AGENDA OCT 14 2020-10-13T12:43:19+00:00


Meet exhibitors virtually face-to-face and be eligible to win a giveaway. Exhibitors will be sharing about their organizations.



Virtual Exhibit Hall Open
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Meet the Exhibitors

Meet exhibitors virtually face-to-face and be eligible to win a giveaway. Exhibitors will be sharing information about their organization.

Cairn’s Dove Self-Esteem Project • Child Welfare Information Gateway • Dignity Revolution • Milton Hershey School • National Youth Foundation • PATHS Program LLC • PHEAA — Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency • Peekapak

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | General Session

Bryan Thurmond, Teachers, Leaders and Special Populations Team, Office of School Support and Accountability, U.S. Department of Education, Washington D.C.

Educational Stability for Children and Youth in Foster Care Program Updates
Matthew Butensky, SEA Foster Care Point of Contact, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, Pa.
Jillian Schreib, Human Services Program Specialist, Office of Children, Youth and Families, Department of Human Services, Harrisburg, Pa.

Understanding Educational Identity Development for Youth Experiencing Instability
Keynote Address by Shanté Elliott, Founder, TasselTurn, Chicago, Ill.

Identity development is an important component of adolescence. Unlike their traditional peers, youth experiencing instability (foster care-involved or housing insecure) encounter a different set of roadblocks that often compromise healthy identity development and educational performance. Using data from TasselTurn, an online coaching and college matching platform, participants will gain an understanding of how youth experiencing instability develop educational identities and how these identities affect post-secondary planning and matriculation.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Concurrent Explore More Sessions

Which students are homeless? Which students should we transport? How should we get students ready for graduation? What about COVID-19? This session will address these topics and more to give liaisons a foundation of their role and responsibilities. Attend this session if you are new to the homeless liaison role or you just need a McKinney-Vento refresher.

Presented by Christina Endres, Program Specialist, National Center for Homeless Education, Brown’s Summit, N.C., and Josie Innamorato, Program Evaluator, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Homestead, Pa.

COVID-19 has changed our world. The current situation may be temporary, but things will never go back to what they once were. While grief is typically understood in the context of death, it can follow any type of loss. Many are grieving the loss of connection with others and even the collective loss of our normalcy. Children and youth experiencing homelessness and children and youth in foster care face grief and great loss due to their experiences and trauma histories, which are now compounded by the effects of COVID-19. This session explores the loss that has occurred because of this pandemic and how participants can understand and manage the stages of grief, including finding meaning. Characteristics of crisis-related stress will be explored along with strategies and activities that promote resilience and guide us down the path of hopefulness. Strategies for maintaining physical and psychological wellbeing will be shared along with effective ways to communicate and support others who need the same level of support.

Presented by Stephanie Colvin-Roy, Training and Organizational Development Associate, Center for the Promotion of Social Emotional Learning, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, Pa.

Students in foster care face significant educational challenges. These challenges, coupled with the overrepresentation of students of color in the system, disproportionate need for special education services, and current complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic, add even more challenges to already complex issues. This session will explore how federal and Pennsylvania laws and policies support the educational needs of students in foster care, including current policies for the 2020-21 school year. The session will also provide an opportunity for the audience to discuss successes and challenges in their own work with students in foster care and share key resources to support this on-going work. Finally, the session will discuss and share strategies on how to address obstacles in this work and advocacy to support students in foster care.

Presented by Sneha Barve, Staff Attorney, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington D.C., Maura McInerney, Legal Director, Education Law Center, Philadelphia, Pa., Kathleen McNaught, Director, Education Projects, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington D.C., and Emily Peeler, Staff Attorney, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington D.C.

Using the power of film and animation, the Foster Care Film and Community Engagement Project gives children and youth in foster care a chance to be heard. Project Founder and Director and Court Appointed Special Advocate Yasmin Mistry, will present three short documentary films, created in collaboration with youth in foster care, which highlight three young former foster women’s journeys towards finding their path in life. The film screenings will be followed by a moderated discussion panel with foster care alumni and film subjects.

Presented by Yasmin Mistry, Director, Foster Care Film and Community Engagement Project, New York, N.Y., and panelists Constance Iannetta, Foster Care Advocate, FosterStrong, Philadelphia, Pa., and Charell Star, Liz Sutherland, Anthony Turner, Ashley Wolford, Foster Care Film and Community Engagement Project

The process of dropping out is often based on a history of disengagement that begins very early in a student’s academic career. The complexity of this process points to the need for systemic solutions that address root causes, requiring different strategies in how we “do” school. Over a million children and youth in the U.S. have been identified as homeless, which places them at greater risk of low achievement and eventually dropping out. Students in foster care also face school mobility and academic challenges. These students present specific challenges that schools and their greater communities must be aware of and address in order for all of our children and youth to be educationally stable and successful.

Presented by Jacinda Goodwin, Program Specialist, National Center for Homeless Education, Browns Summit, N.C.

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Advocate Awards

Join your colleagues to recognize their advocacy and achievements in supporting the educational success of children and youth experiencing homelessness and children and youth in foster care during this special virtual awards ceremony.