Northeast Adoption Summit 2013

Adoption Succeed in Your Journey

Northeast Adoption Summit 2014

April 25 - 26, 2014
Calvary Church 1051 Landis Valley Rd, Lancaster, PA. (Directions)

Please join Bethany Christian Services in April at our Northeast Adoption Summit. This two-day event will focus on raising awareness and advocating for children who are waiting for a family to call their own and will provide training for the adoption community on a variety of adoption issues.

Join hundreds of other pre-adoptive and adoptive parents as well as professionals in Lancaster, PA this April to be:

  • challenged
  • trained (social work continuing education credits approved)
  • encouraged
  • inspired
  • unified...as a community with hearts for children all over the world!


Registration

Early Bird Special (ends March 9, 2014)

  • $69 per individual
  • $120 per couple

Regular Registration

  • $89 per individual
  • $160 per couple
  • $35 student rate (current photo ID required at the event)

No refund after April 11
Walk-in registrations accepted at the event

 

Hotel Reservations >

Continuing Education Credits available, $10 fee, payable at the event.*
 

     


Speakers


Dr. Karyn Purvis
Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University and co-author of The Connected Child
 


Johnny Carr  
Author of Orphan Justice
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Help One Now
 


David and Jayne Schooler
Co-author of Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families
 

Sponsors

 

 

 


Schedule Summary

Join us for a matching event during the social hour, breaks, and lunch! Families will have the opportunity to learn about children and teens who are in need of permanency by viewing their photos and posters and by talking directly to their caseworkers. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

4:30 - 6 p.m.

Registration and Exhibitor Fair

8 - 9 p.m.

Social Hour, Exhibitors Open, Prayer, Reception

Evening of Inspiration - Johnny Carr, Master of Ceremonies

6 - 7:30 p.m.

Worship led by Hundredfold Worship
Encouragement and inspiration through adoptive family interviews (emceed by Johnny Carr)

7:30 - 8 p.m.Challenge:  “No One Can Do Everything, But Everyone Can Do Something” by Johnny Carr
8 - 9 p.m.Social Hour, Exhibitors Open, Prayer, Reception

Saturday, April 26, 2014

8 - 8:30 a.m.

Registration & Exhibitor Fair

8:30 - 9 a.m.

Welcome and Worship

9 - 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Karyn Purvis 
“Trust-Based Parenting: Creating Lasting Changes in Your Child’s Behavior” 
(1.5 Clinical CECs) 

10:45 - Noon

Breakout Session "A" & Exhibitor Fair

Noon - 1 p.m.Lunch & Exhibitor Fair
1 - 2:30 p.m.

Jayne Schooler
“Telling the Truth to Adopted Children” (1.5 Clinical CECs) 

2:45 - 4 p.m.

Breakout Session "B" & Exhibitor Fair

4:15 - 6 p.m.

Dr. Karyn Purvis
“Behavioral “Crunches”: Learning to Correct Behavior While Continuing to Build the Attachment Relationship" (1.75 Clinical CECs) 


 

 

Breakout "A" Sessions Available (Morning)

Social Work continuing education credits approved

Session Name / PresenterDescription
Addiction and Adoption
Joseph Troncale, MD - Read bio
Addiction is over-represented as a problem in families who adopt. Addiction presents as a tremendous challenge for any family but adoption plus addiction complicates the dynamics of families in a unique way. This presentation attempts to give families coping strategies.

Adult Adoptee Panel
Read bios


CLOSED

Our panel of adult adoptees will share their unique insights into the ways that adoption has impacted their lives from their feelings about identity and relationships, how their parents talked to them about adoption, building a positive self-image, openness in adoption, and more. The panel will participate in an open discussion and answer questions. This experience will give adoptive parents an insight into what their children may experience, think and feel as adopted individuals and thus help inform their parenting approach to their child.

An Ever-Present Help: Hope and Help for Moms
Beth Templeton - Read bio

CLOSED

With real-life stories from her 13 years of adoptive mothering, Beth will share some of the encouragement and help she has received from the Lord in this long haul journey of adoption. It has been her experience that He is indeed an ever-present help in times of need. This session will bring encouragement and practical help to adoptive moms. It is an opportunity to strengthen and enjoy the connection each of us has as the daughter of our father, God, so that we might in turn strengthen out connection with our children.
Are You Ready for Foster Care?
Carl & Kim Kremer - Read bio
In 2012, there were approximately 400,000 children in placement with the United States Foster Care system. Over 100,000 of those children are currently available for adoption and many will age-out with no family support structure. Do these numbers tug at your heart? Have you ever wondered whether or not you would make a good foster parent or if adoption from foster care is right for your family? Then this session is for you. We will explore the foster care system from foster parent requirements and caseworker expectations to the family dynamics of children in care and how all of it will affect your life. If you are unsure about taking that first step, join us for an honest look inside foster care to help you determine if you're ready to be a foster parent or adopt from foster care.
Assessing and Preparing Families to Care for Children with Trauma (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Jayne Schooler, MBS - Read bio
When a child enters a foster or adoptive home following a history of abuse, neglect, and trauma, that child will greatly impact the family. Often times, the foster or adoptive family is broadsided by shattered expectations-the experience is nothing like they expected. They are confronted by confusing emotions and feel unequipped for the journey. This workshop addresses a key need-narrowing the gap between the expectations of the foster/adopt family and the reality of the experiences they encounter. The goal of this workshop is to provide another layer of assessment skills and preparation for the foster/adoption homestudy.
Attachment 101: What is Attachment and Why is it Important? (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Attachment 102: Patterns and Symptoms of Attachment Difficulties and Helpful Parenting Strategies (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
(REQUIRES BOTH SESSIONS)
Cheryl Walters, M.S. - Read bio

Attachment 101
Participants will learn how attachment forms and information about the first and second year of life cycles in healthy attachment and what can go awry when attachment breaks or disruptions occur. The importance of attachment to healthy development will be discussed. Experiential activities to better understand attachment from a parental perspective as well as from a child's perspective will be included.

Attachment 102
Participants will learn patterns and symptoms consistent with attachment difficulties and will learn to understand how these develop and why. Parenting strategies to assist in responding more effectively to children and/or teens with attachment difficulties will be presented. Experiential activities regarding playful interactions between parents and children to build more positive and secure attachment will be included in the training.

Bridging Gaps: Meeting the Medical, Developmental, and Social Needs of Children adopted with Special Needs
Dr. Amy Lynch OTR/L, PhD, Ms. Stephanie Drabble LCSW, Dr. Susan Friedman, MD
 - Read bios
Children adopted from adverse backgrounds including international institutional and foster care settings, as well as those from US foster care bring unique medical, developmental, sensory, and social emotional abilities and challenges to the "family table".   The arrival of these wonderful children into their homes shifts the family dynamic, as they learn to become part of a family, a child to parents, and a sibling to other children.  Their distinctive abilities and challenges can strain the development of relationships and add stress to a growing family.  Many of these children join siblings who also came into the home after living in "hard start" backgrounds which adds another layer of complexity in the family transition.  Please join us as we consider the aspects of children and families in light of their own histories and varying medical, developmental, and social emotional needs.  This session will discuss strategies for helping children thrive in their new home and to address the behaviors of children who are at differing stages of their own attachment.  This session will offer strategies for promoting individual abilities, for managing sibling rivalry issues, and for responding to strong, often negative behaviors between children and parents as a result of prior history, medical, developmental, sensory, and social issues
Connecting with Adolescents: Four Skills for Joyful Adulthood (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Dr. Karyn Purvis - Read bio
Children from hard places often come with unique needs and puzzling behaviors as a result of their histories of abuse, neglect, or trauma. As these children grow into adolescents, their need for safe, loving caregivers to guide them into successful adulthood is crucial. In this session, Dr. Purvis will demonstrate skills for connecting with teens, proactive strategies for managing misbehavior, and tools to help parents and caregivers on how to guide their teens into adulthood.
Creating a Healing Home 1 & 2 (REQUIRES BOTH SESSIONS)
Faye Hall, MA & Jeff Merkert - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Attendees will gain an understanding of child trauma from abuse, neglect, abandonment, the need for a healing home environment, and how to design this environment for their family.
Cultural Awareness: Old Order and Conservative Mennonites Adoptive Families
Sheryl Hackel - Read bio
In areas with an Old Order and Conservative Mennonite presence, adoption professionals increasingly interact with this cultural group. This workshop outlines four key cultural pieces, exploring how they impact human services practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. 
Developing an Orphan Care and Adoption Ministry in Your Church
Johnny Carr - Read bio
This session will teach you how to develop on orphan care and adoption ministry in your church. We will think through four main areas that every ministry should consider and will give you practical tools and resources for developing this ministry.
Guiding Your Teenagers Through Healthy Relationships
Debra Fileta - Read bio
 
CLOSED
This session will address relationship issues including modeling healthy relationships, setting appropriate limits and expectations, and understanding emotional and physical boundaries.  Participants will learn skills on how to create an atmosphere of openness and communication with your child as you engage in these important conversations.
Making Sense of Sensory Dysregulation (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Christine Achenbach, MEd, OTR/L - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Providers, parents, and those who’ve experienced adoption/foster care are familiar with sensory dysregulation. In trauma, there is often a phenomenon of sensory dysregulation, often called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This session will cover an overview of how SPD is identified and treated and some suggestions for managing it will be addressed. Questions are encouraged and resources will be provided.
Microfinance & Orphan Care (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Peter Greer - Read bio
In order to make a lasting impact in the orphan crisis, we need to understand the interconnection with poverty. Poverty becomes a primary reason children become orphans in the first place and undermines many efforts to bring children into homes. Addressing poverty directly is a vital facet of caring for the orphan; from helping struggling families stay together to providing a livelihood for orphans as they adulthood. Microfinance and grassroots economic development efforts are assisting the entrepreneurial poor overcome poverty in innovative ways. In this breakout, learn about the key elements of microfinance and how those serving orphans can unite orphan care and economic development. 
Playing It Out: Play Therapy and Resolution to Trauma
Anita L. Pilkerton - Plumb, MSW, LCSW - Read bio
Participants will learn how child-centered play therapy works, how to access services, and assess if play therapy is appropriate for child(ren) in their care. A parent whose child successfully completed therapy will share their experience with child-centered play therapy, and presenter will provide brief demonstrations and explanations about the process and why it works.

Story Keeping
Mark and Kelly Raudenbush - Read bio

CLOSED

We have a responsibility as parents to both guard and celebrate our children’s stories. We are also the best ones to train them to be their own story keepers, teaching them to use wisdom in handling hard questions from both children and adults and giving them tools that both protect and respect themselves and others. In this session, parents will be encouraged in their story keeping and trained in a few practical ways to empower their children in the same.
The Forgotten in our Community
Jami Kaeb - Read bio
Agency workers, foster parents, vulnerable adults and children affected by foster care often feel alone, misunderstood, and forgotten. You and your church can make a tangible difference in the lives of the hurting right here in your own community. In this workshop, Jami Kaeb will share her family’s journey of heartbreak that ultimately led to the founding of The Forgotten Initiative, a ministry that mobilizes and equips the Body of Christ to serve, mentor, and support the foster care community. You will gain better insight into who the foster care community is and walk away with a myriad of tools to help you show the love of Jesus to those who feel forgotten.
The Joy of Adoption: Looking Beyond the Labels
Phyllis Stevens - Read bio
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Sexual Abuse, Developmental Delays, Mental Retardation are only a few of the labels that were given to children that were adopted in this family. As an African American woman, Phyllis will share the good, the bad, and the ugly of adopting 6 children with special needs. 5 of her children are now adults. She will share what success looks like in each of their lives and the challenges that were overcome to achieve that success.
Understanding Trauma Effects on Children 1 & 2 (REQUIRES BOTH SESSIONS) (2.5 Clinical CECs) 
Lois A. Ehrmann, LPC, NCC - Read bio
In this two part presentation participants will learn about important concepts about childhood traumatic stress such as simple trauma versus complex trauma, vulnerability factors in regard to traumatic stress and the differences between trauma effects in an adult versus a child or adolescent. The impact of trauma on the developing physiology, brain, social, and emotional development as well as on the capacity to form healthy attachments will also be discussed. The characteristics of effective intervention and treatment for traumatic stress in children will also be touched upon. 
Viewing Relationships & Families Through the Attachment Lens (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Ronald Vogt, Ph.D. - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Adoption creates a new awareness and energy as well as new complexity toward creating relationships that are a secure base and a safe haven for one’s soul. We will explore the implications of making secure attachment the primary goal of family relationships versus the common goals such as appropriateness, self-control, gathering skills, problem solving, and self-development.

When the Brady Bunch Adopts Bart Simpson: Taking Care of Cindy
Cheryl Nitz, LCSW - Read bio

CLOSED

It is a daily struggle for parents to balance the needs of all of their children, especially when one (or more!) of them is particularly challenging. How can parents meet the needs of a child that demands so much, and still make sure that their “healthier” children are getting “enough”? This practical workshop provides a host of tools for helping “Cindy” to grow in a sometimes difficult environment, ultimately allowing all to flourish and be a growing joyful family.

 

Breakout "B" Sessions Available (Afternoon)

Social Work continuing education credits approved

Session Name / PresenterDescription

Accepting the Whole Child
Anita L. Pilkerton - Plumb, MSW, LCSW - Read bio

CLOSED

It is hard to feel connected with a child who seems to push you away; one who yells, screams, withdraws, lies, breaks rules, or seems an outsider to your family. Explore ideas to better understand, identify needs of, and connect with the child who came to you from challenging situations. Transition from feeling helpless to hopeful as you connect with the whole child.

Adoption, A Wild Adventure
Michael Dennehy - Read bio

CLOSED

In family discussions of adoption, women are often the gas pedal and men are the brakes. In this session we will talk about adoption from a man’s point of view, including God’s biblical call for men to be bold and take a spiritual leadership role in family management and in reaching the world. We will also discuss adoption and orphan care as a powerful way to share the gospel, to reshape our world view, and to participate in the wild adventure God has in mind for each of us.

Adoption: Adopting Children from a Different Background
Dr. Karen Rice - Read bio
Dr. Leonora Foels - Read bio

CLOSED

This session introduces participants to a socially responsible way of interacting with people regardless of differences. Intercultural competence is not achieved spontaneously, but rather through a process that begins with self-reflection. It is realized when individuals from different backgrounds work cooperatively and take action to eliminate misunderstandings that hinder or prevent the development of positive relationships. A variety of interactive and experiential activities will be introduced throughout the workshop to promote critical consciousness and enhance intercultural communication skills.
Adult Attachment
Stephanie Van Deusen, Ph.D., LPC - Read bio
 
CLOSED
The focus of this session will be on working with participants to better understand the intersection of their attachment dynamic with their child’s attachment dynamic. It will also address how to utilize mindfulness and emotional regulation skills to cultivate a corrective emotional experience with the attachment dyad and home environment.
Attachment 101: What is Attachment and Why is it Important? (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Attachment 102: Patterns and Symptoms of Attachment Difficulties and Helpful Parenting Strategies (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
(REQUIRES BOTH SESSIONS)
Cheryl Walters, M.S. - Read bio

Attachment 101
Participants will learn how attachment forms and information about the first and second year of life cycles in healthy attachment and what can go awry when attachment breaks or disruptions occur. The importance of attachment to healthy development will be discussed. Experiential activities to better understand attachment from a parental perspective as well as from a child's perspective will be included.

Attachment 102
Participants will learn patterns and symptoms consistent with attachment difficulties and will learn to understand how these develop and why. Parenting strategies to assist in responding more effectively to children and/or teens with attachment difficulties will be presented. Experiential activities regarding playful interactions between parents and children to build more positive and secure attachment will be included in the training.

Changing to Love, Not Loving to Change
Susan Hillis - Read bio

CLOSED

This session will be full of personal Hillis family testimonies (11 kids, 8 adopted from hurtful circumstances), Scripture, and science to convey the foundational principle of caring for orphans: your goal is for Jesus to change you in order to love them; your goal is NOT to love them in order to change them. Living by this principle is supernaturally freeing!
Creating a Healing Home 1 & 2 (REQUIRES BOTH SESSIONS)
Faye Hall, MA & Jeff Merkert - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Attendees will gain an understanding of child trauma from abuse, neglect, abandonment, the need for a healing home environment, and how to design this environment for their family.
Discussion of John Piper’s Sermon “Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel”
Andrew J. Brunk - Read bio
The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. And this act is not part of his ordinary providence in the world; it is at the heart of the gospel. Galatians 4:4-5 is as central a gospel statement as there is. God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how he saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only (John 1:12-13). But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. This is the most essential foundation of the practice of adoption.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Implications for Systems, Parents, Systems, and Youth
Deborah Hardy - Read bio
Many children who are living with foster or adoptive parents will have an FASD. One study in Washington state revealed a rate of FASD 10 to 15 times higher in foster care than in the general population. (Adopting and Fostering Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: www.samsha.gov). This presentation will increase awareness of the characteristics of a child with the disorder as well as provide information regarding intervention strategies which can be utilized in the home, community and school. Knowing the facts about FASD can help a family make informed decisions.
Innovative Adoption: Funding and How the Church can Respond
Rich Metcalfe - Read bio
This session focuses on making sense of the cost of adoption as well as creatively bringing solutions to the funding hurdles. We will explore ways for families and churches to become involved to meet the financial needs of adoption.
Raising Awareness, Lowering Apathy: Strategies to Increase Adoptions within the Black Community
Pam Andrews - Read bio
This workshop will identify strategies to increase permanency for African American children into African American families. We will discuss why we can no longer be silent on this issue and will examine several root causes of the disproportionality and disparity among adoptions within the black community. 
Reaching Your Teen: Living with Adolescents with a History of Trauma (1.25 Clinical CECs) 
Dr. David and Jayne Schooler - Read bio
One of the most critical needs in the area of child welfare today is to understand the long term impact of trauma as it manifests itself during the adolescent years. This workshop will guide participants in understanding the “perfect storm” of a teen’s trauma history and current on-going stressors, what protective factors strengthen youth, and strategies to manage adolescents with a traumatic history.
Real Life: Living and Parenting Children with HIV
Bradley Davidson, M.D. & Carolyn Twietmeyer - Read bio
The goals of this session include conveying and quenching real life concerns about HIV and how it fits into family living from infant to teen years.
Single Parent Adoption: A Place to Connect, Share, Learn, and Grow with Others Who Are on the Same Journey
Autumn Kerr - Read bio
Single adoptive parents (or those praying about or in process to be), this breakout session is the place to connect with others who understand your specific journey and the unique challenges single parent adoption brings. Single adoptive mom, Autumn Kerr, will share some helpful things she’s learned on her journey, as well as offer time for participants to ask questions, share ideas and encourage one another.
Soaring Above the Crash and Burn: Understanding and Preventing Professional and Caregiver Burn Out
Laura Miller, LCSW - Read bio
Caring for and/or working with challenging children and adolescents, especially those having a history of trauma, can have a negative effect on your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The goal of this training is to empower participants to recognize the signs and employ a plan of action to avoid severe burn out, staying healthy for your clients and your family.
The Sound of Music: Using Music Therapy to Help Children Heal from Trauma and Enhance Connection & Attachment
Colleen Klym - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Music can be a powerful tool to help children and adolescents learn to express emotions, process trauma, and make deeper connections with family members. Come to this interactive workshop and walk away with tools to incorporate music into therapeutic interventions and for families to use at home as well.
Too Many Losses, Too Soon
Madeleine Krebs, LCSW-C - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Loss experienced by children in foster care and adoption is unique. Factors that influence children’s reactions to loss, the four psychological tasks of grief work, and healing therapies for children and teens will be discussed. Participants will benefit from answers to these important questions: What are the critical aspects of loss in foster care and adoption? How are children impacted by these losses? How can parents help their children with the ambiguities of foster care and adoption? What are the signs that loss could be contributing to behavioral problems?
Understanding and Responding to the Teenage Brain 
Lesley Huff, PsyD - Read bio
 
CLOSED
Adolescence is second only to the time when we are born with regards to the intensity and complexity of brain development. During this period of brain development, it is important to understand how adolescent behavior, emotionality, and cognitive processes are impacted. In this lecture, we will discuss ways in which adults can support adolescents through this tumultuous time by helping them to leverage their new brain abilities and lay the foundation to become strong and healthy adults.
Understanding Trauma Effects on Children 1 & 2 (REQUIRES BOTH SESSIONS) (2.5 Clinical CECs) 
Lois A. Ehrmann, LPC, NCC - Read bio
In this two part presentation participants will learn about important concepts about childhood traumatic stress such as simple trauma versus complex trauma, vulnerability factors in regard to traumatic stress and the differences between trauma effects in an adult versus a child or adolescent. The impact of trauma on the developing physiology, brain, social, and emotional development as well as on the capacity to form healthy attachments will also be discussed. The characteristics of effective intervention and treatment for traumatic stress in children will also be touched upon. 

“You Are What Your Child Needs”. Great! Now What?
Cheryl Nitz, LCSW - Read bio

CLOSED

Parenting children who have experienced trauma and attachment difficulties can push parents to their limits. The challenges of raising children with such emotional and behavioral needs can bring out both the best and worst in us! The good news for parents is “You are what your child needs”-the very relationship you desire with your child is exactly where they can find the healing they so desperately need. But it is also HARD! The daily challenges, current family dynamics, our own heart issues and even our own attachment histories all play a role. Come join us and discuss how parents can address these issues, enabling us to be the strongest healthiest parents we can be, and thus helping our children be the strongest and healthiest they can be!

 

*Bethany Christian Services, provider # 1202, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Bethany Christian Services maintains responsibility for the program. Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. ASWB Approval Period: 1/15/14-1/15/17.

Anita L. Pilkerton - Plumb, MSW, LCSW

Anita practices individual family and group therapy in Lancaster, PA. She also provides training and consultation in parenting, sexuality, healthy relationships, child abuse prevention, empowerment, and mental health for children, teens, parents, and professionals. Anita is adjunct faculty in the Social Work Department of Millersville University, and parents two children. She holds degrees in Human Development & Family Studies and Social Work, from Penn State University and Temple University, respectively. She believes in planting ideas, cultivating conversations, and helping others to find their own personal growth. Find Anita at www.onewhoplantsseeds.net.

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Christine Achenbach, Med, OTR/L

Christine has been in Occupational Therapy for 27 years, working with children and adults with a variety of diagnoses. For the past 13 years, she has been full time at Elizabethtown College, which has included opportunities in the area of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in children with trauma histories. She is currently also learning about EEG Neurofeedback for use with a variety of diagnoses including Autism, ADHD and anxiety. Christine currently maintains a small private practice, and she looks forward to partnering with families and professionals to obtain the services children and adults with SPD deserve.

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Andrew J. Brunk

God first laid adoption on Andrew’s heart about a year after he married his beautiful wife Esther. Growing their family took a unique path as God led them to adopt before trying to have any natural born. Towards the beginning stages of an international adoption they were asked by Bethany Christian Services to consider welcoming 2 1/2 year old domestic twins. The next day they welcomed Isaac and Mikayle home, though they had nothing in their home for children at the time of the phone call. Their church rallied behind them, making sure they had all their physical needs met in abundance! Through this and other instances, God had been opening their eyes to the importance of church involvement and education in orphan care. He has burdened Andrew to come alongside of churches raising awareness for the fatherless.

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Johnny Carr

For 14 years, Pastor Johnny Carr was a full-time minister who served several different churches ranging in size from 100 to 1,700 weekly attendees. In his last full time church staff position, Johnny was the Pastor of Ministry and Leadership Development at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. While at Hillcrest, he led the church in establishing its first orphan care and adoption ministry. He believes that the Church must take the lead in the world’s orphan crisis. His goal is to inspire the Church to truly understand and obey James 1:27, which calls believers to care for orphans.

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Bradley Davidson, M.D. & Carolyn Twietmeyer

Dr. Davidson is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine and now works as a medical director for a health insurance company. He and his wife, Jo, have seven children, three of whom are adopted, and one granddaughter. The Davidsons are outspoken orphan advocates and remain active with a number of adoption and orphan care organizations, including Project Hopeful, whose mission is to educate, encourage and enable families to advocate for and adopt children with HIV/AIDS.

Carolyn is a mother of 15, with a myriad of special needs. She is the executive director of Project Hopeful. She is an active missionary at Village of Hope in San Lucas, Guatemala.

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Michael Dennehy, “Father of Many”

Michael and Sharon Dennehy have been guests three times on the nationally syndicated ‘Family Life’ radio show with Dennis Rainy to speak about adoption. A short film about their journey called “I Like Adoption” has gone viral, and has been viewed an estimated two million times around the world. Mike has had the opportunity to speak about adoption and to share their family story with several large churches and at various conferences and gatherings around the U.S. Their family adoption adventures have also been shared with the world via PBS, the Washington Times, Sunday Night Austrailia and many other shows and news publications.

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Lois A. Ehrmann

Lois is licensed as a professional counselor in PA and is also on the Board of Directors for the National ATTACh organization.Lois is a certified consultant/clinician in EMDR, certified IFS Therapist, certified clinician and approved consultant in Attachment Focused Family Therapy, Registered ATTACh Therapist and certified in clinical hypnosis. Through the National Board of Certified Counselors she is also an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). Lois maintains a small face to face treatment practice at CHOICES where she works with families struggling with adoption, trauma and attachment issues as well as a thriving internet based consultation practice called E-Counseling and Consultation Services. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences for years and is a sought after trainer and supervisor/consultant on trauma and attachment issues as well as IFS and EMDR. Lois Ehrmann often indicates that her greatest credential is that of being an adoptive mother of a now 24 year old daughter out of the PA foster care system.

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Cheryl Nitz

Cheryl Nitz, ACSW, LCSW has worked in the field of adoption and foster care for over 28 years. She has extensive training in the field of attachment and trauma, particularly in the area of facilitating attachment in foster, adopted and post-institutionalized children. She began specializing in attachment therapy in 1997 and became co-founder of the Attachment and Bonding Center of PA in 1999. ABC of PA is committed to joining with families to help these children find hope and healing as they learn to access the love and security their families provide. In addition to her professional experience, Cheryl often says her best education has come from being a parent with her husband to their four kids (two of whom came to the family through adoption) and grandparent to four!

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Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta, M.A., LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in marriage, family, and relationship issues. She is also the author of True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), a book which encourages young men and women to become healthy and pursue healthy dating relationships. She, her husband, and two children live in Hershey, PA area. For more information visit her website at www.truelovedates.com.

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Peter Greer

Peter Greer joined HOPE International in 2004 following extensive education and experience in the field of microfinance. Peter received a bachelor’s degree in international business from Messiah College, a master’s of public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and an honorary doctorate from Erskine College. Prior to his education at Harvard, Peter served as managing director for Urwego, a Christ-centered microfinance institution in Kigali, Rwanda. He also served as a technical advisor for Self-Help Development Foundation in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and worked as a microfinance advisor in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Enthusiastic about sharing HOPE’s message and engaging the Church, Peter has several books; www.peterkgreer.com. Peter and Laurel, his amazing wife, live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with their three children. Follow him on Twitter @peterkgreer.

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Sheryl Hackel

Sheryl Hackel is a Conservative Mennonite with a non-Mennonite background. She is currently enrolled in the MSW program at Millersville University and passionate about developing understanding and positive interactions between the Plain Community (Amish, Mennonites & Brethren) and human services professionals. Sheryl’s passion for this area stems from her love for the community of Conservative Mennonites and from personal interactions with fellow foster and adoptive parents of emotionally challenging children as well as with the many therapists who have come alongside of her family throughout her 12 years as a foster/adoptive parent of wonderful, albeit challenging, children. Sheryl and her husband, Randy, live in rural Lancaster County and are the parents of 6 children, ages 11-22.

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Faye Hall & Jeff Merkert

Faye a BS in Elementary Education and MA in Community Psychology with training in trauma and attachment theory including DDP, Theraplay EMDR. She has also participated in the development and implementation of the Healing Hearts Family Based Program through Jewish Family Services and is a current team member.

Jeff has a BS Degree in Bible. He began his mental health career working full-time as a TSS with a child diagnosed with RAD. He has completed ESFT training for Family Based Services, has training in trauma and attachment theory including DDP, and is also trained in Theraplay. He also participated in the development and implementation of the Healing Hearts Family Based Program through Jewish Family Services and is a current team member.

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Deborah Hardy

Deborah Hardy, B.S. in a Human Services Program Representative in the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health Services. Deborah is a member of the Pennsylvania FASD Executive Task Force and has lead responsibilities for the FASD Workgroup in the Children’s Bureau. Additional areas of focus include Family Based Mental Health Services and Residential Treatment Facility services for youth and children. Deborah’s previous Commonwealth employment includes positions in the Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations and therapeutic recreation services in a state hospital setting.

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Lesley Huff, PsyD

Lesley A. Huff, PsyD completed her Post-doctoral residency at Behavioral Healthcare Consultants (BHC) in Lancaster, PA, after completing her Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy, from Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA. Lesley provides individual, family, and couples therapy for adolescents and adults, and conducts psychological and neurological evaluations. Lesley teaches Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Montgomery County Community College, in Blue Bell, PA, and has also taught courses in Human Development, Introduction to Psychology, and Systemic Treatment of Addiction.

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Jami Kaeb

Jami Kaeb is a dreamer and a coffee lover! She is married to Clint and the mother of six - four through adoption. It was through a difficult season of waiting, that Clint and Jami's eyes were opened to the foster care community. They became foster parents to three siblings who they eventually adopted and in April of 2011, Jami founded The Forgotten Initiative. Jami views life as a great adventure with Jesus and desires simply to know Him more and share His love with those who feel forgotten.

Ministry Site: The Forgotten Initiative: www.theforgotteninitiative.org
Jami’s Personal Blog: www.lifewithapersonalgod.org

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Autumn Kerr, Executive Director of Visiting Orphans

Autumn Kerr is the Executive Director of Visiting Orphans and an adoptive mom. Autumn adopted her son from Ethiopia in 2012 and has learned quickly that being a single mom presents its own set of adoption parenting challenges. She is very passionate about reaching out to other singles who are considering adoption or are in process as well as connecting them with those who have already adopted as a single. She has a blog where she writes about her journey as a single adoptive parent and strives to be real and honest in hopes that it can encourage others who are in a similar journey. Her blog: www.mysingleadoption.blogspot.com

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Colleen Klym

Colleen Klym holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Board Certified Music Therapist. She has spent fourteen years counseling couples and families and is currently a therapist at the Attachment and Bonding Center of PA (ABC of PA) and an adjunct faculty member teaching music therapy at Penn State’s Integrative Arts Program. Colleen is trained in attachment therapy, where she uses the powerful tool of music to help enhance the connection between children and parents struggling with issues related to adoption and attachment. Along with her co-therapists at ABC of PA, Colleen is committed to helping children learn to access the love and security their families can provide.

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Madeleine Krebs, LCSW-C

Madeleine Krebs, LCSW-C, C.A.S.E Clinical Coordinator, has over 35 years of experience providing psychotherapy for families with children of all ages. She has worked extensively with foster and adopted children who have experienced early trauma, grief and loss and with families concerning domestic, international and kinship adoptions. Ms. Krebs is frequently called upon to provide expert testimony in court on behalf of the child.

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Carl & Kim Kremer

Carl and Kim Kremer have been leaning heavily on God’s grace throughout their 13 years of marriage. They have welcomed four homemade kids and one little one through foster adoption while maintaining an open relationship with the son Kim placed for adoption 18 years ago. Carl works as a full-time associate pastor, preaching and leading worship at NorthPointe Community Church in Limerick, PA, while Kim works part-time as an Apothecary Associate at Kimberton Whole Foods. She also blogs about their trials and joys at http://itsaverticallife.blogspot.com/.

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Rich Metcalfe

Program Director of Lifesong for Orphans

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Laura Miller

Laura Miller is a graduate of Shippensburg University and Marywood University, holding degrees in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Pennsylvania. Laura has been working in the social services field since 1998, first in the domestic violence and sexual assault services, and currently in mental health. She first began working with foster and adoptive children and their families over 10 years ago following the completion of her graduate work and was the attachment specialist for a local wrap around services agency. Laura has been providing outpatient therapy services in Lancaster County for the past 8 years. She resides locally with her husband and three children and is an active member of her local church.

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Karyn Purvis

Dr. Purvis is a former foster mother, a mother of three sons, and a grandmother of nine, two of whom are adopted. Her life’s passion is to empower children to overcome trauma so they may thrive and reach their fullest potential in life. Dr. Karyn Purvis is the founder of Rees-Jones, director of the TCU Institute of Child Development, and a passionate advocate for “children from hard places.” A noted author, scholar and popular speaker, Dr. Purvis holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Texas Christian University. She and her mentor and colleague, Dr. David Cross, currently lead the Institute in its triple mission of research, education and outreach on behalf of at-risk children. Drs. Purvis and Cross co-authored the best-seller, The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family to help adoptive parents understand the needs of children from hard places. In 1999, Dr. Purvis launched The Hope Connection ®, a summer camp that serves as a research and training lab for adopted children and their parents and students. Out of that experience and years of research, Drs. Purvis and Cross developed Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) ®, a step-by-step intervention designed to bring deep healing to at-risk children and their struggling families.

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David and Jayne Schooler

Dr. David and Jayne Schooler began the journey into the world of foster care and adoption in 1978, with a simple question by a youth in their church. “Would you become my foster parents?” They answered yes and that changed the direction of their lives. David has served in the pastoral and counseling ministry for over 40 years. Much of his current focus is on working with adults who have a lifetime impact of early childhood trauma. Both David and Jayne are recognized nationally and internationally as speakers/trainers in the field of adoption and foster care. Jayne is the author/co-author of six books in field of child welfare including her newest: Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Parents. Jayne’s international work takes both her and her husband, David regularly to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Poland. Recently, two of her books have been translated into Russian and Polish. David and Jayne are parents by birth and adoption.

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David and Jayne Schooler

Dr. David and Jayne Schooler began the journey into the world of foster care and adoption in 1978, with a simple question by a youth in their church. “Would you become my foster parents?” They answered yes and that changed the direction of their lives. David has served in the pastoral and counseling ministry for over 40 years. Much of his current focus is on working with adults who have a lifetime impact of early childhood trauma. Both David and Jayne are recognized nationally and internationally as speakers/trainers in the field of adoption and foster care. Jayne is the author/co-author of six books in field of child welfare including her newest: Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Parents. Jayne’s international work takes both her and her husband, David regularly to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Poland. Recently, two of her books have been translated into Russian and Polish. David and Jayne are parents by birth and adoption.

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Jayne Schooler

Jayne is the author/co-author of six books in field of child welfare including her newest: Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Parents. Jayne’s international work takes both her and her husband, David regularly to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Poland. Recently, two of her books have been translated into Russian and Polish. David and Jayne are parents by birth and adoption.

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Beth Templeton

Beth Templeton is a mother of 7, three biological children and four adopted, Beth has a passion for communicating the joy, peace and victory available to us as adoptive parents. She co-founded Hope at Home, a ministry of help and hope from real families to real families.

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Joseph Troncale, MD

Dr. Troncale has been a physician for over 30 years and is an adoptive father with his wife, Lisa. Together they are parents to six adult children, two of whom have joined their family through adoption at 5 ½ and 11 years old. Joe and Lisa are grandparents to nine children, four of whom were adopted. Dr. Troncale has been working in addiction medicine for the past 15 years and currently is a physician at The Retreat of Lancaster.

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Stephanie Van Deusen, Ph.D., LPC - Therapist

Stephanie a licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Stephanie’s doctoral research looks at the impact of psychological trauma and one’s attachment to God on psychological well-being. Her extensive experience working with trauma survivors also includes working with children with attachment related disorders and women with substance use disorders. She also specializes in working with therapists dealing with vicarious traumatization and burn-out issues. Her theoretical approach to counseling incorporates a psychodynamic/object relations model with cognitive/behavioral interventions. Stephanie is also fully trained in EMDR. Stephanie also works as a professional trainer and consultant.

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Ronald Vogt, Ph.D.

Dr. Vogt served as a pastor and chaplain prior to entering graduate school in psychology. He graduated in 1990 with a Ph.D. and began teaching at Azusa Pacific University until 1994. In 1994, he and his wife, Laurie, also a psychotherapist, moved to Lancaster County to become Director and principle therapist for the Recovery of Hope Program at Philhaven that specialized in intense marital therapy. The Vogts have 3 teenage children. Dr. Vogt’s expertise is in marital therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, attachment dynamics in relationships, and spiritual grief work.

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Cheryl Walters, M.S.

Cheryl Walters has been a licensed psychologist since 1985. She is a Registered Clinician with ATTACh (Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children), as well as a Certified Theraplay Therapist. Cheryl previously designed, implemented, provided services and fulfilled the role of Supervisory/ Consulting Psychologist in a specialized treatment program for children/adolescents and their parents/families with diagnose associated with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Developmental Trauma Disorder. Cheryl has been providing outpatient psychotherapy services to children/adolescents and their parents/families, with a focus on attachment and early trauma issues at Bethany Christian Services since July 2013.

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Mark and Kelly Raudenbush

Mark and Kelly Raudenbush founded The Sparrow Fund in 2011, having been changed by the adoption of their youngest child and desiring to serve adoptive families. Kelly holds a Masters degree in counseling, and they both have been trained to teach the Empowered to Connect material which is based on TBRI, Karyn Purvis’ research and methods for children from hard places. They consider it a joy to pour into both mothers and fathers who are eager to do the right thing for their families, encouraging parents to understand their own hearts more clearly as they seek to care for the hearts of their children. Mark and Kelly have been married for 15 years, have 4 children, and also work professionally with a nonprofit reaching student in Asia.

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Susan Hillis

God has intersected the personal, ministry, and professional roads of Dr. Susan Hillis' life at the global orphan crossroads. Personally, after the tragic death of their oldest son, God led Susan, her husband, and their other two biologic children to adopt eight more children, ages 7 to 14; together God walked the entire family out of lives of vulnerability and into lives of promise. After becoming such a large family, they lost their home in a catastrophic flood. Yet, God acted to prove that for every storm that arises, Jesus arises higher, always redeeming, always transforming grey's dark hues to silver's light radiance. From a ministry perspective, God's call is to speak His hope of changing the world by transforming every orphan and vulnerable child into a beloved son or daughter. Professionally, Dr. Hillis has worked in North America, South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa; she is a highly published scientist who holds a position as a senior advisor for global health in the United States government.

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Pam Andrews

Pam Andrews serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Orphan Care Coalition. With over a decade of experience in working with at-promise youth, Pam along with her husband, Darrell, created the HYPE (Helping Youth Pursue Excellence) model, which served pregnant/parenting teens, pre-adjudicated youth and dropouts in the state of Delaware and has been duplicated throughout several states in the US. Married for 20 years, Pam is a home school mother to four children; three homegrown and one through adoption from foster care. She is the founder of Joy for the Journey Ministries, a ministry designed to inspire, encourage and enlighten adoptive moms in their life's journey. Pam also serves as a community liaison with the Delaware Division of Family Services, where the goal is to recruit African American families for Delaware's older waiting youth.

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Phyllis Stevens

Phyllis is founder and Executive Director of Together as Adoptive Parents, Inc. (TAP) a non-profit, multi-racial adoptive, foster and kinship parent group with activities in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. Phyllis and her husband Derek have 6 children. One birth son, 4 adopted from foster care (two with special needs) and one foster son. She has conducted trainings locally and nationally. Phyllis has past and present experience as a board member on the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), The Pennsylvania’s Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association board of directors and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. She served as the Vice President of the Delaware Valley Adoption Council for 4 years. At present, Phyllis is a technical assistance consultant for NRC for Recruitment and Retention of Foster and Adoptive Parents at AdoptUsKids. She is also a technical assistance consultant for the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption. Phyllis has won many awards locally and nationally for her work with children.

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Dr. Karen Rice

Dr. Karen Rice is an Assistant Professor and Department Chair at Millersville University, Department of Social Work. She teaches a number of undergraduate and graduate courses including diversity, child welfare, research, statistics, program evaluation, and international social work. Dr. Rice obtained her MSW from Temple University and her PhD from the University Maryland Baltimore. Prior to entering academia, she worked in public child welfare for 14 years.

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Dr. Leonora Foels

Dr. Leonora Foels is an assistant professor at Millersville University (MU), Department of Social Work and teaches both undergraduate and graduate MU students. Dr. Foels obtained her PhD from Barry University and MSW from Simmons College. Prior to completing her PhD, Dr. Foels was involved in community, clinical and school based social work practice for 15 years. Her teaching focuses on practice, school social work, diversity, and an undergraduate international social work course for students interested in working with the international community and/or studying abroad. Research interests include diversity and oppression, social work education and distance education, school social work, and mental health.

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Sandy

My bio name is Yoo Sung Shil. I am 52 years old. I was adopted from Seoul, Korea at the 5 months of age. I was left on the street by a police station and found when I was 4 days old. I was in Nok Bong Dong Orphanage until I was adopted to the US on July 11, 1961. I grew up near Erie, PA in a rural community. I am divorced and have a 10 year old step daughter who remains an important part of my life. I went back to Korea on a heritage tour for adult adoptees through Holt (my adoption agency) in 1981 as a sophomore in college. It was a life changing experience. There is a whole other chapter to this story. For this reason, I am in social worker and working in orphan care today. I am very open to sharing my story.

Robin

I was adopted at two weeks old by my parents after they read an article about how biracial children are "unadoptable." I am the second of seven children and one of three transracially adopted. I grew up in Lansing, New York and remember well the day the first black family moved to our town when I was a sophomore in high school. I now live in State College, PA where my husband and I are raising our biological and adopted children of various races. It's an adventure! I also work for Bethany Christian Services in various adoption and counseling programs.

Ana

My journey began in the small town of northeastern Romania where I was living with my biological parents, sister and grandparents. At 8 years old my sister and I were forced to go to a nearby children's home due to our mother's abandonment and our father's deteriorating health. I spent 5 years at the children's home and then later was adopted at the age of 13. With the help of my adoptive family, I was able to go back to Romania several times, one of which I had the opportunity to be reunited with my biological mother. My adoption journey has consisted of moments of healing, hope and struggles, all of which play an integral part in the person I am today. I have lived the past 14 years living in Pennsylvania and am now blessed to be working for Bethany Christian Services in the post-adoption department.

Jeremiah

My road to being adopted began in Philadelphia, Pa where i was born and raised until I was 11 years of age. Prior to moving to Berks county, my experience living with my grandmother was not pleasant for me, predominantly because of her abuse of alcohol often lead to her projecting her abusive tendencies on me and my siblings. It was in July of 1994 that I was moved to Berks county Pennsylvania by a christian foster care agency called COBYS family services. I was very excited and nervous to meet my then foster family and my current adoptive family who later went on to adopt me. I am blessed to be able to say that I received the opportunity to have such an amazing family adopt me as one of there own 7 years after entering foster care. Currently, me and my wife Stephanie are living in Ephrata Pa. I truly am looking forward to meeting many of you at the Northeast Adoption Summit!

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Emil Rodriguez-Powell

I have been a professional in the Child Welfare field since 2002, working in a variety of settings from secure residential lock down facilities to community based residential programs, and most recently in adoption and foster care. Since 2005, I have worked for The Bair Foundation, first as a foster care specialist, then an adoptive specialist, and for the past two years as an adoption supervisor. These various experiences have allowed me to work with children being adopted from the foster care system and their forever families in a variety of roles.

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Consuelo Zavala

I graduated from Kutztown University in December 2005 and started working in the Child Welfare field in 2006. My first job was with Signature Family Services, providing in-home services, casework, and parenting education to birth families. I then started working in The Children's Home of Reading in the Fall of 2006 and continue to work with this agency. I started out as a case manager in the foster care department and two years later, I was promoted to Family Worker which consists of supervising families, training new families, and approving new families. I also do adoption work, which consists of writing family profiles, finalizations, child preparations and proving post permanency services.×

Dr. Amy Lynch

Dr. Amy Lynch has been practicing with the pediatric population since receipt of her degree from Tuft’s University. She is now Program Coordinator if the IAHP at CHOP and has obtained a doctorate in Biomechanics and Movement Studies, with an emphasis on Infant Motor Behavior at the University of Delaware. She is also working as a Post Doctoral Fellow with Dr. Mary Dozier at the University of Delaware. Dr. Lynch has traveled to Romania and Russia, providing training at the county, institution, and foster family levels. Dr. Lynch specializes in post-institutionalization, as well as children with sensory integration problems, feeding/ oral motor dysphagia, and cerebral palsy. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) and Infant Massage. She has completed her 8 week training in Neurodevelopmental Treatment. Dr. Lynch was the Manager of the OT Department at CHOP for 5 years. Ms. Lynch is a faculty member at Misericordia University, where one of her responsibilities is teaching the Sensory Integration Evaluation and Treatment course for advanced master’s students. She has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally in feeding, sensory integration, international adoption medicine, and developmental care. Most importantly, Dr. Lynch is the proud mom of two awesome children born in Russia, one of whom has had eating issues.

Ms. Stephanie Drabble

Ms. Stephanie Drabble has been practicing for over 10 years as a social worker after receipt of her graduate degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Internship, University of Pennsylvania Treatment Research Center, Philadelphia, Pa. She has received specialized training in Theraplay, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, She is in charge of the Young Children Clinic at CHOP, including supervision of psychiatry fellows. Her specialty areas include infants and young children, Attachment, Adoption, Trauma, Autism, and Neurological problems.

Dr. Susan Friedman

Dr. Susan Friedman has spent the past 22 years working in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Neonatal Follow Up Program, a multi-disciplinary program that cares for infants and children with high risk neonatal backgrounds and significant chronic illness and disabilities. She has also served as Medical Director of the Well Baby Nursery at the Hospital of the University of PA for the past 14 years. Dr. Friedman was delighted to join Dr. Farber in the International Adoption Health Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2006 and apply her clinical skills to this immensely rewarding field. She became Co-Director in 2008, and the role of Director in 2012. She has 4 children.

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