2012 Conference

Adolescent Advocacy: Perspectives, Policy, Practice
April 13, 2012

2012 Conference Brochure
This year's conference features two distinguished keynote speakers: Dr. Stacey Patton and Jessica Trombetta, LCSW. Participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops throughout the day on a myriad of subjects, including bullying, LGBTQI youth, child sexual abuse, immigration challenges, foster care, and online predators. Child advocates, child welfare professionals, attorneys, psychologists, educators, students, and all those concerned with issues that affect children are encouraged to attend.

Keynote Presenters:
The Emotional Journeys of Adolescents in Care
Dr. Stacey Patton, a journalist, anti-spanking activist, founder of Spare The Kids, Inc., and an expert on the history of racialized childhood and public policy, will share glimpses of her emotional journey as an adolescent navigating New Jersey's foster care system. She will examine the various stages of grief that adolescent foster children move through, in addition to the dynamics of how children of color in care are routinely not viewed as grieving in response to abandonment, loss, abuse, and trauma. Instead, they are often viewed as problematic and in need of psychotropic or punitive control. Attendees will gain unique insights into the human side of these issues as they relate to child welfare policies and practices towards adolescents in care.
Dr. Stacey Patton is an author, journalist, academic, and an award-winning child activist. She attended Johns Hopkins University and New York University and received her PhD in U.S. history from Rutgers University. Her dissertation is titled - Why Black Children Can't Grow Up: The Construction of Racial Childhood in American Life, 1880-1954." Dr. Patton has worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and currently works for The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, DC. She is the author of That Mean Old Yesterday, a memoir about her experiences growing up in New Jersey’s foster care system. Her book also discusses the historical roots of physical discipline in black families. She has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, New York Newsday and is the recipient of numerous journalism awards and academic citations. This May Dr. Patton will be the 2012 recipient of the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award from Womanspace for her work on child abuse prevention. She has made numerous media appearances including NPR, The Brian Lehrer Show, Weekend America and more.
New Jersey Innovations for Adolescent
Jessica Trombetta, LCSW, Director, Office of Adolescent Services, Department of Children and Families
The Office of Adolescent Services is a Department level office focused on prioritizing the needs of youth who are aging out/aging in, ensuring that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff has the resources they need to service these youth, and building strong collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders and advocates serving these youth. Most recently Ms. Trombetta served as an Associate Director at Family Connections Inc. where she supervised community-based programs and a therapeutic after school program that provided case management and clinical services to at-risk children, adolescents, older adults, and families. In this role, Ms. Trombetta gained extensive experience in working with youth involved with DCF, including DYFS and DCBHS. Additionally, she has provided direct clinical services and case management as well as clinical and programmatic supervision. Jessica earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Ithaca College and a Master's Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Direct Practice to Children and Families from Rutgers University. She is a licensed clinical social worker and clinical supervisor with extensive training regarding children and adolescents with complex trauma and family systems theory.
Power point and Handouts shared by Presenters:
1. Juvenile Delinquency Practice: Yesterday, Today Tomorrow Powerpoint

Susan H. Curcio, JD
 Adjunct Professor
 Child Advocacy and Policy
Anne Crater, JD
 Adjunct Professor
 Child Advocacy and Policy (Cumberland County Initiative)
2. Immigration Experiences of Latino Adolescents: Developmental Challenges Power point

Kristin Pitman, MA, LPC
 Adjunct Professor
 Child Advocacy and Policy
3. LGTBQI Youth in Foster Care Power point

Handout: Finding a Common Language
Handout: Inclusive Language     
Handout: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack II- Sexual Orientation
Handout: Tips for Professionals Who Work with LGBTQ Youth

Jeyanthi Rajaraman, Esq.
 Supervising Attorney, Family Representation Project
 Legal Services of New Jersey
Monica C. Gural, Esq.
 Supervising Attorney, Youth Law and Domestic Violence Representation Project
 Legal Services of New Jersey
Rachel Elkin, Esq.
 Supervising Attorney, Education Representation Project
 Legal Services of New Jersey
Any questions, please call 973-655-4188 or email chadconf@mail.montclair.edu