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Webinar archive

See our YouTube page for recordings of our Webinars. 

We will continue to post the most recent Power Point presentations here, but all video recordings will be posted to the YouTube page.

Title: Socially Just Leadership: A Mechanism of Mattering
for College Students with a History of Foster Care,
Homelessness, Relative Care and/or Ward of the State

March 2024

Lisa Jackson, Assistant Teaching Professor, College of Social Work, Doctoral Candidate, Higher Education – Student Affairs, Florida State University


Sunshine Best, Doctoral Candidate of Public Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Lisa Jackson, an Assistant Teaching Professor and Doctoral Candidate at Florida State University, focuses on researching and supporting marginalized college student populations, including those with a history of foster care, homelessness, relative care, or ward of the state status. Her project examines how leadership roles on the student advisory board of the Unconquered Scholars Program impact graduates' sense of mattering and persistence in postsecondary education.

The YouthFinX webinar presentation discussed a project focused on leveraging machine learning technology to support youth transitioning out of foster care. Sunshine Best, who transitioned from a career in tech to pursue a Doctorate in Public Health, aims to address the challenges faced by this population through a Transition Support Platform. The platform utilizes personalized profiles and AI-driven recommendations to provide tailored resources for housing, health, mentorship, education, and financial aid. The primary goal is to empower these youth for a successful transition into adulthood by improving health outcomes, access to resources, and confidence. Sunshine emphasizes the importance of using existing technology and cultural competency to fill gaps in support rather than reinventing the wheel. 

November 2023

Ciara Collins, Associate at Abt Associates with her PhD from the University of Connecticut's Human Development and Family Sciences Department. 

September 2023

Dr. Devost

April 2023

Dr. Cynthia Lietz and Justine Cheung

Dr. Cynthia Lietz is dean of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and President’s Professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. 

Justine Cheung, MSW, is the director for Bridging Success, Arizona State University’s campus-based support program for students who have experienced foster care.

Many colleges and universities are creating campus-based programs to support students with a background in foster care. When considering the histories of trauma experienced by these young people, meeting mental health needs is an important part of a portfolio of services. ASuPIRE is a strengths-based, trauma-informed counseling program that was designed to respond to the unique needs of college students who aged-out and/or experienced foster care at any point across their development. This program can stand alone or can be used to supplement campus-based support programs. This approach, including its theoretical framework and related interventions, will be described.

February 28th, 2023

Dr. Melanie Doucet

 Dr. Melanie Doucet, Adjunct Professor at McGill University School of Social Work and Senior Researcher & Project Manager, Child Welfare League of Canada, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Many youth in the child protection system abruptly lose support from the State when they reach the age of majority, regardless of their readiness or their emotional and financial needs. In Canada, this is due to provincial and territorial legislation that mandates child welfare agencies to release youth from their care at the age of majority. This pattern of aged-based service removal leads to traumatic transitions to adulthood and negative outcomes for youth exiting care, including a heightened risk for homelessness, poverty, undereducation and mental health issues. COVID-19 and the socio-economic upheaval associated with the pandemic exacerbated the already precarious situation of young people in and from care in the country.

In March 2020, First Voice Advocates and key allies from across Canada joined forces to advocate for moratoriums on transitions from care during the COVID-19 pandemic; as a result many provinces and territories issued temporary moratoriums or emergency measures allowing youth to remain in their placements and/or continue to receive supports past the age of majority. These measures opened up opportunities to re-think the transition to adulthood for youth in care in a more equitable way as we enter a phase of pandemic recovery. Drawing upon past Canadian reports as well as the expertise of youth with lived experience from across the country, Dr. Doucet and the National Council of Youth in Care Advocates developed the Equitable Standards for Transitions to Adulthood for Youth in Care. These standards provide long-term solutions to support youth in care across eight transition to adulthood pillars. The overarching goal is to ensure that youth in care are afforded the same standard of support and opportunities for success as they transition to adulthood as their peers who are not in the child protection system, while also recognizing the inherent traumatic impact of child removals and separation from families of origin. The Equitable Standards aim to ensure that every youth in care receives equitable level of supports and services no matter where they live in Canada. This presentation will provide an overview of the Equitable Standards, with a particular focus on transition to adulthood pillar #2: Educational and Professional Development to provide insights on how to equitably support young people from care who are pursuing higher education.

December 6th, 2022

Chequita S. Brown

Chequita S. Brown, research associate for the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is a scholar practitioner with professional experience in the social work and higher education fields.

Presentation Summary:

For youth transitioning from foster care to college, campus life represents a fresh start where they can be recognized as a 'normal' college student and not only as foster youth. Thus, many collegians with foster care experience (CFCE) may conceal their foster identity to avoid being stigmatized or treated differently on campus. Unless students self-disclose their foster identity, postsecondary professionals will likely struggle to identify and support this student population. 

Using a qualitative design, this study examined factors that influence whether collegians choose to self-disclose (or not self-disclose) their foster identity to professionals and peers on campus. This presentation will focus on CFCE self-disclosure attitudes, perceived self-disclosure benefits and risks and salient reasons CFCE choose to self-disclose (or not) to campus professionals vs peers.

October 18th, 2022

Maddy Day, MSW and Lori Tiller, PhD

Title: The Fostering Academic Achievement Nationwide (FAAN) network


Maddy Day, MSW, is the owner and senior consultant with Maddy Day LLC & Associates. She is a systems change practitioner focused on improving education outcomes for students with experience in foster care.


Lori Tiller, PhD is a public service faculty member at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development a unit of the Office of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, with a focus on leadership capacity building for nonprofit, youth, and community organizations, leadership development for underrepresented populations, and technical skills in evaluation design and group facilitation.


September 29th, 2022

Justine Cheung, MSW with M. Sebrena Jackson, Ph.D., LICSW

Lisa Schelbe, Ph.D., MSW

Title: (Hitting some Speedbumps when) Researching a Campus Support Program

Presenter: Lisa Schelbe, Ph.D., MSW (Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Social Work)


About the Lightning Round Webinar: The NRC-FAHE lightning round webinar is a space providing participants opportunities to talk about challenges they are facing in their work in the area of foster care alumni and higher education. During the sessions, questions are posed and the group helps brainstorm solutions and provides feedback. The next of the lightening round series will be held in the spring of 2023 and applications for those wishing to present their topics to the group will be accepted. 

Title: Mental & Emotional Well-being of Campus Support Program Practitioners

Presenters: Justine Cheung, MSW (Bridging Success Director, Arizona State University) and M. Sebrena Jackson, Ph.D., LICSW (Associate Dean of Educational Programs & Student Services, Associate Professor, University of Alabama School of Social Work)


August 30th, 2022

Elizabeth Aparicio, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C
Svetlana Shpiegel, PhD, MSW

We undertook a mixed-methods study to learn more about the experiences of Illinois community college students who are or were in foster care. Our findings suggest that despite significant federal and state investments in programs that aim to promote postsecondary educational attainment among this population, students who are or were in foster care are not receiving the supports they need to succeed in school from either child welfare or education systems.

April 6th, 2022

Dr. Judy Havlicek (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Dr. Amy Dworsky (Chapin Hall at University of Chicago), and Elissa Gitlow (Chapin Hall at University of Chicago).

We undertook a mixed-methods study to learn more about the experiences of Illinois community college students who are or were in foster care. Our findings suggest that despite significant federal and state investments in programs that aim to promote postsecondary educational attainment among this population, students who are or were in foster care are not receiving the supports they need to succeed in school from either child welfare or education systems.

April 6th, 2022

Delrisha White (Founder and Principal Consultant of Equity Erudition: Anti-Racism Education)

 This presentation will discuss findings from focus groups conducted with campus support program (CSP) administrators and CSP students from two- and four-year colleges in California during the Covid-19 pandemic. Presenters will describe challenges faced by both administrators/CSPs and students as well as some lessons learned for going forward.

March 8th, 2022

Drs. Kizzy Lopez (Fresno Pacific University), Jennifer Geiger (University of Illinois at Chicago), Nathanael Okpych (University of Connecticut), and Sara Gamez (California State Polytechnic University - Pomona)

February 22nd, 2022

Alexis and Justin Black

This presentation discusses strategies and techniques developed by foster care alumni, Justin and Alexis Black, as they combined the information they’ve learned from healthy foster parents, counselors, advocates, and ultimately their lived experience. By sharing their personal story of overcoming, they discuss the role of a foster parent and advocate as well as the necessary resources to surround themselves with in order to be a positive partner in the lives of the youth themselves. Our goal is to help advocates understand that fostering is a collaborative process for both the youth and the parent. We highlight the components of that relationship as well as the aspect of the community that needs to be formed in a healthy and loving environment” within the context of higher education.

February 9th, 2022

Dr. Angelique Day (University of Washington)

One of the ways to maximize our research impact is to ensure we are asking and answering the right questions- specifically those that can support our fields most prominent policy advocates, many of which are foster care alumni with lived experience, in gathering the evidence they need to work with elected officials to move the national federal transition age youth policy agenda forward.  This presentation will include information on the key concepts being discussed in the advocacy community and will identify key research questions that advocates need researchers support to answer. 

November 9th, 2021

Dr. Kerri Kearney (Oklahoma State University), Drs. Angelique Day (University of Washington), Dr. Amy Salazar (Washington State University Vancouver)

This meeting will have two parts. First, in a presentation entitled “The State of Research: College Bound Students with Histories in Foster Care,” Dr. Kerri Kearney (Oklahoma State University) will provide an overview of the most recent research from the National Research for Engaged Scholarship on Hidden Populations. This national research conference focuses on college-bound individuals who have histories in foster or out-of-home care and other students who are motivated to remain anonymous on college campuses, typically because of concerns about negative social judgements about their past experiences. We will also discuss the current status of research in this area, where the field appears to be going, opportunities to engage in the community of research, and other topics of interest to participants. The second half of the webinar will be dedicated to the annual NRC-FAHE business meeting, where Drs. Angelique Day (University of Washington) and Amy Salazar (Washington State University Vancouver) will provide updates on membership activities and gather feedback from members for future planning.

October 13th, 2021

Dr. Denicia Carlay, EdD, LCSW, PPSC (Alameda County Social Services Agency) and Dr. Lauren Ford, EdD (San Mateo Community College District)

This presentation will begin with a brief historical overview of the intersections of social work, psychology, critical theory and education.  This historical overview will also tie in the impact that traditional practices have had in creating disparities for system impacted students.  We will discuss the shift in recent years to embrace trauma informed practices that recognize and inform the ways in which social workers and educators engage with young people experiencing trauma, and acknowledge its insufficiencies in promoting real change in the lives of system impacted students that unintentionally have led to deficit based mindsets towards groups who have been marginalized in not being able to see them beyond the traumatic experiences they have faced.  Our presentation, therefore, will focus on a shift towards the necessary healing centered engagement that uplifts “what else is true” about young people experiencing chronic stress, within a culturally grounded and asset-based framework. The presentation will end with critical inquiry around what healing centered practices might look like within larger systems – such as the community college arena.

September 23rd, 2021

Dr. Regina Gavin Williams (North Carolina Central University School of Education)

Little is known about foster care adolescents’ readiness to engage in post-secondary education, their developmental needs during their college transition, and ways professionals can offer assistance (Unrau et al., 2012). A 10-week college and career readiness intervention program entitled, Students That Are Reaching Success (S.T.A.R.S.), was conducted for a study that addressed individual participants’ college and career readiness self-efficacy. S.T.A.R.S. was designed to prepare participants for post-secondary education options and career decision-making post-high school. The results of this study and its implications for both counseling and higher education professionals and researchers working with adolescents aging-out of foster care will be shared.

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