higher incomes.


20. Tale of Two Identities: Walking the tightrope between professionalism and advocacy

Presenter: Naimah Shara O’Neal, Circle Health Services


Walking the line between professionalism and passion can sometimes become overwhelming. This session will review one social worker’s journey toward finding a healthy life balance. Participants will have the opportunity to share, renew, and recommit with like-minded people while creating a network of support.


21. Neurobiology and Spiritual Growth

Presenter: Sister Mary Clare Smith, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland


This session will address the appropriateness and ethical guidelines to integrate spirituality/religion with clinical practice. Discussion will include the developmental neurobiology of the attachment system and its impact on relationality, therapeutic alliance, and support system. Strategies for therapeutic healing will be shared. Participants will consider ways to foster growth beyond adversity or trauma.


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