November 5 - 8, 2018
1:30 PM

San Luis Report & Conference Center
5222 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX 77551

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The Strengthening Youth & Families Conference is going to the beach this year to enjoy the beautiful San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center. The conference will feature prominent subject matter experts on topics related to strengthening our most at-risk youth and supporting their families. While the conference officially kicks-off on Tuesday, November 6th at 1:30 pm, pre-conference seminars begin on Monday, November 5th. This interagency-sponsored conference offers workshops related to the promotion of positive youth development and the prevention, intervention, and treatment of high-risk behaviors in youth. Workshops will be geared to a multi-disciplinary audience of youth-serving professionals, volunteers, and family members. We expect each workshop to be approved for professional continuing education units for social workers, mental health providers, juvenile justice providers, and law enforcement – with a possibility of 27 hours of professional continuing education units.
Event participants include probation and parole officers, child protective workers, correctional officers and caseworkers, juvenile justice professionals, teachers and school safety officers, mental health providers, substance abuse treatment providers, community volunteers working with youth and families, family members of system-involved youth, peer recovery coaches, certified peer specialists, and many other community stakeholders.


Pre-Conference Sessions - Monday, November 5, 2018
8:30 am-5:00 pm   
  • Summit on Advancing Behavioral Health Collaboration (ABC) to Ensure Student Success (Part I)
1:00-5:00 pm         
  • Special Needs Diversionary Program (SNDP) Staff Training (Part I)
  • Via Hope’s Sharing & Advanced Coaching Session
5:15-7:00 pm        
  • ABC Summit Networking Event
Pre-Conference Sessions - Tuesday, November 6, 2018
8:30 am-Noon      
  • Summit on Advancing Behavioral Health Collaboration (ABC) to Ensure Student Success (Part II)
  • Special Needs Diversionary Program (SNDP) Staff Training (Part II)
  • Community Resource Coordination Group (CRCG) Leadership Breakout
  • Juvenile Corrections Chaplains Forum
  • Professional Ethics Seminar: Current Ethical Dilemmas in Clinical Practice


Tuesday, November 6, 2018
1:30-3:00 pm     
  • OPENING GENERAL SESSION featuring SHANDRA CARTER ~ Creating a Trauma Informed Lens: The Need Behind the Behavior
3:30-5:00 pm     
  • WORKSHOP SERIES 1 (Choose one from among six workshops)
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
8:30-10:00 am     
  • WORKSHOP SERIES 2 (Choose one from among six workshops)
10:30 am-12:00 pm     
  • WORKSHOP SERIES 3 (Choose one from among six workshops)
12:15-1:45 pm   
  • LUNCHEON GENERAL SESSION featuring CHARITY LEE ~ Empathy, Love, Lessons, and Action: building Family Resiliency After Trauma
2:00-3:30 pm     
  • WORKSHOP SERIES 4 (Choose one from among six workshops)
4:00-5:30 pm     
  • WORKSHOP SERIES 5 (Choose one from among six workshops)
4:00-6:00 pm     
  • State Volunteer Resource Council (SVRC) Business Meeting
6:00-7:15 pm     
  • Family Networking Event with Charity Lee
7:30-9:00 pm     
  • Exclusive Screening of The Family I Had, Hosted by Charity Lee
9:30 pm     
  • Silent Auction Closes
Thursday, November 8, 2018
8:30-10:00 am     
  • WORKSHOP SERIES 6 (Choose one from among six workshops)
10:30 am-Noon  
  • CLOSING GENERAL SESSION featuring AMY CUNNINGHAM ~ Drowning in Empathy: cost of Vicarious Trauma for Helping Professions 

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Shandra is an accomplished mental health professional with 20 years of experience in the human services field. She has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable populations, especially children who have suffered from sexual exploitation and abuse. Up until mid-2018, Shandra served as Project Director for the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University. In that role, she worked to help Houston area programs serving child sex trafficking victims implement Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) as their trauma responsive model of care.

In July 2018, Shandra joined the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) as the agency’s Deputy Director of State Services. She is now working to integrate the TBRI model into the rehabilitation and treatment program of the state’s most serious youthful offenders. This transformative intervention promises to provide the foundation for TJJD’s new Texas Model for juvenile justice. She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Law, Societies & Justice from the University of Washington.  She has a Master’s in Social Work at Eastern Washington University.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Supervisor and a Licensed Childcare Administrator.