Overcoming Challenges, Together 2023830

October 6, 2023
8:00am - 3:00pm

This annual conference is hosted by the Agency, CPS, and School Liaison’s committee of the Family Violence Prevention Council of Broome County. This year’s conference will focus on providing attendees with a multidisciplinary approach to overcoming challenges in our community. Speakers of various backgrounds will reinforce our belief that by working together local professionals will achieve greater results and more successful families!

Registration for this program is closed.


7:30am - 8:00am

  • Registration and morning refreshments provided to attendees.

8:00 - 8:15am

  • Welcome

8:15 - 10:15am

  • Keynote: Keeping our Community Safe; A Collaborative Effort Against Child Exploitation
    Join Special Agents Janelle and Christopher from the Federal Bureau of Investigations as they share their work in technology assisted victimization against children. Agents will share the current trends impacted safety and how youth serving professionals can work together to keep their community safe. A live action demonstration of how common apps can link youth with predators will be shared alongside opportunities for questions and answers.

10:15 - 11:00am

  • Networking & Community Resource Opportunity
    Attendees will have access to over thirty local and statewide agencies sharing their mission, resources, and information to help families live successful and independent lives.

11:00 - 11:50am

  • Breakout Session A
    (See descriptions below)

11:50am - 1:00pm

  • Boxed Lunch
    Your choice of Turkey Wrap, Ham Wrap, Veggies with Hummus Wrap, or Gluten Free & Dairy Free Salad.

1:00 - 1:50pm

  • Breakout Session B
    (See descriptions below)

1:50 - 2:00pm

  • Final Break

2:00 - 2:50pm

  • How to GetSomeJoy@School: Fostering Connection + Centering Joy in Raggedy Times with Creative Wellness Strategies
    Presented by Alexander Hardy. National Trainer + Instructor, Mental Health First Aid USA. Co-Founder + Creative Director, GetSomeJoy. Creative approaches to prioritizing individual, role-related, and community wellness to foster a safer, more joyful learning and working environment for students, staff, educators, administrators, and caregivers.

2:50 - 3:00pm

  • Final Thoughts, Survey, Messages of Appreciation!

Breakout Session A: 11:00 - 11:50am

Breakout #1AMeeting the Needs of Families by Supporting before Reporting

Description: Presenter reviews the current NYS messaging of supporting families before reporting families to the child welfare system. Participants will review actual data that examines the over surveillance of families in the child welfare system and the existential consequences. Participants will join in a discussion reviewing the needs of families in Broome County.


  • John Choynowski, MPA, Deputy Commissioner, Broome County’s Department of Social Services

Breakout #2AMake Every Day Count: Strategies to Improve School Attendance

Description: Participants in this session will review trends in Chronic Absenteeism data, explore evidence-based strategies while discussing how to make schools a welcoming place for all families, including those who have had poor experiences in their own childhood.


  • Sara Fontana, Supervisor Community Schools, BT BOCES
  • Marissa Derrick, Regional Community Schools Coordinator, BT BOCES

Breakout #3AThe Importance of Protocol: How You Respond to a Child’s Allegations of Abuse Matters

Description: The course will provide an overview of the Child Advocacy Center in Broome County, its role in investigation and servicing child sexual, physical, or witnessing of abuse and the importance of following protocol to ensure victims, offenders, and their families achieve the best outcomes. The course will also review the differences in protocol and outcomes for adult offenders and child offenders of sexual abuse.


  • Daniel Lesch, Assistant Director of Youth Services, Broome County Child Advocacy Center & Safe Harbour Coordinator, Crime Victims Assistance Center
  • Shannon Stewart, Sr. Family Advocate, Crime Victims Assistance Center

Breakout #4ACannabis Use in The Teenage Population

Description: In this session, students will learn the current use trends of cannabis use alongside the effects seen in the teenage population. Participants will become empowered to educate the youth they are working with to make safe and factual decisions regarding cannabis use.


  • Vincent Calleo, MD, FACEP, FAAP, Medical Director, Upstate New York Poison Center, SUNY Upstate Medical University

Breakout #5AHome: Understanding and Addressing the Psychological Health for Transient Populations

Description: This course is designed to increase awareness of the unique needs of transient clients who experience instability and the impact this has on their mental health and the systems within which they live. Participants will learn the nuances of assessment, treatment planning, and providing therapy to this subset of the population.


  • Lisa Hekel, LCSW

Breakout #6ADomestic Abuse: Opportunities for Intervention

Description: Course will review current domestic abuse education and trauma-informed practices, opportunities for intervention including red flags in teen dating, and the success of the Lethality Assessment Program in Westchester County (and soon to be Broome County!). This conversation will include stories of lived experience and survivorship and may be triggering for some attendees.


  • David Ryan, Director of Westchester County’s Domestic Violence High Risk Team
  • Reese, survivor, and victim advocate of Westchester County’s Domestic Violence High Risk Team

Breakout #7AUnited Voices: Fostering Collaboration Between English Language Learners, Families, and the School Community

Description: Throughout the presentation, participants will be actively involved in learning how to successfully collaborate with all stakeholders involved with ELLs and how to create a welcoming, inclusive environment in and out of the school setting. Participants will be provided with resources needed to be successful with this specific population of learners.


  • Jennifer Lobdell, ENL, TESOL

Breakout #8AAll In A Day’s Work: When Productivity Eclipses Care

Description: This interactive presentation will identify and discuss factors affecting clinician’s ability to provide timely, appropriate, quality mental health care and explore possible remedies, including needs of clinicians in the workplace.


  • Pat Noble, LCSW

Breakout Session B: 1:00 - 1:50pm

Breakout #1BYoga and Mindfulness in Social Work Practice

Description: This course will first focus on why and how Mindfulness and Yoga can support students/clients. Then the course will focus on practical strategies and tools that can be used in sessions and with classrooms to support Wellness.


  • Mary Pomerantz, LCSW

Breakout #2BHandle with Care

Description: This course will explore the Handle with Care practice, which connects local law enforcement with a child’s school after law enforcement responds to a child’s residence. Chief Dodge will review the program, issues of confidentiality, and the impact on community partnership. He will address initial hurdles to success and how the Johnson City community overcame those barriers. He is also discussing how to bring the program into new schools and include other human servicing agencies to increase communication and support for families.


  • Chief Dodge, Johnson City Police Department

Breakout #3BTransforming Conflict into Conversation

Description: Participants will learn about ACCORD’s evidence-based conflict resolution program that brings together youth, families, schools, and other service providers to communicate effectively regarding overcoming barriers to success. Participants will learn the referral process, appropriate attendees, and expected outcomes.


  • Christy Taylor, ACCORD

Breakout #4BLearning Awareness of Seven Drug Categories and their Impairment Signs and Symptoms

Description: Course will review the involvement of drugs in school and society, name the seven drug categories and their effects, review impairment signs and symptoms and how to interpret observations of drug use.


  • Sargent Jonathon Cook, New York State Police

Breakout #5BThe Safe & Together™ Model; A Systems Change Approach to Domestic Violence in New York State

Description: The purpose of this session is to introduce a perpetrator pattern, survivor strength based, child centered approach to domestic violence in New York State’s Child Welfare system. Participants will learn about and understand the Safe & Together Model principles and critical components and how those guide our work with families as human services professionals.


  • Candace Calabrese, OCFS
  • Bethani Whiting, OCFS

Breakout #6BPlay Therapy: Doing so Much when it Appears you are doing “Nothing” at all

Description: This presentation will review the concept of Play Therapy as a developmentally appropriate psychotherapy intervention to help children emotionally. Pitfalls and common misconceptions will be discussed as well as how to document the sessions appropriately for notes.


  • Andrea Barbis, PhD LCSW-R

Breakout #7BAdvocating for the Rental Rights of Families

Description: This course will review rental rights of families impacted by low income, age, domestic abuse, and other inequities and review best practices surrounding how to advocate for families.


  • Stephanie M. Milks, Esq. Assistant Attorney General; Office of the New York State Attorney General; Binghamton Regional Office

Breakout #8BLiterary Therapy for Educators + Administrators: A Creative Wellness Writing Workshop

Description: Literary Therapy for Educators + Administrators is an interactive experience for educators, staff, administrators of all levels, and community/family partners that uses introspective writing to process complex personal and professional experiences with joy, creativity, and collaboration. Participants will mindfulness strategies, introspective writing activities, group discussion in a safe and supportive environment to foster connection, process complex emotions and experiences with joy and creativity, and cultivate tools and strategies to cope and thrive amidst transition.


  • Alexander Hardy. National Trainer + Instructor, Mental Health First Aid USA. Co-Founder + Creative Director, GetSomeJoy

Registration for this program is closed.