2022 Agenda

Doing What Matters for Alabama’s Children

14th Annual Conference to Improve the Well-Being of Our Children

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

 

 

 

7:45 – 8:30 am

 

 

Registration, Breakfast and Exhibits

 

8:30 –8:35 am

 

 

 

 

Welcome, Invocation and Presentation of Colors

Amanda Lightsey, Executive Director, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, A Family Resource Center

Invocation, Reverend Michael Bailey, First Presbyterian Church Tuscaloosa

ROTC, Bryant High School

8:35 – 8:45 am

 

Opening Remarks

Mayor Walt Maddox, City of Tuscaloosa

8:45 – 8:50 am

 

 

America’s Promises

Dr. Charles Nash, Challenge 21 – Tuscaloosa’s Promise

 

8:50 – 9:10 am

 

 

A Public Health Perspective on the Effects of Covid-19

Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health

Introduction: Lee Andrea Calvin, Tuscaloosa Health Department

9:10 – 9:40 am

 

 

 

Practical  Social and Emotional Learning Strategies for Youth with Mental Health Concerns

Dr. Gregory Benner, Professor, The University of Alabama

Introduction: Suzette Wyatt, Tuscaloosa County School System

9:40 – 10:45 am

 

 

 

 

 

Implications & Responses of the Pandemic for Children

Ed Castille, Deputy Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce

Nancy Buckner, Commissioner, Alabama Department Human Resources

Dr. Barbara Cooper, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

Facilitator: Amanda Lightsey, Tuscaloosa’s One Place

10:45 – 11:00 am Exhibits and Networking
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakout Sessions

Collaborative Approaches to Suicide Prevention in Children and Adolescents

Speaker – Martha R. Crowther, Ph.D., MPH and Kimberleigh Daniels, MA

Introduction: Sherri Presley Dumas, Easter Seals West Alabama

 

Effective suicide prevention strategies among Alabama’s children and adolescents warrants significant study, expertise, and intervention.   We know that suicide is multi-causal. What we need is a behavioral health approach focusing on at-risk youth.  To enhance our suicide prevention strategies, we need to improve our understanding of the impact of social exclusion, economic deprivation, and substance abuse on mental health, in particular— suicidal behavior—among children and adolescents.  Additionally, much remains unknown about how suicidal behaviors intersect with the unique lived experiences of vulnerable populations living in Alabama.  Addressing the mental health needs of children and adolescents requires both willingness and ability to draw on community-based values, traditions, and customs to work with persons of and within the community to develop interventions, support groups, and other outreach efforts.  This session will focus on suicide prevention strategies that may help prevent negative mental health outcomes including suicide.

Using the Latest Data and Research to Move the Needle for Children’s Success by VOICES for Alabama’s Children

Speaker – Collier Tynes – CEO, VOICES for Alabama’s Children

Introduction: Tamika Alexander, United Way of West Alabama

Audience members will walk away with an understanding of the latest data we know for children’s health, education, safety, and success; and what research says moves the needle by understanding/preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences.

The Alabama Literacy Act – Why It Matters

Speaker – Shelly Vail Smith

Introduction: Cheryl Fondren, United Way of West Alabama

This presentation will cover aspects of the Alabama Literacy Act including teacher training, assistance for struggling readers, communication with parents, and the most publicized aspect: promotion of 3rd graders. Learn why this legislation matters to those working with students and their families.

Food Insecurity – Effects on Children and Families

Speaker – Jean Rykaczewski, Executive Director West Alabama Food Bank

Introduction: Kalissa Bormann, Tuscaloosa’s One Place

This session will describe food insecurity and its impact on children and their families. Additionally, this session will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and the ongoing physical, educational, emotional and behavior consequences for children and families.

Working in Partnership to Support and Strengthen Families During Adversity

Speakers:

Sallye Longshore – Executive Director, Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention

Gail Piggott – Executive Director, AL Partnership for Children

Joan Witherspoon-Norris – Executive Director,  AL Network of Family Resource Centers

Introduction: Teresa Costanzo, Children’s Trust Fund

A panel discussion of local and statewide supports and resources available to families and those who work with them to build protective factors and improve child outcomes – especially during difficult circumstances and times.

12:00 – 12:45 pm

 

 

Lunch and Keynote Speaker

Ellen Potts, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity

Introduction: Kalissa Bormann, Tuscaloosa’s One Place

12:45 – 1:00 pm Exhibits and Networking
1:00 – 2:00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakout Sessions

Behavioral Health for Alabama’s Children

Speaker – Dr. Sharlene Newman, Executive Director, Alabama Life Research Institute

Introduction: Misty Renfroe, Tuscaloosa County DHR

Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of children suffering from mental health disorders across the socio-economic spectrum. This includes an increase in suicide attempts in adolescents. In this talk we will discuss causes, consequences, and solutions to our childhood behavioral health problem.

Using the Latest Data and Research to Move the Needle for Children’s Success by VOICES for Alabama’s Children

Speaker – Collier Tynes – CEO, VOICES for Alabama’s Children

Introduction: Tamika Alexander, United Way of West Alabama

Audience members will walk away with an understanding of the latest data we know for children’s health, education, safety, and success; and what research says moves the needle by understanding/preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences.

The Alabama Literacy Act – Why It Matters

Speaker – Shelly Vail Smith

Introduction: Marilou Baker, SPAN

This presentation will cover aspects of the Alabama Literacy Act including teacher training, assistance for struggling readers, communication with parents, and the most publicized aspect: promotion of 3rd graders. Learn why this legislation matters to those working with students and their families.

Food Insecurity – Effects on Children and Families

Speaker – Jean Rykaczewski, Executive Director West Alabama Food Bank

Introduction: Kristy Brown, UA Child Development Resources

This session will describe food insecurity and its impact on children and their families. Additionally, this session will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and the ongoing physical, educational, emotional and behavior consequences for children and families.

Working in Partnership to Support and Strengthen Families During Adversity

Speakers:

Sallye Longshore – Executive Director, Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention

Gail Piggott – Executive Director, AL Partnership for Children

Joan Witherspoon-Norris – Executive Director,  AL Network of Family Resource Centers

Introduction: Teresa Costanzo, Children’s Trust Fund

A panel discussion of local and statewide supports and resources available to families and those who work with them to build protective factors and improve child outcomes – especially during difficult circumstances and times.

2:10 – 2:50 pm

 

 

Perspectives on Children’s Mental Health

Cindy Jones, Psychiatric Intake Response Center Director, Children’s Hospital

Introduction: Audrey Ellis, Tuscaloosa City School System

2:50 – 3:40 pm

 

 

 

 

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Race Relations, #realtalk

Suzette Wyatt, Attendance Officer, Tuscaloosa County School System

Ty Blocker, Coordinator of Student Services, Tuscaloosa County School System

Greg Hurst, Director of Student Services, Tuscaloosa County School System

Jackie Hudgins, Director of Accountability, Tuscaloosa County School System

Cheryl Wallace, Director of Assessment, Tuscaloosa County School System 

Introduction: Tamika Alexander, 211 United Way of West Alabama

3:40 pm

 

 

Closing Remarks, Door Prizes

Mary Jolley

Bill Poole, State of Alabama Finance Director