Area Administrators Summit 2024 Agenda

We are excited to host this year’s event to support you in your roles as leaders. This one-day in-person conference will address challenges in the context of the current ever-changing environment, and offer inspiration on how to continue to support self and others. 


8-9 a.m.: Breakfast
   Sterling Ballroom Foyer Hall

9-9:30 a.m.: Introductions and Welcomes
   Sterling I and II

9:30-10:30 a.m.: What is Gender
In this session, you will gain a foundational understanding of gender as a socially constructed identity. This will include a high-level overview of topics including trans identities and gender fluidity, as well as discussion of how gender identity and expression (our own and others’) impact our experiences of the systems in which we work. 
   Natania Malin Gazek
   Sterling I and II

10:30-10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Breakouts

FFPSA Updates
Learn about the future of partnership pathways being forged through the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and gain actionable tools through the spirit of Motivational Interviewing (MI) that you can use daily within your sphere of influence.
   Facilitated by DCYF FFPSA Program Consultants
   Onyx West

“The Erosion of Empathy”
In this session, you will participate in exercises, activities and discussions that assist you in developing deeper insight into how the absence of empathy in leadership impacts policy, practice and principles, and influences equity, diversity and inclusion efforts and initiatives. 
   Greg Taylor
   Onyx East

AAG and Courts
This presentation will address the current state of the law for relative/kinship placements and how these issues arise in court.  It will first address the House Bill 1227 implications for Shelter Care hearings and then discuss the standards at other phases of the case.  Including considerations when DCYF may want to request a change of placement and when responding to motions for change of placement, including home study implications. We will also highlight the Matter of K.W. decision, and lessons learned for moving forward.  Finally it will address ways DCYF and the AGO can work together to achieve the best outcomes for children.
   Sarah Flory
   Sterling III

12-1 p.m. Lunch
   Sterling Ballroom Foyer

1-2 p.m. Building Inclusive Workplace Cultures: Embracing Diversity and Values-Based Leadership
Delve into the principles of creating a workplace culture of inclusivity that is rooted in values and tailored to individual needs. Drawing on the transformative research of Brené Brown, Mackenzie will guide participants through a journey of understanding and implementing DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) concepts, even when they may challenge personal perspectives. Through engaging discussions and practical strategies, Mackenzie will empower leaders to support their teams in embracing diverse viewpoints and experiences, fostering a culture of respect, empathy, and authenticity. Attendees will gain insights into the importance of vulnerability, courage, and empathy in creating environments where every voice is valued and heard.
   Mackenzie Dunham of the Wild Heart Society
   Sterling I and II

2-2:15 p.m. Break

2:15-3:30 p.m.: Breakouts

Mindfulness in Leadership
Mindful communication is an important facet of mindful leadership. As leaders we are sometimes called to hold space for challenging conversations. In this session we will engage with mindfulness-based practices that build self-awareness and self-regulation to support us in effectively navigating those interactions with a greater sense of ease. 
   Holly Bond, Registered Yoga Teacher and Development and Facilitation Specialist with The Alliance
   Onyx West

DCYF Legislative Update
This session will provide updates about the recently concluded 2024 Legislative Session. There were many investments made that expand and affect our operations. Highlights include changes in child welfare related to high-potency synthetic opioids (fentanyl), responding to CSEC cases, changes to the extended foster care program, and many others. This session will provide an overview of these legislative changes and investments.
   DCYF Legislative Affairs team
   Sterling III

Successfully Engaging and Supporting Kin From Placement to Permanency
Join two kinship caregivers in a discussion to refresh your kinship engagement toolbox by centering the lived experience of kin.
  Renatta Watson, DCYF Licensing
   Onyx East

3:30-3:45 p.m. Break

3:45-4:45 p.m. How to Attract, Retain and Empower the Next Generation of Talent
The power of diversity can now be quantified in terms of creativity, innovation and benefits to humanity and society. This presentation provides tactical strategies to effectively attract, retain, and empower diverse talent, particularly early-career young professionals.
   Miracle Olatunji
   Sterling I and II