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Quality Parenting Initiative

QPI 2020 National Virtual Conference Sessions


Opening Plenary and Panel Presentation

Relationships Make the Difference

Presented By: Jennifer Rodriguez

The Youth Law Center's Quality Parenting Initiative has changed child welfare nationally by introducing the concept of a relationship-based child welfare system and implementing child welfare practice, policy and culture changes that ensure every child, every day, receives excellent parenting. In this time of social distancing and uncertainty, more than ever, maintaining the QPI movement is critical to ensuring children’s and youth’s well-being and preparing them for the challenges of adulthood.

Facilitated By: Carol Edwards

This opening plenary highlights the need to maintain the QPI vision for system transformation and accelerate progress towards widespread implementation of innovative QPI child-centered strategies that have been developed in partnership with birth and foster parents, youth, child welfare agency staff and community partners. Panelists share insight as birth parents, foster parents, youth, and agency leaders about the impact of the QPI relationship-based system. Join us to reflect on our joint QPI accomplishments, and inspire a renewed commitment to sustaining relationships- based system change.


Master Class Workshops

Developmentally Appropriate Transition Practices

Presented By: Dr. Charles Zeanah

Data and experience tell us that moving from one family to another is one the most traumatic events children in foster care experience. While moves are sometimes necessary, we can accomplish them in a more developmentally sensitive way that reduces immediate pain and long-term harm.


Implementing Trauma-Sensitive Practice with Adolescents in Foster Care in Times of Crisis

Presented By: Dr. Ken Ginsburg

During normal times, child welfare systems often face challenges implementing the positive youth development principles, resilience-building strategies, and knowledge about adolescent development that will prepare teens to overcome risks and be their best selves into practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional stressors that require us to double down on sensitively addressing trauma and creating protective, enriching environments for adolescents and their families. Implementing a new model of trauma-sensitive practice can transform our approach to ensuring every adolescent in foster care can launch into adulthood prepared to thrive.


Maximizing Screen Time During the COVID Pandemic

Presented By: Dr. Rachel Barr

This session explores the pros and cons of early media exposure to include apps, television, and video chat. Dr. Rachel Barr discusses research on how learning and social interactions can be maximized, and distractions and negative interactions reduced.


Relationships Are the Key

Presented By: Dr. Barbara Stroud

In this session, Dr. Barbara Stroud discusses simple yet powerful tasks which are fundamental for nurturing relationships. Skills needed to build trusting relationships and support developing self-esteem are presented. All relationships are stored in our brains for later use, you can be a lasting model of healing.


Advancing Developmentally Appropriate Child Welfare Practice

Presented By: Johanna Folk, Ph.D. and Paige Blankenship, Ph.D.

In this session, Johanna Folk, Ph.D. and Paige Blankenship, Ph.D. present the science behind adolescent development, highlighting what constitutes normative development and how experiencing trauma can disrupt development and behavior. They address the importance of this research for child welfare practice, providing practical strategies for supporting adolescents involved in the child welfare system.


Practice Workshops

Branding and Culture Change (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Heidi Foreman

Join Marketing Strategy Consultant Heidi Foreman for this interactive session describing the best ways to effect culture change by living your QPI brand and how to develop a brand with the greatest impact.


Parents Working Together (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Brandy Hudson

Partnerships between birth and foster parents are a key ingredient to ensure that children receive quality parenting. Join this session to learn how birth and foster parents can work together, and how agencies can build a culture that supports and strengthens shared parenting.


Comfort Calls and Early Connection (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Kate Rickord

Significant stress and confusion occur for children and youth when they experience separation from their parents or primary caregiver(s). When inadequately addressed, this stress can lead to trauma. Learn how QPI sites are implementing early connection and communication (Comfort Calls) between parent and foster parents to improve the child’s transition, meet children’s needs and develop shared understanding around their unique needs.


Keeping Children in Families: Placement Practices to Promote Stability (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Brandy Hudson

Following the QPI principle that every child needs excellent parenting every day requires QPI sites to commit to reducing use of congregate care, closing shelters, and prioritizing stability. Join this session to discuss relationship-based approaches to ensuring youth live in families, ensuring good placement matches for youth, and cultivating the relationships and shared agreements that create stability.


Strategic Communications: Developing Messages, Working with Media and Reaching Your Community (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Kathy Bonk

Join Strategic Communications Advisor Kathy Bonk for this fun, interactive session to explore creative ideas and provide useful tips for making presentations, getting positive media coverage, sharing success stories and reaching important audiences. Come share your experiences and brainstorm ways to spread the word about quality parenting to help children and teens.


Fostering Health: Medical Concerns and Cures for Kids in Care (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Dr. Heather Forkey

Join pediatrician Dr. Heather Forkey, MD, who will address how the experiences which lead to foster care can profoundly impact the health and well being of children. This session will discuss what to look for and why it happens. We will focus on how to work with your doctor to keep kids both safe and sound.


Conviction in the time of COVID: Partnering with Faith Community (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By:Denise Parker

Community partnerships are a critical component of successful QPI implementation, and faith communities play an important role in QPI efforts to support excellent parenting. QPI sites across the nation will share their experiences collaborating with faith based organizations and discuss ways to maximize these partnerships.


Fatherhood and the Child Welfare System (Now Playing!)

Facilitated By: Carol Edwards

We know that children do better when they have involved fathers - whether their birth father, foster father, or a father figure. Yet the child welfare system does not always do enough to engage the men in a child's life. Join this session to hear from birth and foster fathers about their experiences, good and bad. Participants will discuss what the system can do to support relationships between children and fathers.