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Speakers pinpoint areas of needed work

At 2012 regional convenings in Bend, Grants Pass and Hillsboro, speakers addressed the issues of family engagement, trauma informed practices and working with the media.  Participants in the Safe and Equitable Foster Care Reduction project – including representatives of the  11 counties and federally recognized tribes – attended the two-day events along with community partners, foster parents, judges and service providers. Here are PowerPoint presentations, related articles and speaker bios from the convenings.

Family Engagement

Presenter Kelly Beck is an attorney and trainer with the National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness at Seneca Family of Agencies. She travels nationally conducting county collaborative workshops, judicial officer trainings and focused strategic planning sessions on many permanency related issues, including Family Finding and Engagement and Embracing Fathers and Relatives.


Making Connections Happen

Trauma Informed Practice

Presenter Mandy Davis, LCSW, is a research associate at the Regional Research Institute at Portland State University and the clinical director for the Trauma Informed Care Project.  She has more than 15 years experience providing services directly to survivors of trauma and providing consultation, training and evaluation services to programs serving survivors of trauma. Ms. Davis also teaches courses in abuse and trauma, generalist practice, research and statistics at the School of Social Work at PSU.


Trauma Informed Practice Training


Adverse Childhood Experiences Study


Developmental Trauma Disorder

Working with the Media

Presenter Gene Evans is responsible for all internal and external communications for the state human services agency. He has been the DHS communications director since March 2011. Prior to that, he served as the agency’s communications officer for the Child Welfare and Self Sufficiency Programs (2009-2011). Evans has more than 20 years of experience in public relations in the public and private sectors, focused in the areas of human services, education, health care and crisis communications.

Presenter Kay Balmer is a writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience at newspapers in Montana, California and Oregon. As a journalist, she gained expertise covering child welfare issues and volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. She started Kay Balmer Communications in 2009 and became the communications consultant for the Safe and Equitable Foster Care Reduction project in 2010.

Working with the Media