Beyond the Bench 2019 - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

BREAKFAST AND PLENARY
8:30 A.M.-9:30 A.M.


Managing stress in order to perform at our highest level at work may be the most challenging professional task we face professionally. Achieving a sense of accomplishment and purpose at work is one of the most fulfilling experiences and recharges individuals in the most stressful jobs. The skills to gain workplace satisfaction are achieved by understanding and practicing mental wellness principles that provide the inner stability to deal with any stressful situation and the organizational tools to create less stressful work environments. This inspiring keynote will share stories and science-based strategies for elevating your workplace into one that promotes everyone’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Isaiah Pickens PhD, Psychologist, iOpening Enterprises

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Concurrent Workshops 3
9:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.


As a social worker or attorney, have you ever wondered how a CASA program operates and whether the CASAs are well-trained? Have you ever had a conflict with a CASA and wanted to know how best to resolve it? Are you unfamiliar with the state laws and statutes that govern the work of CASA volunteers? Have you ever been frustrated after reading a CASA’s court report?  If so, come to this workshop and learn how CASA volunteers are trained and supported by child welfare professionals in your local county CASA program. Learn about the role of CASAs, how they are supervised, and the benefits they can bring to a case. This workshop is designed to help all dependency stakeholders develop effective relationships with CASA volunteers and the local CASA program to benefit children in the foster care system. We will put particular emphasis on the issues parents' attorneys and social workers often face.  It will be facilitated by two local program CASA staff: Jimmy Cook, who has been a county social worker and Jessica Muñoz, who represented parents and children in juvenile court and now runs a CASA program in Riverside County. Diane Nunn, National CASA/GAL Association, will moderate the discussion and add a national perspective. They all bring a deep understanding of the role of child welfare professionals and attorneys, and a commitment to the best-interest-advocacy of CASA volunteers and staff.

Jimmy Cook, Program Manager, CASA of Santa Cruz County
Jessica Muñoz, Executive Director of Riverside County, Voices for Children
Diane Nunn, Judicial Liaison, National CASA/GAL Association for Children

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Military families present unique challenges when determining parenting agreements. When a service member is deployed for weeks and months at a time, visitation plans, physical custody agreements, and emotional attachments and parenting patterns are often disrupted.  This session will briefly discuss the relevance of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), and how Family Court personnel can anticipate these variables, and understand their impact on family functioning to better navigate these challenging cases.

Kathleen West, DrPH, Lecturer/Consultant, Department of Social Welfare, University of California, Los Angeles

A minor in crisis not only finds themselves navigating the challenges of finding a safe place to live but also with navigating between two Courts, the Dependency and the Probate Courts. This session will provide some information on the pros and cons of both systems, the legal standards of each Court and touch on special crossover jurisdictional issues.

Hon. Tari L. Cody, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura
Anjuli Arora Dow, Legal Director, Legal Services for Children
David White, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Children

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Recent outcome data has demonstrated that foster youth in California’s schools continue to experience a significant achievement gap compared to their peers, and often fail to graduate. This workshop will highlight a multi-agency approach to improve foster youth education outcomes facilitated through the Foster Focus data system. Foster Focus is used to monitor academic progress, manage transitions and promote collaboration between placement and education agencies. Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Luis Obispo counties will discuss local best practices and partnerships facilitated through Foster Focus to support the unique education needs of foster youth. The Sacramento County Office of Education is the administrator agency for the Foster Focus data system, currently used by 45 counties across California. Foster Focus integrates data from the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS), School Information Systems (SIS), and the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), and can be used by Child Welfare, Probation, school districts, and County Offices of Education (COEs).

Bridget Stumpf, Chief Foster Focus Administrator, Sacramento County Office of Education
Jessica Thomas, Program Coordinator, Homeless and Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Lori Valerio, Supervising Social Services Practioner, San Bernardino Children and Family Services

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There are currently no evidence based best practices specific to serving children and youth who have been commercially sexually exploited (CSE). However, the harm reduction approach has been recognized as a promising practice to engage and meet the unique needs of this population. The approach empowers youth to be the curators of their own safety, including how they define safety. It involves promoting self-determination and assisting youth in gaining, or re-establishing, their own sense of power.  It acknowledges that CSE youth will likely continue to engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as running away, using substances or having unprotected sex, even while accessing services, and that supporting youth in taking small, incremental steps toward safer behavior will eventually lead to longer term safety and stability.

In this workshop, participants will learn a brief historical context of the harm reduction approach and evidence of its impact when used to support individuals with substance use disorders, as well as adults in the sex trade. Further, the presenters will demonstrate how the approach is applied to CSE youth, its limitations and barriers, and how utilizing such an approach is beneficial and impactful. The presentation will specifically focus on the adoption of a harm reduction approach both in practice and philosophy; highlighting the ways it can be implemented both systemically and in direct service across a range of disciplines.

Mae Ackerman-Brimberg, Attorney, Collaborative Responses to Commercial Sexual Exploitation Initiative, National Center for Youth Law
Kelly Winston, LCSW, Bureau Chief, California Department of Social Services

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The American family justice system has been in crisis for decades. Under-resourced, over utilized family courts remain the preferred venue for resolving familial disputes, despite evidence showing this regularly results in increased parental acrimony and has negative implications for the children. And as Millennials (who represent 90% of new parents) enter their age of conscious uncoupling, they’re bringing more and more complex cases to courts. Intelligent Dispute Resolution is an emerging technology field that utilizes computer and human intelligence to help parents predict and prevent conflict. And when conflict occurs, they can be connected to an on-demand mediator who can help resolve disputes, draft agreements and coach parents towards a more civil co-parenting relationship. In this session, attendees will receive a comprehensive introduction to Intelligent Dispute Resolution technologies and gain foundational understanding about how these technologies can be used to minimize conflict and enhance civility in different complex relationship settings.

Hon. Sherrill Ellsworth (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside and Community Chief Officer, Hyphenus Inc.

Globally, nearly 1 in 3 women over the age of 15 have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV), and several reports have shown that women subjected to IPV experience repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) at alarmingly high rates. Women have also reported high rates of symptoms (cognitive difficulties, depression, anxiety, sleep problems) that are consistent with outcomes following TBIs in other populations. However, for women survivors of IPV, many of these symptoms have been overlooked or interpreted as being associated with partner violence itself, rather than TBIs. In this course, data will be presented on the effects of IPV-related TBI on women's cognitive and psychological health as well as structural and functional neural connectivity. This course will also address recognizing and understanding strangulation in women, as the consequences of strangulation are often unrecognized and, may interact with or exacerbate effects of TBIs.

Eve Valera, PhD, Researcher and Assistant Professor, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School

The issue of how to handle juvenile justice youth who are declared incompetent to stand trial has long frustrated the delinquency system. Recent legislation established clear timelines and processes to balance public safety with the treatment needs of the youth. In this workshop participants will learn about new legal requirements regarding juvenile competency including who may raise a doubt about the youth's ability to understand the proceedings, the requirements of experts appointed to evaluate the youth, court reviews of remediation services, limitations on and alternatives to secure confinement, and required county protocols.

Hon. Patrick Tondreau (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Patricia Lee, Managing Attorney, San Francisco Public Defender's Office Juvenile Unit

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Parents with lived experience who have successfully navigated the child welfare system can be powerful allies to parents, and the attorneys who represent them, in Juvenile Dependency cases.  This workshop will highlight lessons learned from two innovative programs in legal offices primarily representing parents: Dependency Advocacy Center’s (DAC) 10 year-old Mentor Parent program and the brand new Parent Advocate program it inspired at East Bay Family Defenders (EBFD).  We will comprehensively walk participants through the steps and considerations necessary to build a strong and successful Mentor Parent/Parent Advocate program.

Hilary Kushins, JD, CWLS, MSW, Co-Founder, Drug Court & Training Programs Manager, Dependency Advocacy Center
Eliza Patten, Co-Executive Director, East Bay Family Defenders
Dave Shuster, Mentor Parent Program Supervisor, Dependency Advocacy Center

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In public, private, and nonprofit organizations, we are called upon to serve our children and families in ways that grow and change with their needs. However, despite our best efforts, we often perpetuate services and outcomes that are inequitable and deepen disparities for children and families of color. The Interstate Agency Workgroup to Eliminate Disparities will highlight current disparities for children and families in California; introduce solution-based tools from the workgroup’s Racial Equity Curriculum with potential for transformation; and deliver hands-on guidance in the development of a customized Racial Impact Tool.  Racial Impact Tools systematically analyze how racial and ethnic groups are affected by an existing or proposed action or policy and are now widely regarded as critical in the assessment of possible unintended impacts for undeserved communities.  When applied and utilized properly, a Racial Impact Tool can help reveal how communities are situated differently, revealing inequities that require targeted strategies that would have otherwise been missed.


Michael Roovsevelt, Senior Analyst, Judicial Council of California

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California's child welfare and juvenile justice systems undoubtedly include a significant population of undocumented children.  The vast majority of these youth qualify for immigration relief, including Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”).  Undocumented children who leave foster care without obtaining SIJS or other forms of immigration relief face additional hurdles in finding work and transitioning to successful adulthood. Unfortunately, obtaining legal status has become increasingly difficult in today’s political climate, and children seeking immigration relief often face significant pushback from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).

The panel will discuss how a pathway to citizenship can change the lives of undocumented children and how anti-immigrant bias at the state and federal level affects undocumented children. This session will discuss recent changes to the immigration landscape that undocumented children must navigate. We will review new USCIS policies, the challenges that they create for undocumented children, and best practice recommendations to overcome these challenges. Using the information learned, participants will consider sample fact patterns and discuss how to best address potential hurdles to a child’s SIJS eligibility.

Odessa Berry-Powers, Immigration Attorney, Children’s Law Center of California
Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director, Immigrant Defenders Law Center

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Birth and resource parent partnerships help ensure excellent parenting for children in the child welfare system. These partnerships can facilitate vital information sharing about the children’s needs, provide organic supports for families during visits and case transitions, help maintain youth connections with supportive adults, increase placement stability, reduce trauma from grief and loss, and support positive, long-term outcomes. In this workshop, participants will discuss how child welfare system stakeholders including judges, court personnel, social workers, agency administrators, attorneys, caregivers, CASAs, and others can cultivate a system culture in which birth and resource families work together to improve the lives of children by strengthening relationships, communication, and involvement in decision and policy-making. The workshop will include examples of successful agency practices and specific strategies stakeholders can use to support birth and resource parent partnerships. Workshop faculty will lead the group through a discussion of successful practices, as well as teach participants how to implement those in their own work. Participants will also engage in a discussion regarding the barriers to birth and resource parent partnerships and ways to overcome those barriers. Video of birth and resource parents discussing successful co-parenting will also be shared.

Lucy Salcido Carter, Policy Advocate, Youth Law Center

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What is the future of juvenile justice in California? The signing of the 2019-2020 California budget by Governor Newsom brings about major change and uncertainty to the future of the current systems in place. What is the primary focus of the division now and what are their commitments to, rehabilitation or sentencing? The Division of Juvenile Justice has moved from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, juvenile halls continue to be closed, including in San Francisco to create more rehabilitation centers for the youth.

Hon. Douglas Hatchimonji, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Heather Bowlds, PhD, Director (A), Division of Juvenile Justice

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Virtual reality (VR) is an effective immersive learning tool in the right contexts but to our knowledge, isn't used yet to train attorneys. We'll demonstrate a VR training we developed to prepare pro bono attorneys for a new area of law, and for working in a clinical setting that differs from their usual offices. Attendees can experience our completed training, and learn how to create their own. This session will address what virtual reality is and where it is useful as a training tool, how to create and use VR trainings, time and expense required, and other uses for VR in legal aid.

In addition, we’ll briefly describe how a collaboration with Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School led to a study of how VR may enhance traditional training for a clinic in which attorneys negotiate settlements for tenants facing eviction. We’ll explain how we chose typical scenarios to “show” prospective volunteers, to alleviate hesitation to take on the unknown and make them feel better prepared. With VR goggles donated from a tech company, we’re showing VR videos to some trainees, and studying whether they’re more likely to actually volunteer, achieve better results, and/or feel better equipped from receiving immersive teaching in addition to traditional talking and photos. We will have initial observations to offer, as well as offer attendees an opportunity to try the VR experiences themselves.

Gloria Chun, Director of Pro Bono Legal Services, Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco
Jay Lee, Pro Bono Manager/Supervising Attorney, Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco

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Federal regulations and state statutes implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act require communication and collaboration with Tribes on many issues including verifying a child's Indian status, developing a case plan and providing active efforts, removal and placement of an Indian child, and development of a permanent plan if necessary. This workshop will focus on effective communication and collaboration with tribes whose children are involved with the child welfare system and in state court child custody proceedings. The presenters will share best practices for tribal interactions and engagement to achieve the best outcomes for Indian children and families.

Tamara Honrado, Associate General Counsel, Yurok Tribe
Mica Llerandi, Staff Attorney, California Indian Legal Services

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Concurrent Workshops 4
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


The Youth Offender Program (YOP) was established through Assembly Bill (AB) 1276 (2014), which added Section 2905 to the California Penal Code (PC). PC 2905 provides CDCR with the authority to afford special classification consideration for youthful offenders received into CDCR, on or after July 1, 2015, who are under the age of 22 years. PC 2905 establishes a procedure by which CDCR assesses youthful offenders entering prison under the age of 22 allowing CDCR to classify these offenders at lower custody levels. The intent of the YOP is to identify youthful offenders, and allow them greater access to programs with the goal of increasing the likelihood of rehabilitation, during a critical developmental stage in their lives. PC 2905 requires CDCR to establish a Youthful Offender Institutional Classification Committee (ICC) at identified Reception Centers. The purpose of the Youthful Offender, ICC review is to evaluate and assess a youthful offender's readiness for placement in a lower security level permitting increased access to programs, and lessen the offenders' interaction with negative influences found at higher custody level facilities. As required by AB 1276 and PC 2905, at least one staff member participating in the youthful offender ICC evaluation shall be specially trained in adolescent and young adult development. Training shall include, but not be limited to adolescent and young adult development and evidence-based interviewing processes employing positive and motivational techniques. This specialized training is for the purpose of understanding important neurological and developmental changes that occur in offenders who are in their late teens through early adulthood. During the presentation an in-depth discussion will address eligibility criteria, Reception Center processing, YOP Population at CDCR, YOP designated institutions, annual review process, and enhanced programing opportunities (education, job skills, and self-help groups).

Lisa Ellis, Correctional Counselor III, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Christopher Hees, Correctional Counselor III, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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This workshop will provide information on AB 3176, the 2018 legislation that updated Cal-ICWA (SB 678 2006) to incorporate the federal ICWA regulations. Updates include clarifications to all aspects of the federal minimum standards, including inquiry, notice, active efforts, placement preferences, and qualified expert witness requirements.

Maureen Geary, Partner, Maier Pfeffer Kim Geary & Cohen LLP
Delia M. Sharpe, Executive Director, California Tribal Families Coalition

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The Young Women’s Freedom Center and the Youth Law Center will discuss their collaborative work to lift-up the lived experiences of system-involved girls, young women, and Transgender/Gender Non-Confirming (TGNC) people and support their leadership in transforming these systems. In 2019, a youth-led team from the Young Women’s Freedom Center interviewed 100 system-involved women and TGNC people using a mixed-methods, life course survey interview. The aim of the project was to create a bricolage of the lives of San Francisco’s most marginalized communities and to explore how individuals navigate systems such as housing, foster care, and juvenile and adult justice. This workshop will engage participants in the process of centering the expertise of those who have lived experience. Workshop participants will learn about the Young Women’s Freedom Center’s Youth-led Participatory Action Research(YPAR) model - a model of inquiry that challenges dominate modes of academic knowledge-production, allowing the research team to engage young people as co-collaborators, rather than being the subjects of research. Participants will hear highlights from the research findings, and gain insight into the impact of structural violence experienced by system-involved girls, young women, and TGNC people. Finally, participants will gain strategies for incorporating these findings into their daily practice.

Jocelyn Mati, Youth-Led Participatory Action Researcher & Organizer, Young Women's Freedom Center
Alezandra Zaragoza Melendrez, Director of Research, Young Women's Freedom Center
Meredith Desautels, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center

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Over the past two years, policies impacting immigrant children have changed in profound and alarming ways. Enhanced immigration enforcement combined with a fear of engaging with social service agencies may lead to an increased risk of children in immigrant families entering the child welfare system. Recognizing the unique needs of this population, and drawing from our respective expertise in children’s rights and immigration law, the National Center for Youth Law and Immigrant Legal Resource Center collaborated to create a toolkit for child welfare agencies on working with immigrant families. In this session, the panelists will share highlights from the toolkit, including best practices for working with detained or deported parents, identifying immigration relief options for children and families, using a trauma-informed approach, and collaborating with foreign consulates and embassies to achieve the best outcome for children and families.

Melissa Adamson, Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Rachel Prandini, Staff Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

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Child-serving system agencies and the courts share the same goal in achieving safety and well-being for children and youth in child welfare and juvenile probation.  Historically, the case planning and court hearing processes worked together to achieve permanency but often the decision processes did not include the voice and choice of the child, youth, and family.  However, California’s implementation of the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), Safety Organized Practice (SOP), and the Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM) principles has fundamentally changed how county agencies operate together and approach case planning. Centered around the voice and choice of the child, youth, and family, the child and family team (CFT) model is where structured decision making and consensus building among families, service providers, and county agencies occur.  Additionally, evidence-based practices in child welfare and probation increasingly rely on family engagement and teaming processes as effective methods to support in the planning, delivery and management of necessary services. In July 2018, the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment tool was selected to be used by child welfare agencies within the CFT process to guide case planning and placement decisions.  The CANS, as a communimetric tool, improves engagement between the child or youth, family members and participants within a CFT.


April Fernando, PhD, Policy Fellow, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Lisa Witchey, Bureau Chief, Resource Development Training Support, California Department of Social Services

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Approved on June 27, 2018, Assembly Bill 1810 set forth important legislation intended to address the unique needs of individuals in the criminal justice system who are struggling with mental health issues.  The legislation created a mental health diversion program which will allow individuals to access treatment services in the community instead of facing incarceration. In addition, the legislation sets forth an grant program that will provide $100 million to county programs to divert defendants from jails to treatment services, and provide resources to those suffering from certain mental health diseases. There are still many questions surrounding the implementation of the bill and what the outcomes will be because of it. This workshop hopes to answer some of those questions surrounding the bill as well as situate how the bill will look when implemented into the current systems in place.

Hon. James Bianco, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Hon. Stephen Manley, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

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Sustainable access to evidence-based substance use disorder (SUD) services in California is crucial for individuals and communities. California has been making substantial shifts in the delivery systems and increasing access across the state.  In addition to redesigning the SUD services for MediCal, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is implementing over 40 projects pertaining to prevention, treatment, mental health services, and recovery services for individuals with an opioid use disorder. In this workshop, Marlies Perez from DHCS will discuss how California is reshaping how SUD services are provided in treatment facilities, counties, jails, hospitals and other critical settings.  Ms. Perez will also discuss how the Courts can participate in this transformation, refer individuals to services, and become a leader at the local level to ensure that access to SUD services is available to everyone in need.

Marlies Perez, Division Chief, Department of Health Care Services

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Although brain injuries are a common consequence of intimate partner violence (IPV), there is very little information on how to recognize that a brain injury has potentially occurred. Most research on brain injury has studied the impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) on men.  In this course, participants will learn to identify and assess for potential TBIs in women as well as ways to improve interactions to more effectively work with women who have sustained one or repetitive IPV-related TBIs. This course will also address the importance of considering the possibility of a brain injury in every IPV case.

Eve Valera, PhD, Researcher and Assistant Professor, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School

Have you ever had a limited English proficient client ordered by the court to participate in a program  and struggled to find one that can meet their language needs?  Social workers, attorneys, court personnel, judges, service providers, probation officers, and interpreters are all invited to hear about new Rule 1.300, which addresses the responsibilities of courts in these types of situations. This session provides an overview of the new rule of court and three new Judicial Council forms, and will include time to hear from attendees about their perspectives on this challenge, and how we can all collaborate to connect LEP litigants with language-accessible rehabilitative and corrective services.

Diana Glick, Attorney, Judicial Council of California

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Participants will learn about the most recent California statutes and cases relating to family law and domestic violence law that impact the work of child custody mediators and child custody recommending counselors.

Hon. Mark Juhas, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

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This workshop will go over the results of a recent process evaluation of California’s girls’ courts and CSEC (Commercially Sexually Exploited Children) courts. Topics of discussion will be promising practices from each court and recommendations for implementing one of these court types in your jurisdiction.

Amy Bacharach, PhD, Senior Research Analyst, Judicial Council of California

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Diversifying the profession and our bench is critical for all Californians. Join this Judicial Council session where panelists will share their paths to the bench, explain the role of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), discuss the current status of diversity in the judiciary, and provide insights into the judicial appointments process.

Hon. Brenda Harbin-Forte, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
Hon. Martin J. Jenkins (Ret.), Judicial Appointments Secretary, Office of the Governor
Hon. Elizabeth Guerrero Macias, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Diane A. Bellas, Chair, Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, State Bar of California

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This highly interactive session is for judges, courts staff, justice partners, and court users focused on improving court efficiency. The presentation will highlight innovations in development or already deployed to promote fairness and access to justice. Participants have the opportunity to ask questions or suggest how technology could improve court process. Participants will also learn what to expect in the future from digital services, including how to leverage it to improve the court user experience and provide clarity about navigating the court process.

Robert Oyung, Chief Operating Officer, Judicial Council of California
Heather Pettit, Chief Information Officer, Judicial Council of California

Dealing with legal issues in the courts is a stressful experience for most people. In addition, people frequently come to court while already coping with their own behavioral health challenges— mental wellness or substance abuse. How people may behave in court or during a mediation session—and our reaction to it—can also be affected by cultural differences. This workshop will explore techniques and culturally responsive approaches to effectively engage with people who may have behavioral health challenges.

Hon. Roger Chan, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
Gena Castro Rodriguez, PsyD, Chief of Victim Services Division, San Francisco District Attorney's Office
Tareq Nazamy, Senior Analyst, Judicial Council of California

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LUNCH AND PLENARY
12:15 P.M.-2:15 P.M.


For the past decade, California has been overhauling the child welfare system through a combination of federal waivers, realignment, and Continuum of Care Reform (CCR).  These reforms have impacted nearly every aspect of our child welfare system including prevention, recruitment, retention, placement decisions, services, funding and supports available to children and families. Amid these reform efforts, Congress passed the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), a major overhaul of how the federal government funds child welfare programs with an emphasis on prevention, which has significant implications for California requiring us to pivot to address Family First without losing sight of the progress we’ve made in recent years.

Hon. Jerilyn Borack, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Hon. Douglas Hatchimonji, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange
David Kelly, Special Assistant, US Children’s Bureau
Johnny Madrid, Financial Analyst, Good Shepherd Services
Gregory E. Rose, MSW, Deputy Director, Children & Family Services Division, California Department of Social Services
Angie Schwartz, Policy Director, Alliance for Children's Rights

Concurrent Workshops 5
2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.


Extracurricular activities can provide meaningful educational, social, and developmental advantages for children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This workshop draws upon research, policies, programs, and best practices to demonstrate the importance of extracurriculars to young people.

Janay Eustace, QPI Coordinator/Youth Engagement Lead, Youth Law Center
Lucy Salcido Carter, Policy Advocate, Youth Law Center
Kristina Tanner, Youth, California Youth Connection

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How can we help litigants stay on track of hearings, deadlines, and other important procedures? Research from other domains like health and education point to the power of the text message. Preliminary pilots of text message reminders for criminal hearings or legal aid appointments suggest that simple reminder text messages can decrease Failure to Appear rates. Our team at Stanford University is conducting rigorous research to see if — and how — text messages can improve litigants’ ability to navigate procedure. We have built a reminder system that integrates into different case management systems, to automatically send templated reminder messages or procedural coach messages to litigants. We’re gathering evidence on whether and how these messages work. In this session, we will go over the current research, best practices, and case studies of text messaging systems.


Belinda Mo, Design Researcher, Stanford Legal Design Lab

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Using medical and social science research, this session is designed to provide an overview of the impact of psychotropic medications on youth. Discussions will include how the medications work on the brain, as well as common side effects, and how the most commonly prescribed medications work with non-medical treatments.

Kathleen West, DrPH, Lecturer/Consultant, Department of Social Welfare, University of California, Los Angeles

The movement against domestic violence in the United States has long been focused on crisis intervention. At the centerpiece of the movement are shelters and restraining orders, resources meant to help survivors leave dangerous situations and keep their harm-doers away. This work is clearly needed. However, the crisis focus has led to a narrow understanding of domestic violence for those outside of the movement. That is, when people (including some judges, lawyers, and court personnel) think “domestic violence,” they often think of physical and psychological abuse only. Such a view has a particularly devastating blindspot: the significant economic impact of experiencing abuse.  In this interactive workshop, FreeFrom will explore the costs of domestic violence, the nature and consequences of economic abuse, and how they can lead to dangerous custody outcomes in family cases. The workshop will also include guides on how to identify economic abuse and other economic effects of domestic violence and will offer recommendations for how judges and attorneys can use existing California law to ensure that custody determinations in these situations are truly in the best interest of the child.

Amy Durrence, Director of Law and Policy, FreeFrom

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This workshop will host a discussion addressing the vulnerability of foster youth to identity theft as well as strategies for meeting the statutory requirement for public welfare agencies to provide and review credit reports to foster youth. It will outline the various models used for foster youth identity theft remediation and the distinct processes for assisting dependents and non-minor dependents. The workshop will also address the challenges of identifying and remediating identity theft, including accessing credit reports through the 3 major reporting agencies (CRAs). A case study will be analyzed and participants will be provided with resource materials and best practice guidelines.

Elizabeth Wells, Senior Attorney, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley

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Join us for a brief overview of the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process and how a Resource Family transitions to adoption.  This will be followed by a roundtable discussion to share thoughts, practices, and ask questions about the RFA process and pathway to adoptive placement through finalization with a Resource Family. This is an opportunity to hear how others are working through this process to meet the needs of children and families. As RFA continues to evolve, questions regarding the connection to other areas such as adoptions are emerging. This workshop will build an understanding of the necessary requirements for a Resource Family to adopt a child or youth in their care which should lead to improving the timeliness to permanency.

Lori Fuller, Chief, Permanency Policy Bureau, California Department of Social Services
Kim Wrigley, Chief, Resource Family Approval and Communications Bureau, California Department of Social Services

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Two years ago, the voters of the State of California enacted Prop 57 and did away with the prosecutor's ability to directly file serious juvenile delinquency cases in adult court. In the two years since implementation of Prop 57, the courts have addressed the standard of evidence required at a transfer hearing and the extent to which it is retroactive. In this workshop, participants will learn how juvenile transfer has taken shape in the past two years. Participants will also hear about how to approach and prepare for transfer hearings, and will share best practices.

Hon. Sean Lafferty, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
Sue Burrell, Policy and Training Director, Pacific Juvenile Defender Center
Shawnalyse Ochoa, Assistance Chief, Juvenile Division, San Diego County District Attorney

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Judge Gaston, San Diego Superior Court, and Stephen Moore Chief Program Officer, Voices for Children (CASA) of San Diego and Riverside Counties, will discuss the  challenges facing the court, attorneys and CASAs in working with dual and CSEC youth. The issues presented by these youth —serious mental health problems,  drug and alcohol use, homelessness and acting out, impulsive behavior—must be approached sensitively and with knowledge of best practices for working with this population of youth. Drawing upon their own professional experiences with these young people, Judge Gaston and Mr. Moore will offer case examples to illustrate effective approaches to developing an alliance with these youth while furthering their rehabilitation, from the perspective of the court, attorneys and CASAs.  In particular, they will discuss the unique nature of the CASA relationship and illustrate ways that all involved—court, CASAs and attorneys—can best serve and support these young people.

Hon. Marian Gaston, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Hon. Carol Isackson, Senior Policy Advisor, California CASA Association
Stephen Moore, Chief Program Officer, Voices for Children of San Diego and Riverside Counties

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This presentation will explore the multidimensional experiences of LGBTQ youth and how they impact interaction and engagement with legal systems. Participants will explore the continua of gender identity, expression, and orientation to better understand how systems may perpetuate marginalization and discrimination. This presentation will also consider how challenges within school, family, mental health, and legal systems create additional barriers to self-sufficiency and wellbeing. Lastly, participants will review culturally humble engagement strategies to utilize when working with LGBTQ youth.

Kathleen Thomas, Clinical Training Coordinator, North County Lifeline

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This presentation/training will provide an overview of Immigration Customs Enforcement immigration enforcement policy that protects children and families who are impacted by immigration enforcement. Specifically, this presentation will provide an overview of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Parental Interests Directive, which addresses ICE’s handling of cases involving parents, legal guardians, caretakers of minor children, and parents involved in both immigration court and child welfare proceedings.

Jessica Jones, Senior Policy Advisor and Associate Child Welfare Coordinator, Immigration Customs Enforcement
Jennifer Mertus, Assistant Child Welfare Coordinator (CTR), Immigration Customs Enforcement


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