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Speakers for The 16th Annual Fall Social Work Conference 

Amelia headshot

Amelia Franck Meyer, MS, MSW, LISW, APSW, is the founder and CEO of Alia: innovations for people and systems impacted by childhood trauma. Alia provides deep-dive systemic interventions, training, consultation, demonstration projects, and leadership coaching to transform child welfare. Amelia has worked in over half of the states and many countries internationally to promote innovative ideas and to radically re-think child welfare. She is leading a national movement to create a child welfare system across the country where all people - youth and their caregivers - can thrive.

At Alia, Amelia also works to convene change makers and advance the tools and knowledge base in the field of child welfare. This is why, when no other tools existed, she led the initiative to bring together academic, research and professional partners at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare to develop the Youth Connections Scale (YCS) and the Wellbeing Indicator Tool for Youth (WIT-Y), both nationally recognized, evidence-informed and widely applied tools.

Before Alia, Amelia was the CEO of Anu Family Services, a child welfare agency located in 90 counties in Wisconsin and Minnesota. During her 15-year tenure, Anu produced nationally recognized child permanence and placement stability outcomes for children in out-of-home care and was on the leading edge of promoting and measuring wellbeing for youth and the child welfare workforce. Amelia is currently serving in the role of Senior Strategic Advisor at Anu, and Anu remains a strategic partner of Alia.

Amelia’s work has not gone unnoticed, and in 2015, Amelia was named as a recipient of the prestigious Bush Fellowship by the Bush Foundation and was named an Ashoka Fellow by Ashoka Innovators for the Public. Amelia received the 2015 CEHD Alumni Society Award of Excellence from the University of Minnesota, 2010 Alumna of the Year Award from the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, 2010 Alumna of the Year Award from the Department of Sociology at Illinois State University, and was also named the 2010 Emerging Leader by the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota for achieving “early distinction” in her career.

Amelia has spent her 27-year career dedicated to serving children and families in the areas of out-of-home care, family-based services and disability services. In addition, Amelia holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology/Marriage and Family, a Master’s Degree in Social Work/Human Service Management, and graduate certificates in Disability Policy and Services and Permanence and Adoption Competency, and she is currently enrolled in a doctorate program in Organizational Change and Leadership at The University of Southern California (USC).

Amelia has presented nationally and internationally on topics in child welfare, education and criminal justice including grief, loss and trauma, child wellbeing, child permanence and placement stability, workforce wellbeing, leadership fortitude, secondary traumatic stress, resilience, and change management.

Amelia has served on national and statewide boards and strategic committees in both private and public agencies that address her passion of improving the lives of children and families so that all can thrive.

Allan Barsky picture

Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD is Professor of Social Work at FAU, where he teaches professional ethics, social work practice, and conflict resolution. Dr. Barsky’s book authorships include Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions (Oxford University Press), Clinicians in Court (Guilford Press), and Ethics and Values in Social Work (Oxford University Press). He is Past Chair of the National Association of Social Work National Ethics Committee and chaired the national task force that reviewed and updated the NASW Code of Ethics in 2017. In 2015, Dr. Barsky won the NASW’s “Excellence in Ethics Award.”

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Leah Cheatham, PhD, JD, is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She earned her MSW and PhD in Social Work from Florida State University. Additionally, she holds a JD with a focus on human rights and constitutional law from the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. Her areas of specialization include disability, child well-being, transitions to adulthood, social policy, and program evaluation.

 Patsy Kinsaul

Patsy Kinsaul, LICSW, received her BSW from Auburn University and her MSW from The University of Alabama. She provided social work licensure supervision through the Alabama Department of Human Resources for over 15 years. She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and has provided critical incident intervention throughout the state of Alabama. Kinsaul is now retired from DHR and currently working part time in the social work field.

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Carroll Phelps, LCSW, PIP, has been a faculty member of The University of Alabama School of Social Work for nine years. She is the Coordinator of the Washington, DC Internship Program and teaches in the MSW and BSW programs. Prior to serving as a full-time faculty member, Phelps worked as a therapist at the DCH Employee Assistance Program and with Pathways, where she worked with homeless women and children. She has spoken at national and international conferences, focusing on leadership as a key component to preparing students for a career in social work. She received her MSW from The University of Alabama with a concentration in mental health and has been a member of NASW for 14 years.

Carrie Turner picture

Carrie Turner, LICSW, currently serves as a MSW Field Coordinator and Instructor for the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama. Prior to serving as a full-time faculty member at UA, she was employed with the Tuscaloosa County Department of Human Resources. She received her BS in Commerce and Business Administration and MSW from The University of Alabama. Her practice experience is primarily in the area of child welfare, where she worked in foster care, adoptions, protective service, resource development, and quality assurance.

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Josephine Pryce, PhD, teaches and conducts research at The University of Alabama School of Social Work. She is co-author of Secondary Traumatic Stress and Child Welfare and the Costs of Courage: Combat Stress, Warriors, and Family Survival.

Kimberly Shackelford Picture

Kimberly Shackelford, LCSW, is currently working for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi as a Family Advocate Program Manager and in promoting CAST, the Child Advocacy Studies program being initiated in Mississippi institutions of higher learning. She previously served as the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children’s Services, Deputy Director. Her academic career included being a Professor of Social Work at the University of Mississippi for 14 years. While her years at Ole Miss she led a service learning interdisciplinary project in Belize and developed the Mississippi Child Welfare Training Academy. She continuously works as a consultant for the improvement of services delivered to the children and families of Mississippi, Alabama, and other states and countries.

 Brock Sellers

Brock Sellers, LCSW, PIP, is an Alabama native with strong roots in the social work field. He obtained both his BSW and MSW from The University of Alabama and has been working in the field for 15 years. He serves as APAC’s Training Coordinator, where he organizes webinars and statewide training with leading experts in the field of foster care and adoption for the benefit of Alabama’s clinical professionals. Sellers is also the co-founder of Innate Health Solutions, where he works in the private sector as a consultant and trainer.

 Jamie Sellers

Jamie Sellers, MSW, LICSW, graduated from The University of Alabama School of Social Work in 1999. For 17 years, Sellers worked as a clinical social worker at Hillcrest Hospital, serving children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral problems and their families. In December 2016, he became Division Director of Glenwood’s Daniel House 1 and 2 Programs. He has been providing workshops and training for helping professionals focusing on the “health of the helper” for the past 10 years.