Our Staff and YALC Picks for TNOYS’ 39th Annual Conference on Services to Youth and Families


TNOYS’ 39th Annual Conference on Services to Youth and Families is right around the corner, and our team is excited for the amazing sessions, speakers, and activities we have in store!

There’s conference has distinct virtual and in-person formats. Join us virtually, in-person, or both!

  • Join Us Virtually on May 11 to hear an inspiring keynote from New York Times bestselling author Clint Smith and choose from 14 workshops that cover Normalcy, Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness, The Neuroscience of Addiction, and many other topics. 5+ CEUs are available.
  • Join Us in Houston from May 23 – 26 to choose from 40+ workshops across seven topic tracks including diversity, equity, and inclusion, youth voice and youth-adult partnerships, cross-systems collaboration, and much more. 14+ CEUs re available, with an additional 5-6 CEUs available for pre-conference institutes.

Read on to learn more about the sessions we’re most looking forward to, or preview the virtual and in-person programs below:

Featured Workshops: Virtual Day on May 11

Not able to join us in person this year? Be sure to sign up for the limited virtual day on May 11! You’ll hear an inspiring keynote from New York Times bestselling author Clint Smith, and choose from workshops that include the following:

The CARE Model: Skills to Enhance Caregiver Child Relationships (Parts 1 and 2) | Cindy Downey, Chad Sedam, Roy Van Tassell, Centene

Built upon evidence-based parent training programs including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Child Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) is a trauma-informed set of skills designed to improve everyday interactions of any adult and child/adolescent. 

Advancing a Proactive Policy Agenda to End Youth Homelessness | Darla Bardine, National Network for Youth

The pandemic has highlighted deep holes in our social safety net. In this workshop, you will hear the latest updates on NN4Y’s legislative and administrative policy agenda, and the current political landscape in Washington, D.C. Join us and learn how to get more involved in bringing about positive systemic change for young people.

Improving Youth-Serving Systems by Centering Youth Voice | TNOYS Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) Members

During this panel discussion, youth leaders with lived experience in the foster care system will discuss the importance of youth voice when strengthening youth-serving systems. Attendees will also learn how to amplify the voices of youth to build systems change. 

Featured Workshops: In-Person Programming from May 23 – 26

Employing Youth with Lived Experiences | Presented by Tiona Moore and Brenda Woolley, TNOYS

Employing Youth and Young Adults (YYA) with lived experiences can help strengthen organizational practices and services overall. Join us to learn TNOYS’ approach to incorporating YYA with lived experience into your organization and the impact for YYA, the organization, and its constituents.

Helping Kids Be Kids: Understanding and Promoting Normalcy | Presented by Sarah Crockett and a Youth Presenter, Texas CASA

This workshop will help people learn about normalcy, why it matters, and the role each of us play in supporting normalcy in the Texas child welfare system. By making normalcy a true priority, instilling open communication and collaboration, and ensuring children’s voices are heard, everyone involved in the child welfare system can help ensure a better experience for children in foster care.

Beyond Burnout: CE-CERT Model for Secondary Traumatic Stress | Roy Van Tassell, Centene/ Superior Health

Many youth-serving providers know the stress, fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress that can come with serving youth who have experienced maltreatment, removals, and reunification. Components for Enhancing Clinician Experience and Reducing Trauma (CE-CERT) is a skills-based approach for ALL helpers in any role to get beyond self-care to emotionally connect and thrive.

The Neuroscience of Addiction and Innovative Treatment Approaches | Drew Dutton and Dusty Vigil, Phoenix House Texas

This workshop will detail the current problem of adolescent addiction and best practices for engaging teenagers in treatment and recovery. Presenters will provide an overview of the neuroscience of adolescent addiction, the current national and global state of addiction, barriers to treatment and successful outcomes, the impact of COVID-19 on addiction and treatment and various innovative approaches for counseling addictions.

Developing TNOYS’ Cross-Systems Youth Policy Agenda | Lauren Rose, TNOYS

TNOYS is developing a statewide, cross-systems youth policy agenda to strengthen services and support for Texas youth and families. TNOYS has spent several months researching priority issues and listening to and learning from Texas providers, youth, and young adults across systems. Join us to hear what we have learned so far, and to provide your input on issues that TNOYS should address in our policy agenda.

Language Matters | Errika Moultrie; Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

In racial equity, language matters. Do you know the history of the word “Caucasian”? How about choosing between saying “Black” and “African American”? All of it matters when it comes to racial equity. We are in an environment that requires lifetime learning and the application of racial equity practices and behaviors. Let’s talk about it.

Featured Content for Youth and Young Adult Participants

One unique aspect of TNOYS’ conference is that professionals and young people come together to learn alongside one another. Many of this year’s 50+ workshops are tailored to youth and young adults who have lived experience in systems such as foster care, homelessness, and juvenile justice. 

View the youth-focused flier and youth program to learn more about activities for youth participants, including the following:

    Youth-Only Workshops on Tuesday, May 24

This year’s conference features a special track exclusively for youth and young adult participants. A few of the youth-focused workshops include:

Rise from Pieces to Peace | LaKeisha Hughes, Harris County Resources for Children and Adults

In this workshop, you will learn how making healthy connections brings about positive change, how to RISE above the feelings of brokenness, and how to connect and organize your pieces of life in PEACE.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships | Cynthia “CeCe” O’Neal, Sylvia Hebert, Camila Nakashima, zGen Project

This interactive session will help teens and young adults identify their support system and understand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. 

Housing: What You Need to Know | Katy Vittoria, Joan White, Tiffany Smith, and Youth Presenter, The HAY Center

In this workshop, youth will learn how to select the right housing option for them, how to start the process, realistic timeframes, apartment selection, and how to advocate for their individualized housing needs.

Learn more about youth-focused sessions, games, and activities in the youth program guide, and check out our youth-friendly flier below.

TNOYS asked members of our Young Adult Leadership Council what they enjoy about TNOYS’ Annual Conference and what they look forward to this year. Hear their answers below:

“I enjoyed the break out sessions and meeting new people from different regions. I’m excited this year about the different workshops, networking and painting canvas. I’m also excited to work with YALC members in person.” 

 – Montoya T., Past conference participant and TNOYS YALC member

“I am anticipating so much fun at this conference but more importantly so much insight! Between the keynote speakers and the workshops this year, I am so excited! Being able to get hands-on learning is not only beneficial to me but will let me be more prepared to help others afterwards!”

– Helaina Hackett, Past conference participant and TNOYS YALC member

““I am most excited to see the togetherness of both the youth and all of the presentators and people helping to organize the conference. I’m also very excited for everyone to have fun and get to meet new people, as we play games and eat in the Youth Lounge.  I am looking forward to seeing lots of youth have fun while learning new resources and materials, and different organizations enjoying the presentation that we have made for them. Hopefully they will use what they learned to make a difference in youth’s organization and support.” 

– Betty Bajika, TNOYS YALC member

“I get to be a voice for youth!”

– I’munique Liggens, TNOYS YALC

“For Annual Conference, I’m most excited about meeting all my colleagues in person for the very first time and being able to participate in all the exciting activities that we’ve planned out together for months. I’m looking forward to seeing so many young people engaging and learning from the workshops that have been prepared by us YALC members who have gone through the same things that they are going through. Annual Conference is going to be so much fun!”

– Grace Goetz, TNOYS YALC

“I am honored to be a member of an organization focused on advocating for the youth.”

– Gabriel Marquez, TNOYS YALC

Learn more about the conference here and register below. Hurry, early bird registration closes Monday, April 25!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>