RTSC's 8th Annual Making a Difference Conference for SESPs, Foster/Adoptive and Kinship Caregivers and their Professional Partners Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 8:00am - 4:00pm (Registration 7:00-8:15am)

SCROLL DOWN for conference Speakers, Schedule, Workshops, and more! REGISTRATION DEADLINE 11/12/19
BECOME A SPONSOR. To support this conference and the work of the RTSC Project copy/paste the following link: https://fcsn.org/rtsc/sponsorship. This program has been approved for 5 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. NASW-MA Chapter CE Approving Program, Authorization Number D81096
Attendee and Exhibitor Registration

Keynote Speaker

Speakers

Presenters

Sponsors

Exhibitors

Schedule

  • 19 November

Steve Pemberton

Pemberton for MA

Everyone Deserves a Chance in The World

Steve Pemberton’s story is one touched by tragedy, kindness and triumph. It all started in New Bedford, as a young boy in the care of a single mother who was in the middle of a losing battle with alcoholism and the distant figure of a father who would ultimately be lost to gun violence. He was then shuffled in and out of unstable and at times abusive foster homes. Time and time again, he was told that he didn’t have a chance in the world. But Steve was buoyed throughout his life by neighbors, teachers and mentors across the South Coast and the Commonwealth. He turned tragedy into triumph to build a successful career and a beautiful family. He attended Boston College for both his undergraduate degree and a master's degree, and is a member of the school’s Board of Trustees. He has served as a senior executive at several companies, such as Walgreens and Monster, working in talent diversity and human resources. He currently is the chief human resource officer at Workhuman, a technology company based in Framingham. He is the author of a best-selling memoir, “A Chance in the World,” which was published in 2012 and subsequently made into a motion picture. Now, Steve Pemberton is running for U.S. Senate because he believes we need leaders who know first-hand what it is like to be one of the people Washington has forgotten. 

19 November

Pam Nourse

Executive Director
Federation for Children with Special Needs
Executive Director Pam Nourse describes her personal experience as a parent of a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). “I did not know about the Federation at that time. But I certainly had the thirst for information and the desire to do the best for my child that draws over 100,000 families each year to the Federation.”

Pam looks forward to working with the Federation’s staff to build our foundational programs to reach more families, particularly those underserved by the education system.

We will:
• Strive to develop best practices for family engagement.
• Mentor parents of children with special health needs.
• Recruit and train surrogate education parents for some of the most vulnerable youth in Massachusetts.
• Develop new trainings on social-emotional learning.
• Provide innovative transition programs.
• And, expand our call center to reach more parents.
The common thread through all this is supporting families to improve education, physical health, and mental health outcomes for their children.

19 November

Renee Williams

RTSC Project Director
Federation for Children with Special Needs
Renee Williams is the Project Director for the Recruitment, Training and Support Center (RTSC) for Special Education Surrogate Parents (SESP) a project of the Federation for Children with Special Needs. She worked for over ten years as a Special Education Advocate/Consultant and founder of Olive Branch Advocacy. Renee also held the position of President of the Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPaN) for four years where she continues to serve as on the Board of Directors.

For more information or interest in volunteering as a Special Education Surrogate Parent, contact: rwilliams@fcsn.org (617) 399-8311

19 November

Timothy Gallagher

Assistant Director
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
I have been with the DESE for 8 years now, 3 as Assistant Director for the Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM). Prior to that, I was the Educational Coordinator for the Lawrence DCF office. I also have 10 years of teaching experience both in Lawrence and Lowell.

19 November

Megan Ronzio

Program Director
Special Education Surrogate Parent Program
Through a grant of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, EDCO Collaborative's Special Education Surrogate Parent (SESP) Program appoints trained volunteers to act as special education decision-makers for students who have no parent or legal guardian. In addition, the SESP Program conducts outreach efforts to DCF offices and to school districts across the state by offering trainings and informational materials. The SESP Program works in partnership with the Massachusetts Federation for Children with Special Needs, which is responsible for volunteer recruitment, training and support.

Website: http://www.sespprogram.org

19 November

Suzanne Bump

State Auditor
Office of the State Auditor

Suzanne M. Bump, the 25th Auditor of the Commonwealth, is the first woman to serve in this role in the state’s history, and was sworn into office in January 2011. As Auditor, she has prioritized effective management of public resources to improve public trust in government.

Her mission in the Auditor’s office is to make government work better by helping it become more efficient, effective, accountable and transparent in meeting its mission to serve the public. She has championed the use of innovative technologies to improve government performance, and recruited and trained a talented staff to bolster these efforts. Since taking office, Bump has established her office as a national leader in government accountability, enabling it to receive numerous national awards for excellence in conducting audits and innovations in the use of data analytics to identify root causes of over-spending and poor service delivery by state agencies.

Bump is president of the National State Auditor's Association and serves on several public boards, including the Inspector General Council and the Municipal Finance Oversight Board. She is a member of the U.S. Comptroller General’s Domestic Working Group and the executive committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers. Bump also is a partner for the Women's Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts.

Auditor Bump served as Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development under Governor Deval Patrick, and also represented the Town of Braintree in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for eight years. In the private sector, she worked as a business advocate, legal counsel, and a member of the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and St. Francis House.

A native of Whitman, Massachusetts, Auditor Bump attended Cardinal Spellman High School and is a graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University School of Law. She currently lives in North Easton.

Website: http://www.mass.gov/auditor

19 November

Linda Spears

Commissioner
MA Department of Children and Families
Linda Spears was appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) by Governor Charlie Baker in January 2015 to lead an unprecedented departmental reform.

A veteran social worker and policy expert, Commissioner Spears heads an agency of more than 4,000 staff that serve approximately 45,000 children in the Commonwealth with a budget of $1 billion. During her tenure, the Department has revised and implemented several key policies, added more than 600 social workers and staff, and created a medical unit that includes a full-time medical director and medical social workers in every DCF office. Now in its fourth year, the reform is focused on strengthening foster care and permanency work.

Prior to DCF, Commissioner Spears served as Vice President of Policy, Programs and Public Affairs at the Child Welfare League of America for 22 years. She began her career in child welfare as a caseworker for the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families and followed by nearly a decade at what was then called the Massachusetts Department of Social Services.

Commissioner Spears attended the University of Rhode Island and holds B.A. in psychology. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Southern California.

19 November

Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz, Ph.D.

School Psychologist
Educational Consultant
Nearly half of the total student population in the U.S. has experienced some type of adversity in the form of trauma, violence, or chronic stress. This startling statistic has raised the alarm about what we can do to support them. In contrast to looking at what is “missing” in the lives of these children, this workshop will emphasize the urgent need for evidence-based teaching, relational, and leadership practices that focus on the many assets these students possess and how to create a strengths-based learning environment.

19 November

Sara Burd

Director of School Counseling and Social Emotional Learning
Arlington Public Schools
Sara is a licensed School Counselor, School Adjustment Counselor/Social Worker, Supervisor of Student Services and Registered Drama Therapist. Sara has been working in the counseling and education field for over 10 years, working as a school counselor in Boston, Fitchburg and Reading. Sara currently serves as the Director of School Counseling and Social Emotional Learning in Arlington Public Schools. She has been a member of the Massachusetts Behavioral Health and Public Schools Task force and was appointed by the Secretary of Education to the Massachusetts Safe and Supportive Schools Commission. Sara is an adjunct professor at Lesley University and teaches for LIfTS- The Lesley Institute for Trauma Studies. Outside of work, Sara enjoys performing as an actor and seeing the world through the eyes of her 2 incredible children!

19 November

John Crocker

Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services
Methuen Public Schools / Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC)
JOHN CROCKER has worked in public education for a decade, primarily as the administrator for the Methuen Public Schools Guidance Department. He has overseen the planning and implementation of the “Mental Health Initiative,” which has focused on the establishment of a comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) in partnership with the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH). John has worked with the NCSMH as a member of the National School Mental Health Task Force and as the Massachusetts team leader for the National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health (NCSA-SMH). He was recently appointed to the role of Director of School Mental Health & Behavioral Services, a position charged with overseeing the district-wide implementation and evaluation of Methuen’s comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS) and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). His work has focused on developing a district-wide system of universal mental health screening, advancing the use of psychosocial data to inform school mental health staff’s therapeutic practice, and the development and evaluation of the CSMHS in Methuen. He has worked to scale-up evidence-based therapeutic services across Methuen through the provision of district-wide professional development and the design and implementation of group- and individual-therapy programs. Mr. Crocker founded the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC), a group of approximately one-hundred and twenty school districts across Massachusetts committed to advocating for and implementing quality and sustainable school mental health services and supports. He received the National Center for School Mental Health’s School Mental Health Champion Award and is the 2019 Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) Administrator of the Year.

19 November

JD

Janet Duncan

Education Coordinator
Family Networks- Justice Resource Institute
Janet Duncan has been advocating for the special education needs of students who are involved with DCF for 17 years. She began this journey by realizing she needed to learn about special education to advocate for her own son. She then realized there were many underserved students out there who needed advocacy, so she volunteered for the Special Education Surrogate Parent Program and began to act as educational decision-maker for students in DCF custody. In addition to what was offered by the Special Education Surrogate Parent Program Janet pursued trainings through Wrightslaw, the MA Department of Education, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, Suffolk University Law school, and continues to pursue as many continuing education credits, seminars and conferences as she is able. In 2002, Janet became a Consultant for the Special Education Surrogate Parent Program, carrying a caseload of about 25-30 students.

In 2006, Janet joined JRI as an Education Coordinator for the DCF Cape and Islands office; coordinating educational placements and services for all students not living in family-based settings. In 2009, Janet returned to the Special Education Surrogate Parent program as a Consultant, carrying a caseload, and working with the program to develop a new training program for the volunteer SESP’s. Janet also established her private Advocacy practice, and began to serve as a Trainer for the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Janet returned to JRI in 2011 as an Educational Advocate serving students and their families in their communities, and in 2014, returned the Education Coordinator position for the DCF office on Cape Cod. In the past 17 years, Janet has advocated for more than 600 DCF students, and collaborated with more than 30 public school districts and more than 30 regional residential programs, group homes, DMH and DYS settings, and private and public day schools throughout southeastern Massachusetts. She has created a training on Special Education which is presented to all new JRI employees in the Community-Based Services division, and provides a workshop for the BU School of Social Work’s Professional Education Program to experienced Social Workers. Janet feels passionately that the students with Special Needs who are in the custody of DCF are not only victims of misfortune they did not cause and are greatly underserved; but also perhaps the most deserving of all students of a public education that will at the very least, prepare them to be productive members of society.

19 November

Michael Gregory

Managing Attorney
Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative
Michael Gregory is Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS) and a Member of the Faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He teaches and practices law as part of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), where he is Managing Attorney. TLPI is a partnership between HLS and Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a statewide non-profit child advocacy organization in Boston. TLPI’s mission is to ensure that children traumatized by exposure to violence and other childhood adversities succeed in school. At HLS, Gregory co-teaches TLPI’s Education Law Clinic, where law students both represent families of traumatized students in the special education system and learn and practice the skills of legislative lawyering to advance TLPI’s public policy agenda for trauma-sensitive schools. As a result of TLPI’s advocacy, Massachusetts enacted the Safe and Supportive Schools Framework statute in 2014, a first-of-its-kind law that creates a statewide infrastructure to support schools and districts to create safe and supportive whole-school learning environments that serve as a foundation for all students to succeed. Gregory is co-author of TLPI’s two landmark publications Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Volumes 1 and 2 and has also published in the area of special education law. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University.

Website: https://traumasensitiveschools.org

19 November

Judith Imperatore

Owner/Manager
J. Lynn Enterprises, LLC
FUTURES PEOPLE CAN BELIEVE IN

Professional Bio 2019

Ms. Judith Imperatore, M.Ed., is a highly trained professional and expert in the field of transition services for secondary special education and career and vocational development for individuals with various exceptionalities. She is the founder of a twenty-year-old consulting company, J. Lynn Enterprises, LLC.

Judith’s company has established a unique reputation for providing professional development, individual and program design, unique transition services, and assessment solutions to over 400 school districts, parents, and state agencies. Within these organizations, Judith is well known for her integrity, high expectations for student performance, creative and passionate approach to transition planning, individualization of service designs, and most importantly, her relentless hard work.

The company’s flagship product is its comprehensive transition assessment and functional vocational assessment. The report and its value has been recognized nationally by parents and parent organizations, lawyers, advocates, teaching universities and school systems. Testimonials are stellar and they state it is the most comprehensive transition assessment and planning evaluation presently available. This specialized report has been recently packaged and published making comprehensive assessment more readily available.

Judith has been trained as an expert witness relating to transition and has been involved in many due process hearings, assists in negotiating mediation agreements, and assists counsel in developing their cases. Recently, she has been an expert witness for a New Jersey supreme court case, a class action law suit for one of the largest cities in the United States and expert for the Jackson vs New Mexico lawsuit, one of the longest-running institutional reform lawsuits in the country.

Most recently Judith has worked in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, California, New Hampshire and Michigan. She routinely presents at national conferences and trains other experts in the field. This past year, she has been laser focused on raising the national consciousness of the labor laws related to unpaid, Community Based Vocational work (CBVE). A recent accomplishment is her ongoing collaboration with a federal task force to update their policies and training on CBVE and providing training through the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center.

Judith received her M.Ed. from Cambridge College in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2011 she received a Transition Certification in Transition at the University of Kansas, Office of Graduate Studies. She then earned her position as the national chair for the Transition Assessment and Vocational Evaluation (TA/VE) for the Division of Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and served for three years (2011-2014). Her service work with DCDT was instrumental in the developing the recent establishment of a national position on transition assessment and vocational evaluation. Judith is also a reviewer for the Counsel of Exceptional Children’s Journal, Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals (CDTEI), and acts as a professional mentor for students enrolled in the University of Massachusetts/Boston Transition Certification program. Recently, she has taken on the role of President of DCDT for the state of Massachusetts subdivision. And, in addition, is an executive board member for the national organization - Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals.


Website: http://www.transitionresponse.com

19 November

Naomi Ingram

Education Coordinator & Case Manager
Ascentria Care Alliance
Naomi Ingram has worked for the Ascentria Care Alliance Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) Program for the past 6 years. Naomi has extensive experience working directly with refugee youth as a Case Manager, but also serves a dual role as the Education Coordinator for the URM Program. In this role, Naomi provides program wide capacity building as well as direct support and guidance to URM staff and clients around education matters, including K-12 regular and special education and post-secondary education. Prior to her time at Ascentria, Naomi spent time working with adult refugees in the hospital setting as well as teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Naomi's educational background is in Anthropology, with a license in Social Work, and she is currently pursuing her Master's in Public Administration at Clark University.

Website:  http://www.ascentria.org/

19 November

Victoria Lia

SESP Volunteer and Consultant
SESPP
Graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in English Literature
Para Professional at Old Post Road School, Walpole 1995-2001
Special Education Surrogate Parent Volunteer and Consultant 2000-present 
Foster Care Review Community Volunteer for Department of Children and Families 2011-present
Mentor for the Special Education Surrogate Parent Program 2010-present
Faith Formation Teacher at St Edward's Church, Medfield 2011-present
Mother of four, Grandmother of twelve and continuing

19 November

Elizabeth McIntyre

Staff Attorney
Greater Boston Legal Services

Learn what the cradle to prison pipeline is and how it affects students of color and students with disabilities, especially students of color with disabilities.

Understand basic Massachusetts school discipline law, how to advocate for students facing suspension or expulsion, and when to call for help.

Understand the intersection of school discipline and special education law and how to advocate for students with disabilities facing school suspension or expulsion.

Website: http://gbls.org

19 November

Jamie Millet Schaeffer

Clinical School Social Worker
Lunenburg Public Schools
Jamie Millett Schaeffer is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) at Lunenburg Middle-High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Merrimack College where she double majored in Psychology and Criminology. Through various internship and employment opportunities she found her love for working with adolescents leading to the next step of her educational career at Simmons University's School of Social Work. Mrs. Schaeffer received her Master's in Social Work (MSW) and began working in outpatient behavioral health care providing individual and group therapy. Soon thereafter, she began employment at Lunenburg Public Schools (LPS) where she provides direct counseling services to students in grades 6-12. She serves as a consult for therapeutic programs in the middle and high school as well as the Advanced Community Experience (ACE) program for adult students 18-22 years old. In 2018, she spearheaded LPS's first Behavioral Health Advisory Council (BHAC) to evaluate and identify LPS's strengths and areas of growth in social emotional education, school culture, and mental health supports. In addition to her work in Lunenburg, Mrs. Schaeffer is member of the Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium (MASMHC) and is the head varsity softball coach at Shrewsbury High School.

19 November

Stephanie Monaghan-Blout

Pediatric Neuropscyhologist
NESCA
Formerly an adolescent and family therapist, Dr. Stephanie Monaghan-Blout is a senior clinician who joined NESCA at its inception in 2007.
She specializes in the neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with complex learning and emotional issues. She is proficient in the administration of psychological (projective) tests, as well as in neuropsychological testing. Her responsibilities at NESCA also include acting as Clinical Coordinator, overseeing psycho-educational and therapeutic services.
Dr. Monaghan-Blout has a particular interest in working with adoptive children and their families as well as those contending with the impact of traumatic experiences. She is a member of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) associated with Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Harvard Law Clinic, and is working with that group on an interdisciplinary guide to trauma sensitive evaluations.
Dr. Monaghan-Blout graduated from Bowdoin College and received a Masters in Counselor Education from Boston University. She obtained her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School. She also completed an internship in pediatric neuropsychology and child psychology at North Shore University Hospital in New York, and a postdoctoral fellowship at HealthSouth/Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital.
She joined Dr. Ann Helmus at Children’s Evaluation Center in 2003, and NESCA in 2007. A member of the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society Board of Directors from 2010 – 2013, Dr. Monaghan-Blout served as Chair of the Education Committee. She is currently President-Elect of that organization.
Dr. Monaghan-Blout is the mother and stepmother of four children, and the grandmother of six. She is also an avid ice hockey player and devotee of science fiction/fantasy.

19 November

JM

James Morrison

Education Coordinator - Cambridge DCF Office
Riverside Community Care
Since 2017 I have worked as the Education Coordinator in the Cambridge DCF Office. Prior to that for 20 years I taught history and served as a department chair at several Massachusetts high schools. I have a B.S. in History from Northeastern and a M.Ed. from Fitchburg St.

19 November

Carrie Noseworthy

Founder
A Safer Me
Carrie Noseworthy is a married mother of three sons. She has lived experience both as a sibling of someone with significant mental health needs, addiction, and systems involvement as well as a mother of three children, two with diagnosed with special needs. She founded A Safer Me to address the systemic gaps that exist by empowering parents, caregivers, educators and providers with the tools that they need to ensure that safety is prioritized in the same way that other skills and goals are in their children’s lives. This work is family driven and family centered.

Her last role was in Juvenile Justice Diversion in 5 courts within Worcester County. She earned her MPA from Suffolk University and is a former LEND Fellow (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) and earned a graduate certificate in Health and Disability Policy in the program. She has a Paralegal Certificate from Northeastern University earned her BA from UMASS Boston in Psychology & Sociology as well as a certificate in Substance Abuse Studies. Carrie is a veteran from the Massachusetts Army National Guard and her last assignment was with the Office of the Inspector General. She serves on the AFAM (Advocates for Autism in Massachusetts) Subcommittee that coordinates Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day at the Statehouse in Boston.

Carrie’s passion is making safety accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, through community outreach, collaboration, education and training. She believes this is possible through community partnerships, honest conversation, advocacy and the adoption of the emergency management model consisting of preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation cycle to ensure that safety is as much a goal for children as their education. Because it is a cycle, the work towards safety is always ongoing, driven by the ever-changing elements of the situation and point in time for the child or individual.

19 November

Pam Nourse

Executive Director
Federation for Children with Special Needs
I bring over 30 years of executive leadership experience in mission-driven organizations. I began my career as a community organizer and remain dedicated to seeking change that promotes social justice, tolerance and inclusiveness. I am dedicated to ensuring that every family and child has equitable access to the educational, medical, and community supports they need and deserve.

Megan Ronzio

Director
Special Education Surrogate Parent Program
Through a grant of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, EDCO Collaborative's Special Education Surrogate Parent (SESP) Program appoints trained volunteers to act as special education decision-makers for students who have no parent or legal guardian. In addition, the SESP Program conducts outreach efforts to DCF offices and to school districts across the state by offering trainings and informational materials. The SESP Program works in partnership with the Massachusetts Federation for Children with Special Needs, which is responsible for volunteer recruitment, training and support.

19 November

Dena Steiling

Advocate
Dena Steiling Advocacy
I have a Master's in moderate special needs. I have taught children with special needs for over 20 years before becoming an advocate. I received my training in advocacy from the Federation for Children with Special Needs in 2003 and have been working as an advocate in private practice and as a Special Education Surrogate Parent since that time. I have also mentored other advocates through the SESSP. In 2010 one of my transitions cases was heard in Federal court. This case has helped to confirm a students right to meaningful transition programming.

I am a member of SPAN, the Council for Exceptional Children, and AANE.

19 November

Jennifer Sweeney

Special Education Assistant Director
Boston Public Schools
Jennifer Sweeney is currently a Special Education Assistant Director in the Office of Special Education at the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Jennifer has been working in the Office of Special Education for over 8 years and has been in the role of Assistant Director for 7 of those years. Within the Boston Public Schools, Jennifer has worked with and supervised cases of students that are placed in both in-district and out-of-district school placements. Throughout this role, Jennifer has established collaborative working relationships and partnerships with school communities, families, and community agencies/partners. Agencies such as the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS), Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Youth Services (DYS), and Children’s Hospital are among the top agencies that Jennifer is collaborating with on a regular basis.

Prior to working for the BPS, Jennifer was employed by Communities For People, Inc. as an Education Coordinator. As the Education Coordinator, Jennifer was assigned to the Hyde Park DCF office and served as the liaison between local school districts and DCF, as well as a support to the staff, families, and students working with DCF regarding any and all matters related to education.

Jennifer has her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Special Education from Marist College and has a Masters of Education from Cambridge College.

19 November

Dr. Donna White

Independent Consultant and Master Trainer
PRN Associates and DMH
Dr. Donna McCarten White is the former consultant Addiction Specialist for the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a Public Health Hospital for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is the former Chief Operating Officer and Nurse Executive at Worcester State Hospital. In addition, she was the Director of the DMH and Harvard University Commonwealth Research and Evaluation Unit. In the past she was the Director of Nursing and the Director of Chemical Dependency Services and the Dual Diagnosis Program at Pembroke Psychiatric Hospital.
She is a graduate of Boston City Hospital School of Nursing and earned a BSN from Curry College in 1985. In addition, she completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts/Boston, is a licensed drug and alcohol counselor with an additional certification in advanced Drug and Alcohol Counseling, is certified in Chemical Dependency and Addictions Nursing, and certified by the ANCC as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public Health.

Dr. White is the 2006 recipient of the Peer Assistance Award from IntNSA and was recently inducted as a Board Certified Fellow at the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. In 2007, she was the first recipient of the Fong-Bressler Award for Outstanding Preceptorship in the Graduate Program for the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. MNA awarded her the Addictions Nursing Award in 2009. In October, 2010, she was recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the award of Champion of Public Health. In May, 2011, she was awarded the Nancy Valentine Leadership Award from the New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and in 2013, she was voted Mentor of the Year by the International Nurses Society of Addiction Nurses. Most recently, in 2014, she was given the Heart of Nursing Award from the University of Massachusetts/Boston Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. Donna is the author of an Addictions Competency Based Program in the Department of Public Health Hospital where she now consults. She has many publications to her credit and recently co-authored a chapter on Addictions in a Psychiatric textbook. In addition, she was part of a video production addressing suicide in adolescents in Massachusetts. In 2015, she was inducted as a Fellow in the International Nurses Society on Addictions. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Award for Lifetime Excellence in the field of Addictions from C4 Foundation. She was also given the Educator of the Year Award by the InterNational Society of Addictions Nurses in October, 2018, and in November 2018, she was awarded the Labor Activist Award for advocating for people in recovery in the workplace. She is due to receive the Frances Slanger Award for Professional Nursing in October, 2019.

Dr. White is the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Nurses Association Addictions Council, and oversees the Peer Assistant Program for Professionals seeking help in recovery. She is certified by the Green Cross Foundation as an educator and therapist in Compassion Fatigue and is a specialist in Addictive Disorders, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Traumatization in Healthcare Professionals. In addition, She is a member of the International Trauma Specialists Dr. White is a Clinical Instructor for Boston Area Colleges of Nursing…graduate NP programs as well as baccalaureate level for Community Health Clinical work and is a Visiting Scholar for local Colleges and Universities and honors requests from all Healthcare Professional Schools. She provided oversight for the clinical practicums of counseling students and previously consulted to department chairs for all medical and professional clinical experience rotations at the Shattuck Hospital. She has lectured nationwide at many facilities and agencies and is a recognized leader in the field of Addictions, Impaired Practice, Family Care, Peer Assistance, as well as Healthcare Professional Stress. In addtion, she volunteers on the Apache Reservation in Arizona and experesses her gratitude to the Tribal people she works with to promote education and recovery for all ages.

RN, PhD, CNS, LADC
Certified Compassion Fatigue Therapist and Educator
Certified Addictions Nurse
Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor
Fellow – Board Certified Trauma Expert
FIAAN

19 November

Seyfarth Shaw, LLP

Visionary Sponsor

Justice Resource Institute

Hero
JRI is a leader in social justice with over 100 diverse programs across three states. We provide education, advocacy, housing and support services with a therapeutic trauma focus to children and adults with physical, emotional and learning disabilities. JRI provides an inclusive and welcoming environment that promotes and fosters positive change to help each person find their place in the world and open doors to opportunities.

Ascentria Care Alliance - Children and Family Services

Federation for Children with Special Needs

Full Circle ARTS/ Justice Resource Institue

Full Circle ARTS
Our flagship social enterprise has artists' studios and retail shops in Natick and Westboro and an online Etsy store. Our artists and crafters create and sell marketable art work, jewelry, cards, accessories, and gifts, along with goods consigned by people with disabilities from throughout New England.

At a Glance
This service is for 
  • Focus: We use arts and crafts to expand the expectations of what people with learning and developmental needs can contribute to their communities and to engage people in creative careers.
  • Age: 22+
  • Gender: male, female, transgender, non-conforming
  • Capacity: Up to 125 people may enroll in our studio programs. Goods are consigned for sale based on juried submissions.

HopeWell

J. Lynn Enterprises, LLC

FUTURES PEOPLE CAN BELIEVE IN

Professional Bio 2019

Ms. Judith Imperatore, M.Ed., is a highly trained professional and expert in the field of transition services for secondary special education and career and vocational development for individuals with various exceptionalities. She is the founder of a twenty-year-old consulting company, J. Lynn Enterprises, LLC.

Judith’s company has established a unique reputation for providing professional development, individual and program design, unique transition services, and assessment solutions to over 400 school districts, parents, and state agencies. Within these organizations, Judith is well known for her integrity, high expectations for student performance, creative and passionate approach to transition planning, individualization of service designs, and most importantly, her relentless hard work.

The company’s flagship product is its comprehensive transition assessment and functional vocational assessment. The report and its value has been recognized nationally by parents and parent organizations, lawyers, advocates, teaching universities and school systems. Testimonials are stellar and they state it is the most comprehensive transition assessment and planning evaluation presently available. This specialized report has been recently packaged and published making comprehensive assessment more readily available.

Judith has been trained as an expert witness relating to transition and has been involved in many due process hearings, assists in negotiating mediation agreements, and assists counsel in developing their cases. Recently, she has been an expert witness for a New Jersey supreme court case, a class action law suit for one of the largest cities in the United States and expert for the Jackson vs New Mexico lawsuit, one of the longest-running institutional reform lawsuits in the country.

Most recently Judith has worked in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, California, New Hampshire and Michigan. She routinely presents at national conferences and trains other experts in the field. This past year, she has been laser focused on raising the national consciousness of the labor laws related to unpaid, Community Based Vocational work (CBVE). A recent accomplishment is her ongoing collaboration with a federal task force to update their policies and training on CBVE and providing training through the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center.

Judith received her M.Ed. from Cambridge College in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2011 she received a Transition Certification in Transition at the University of Kansas, Office of Graduate Studies. She then earned her position as the national chair for the Transition Assessment and Vocational Evaluation (TA/VE) for the Division of Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and served for three years (2011-2014). Her service work with DCDT was instrumental in the developing the recent establishment of a national position on transition assessment and vocational evaluation. Judith is also a reviewer for the Counsel of Exceptional Children’s Journal, Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals (CDTEI), and acts as a professional mentor for students enrolled in the University of Massachusetts/Boston Transition Certification program. Recently, she has taken on the role of President of DCDT for the state of Massachusetts subdivision. And, in addition, is an executive board member for the national organization - Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals.

(860) 454-7494 - www.transitionresponse.com.

MSPCC Kid's Net/Massachusetts Alliance for Families

Our Mission

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is a private, non-profit society dedicated to leadership in protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children and families.

Our Impact

MSPCC’s work focuses on preventing or mitigating the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, household substance abuse, household mental illness, and domestic violence. By promoting social and emotional learning and supports for children as well as tools to improve parents’ skills, MSPCC employs a two-generational approach to improve outcomes for both children and parents.
Research and brain science support our approach. Exposure to multiple and/or prolonged ACEs directly correlates to serious delays in development and to an alarming range of health and behavioral consequences that can continue throughout life. For infants and toddlers, the immediate impact can be seen in developmental delays, self-harming behaviors, inconsistent emotional functioning, inappropriate social interactions, and aggressive behaviors.

Building Strength

MSPCC combined with Eliot Community Human Services in 2016 to further strengthen the agency’s services and better address the needs of children and families. By joining forces, children and families struggling with mental health issues, domestic and community violence, abuse and neglect, and poverty have greater access to a comprehensive system of care.

Rise Above

Rise Above responds to the growing need to give youth in foster care opportunities that provide them a sense of normalcy, provide comfort and build self-esteem. By funding individual wishes for prom expenses, soccer registration, driver’s education courses and clarinet lessons, Rise Above gives positive, healing experiences for the 10,000
Massachusetts children in foster care. Since it began in 2009, Rise Above has funded over 5,000 individual wishes for youth across Massachusetts.

Riverside Community Care

Riverside Community Care provides children, adolescents, and adults with a broad range of behavioral healthcare and human services. Riverside offers emergency care, urgent and outpatient services, in-home and residential care, psychiatric day programming, early intervention, employment support, domestic violence services, and much more. Find more information about Riverside at www.riversidecc.org.

Shriver Center INDEX

Shriver Center INDEX

The Purple Umbrella

Unique handmade jewelry "many artists under one umbrella"

2020 Census

Making sure we count everyone once, only once and in the right place

Special Needs Advocacy Network, Inc.

Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPaN) has provided continuing professional development and support for advocates and other professionals in the field of Special Education across Massachusetts. Collaboration exists with other professionals as well as with parents of children with disabilities.

Registration/Exhibitors

07:30 AM 08:15 AM

Welcome Speakers

FCSN Welcome

08:15 AM 08:30 AM

Welcome to the 8th Annual Making a Difference Conference on behalf of Renee Williams, Project Director, and Pamela Nourse, Executive Director of the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

Speakers

Welcome Speakers

DESE Welcome

08:30 AM 08:45 AM

Special welcome by Tim Gallagher on behalf of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Speakers

Welcome Speakers

SESPP Welcome

08:45 AM 09:00 AM

Speakers

Keynote

Keynote

09:00 AM 09:45 AM

Speakers

Break/Exhibitors

09:45 AM 10:00 AM

Session 1

All Sides of the Table: Providers Share Their Perspective

10:00 AM 11:15 AM

A panel of service providers and professionals representing the different roles of those who support DCF involved youth. Come and listen to Family Networks Education Coordinator(s), experienced SESP(s), *[other panel members]*, and education professionals from across the state discuss challenges and opportunities for collaboration in the IEP process. Get some helpful insights and clarification on difficult issues.

Speakers

Session 1

Teaching to Strengths:Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress

10:00 AM 11:15 AM

Nearly half of the total student population in the U.S. has experienced some type of adversity in the form of trauma, violence, or chronic stress. This startling statistic has raised the alarm about what we can do to support them. In contrast to looking at what is “missing” in the lives of these children, this workshop will emphasize the urgent need for evidence-based teaching, relational, and leadership practices that focus on the many assets these students possess and how to create a strengths-based learning environment.

Speakers

Session 1

Transition Assessment: How to Develop Gorgeous IEP

10:00 AM 11:15 AM

Currently, there are no certifications or professional standards set forth by the field to conduct a comprehensive transition assessment. Many professionals are relegated to the task thus for every person evaluating, there seems to be a model! While IDEA 2004 states CLEARLY that every Individual Education Plan must be written based on information gathered from transition assessment when the student turns age 14 in Massachusetts - through to graduation, the data that IS collected most times does not become the foundation nor even a guide to the IEP as data is not interpreted in career/vocational development terms and most IEP's are written for the present not the future.
This session will review what is and isn't transition assessment, what is required by IDEA, how to use the data gathered by assessment and how the data is used to develop a transition plan that has efficacy for the student's successful future.

Speakers

Break/Exhibitors

11:15 AM 11:30 AM

Session 2

Safety and the IEP: Advocacy, Goals and Being Prepared!

11:30 AM 12:45 PM

Safety & the IEP

Directed at caregivers and providers, this training focuses on helping address safety concerns throughout the school/placement day. Safety concerns can take many forms including bolting, aggression, toileting, learning how to access ALICE training, transition age youth (TAY), adult services and more. We work to empower the caregiver by discussing ways to translate the emotion and concerns around safety into action items and goals to address their concerns. Educators, administrators, school nurses and school resource officers (SROs) are always welcome!

Speakers

Session 2

Creating a SEL, Trauma Informed Framework within your District

11:30 AM 12:45 PM

Speakers

Session 2

The Cradle to Prison Pipeline: School Discipline Law 101

11:30 AM 12:45 PM

Workshop Objectives:
  1. Learn what the cradle to prison pipeline is and how it affects students of color and students with disabilities, especially students of color with disabilities.
  2. Understand basic Massachusetts school discipline law, how to advocate for students facing suspension or expulsion, and when to call for help.
  3. Understand the intersection of school discipline and special education law and how to advocate for students with disabilities facing school suspension or expulsion.

Speakers

Lunch/Exhibitors

12:45 PM 01:30 PM

Afternoon Speaker

Suzanne Bump, State Auditor

01:30 PM 02:00 PM

Speakers

Afternoon Speaker

DCF Commissioner

02:00 PM 02:15 PM

Welcome on behalf of the Department of Children and Families.

Speakers

Break/Exhibitors

02:15 PM 02:30 PM

Session 3

Compassion Fatigue : Building Resilience As We Care For Others

02:30 PM 03:45 PM

The purpose of this workshop is to present the profile of a Professional, Clinical Staff, family member or caregiver who may be suffering from Compassion Fatigue and related sequelae of Moral Injury and Moral Residue. The interactive seminar will identify common stressors that impact performance of people who are either employed in caring for others or care for individuals in their lives. The learner will be given methodologies to identify patterns of Compassion Fatigue and strategies to promote Wellness, Recovery and a renewed sense of identity as a caring person or professional.

Speakers

Session 3

Neuropsychological Assessments of Students with Complex Trauma

02:30 PM 03:45 PM

Speakers

Session 3

Trauma Sensitivity and the IEP Process

02:30 PM 03:45 PM

Speakers

Surveys and Name Tags

03:45 PM 04:00 PM