Events & Schedule

2013 National Faith Symposium

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

  • Opening Session
    • Keynote:
      • Mr. Harris Rosen, President & COO of the Rosen Hotels.

    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

    • Relationships 101 - Interventions to Impact Relationships, Families, and Children
      • Richard Albertson, Founding President and CEO
        Live the Life
      • Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D., Professor & Executive Director
        Marriage and Family Research Institute
        University of Central Florida
    • The Daddy Dilemma,
      • Reverend O. Jermaine Simmons, Pastor
        Jacob Chapel Baptist Church
    • Identifying Opportunities to Link Children in Care to Local Churches for Support,
      • Reverend Al Williams, Deputy Director
        One Church One Child of Florida
    • 10 Strategies Proven to inspire Even the Most Struggling Youth
      • Christian Moore, LCSW, Founder
      • Bruce Bushnell, Outreach & Community Engagement Assistant Coordinator
        Why Try
    • Juvenile Justice Reforms: Providing the Right Services for the Right Youth at the Right Time
      • Kara Ahearn, Statewide Reform Coordinator
        Office of Probation and Community Intervention
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
      • Jeanie Becker-Powell, Director of Policy and Programming
        Office of Probation and Community Intervention
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
      • Brenda Posthumus, Director of Special Projects
        Office of the Secretary
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch


    1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

    • Helping those without a voice and another way to say “I am for the child”
      • Paul Crawford, Guardian ad Litem Circuit Director
        Gainesville Area
      • Fred Hapner, Guardian ad Litem Circuit Director
        Panama City Area
    • Domestic Child Sex Trafficking
      • Dr. Jerry Haag, President
        Florida Baptist Children’s Homes
      • Noel Thomas, Statewide Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator
        Florida Department of Children and Families
    • Building Church Ministry in Partnership with State and Local Agencies
      • Dr. Gretchen Kerr, Executive Director of Distributed Services
        Northland Church
      • Tom Lukasik, Vice President of Community Engagement
        4 Kids of South Florida
    • A Faith and Community Based approach to supporting youth transitioning from Delinquent and Dependency Systems,
      • Minister George Ellis, Jr. Founder/ President & CEO
      • Reverend Ross Pierre, Program Director
        Miami’s River of Life, Inc.
    • Getting Ready for Grant Funding,
      • Yvonne Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer
        Hope for Miami
    • Grief Support for Youth in Residential Programs
      • Cheryl Jackson, Founder
      • Kim Pacheco, Associate Director
        Suncoast Kids Place: Center for Grieving Children and Families

    3:00 PM - 3:15 PM Break


    3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

    • Child Welfare IS Orphan Care: Connecting faith communities to the issues facing kids and families in Florida’s Child Welfare System
      • Erik Braun, Special Projects Coordinator
        Florida Department of Children and Families
    • An Effective Model for At-Risk Youth Programs
      • Gary Montgomery, Pastor
      • Josphine Gamboa-Montgomery, Executive Director
        Living Stones International
    • Collective Impact: Community and Faith-Based Organizations Building Capacity through Systems of Care
      • Shelly Caldwell-James, Technical Advisor and Independent Contractor
        Miami’s River of Life
      • George Ellis, Founder/ President & CEO
        Miami’s River if Life, Inc.
    • Blurring The Lines: Youth Engagement & Faith
      • Christin Battle, Youth Engagement Coordinator
      • Brittany Claybrooks, Outreach and Community Engagement Assistant
      • Fredrick Wilkerson, Planning and Outreach Assistant
        Office of Prevention and Victim Services
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    9:00 AM - 10:15 AM


    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

    • 111 Project - A Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment Initiative
      • Darin Canary, Senior Pastor
        First Christian Church
      • Teri Saunders, Chief Executive Officer
        Heartland for Children
    • Share Your Heart Chaplaincy Program - Building a Network of Faith Response to Practical Needs in our Child Welfare System
      • Roland Gonzalez, Executive Director
        Victory for Youth
      • Isabel Afanador, Program Administrator
        Florida Department of Children and Families
    • The Write Field Alternative for Minority Boys
      • Reverend Kenneth Irby, Senior Faculty & Director of Community Relations
        The Poynter Institute
    • Advocacy Lessons from My Grandmother’s Kitchen Table
      • Jack Levine, Founder
        4Generatons Institute
    • Team Work Makes Dreams (Developing Resources and Educational Advocacy for Motivated Students)!
      • Debra Wise, Deputy Chief
        Prevention at Kids Central, Inc.

    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch


    1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

    • Starting (or Expanding) a Quality Youth Mentoring Program,
      • Jada Hunter, MSW, Prevention Services Director
        Hope for Miami
    • One Childhood, One Chance-Relative Raising Relative Children
      • Debra Wise, Deputy Chief
        Prevention at Kids Central, Inc.
    • Keeping Youth Out of the Deep End: Civil Citation and its Implications for DMC
      • Theda Roberts, Statewide Civil Citation Coordinator
        Office of Probation and Community Intervention
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
      • Josh Kuch, DMC Program Analyst
        Office of Prevention and Victim Services
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
    • Consequences of a Juvenile Arrest and Juvenile Conviction
      • The Honorable Carlos Martinez, Miami-Dade Public Defender
      • Marie D. Osborne, Chief Assistant
      • Tamara Gray, Assistant Public Defender
        Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office
    • Restoring Hope in Females for Such a Time as This,
      • Lorrie Sarver
      • Monique Buchanan
      • Michelle Warlick,
        Heart-to-Heart Christian Academy
    • Transforming Trauma into Purpose
      • Tina Levene, Delinquency Prevention Specialist
        Office of Prevention and Victim Services
        Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

    Print Symposium At-A-Glance

Workshops


10 Strategies Proven to Inspire Even the Most Struggling Youth

Christian Moore, LCSW Founder of Why Try
Bruce Bushnell, Outreach & Community Engagement - Assistant Coordinator

This workshop will focus on how to build relationships, grab attention, inspire youth and teach social/emotional life skills. Researchers have seen positive changes using these 10 strategies in areas of school climate, academic success, dropout prevention, classroom management and bullying prevention.


111 Project - A Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment Initiative

Darin Canary, Senior Pastor of First Christian Church in Wauchula, Florida
Teri Saunders, Chief Executive Officer for Heartland for Children

Right here in Florida, thousands of boys and girls are currently in state custody through no fault of their own. The 111 Project Florida believes each of these children deserves to take their first steps, learn to ride a bike, celebrate their birthdays as well as reaching other childhood landmarks with a loving family. The 111 Project Florida is working to make this a reality. This initiative was born out of the hope-filled belief that if every church will commit to at least one family for one purpose, we will leave no child without a family. Come hear more about the 111 Project and how you can bring the 111 Project to your Church, your neighborhood and your county by partnering with your local CBC.


A Faith and Community-Based Approach to Supporting Youth Transitioning from Delinquent and Dependency Systems

Minister George Ellis, Jr., Founder/President & CEO, Miami’s River of Life, Inc.

This workshop will focus on understanding the needs of local delinquent and dependency systems from the faith community; developing the right program in faith-based organizations to serve the needs of local communities; partnering with local circuit agency representatives to build an effective working relationship; developing effective faith-based community support systems for youth transitioning out of delinquency and dependency systems.


Advocacy Lessons from My Grandmother’s Kitchen Table

Jack Levine, Founder, 4Generations Institute and President of Advocacy Resource

The workshop will cover importance of introspection in developing a positive outlook; the vital link between shared values and reaching across the cultural divide; the do’s and don’ts of effective advocacy and difference between lobbying and advocacy; key strategies for positively engaging elected officials and their staff members; media skills for communicating with community leaders to tell stories of accomplishment; the value of giving a voice to recipients of service, volunteers and family members.


An Effective Model for At-Risk Youth Program

Gary Montgomery, Pastor
Josephine Gamboa-Montgomery, Executive Director, Livingstones International

Participants will learn how to develop an effective teen dad program, mobilize volunteers, restore hope to children of inmates, develop partnerships and fundraise.


Blurring The Lines : Youth Engagement & Faith

Brittany Claybrooks, Outreach and Community Engagement Assistant Coordinator for the Office of Prevention and Victim Services
Fredrick Wilkerson, Planning and Outreach for Statewide Prevention Programs for the Office of Prevention and Victim Services
Christin Battle, State-wide Youth Engagement Coordinator for the Office of Prevention and Victim Services

DJJ’s focus groups have found that there seems to be a “disconnect” between elder generations and the roles of youth in the faith-based juvenile reform processes. This workshop seeks to increase participants’ understanding of the importance of youth participation within the faith-based network.


Building Church Ministry in Partnership with State and Local Agencies

Dr. Gretchen Kerr, Northland Church
Tom Lukasik, Vice President of Community Engagement, 4 Kids of South Florida

There are many hurdles to creating workable, ongoing and dynamic partnerships between government and faith communities. Come and hear how this has been done from the perspective of veterans from the world of church ministry and child welfare vocations alike. There will be practical ministry ideas offered, along with instruction on how to navigate through the bureaucracies of local and state government. For government workers and professionals, there will be insight and help in understanding the unique culture of faith communities and onramps to create partnerships with churches and various ministries.


Child Welfare IS Orphan Care: Connecting Faith Communities to the Issues Facing Kids and Families in Florida's Child Welfare System

Erik Braun, Faith Symposium Coordinator

This workshop will focus on connecting the heart and passion of our faith leaders to the pressing needs across our state. Participants will learn the answers to the following questions: What are the hurdles that keep churches and faith communities from engaging in our child welfare system? Why should people of faith be actively involved in the issues and crises that face vulnerable children and families? How can our faith-based communities, ministries, organizations effectively partner with state agencies and local care providers to meet these needs? 


Collective Impact: Community and Faith-Based Organizations Building Capacity Through Systems of Care

Shelly Caldwell-James, Technical Advisor and Independent Contractor
George Ellis, President and Chief Executive Director, Miami’s River of Life, Inc.

This workshop will focus on community and faith-based practices through systems of care to address the needs of at-risk youth, including the importance of organizational infrastructure, strategic planning, evaluation, cultural competencies and strategically sustainable funding to educate and engage organizations to become more family-driven and youth-guided.


Consequences of a Juvenile Arrest and Juvenile Conviction

Marie D. Osborne, Chief Assistant, Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office
Tamara Gray, Assistant Public Defender, Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office

The consequences of a juvenile arrest are far reaching. The consequences of a juvenile adjudication/conviction are lifetime consequences affecting housing, scholarships, employment, licenses, immigration and other critical areas needed to be successful. A discussion of these far reaching consequences helps builds a case for both educations as well as reform and support the DJJ Secretary’s agenda of Civil Citation and diversion for non-violent arrests.


Domestic Child Sex Trafficking Panel

Dr. Jerry Haag, President of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes
Noel Thomas, Statewide Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator

Child Sex Trafficking is a major issue around the world, but it is not limited to foreign countries. There are as many as 300,000 children victimized by the commercial sex industry each year right here in the United States. Florida is listed as the third largest hub for this horrific crime. The purpose of this panel, made up of professionals, advocates and providers, is to discuss what is being done to help these precious children, educate the public to recognize and prevent the abuse, and discover ways to get involved.


Getting Ready for Grant Funding

Yvonne Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer, Hope for Miami

This workshop will focus on assessing community needs, finding collaborative partners, researching grant opportunities and building a governing board.


Grief Support for Youth in Residential Programs

Kim Pacheco, Associate Director, Suncoast Kids Place: Center for Grieving Children and Families
Cheryl Jackson, Founder, Suncoast Kids Place: Center for Grieving Children and Families

This workshop will identify the various needs within the juvenile population pertaining to grief issues and discuss the psychological and emotional advantages that grief support provides to youth in the juvenile justice system. Further, we will explore the format and activities that are utilized in the grief support program to youth in residential placement and identify ways to provide these needed services to implement grief and loss groups in various settings.


Helping Those Without a Voice and Another Way to Say “I am for the Child”

Paul Crawford, Guardian ad Litem Circuit Director, Gainesville Area
Fred Hapner, Guardian ad Litem Circuit Director, Panama City Area

This workshop will explain the roles of the Guardian ad Litem Program which uses volunteers in the community to advocate for abused and neglected children in the system. The workshop will also discuss how the faith community can partner within the local and state Guardian ad Litem Program to reach and assist these vulnerable children as a mentor, educational advocate, court advocate or community resource. Currently with 30,000 children under court supervision for abuse or neglect and over 8,600 volunteers and 550 staff supporting these volunteers, the Program currently does not have enough volunteers meet the needs of abuse and neglected children. Linking the Guardian ad Litem Program with the faith communities around the state will help children who have been abused or neglected have better outcomes in our community and ensure children do not languish in foster care.


Identifying Opportunities to Link Children in Care to Local Churches for Support

Rev. Al Williams, Deputy Director, One Church One Child of Florida

Training will assist local churches and community-based care agencies to build partnerships. For stakeholders, it will identify strategies to successfully link children to churches. Participants will also learn to identify other community resource support and methods to build other collaboration for communities to address children in care.


Juvenile Justice Reforms: Providing the Right Services for the Right Youth at the Right Time

Kara Ahearn, Statewide Reform Coordinator for the Office of Probation and Community Intervention
Jeannie Becker-Powell, Director of Policy and Programming for the Office of Probation and Community Intervention
Brenda Posthumus, Director of Special Projects for the Office of the Secretary

The Department of Juvenile Justice has developed the Roadmap to System Excellence, a document that outlines DJJ’s plan to improve Florida’s juvenile justice system. This workshop will provide an overview of the various reform initiatives currently underway and outline opportunities for community involvement in the following areas:

  1. Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)
  2. Family Engagement
  3. Alternatives to Suspensions and Violations
  4. Transition

Keeping Youth Out of the Deep End: Civil Citation and its Implications for DMC

Theda Roberts, DJJ Statewide Civil Citation Coordinator
Josh Kuch, Program Analyst for the Office of Prevention and Victim Services

The Civil Citation Initiative provides law enforcement with the opportunity to help at-risk youth avoid the juvenile justice system by allowing youth who commit first-time, non-violent misdemeanors to receive intervention services at the earliest stage of delinquency in lieu of an arrest. Youth who successfully complete the required sanctions leave the program without an arrest record, which can impede a person’s opportunities well into adulthood. Civil citation can also be a powerful tool in the fight to reduce a pervasive social problem that states across the country are facing known as Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), a term that refers to the fact that minorities are overrepresented at every stage of judicial processing, from arrest/intake to adult court transfer. This workshop will detail the Civil Citation Initiative and explore the role it can play in reducing DMC in Florida.


One Childhood, One Chance-Relative Raising Relative Children

Debra Wise, Deputy Chief, Prevention at Kids Central, Inc.

Discuss issues surrounding: “Grandparents and other relatives raising their relative children.” Explore the protective and risk factors for the grandparents/other relatives, the relative children and the community at large; gain insight into the dynamics that occur when children are placed with their grandparents. The workshop will expand participant’s knowledge and understanding of the world of grandparents raising grandchildren.


Relationships 101 - Interventions to Impact Relationships, Families and Children

Richard Albertson, Founding President and CEO of Live the Life
Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, Professor & Executive Director, MFRI

Learn from this dynamic duo about cutting-edge, evidence-based programs for relationship and marriage education that teach individuals and couples "how" to have happier, healthier relationships.   This workshop will (a) show the connection between couple and relationship education interventions and child outcomes; (b) highlight four relationship education programs for premarital and married programs: Start Smart, Adventures in Marriage, Hope Weekends and PREP; and (c) present strategies for developing effective faith-community partnerships to strengthen families and children.


Restoring Hope in Females for Such a Time as This

Lorrie Sarver, Heart-to-Heart Christian Academy
Monique Buchanan, Heart-to-Heart Christian Academy
Michelle Warlick, Heart-to-Heart Christian Academy

The workshop will assist participants to encourage and empower previously incarcerated juveniles/women. The workshop will provide information to help the females to successfully re-enter society by addressing their transitional needs in the areas of spiritual growth, education, housing and job readiness. The program goals are to meet the young ladies who have been either incarcerated in the juvenile justice system or placed on probation, assess their needs and devise a services plan, develop a relationship with them as a mentor, transition them into the program with a case manager who will set up services in the community including educational and employment needs.


Share Your Heart Chaplaincy Program - Building a Network of Faith Response to Practical Needs in Our Child Welfare System

Roland Gonzalez, Executive Director of Victory for Youth
Isabel Afanador, Program Administrator, DCF Southern Region Office

This program, launched in the summer of 2013, recruits faith-based partners who are willing and able to serve families in their communities. There are currently over 150 churches and over 300 chaplains trained to work alongside DCF staff and other Child Welfare professionals to bring direct services to kids and families in need. Come and hear how this chaplaincy was developed, the practical workings of the program with DCF processes, and how it is bringing transformation in the lives of so many in the Miami-Dade region.


Starting (or Expanding) a Quality Youth Mentoring Program

Jada Hunter, MSW, Prevention Services Director

This workshop will discuss designing your mentoring program to best assist at-risk youth, recruiting mentors, training new mentors, and assurign safety for mentors and mentee youth.


Team Work Makes DREAMS (Developing Resources and Educational Advocacy for Motivated     Students)!

Debra Wise, Deputy Chief, Prevention at Kids Central, Inc.

Identify key stakeholders to develop a collaborative team around educational success for youth in foster care; increase capacity and communication within the child welfare, judicial and school system to increase educational outcomes for youth in foster care; exchange data between child welfare and school system; develop training needs of parents, caregivers, judicial, school system and child welfare and DJJ professionals.


The Daddy Dilemma

Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons, Sr., Pastor, Jacob Chapel Baptist Church

Tackle the complex issue of Broken Families, the effect of male absenteeism in the community, applying the Village Solution and recruiting men as mentors.


The Write Field Alternative for Minority Boys

Rev. Kenny Irby, Senior Faculty & Director of Community Relations, The Poynter Institute

The Write Field is designed to improve the academic performance and life skills of selected minority middle school boys. This program is endorsed by the Sons of Allen, the men’s ministry component of the 11th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.


Transforming Trauma into Purpose

Tina Levene, Delinquency Prevention Specialist for the Office of Prevention and Victim Services

Tina Levene, DJJ Prevention Specialist, will identify prevention techniques that are utilized to assist youth to identify their strengths, challenges and develop an action plan for success. Leven is the author of Let Your Lessons Become Your Blessings, an auto-biography turned devotional guide to giving hope to the hopeless and purpose to the lost, and teaching acceptance through forgiveness.

Guest Performers


The Gospel & Cultural Choir at the
University of Central Florida

The Gospel and Cultural Choir at the University of Central FloridaThe Gospel & Cultural Choir at the University of Central Florida began its journey on August 31st, 1979. The choir was designed to bring together students from different backgrounds that had one thing in common: the desire to spread God's word through song. The choir's purpose at the university is to continually enhance cultural heritage as well as become an effective liaison between the community and the university. Its new motto is “Ministering with a Purpose to Leave a Legacy” which was presented by the 2013-2014 Executive Board. They strive to let the spirit of God move within them so they can leave a mark in the Central Florida Community and beyond.

Visit the Choir's web site.


Eva Kroon Pike

Eva Kroon PikeEva Kroon Pike was chosen. She was one family’s dream long before she was ever held. At the tender age of 10 weeks, Eva was adopted into a loving family that had been waiting and praying for 8 years. "These circumstances nurtured Eva into the singer/song writer she is today with an extraordinary spirit, a compassion for people, a passion to share the gospel, a heart for God and an awesome voice," states Dr. Jay Dennis, Pastor, Church at the Mall, Lakeland, Florida. Her vocals are powerful, yet engaging, versatile and unwavering, melodic and soul wrenching. Diversity describes Eva's music style from contemporary to choral, traditional to country and southern gospel.

Visit Eva Kroon Pike's web site.


Shamele Jenkins

Shamele JenkinsShamele Jenkins, an internationally recognized touring poet/spoken word artist, storyteller and author, brings her gift of gossip and gab to the masses. She has performed and lectured throughout Africa's Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the United States. Shamele is the founder and artistic director of “Lip Tongue & Ear Poetry Productions” which a 17 year old multi-cultural poetry/spoken word/storytelling/ theatrical guild with over 300 members.