Day 1


2016 Conference



Morning Keynote
( 75 minutes )

Keynote Presentation

————Cindy Blackstock

A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Cindy has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. As Director of the First Nations Children’s Action Research and Education Service (FNCARES) at the University of Alberta, her research interests are Indigenous theory and the identification and remediation of structural inequalities affecting First Nations children, youth and families.

Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others.

An author of over 60 publications and a widely sought after public speaker, Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children. She also recently worked with Indigenous young people, UNICEF and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to produce a youth friendly version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Cindy is currently completing a Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law and Policy at the Loyola University Chicago.



A1 Workshop
( 60 minutes )

RCMP KARE Pro Active Unit - High Risk Person Canvas & Human Trafficking Seminar

————Bourque, RCMP KARE

Our mandate is youth-focused, where RCMP KARE Pro Active members meet with youth throughout Alberta, going to the hot spots identified to them such as group homes (Kindred House, Grimmond House, Red Deer area homes), drop-in centres such as YESS and the Armoury providing education on tactics used by exploiters to recruit or trap vulnerable youth into the sex / drug trade.



A2 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Take good care of yourself; take good care of youth: Frontline workers and self-care

————Crosby, University of Alberta

Taking care of youth is emotionally draining and rewarding work. The workshop will consist of two parts. First, Daena will discuss the relationship between frontline worker self-care and care for youth from her research in Edmonton and Winnipeg. Second, participants will engage in a peacemaking circle to explore: What is self-care? How do I/don’t I take good care of myself?



A3 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Developing a model of supportive housing for teen families

————Tremblay, University of Alberta

Developing a model of supportive housing for teen families. Recognizing the challenges of teen parenting, Terra Centre and Brentwood Housing Society partnered to develop a supportive housing model for teen families. Through this presentation, we will share successes and challenges experienced by staff and teen families involved, and discuss how our participatory research agenda will capture the programs innovative practices.



A4 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Collaborative youth gang prevention in Edmonton

————Hallborg, REACH Edmonton - WrapED

WrapED is a collaborative program that uses the wraparound approach to help youth move away from the threat of gangs and to learn to thrive in community. While building resiliency of youth on the ground, WrapED is also contributing to a national body of knowledge about evidence-based programs in gang prevention. Learn about our collaborative model, the wraparound approach, our successes, our challenges, and key learnings to date.



A5 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Re-discovering the magic of our work

————Jeffares, Create Your Whole Self

Do you have mindfulness practices that help you and your work in service to others? Does your work feel magical? This workshop will explore helping others and caring for yourself. Join us for an interactive, playful hour designed to enable you to experience the magic of you and your work.



A6 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Voices from the street: Stories of vulnerable youth in the shadow of urban development

————Puddu, MacEwan

This presentation will showcase preliminary findings of an engaged, Community-Based Participatory Research project that partners with homeless Edmonton youth. In this project, youth created narratives to explore their experiences of living on the streets and the impact of downtown revitalization on their health and resilience. Youth participants will be co-presenting.



A7 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Supporting Sexual and Gender Minority (LGBTQ) Children, Youth, and Families: Considerations for Inclusive Practice

————Tamara D. Gartner, Social Worker, Psychologist

In this session Tamara will help you to understand the lived and learned realities of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) children, youth, and families and to explore and engage with LGBTQ terminology. She will identify our professional responsibility to create safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ children, youth, and families, as well as useful community resources and professional supports.


Day 1




Afternoon Keynote
( 75 minutes )

The Voice of Youth – “Beyond Basic Needs: Engage in the Partnership!”

A panel of youth will share, motivate, and challenge to help you reflect on their experience and perspective, and your own practice, and how together we can build capacity, understanding, and improved opportunities to make a difference. Topics such as attachment, relationship, harm reduction, trauma, mental health, addiction, resilience, collaboration, and communication will be explored with the audience, guided by youth who have had experience in the system, and facilitated by Peter Smyth and David Rust. The Youth Panel Members are young people representing diversity of experience, unique perspectives, and courage and commitment to use their voice to help the system of care, and all the stakeholders involved, build strong relationships based on mutual respect and support. We wish to thank  for the use of photographs for this keynote.



B1 Workshop
( 60 minutes )

Police and Youth Engagement Program (PYEP)

————Rusich, REACH Edmonton

Youth from the Oromo, Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean communities built capacity and developed leadership skills to plan a week long program (PYEP) for youth ages 12 – 24 in August, 2015. They learned about the role of police, community engagement, mentorship and the importance of feedback to influence change. Youth, police and Community Animator will share their experience and learnings.



B2 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Using gov’t administrative data to inform policy for Alberta’s high-risk youth

————Twilley, AB Centre for Child, Family and Community Research

Analysis plans for the Child and Youth Data Laboratory’s Longitudinal Project will be discussed in the context of high-risk youth. Panelists will discuss the nature and scope of the project, and plans for investigating homeless youth, youth involved in the justice system, and youth facing multiple challenges.



B3 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Moving the Mountain: The past, the present, the future

————Kapasi, University of Alberta; Hobbs, Early Childhood Development Support Services

This presentation introduces Moving the Mountain, an integrated, holistic, and individualized approach to learning for at-risk Aboriginal girls. It highlights the successes and challenges as the program moves from prototype to pilot, focusing on the realities of this process from the perspective of the youth and facilitators.



B4 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Youth 2 youth: Alternatives to abstinence following a harm reduction framework

————Trefry, Streetworks

Streetworks is in the 5th year of its drug education project “Youth to Youth: Keeping kids safer and healthier”. This project aims to use Harm Reduction as a strategy to ensure that youth have truthful drug information, allowing them to make decisions that are realistic and appropriate for their life circumstances.



B5 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Sharing lessons learned and successes: Mentoring children & youth in care

————Pearson, Boys and Girls Clubs. BBBS Edmonton, et al.

An Advisory Group came together to expand mentoring for children in care and support meaningful relationships between mentors & vulnerable youth. The project focuses on innovative practices in recruitment, screening, matching and enhanced training. Panel members (including pilot sites, mentor & mentee) will share lessons learned and collaborations from the first year, next steps and celebrate successes to date.



B6 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Being a hero to creativity - The iHuman model

————Broomfield, iHuman

In this engaging presentation, the audience will encounter the narratives of 'high risk' youth who find community and purpose through engaging in creativity. Learn how iHuman's model is implemented, share in the youths' storytelling through various art forms and be inspired to "be a hero to creativity".



B7 Workshop
( 60 minute )

Fostering High Risk Youth

————Laporte, Children Services

Renee is a foster carer who supports high risk teens in her home. She has been a licensed foster care home for a year and a half, but she has been taking in high risk girls for 2.5 years. She started in this role to help out girls who were living on the streets. She takes a creative and supportive approach to each situation. Learn more about who Renee is, what fostering high risk girls is like, and her role in the community.


Day 2




Morning Keynote
( 75 minutes )

Keynote Presntation

————Sophie Yohani

Dr. Sophie Yohani is a psychologist with background in counselling psychology, global mental health, elementary education and experience in community psychology, program development, and community-based research.  Dr. Yohani maintains a special interest in childhood and adult trauma and the experiences of hope and resiliency.  She is interested in the mental health outcomes of refugee and immigrants based on pre- and post-migration experiences and program/policy implications in educational and community settings.  She is also interested in the perceptions of trauma, loss, and adaptation from the perspective of survivors and helping professionals who work with diverse and underrepresented populations.

Dr. Yohani’s focus on trauma and adaptation stems from practice that has involved work in private practice, at a Centre for Survivors of Torture and Trauma and a community-based War Rape Initiative. She has explored the use of hope-focused counselling applications to understand resources that individuals and helping professionals utilize to cope and adapt in light of traumatic experiences. Dr. Yohani is currently exploring the role of cultural brokers in facilitating the adaptation and delivery of mental health services for refugee children and families in school/community settings and the mental health of refugee women and child survivors of war-related violence.



C1 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

Trauma exposure response and the practitioner

————Hamilton F., MacEwan

We are all affected by the work that we do. This workshop will focus on discussing what happens to all of us whose work involves supporting others through trauma. We will talk about theoretical perspectives as well as considering ways to manage this impact.



C2 Workshop
( 90 minute )

Embracing Change

————VanDomselaar, Denise, A Muse Inc.

“Embracing Change” is an interactive Expressive Arts, Restorative Circle process dealing with the human experiences of change and loss. Expressive Arts require no artistic skill and are a gentle way to connect with one’s own experience and express it in a non-threatening way. It encourages a notion of “trusting the process” rather than “controlling the process,” which is a great metaphor for life as we move through loss and embrace change. The Restorative Circle process provides a respectful means for participants to connect meaningfully with others as they feel ready to. We will be using a variety of art supplies such as markers, crayons, paper, glue. Limited to 25 participants.



C3 Workshop
( 90 minute )

Understanding the role of trauma and adverse childhood experiences in high risk youth with mental health and addiction challenges

————Polzin, CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health

Recognizing the role that trauma plays in the lives of complex youth struggling with mental health and addictions leads to better services and outcomes. We will describe the journey at CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health towards embedding the narrative of trauma and resilience into our organization and services.



C4 Workshop
( 90 minute )

Reinvisioning the Edmonton youth system: Developing and implementing the community strategy to end youth homelessness in Edmonton

————Puligandla, Homeward Trust

Edmonton’s recent progress in addressing youth homelessness is unique: through development of a youth-specific local community strategy that aligns with both the municipal and provincial plans to end homelessness, Homeward Trust has engaged government systems, community stakeholders, and youth with lived experience towards transforming our homeless youth serving-sector.



C5 Workshop
( 90 minute )

The critical need to understand trauma, attachment and brain development when working with youth in the child welfare system

————Smyth, Edmonton & Area Child & Family Services

High-risk youth, many who have experienced significant trauma in their lives, identify that they often have strained and challenging connections to their case worker and service providers in the child welfare system. This workshop examines the need to better understand these relationship dynamics and shift from punishment-consequence intervention to a relationship based practice.



C6 Workshop
( 90 minute )

Using design thinking for the prevention of ethnocultural youth gang involvement

————Stevens, University of Calgary

Join members of a Calgary project working to help immigrant youth discover their voices and identities through a Wraparound approach, with the aim of preventing gang involvement. The presentation will discuss ongoing learning, and will include interactive components for attendees to discover the innovation that comes with combining ideas.



C7 Workshop
( 90 minute )

————Dr. Sophie Yohani


Day 2




Afternoon Keynote
( 75 minutes )

Keynote Presentation

————Stephen Gaetz

Stephen Gaetz is a Professor in the Faculty of Education and is the Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Homeless Hub. He is also now President of Raising the Roof, a leading Canadian charity that focuses on long term solutions to homelessness.

Dr. Gaetz is committed to a research agenda that foregrounds social justice and attempts to make research on homelessness relevant to policy and program development. His research on homeless youth has focused on their economic strategies, health, education and legal and justice issues, and more recently, he has focused his attention on policy and in particular the Canadian Response to homelessness.  He has recently edited two volumes on homelessness in Canada, including: Housing First in Canada – Supporting Communities to End Homelessness. (2013) and Youth homelessness in Canada: Implications for policy and practice (2013). In addition, he has published a book on community-based responses to youth problems in Ireland and written numerous reports and articles published in a wide range of peer reviewed journals. Dr. Gaetz was Associate Dean of Research and Professional Development in the Faculty of Education Prior to his time at York University, Dr. Gaetz worked in the Community Health Sector, both at Shout Clinic (a health clinic for street youth in Toronto) and Queen West Community Health Centre in Toronto.



D1 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

Workshop with Stephen Gaetz

————Stephen Gaetz



D2 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

Script Program, We can all relate

————Zarn, Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary

An interactive discussion about building relationships with high-risk youth; what a ‘relationship focus’ looks like on the ground and in the community. With our Guiding Principles and building on our continuum of services, we’ve developed our approach with the aim to be as “relationship based” as we can. In this session we will also discuss the challenges that can arise from being too relationship focused (if that’s even possible!).



D3 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

Harm reduction vs. harm acceptance: A lens on youth recovery

————Fortune, Boys and Girls Club Calgary

Explore the principles of Harm Reduction and how to better support youth who are living with high risk choices. This presentation will introduce the concept of “Harm Acceptance” a new dimension of Harm Reduction practice. Harm Acceptance refers to practitioners operating from a harm reduction model who accept clients where they are at….and nothing else. These practitioners are not maximizing the model and do not strive to move youth toward a future where their behaviours are healthier, have less negative impacts and have a recovery orientation to client centred care. (Fortune, Poffenroth)



D4 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

Finding connections and building safety for high risk youth - Calgary Region CFS

————Kamps, Calgary and Area Child & Family Services

Calgary Region, Child and Family Services, want to share its innovative practice shifts. We will highlight theory and foundation of these practices as developed by other leaders throughout the United States and Australia, and we will provide case examples of how we have incorporated this into our work with youth.



D5 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

Youth Transit Access Project

————Basisty, Boyle Street Ed. Centre, Youth Transit Access Project

Youth living in poverty depend on public transit, but are at risk of entering the criminal justice system when they accrue fines for being unable to afford the fare. The Youth Transit Access Project is collaborative initiative offering high-risk youth opportunities for transit access, and seeking to improve relationships between youth and enforcement.



D6 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

TBRI - Innovative intervention and empowerment strategies for high risk youth

————Kasper, Youth Empowerment and Support Services

Learn powerful and innovative approaches to working with high risk youth. Through a proactive and evidence based framework, Trust Based Relational Intervention educates and informs front line workers and parents on why youth act out, what their needs are and teaches effective ways to facilitate improved behaviour and optimal development.



D7 Workshop
( 90 minutes )

We’re all in this together: Creating and maintaining collaborative service teams in front line work with high risk youth

————Cramer, Child & Family Services

As the needs of our youth become more complex, so to do the demands on frontline practitioners. This session looks at the innovative practice of creating better outcomes through the development of multidisciplinary, collaborative service teams. Topics include identifying and engaging members, communication, information sharing, shared responsibility and expectations. Session includes a panel discussion with one such collaborative team.