AGENDA OCT 15 2020-10-12T17:27:05+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

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Peer Networking Session (optional)

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

This session will highlight the important work of the Western Continuum of Care to make youth homelessness rare, brief and non-reoccurring. The session will provide information on youth homeless data, how housing programs and schools can coordinate efforts, and how individuals serving families and students experiencing homelessness can work with agencies within the greater community to create a continuum and housing options for youth who are unstably housed, including youth who experience the foster care system.

Presented by Carol Dunlap, Host Home Coordinator, Bridge2Home Program, Valley Youth House, Bethlehem, Pa., and Ciarra Karnes, Staff, Western Pennsylvania Continuum of Care, Diana T. Myers and Associates, Inc., Elkins Park, Pa.

This interactive session will allow more experienced homeless liaisons and those expanding their important role in their district/school to contribute to discussions regarding identification, eligibility, transportation and services for students experiencing homelessness. Bring your questions and solutions for addressing the challenges in meeting the needs of students experiencing homelessness. The following four topics will be discussed: Strategies and Solutions for Addressing Barriers During the Pandemic, Title 1, Transportation, and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.

Presented by Storm Camara, ECYEH State Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, Pa., Wendy Kinnear, ECYEH Region 5 Coordinator, Midwestern Intermediate Unit, Grove City, Pa., Andrea Sheesley, ECYEH Region 6 Coordinator, ARIN Intermediate Unit, Indiana, Pa., and Jeff Zimmerman, ECYEH Region 7 Coordinator, Luzerne Intermediate Unit, Kingston, Pa.

This interactive workshop will introduce practices to support individual flourishing, particularly useful for those in positions prone to compassion fatigue and burnout. Drawing from the fields of Positive Psychology and Lifestyle Medicine, attendees will learn basic tools for managing stress and compassion fatigue, promoting balanced functioning, and increasing resilience and overall well-being — especially during COVID-19 and uncertain times.

Presented by Katherine Coleman, Partner, Work Wisdom LLC, Lancaster, Pa.

This session will introduce participants to existing and emerging strategies that support access to and success in higher education for youth with experience in foster care. This will include tips for advocates so they can help students address ongoing challenges that young people in foster care face, address new issues posed by COVID-19, take a racial equity approach to how they are supporting students and understand the newly-enacted Fostering Independence through Education Tuition Waiver.

Presented by Isaac Greene, Program Management and Client Operations, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Harrisburg, Pa., Jennifer Pokempner, Senior Attorney, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, Pa., and Sarah Wasch, Program Manager, The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research, Philadelphia, Pa.

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Break

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

National data shows that persons of color are disproportionately affected by homelessness, which leads to further inequities in education, particularly that of children and youth. HUD has released a tool for communities to use in identifying and correcting racial disparities in those experiencing homelessness within their system. Join us as we learn how this tool can help identify racial disparities, improve system performance, and center racial equity in community plans to end homelessness.

Presented by Joe N. Savage, Jr., Regional Coordinator, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Washington, D.C.

During this session, audience members will receive a brief overview of Juvenile Law Center’s (JLC) Youth Advocacy Programs, Youth Fostering Change and Juveniles for Justices. Anthony Simpson, alumni of Youth Fostering Change and member of the Youth Advocacy Program’s Youth Speakers Bureau will facilitate a discussion with his colleagues from JLC’s Youth Advocacy Programs to explore supports that are necessary for young people in schools who are involved in the system and experience homelessness. This discussion will also include tips from the Operation: Education publication to help professionals better support young people going through instability and transitions.

Presented by Cathy Moffa, Youth Advocacy Program Manager, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, Pa., and Anthony Simpson, Juvenile Law Center Youth Speakers Bureau, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

In this peer driven session, colleagues from around Pennsylvania will have the opportunity to review and discuss key topics affecting the educational stability and education needs of children and youth in foster care. Attendees should be prepared not only to listen but also to engage and share best practices, questions, strategies and ideas to improve education outcomes for youth in foster care. Attendees will visit virtual meeting rooms facilitated by content specialists on topics including implementation of ESSA’s foster care provisions, identifying children and youth in foster care and data and information sharing, strategies and solutions during COVID-19, special education advocacy and educational decision-making, and academic progress, improving outcomes, and preparing for higher education. Participation using both audio and video is strongly encouraged for this session.

Moderated by Sneha Barve, Staff Attorney, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington D.C., Matthew Butensky, SEA Foster Care Point of Contact, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, Pa., Kathleen McNaught, Director, Education Projects, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington D.C., Emily Peeler, Staff Attorney, American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington D.C., Jillian Schreib, Human Services Program Specialist, Office of Children, Youth and Families, Department of Human Services, Harrisburg, Pa., Dawn Trail, Program Specialist, Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau, Greensburg, Pa., and Regional Foster Care Office Coordinators

Despite the growing awareness of the human trafficking pandemic, it continues to increase in cases and victims because of its covert nature, misconceptions about its prevalence; and a lack of identification of victims, children at risk and awareness of its indicators. Given the pervasive nature of human trafficking and the fact that no community is immune, we must work to ensure a multidimensional and interdisciplinary plan and approach to identification, protection and provision for comprehensive and coordinated services to child victims. The first step is being aware and educated about human trafficking and then identifying those that may be at risk for or who have been human trafficked to obtain appropriate and timely interventions.

Presented by Treasure Gallagher, Policy Specialist, Office of Children, Youth and Families, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Harrisburg, Pa.