Annual Conference Speakers and Workshops

Did you miss this Conference?  Purchase all of the session recordings for only $99 HERE


Plenary Speakers

"How the Science of Relationships and the Brain Can Inform Supervised Visitation"

Dr. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, which teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities. Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both the professional and lay audiences. His five New York Times bestsellers are: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D: The Whole-Brain Child, and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, and also with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. - The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up (released January 2020). Dr. Siegel also serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which contains over seventy textbooks.


Pre Conference Plenary Session

Youth care specialist Charlie Appelstein, M.S.W., President of Appelstein Training Resources, LLC (ATR) provides expert strength-based training, consultation, publications, CDs, and DVDs for individuals and groups who work with children and youth experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges.

Described as "the best youth care trainer in America" by Robert Lieberman, former president of the American Association of Children's Residential Centers, Charlie has devoted his entire adult career to helping children and youth struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges and those who guide them. An engaging, informative, and humorous speaker, Charlie is the author of three critically acclaimed books on youth care and the creator of two innovative CDs that helps kids and parents make better choices and lead happier lives. Charlie's strength-based approach delivers a message of hope and possibility to our most vulnerable youth and those who shape and influence their lives.


Virtual Visits in the Pandemic

When the Governor of Florida issued a Safer at Home order, Florida's supervised visitation programs shifted immediately to virtual visits. Find out how that happened, what important lessons were learned, and what new recommendations have come out of the experience for disaster planning. Get ready for scenarios that will surprise you even if you've been working in SV for decades. It's a brave new world, friends, and we have to be ready for it.

Karen Oehme, J.D. is the director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies at Florida State University. An FSU Distinguished University Scholar, Karen's research includes trauma, resilience, child welfare, family violence across the lifespan, and vulnerable populations. Her research has been published in many journals, including Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Innovative Higher Education, Stanford Policy Review, and Family Court Review. She runs the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation, and has been a member of SVN since 1996.


Changing the Lens: A clinician’s journey in becoming culturally responsive.

The building of relationships and making connections is the first step in supporting and guiding others seeking help. In so, being a culturally responsive clinician is imperative in preforming meaningful work, especially with people of color. Cultural responsiveness is a call to action to meet the clients, "where they are and from their perspective." It is not enough to be culturally aware, culturally sensitive, or to have cultural humility. In striving to allow participants to have their own narrative lead the process, it is important for the clinician to respond to the client's needs while attending to the client's individual self.  

Dacia Thompson, (she/her) has worked as a licensed social worker for over 15 years.  She graduated from Amherst College in 2000 with a BA in Psychology.  She is currently earning a MSW from Simmons University and will graduate in 2021 with certifications in SIMPACT and Urban Leadership.  In the beginning of her journey, Dacia mentored and supported young adults in social justice action planning as well as learning about and understanding racialized issues.  For almost ten years, Dacia worked with families within the Massachusetts State Child Protective agency.  In that time, Dacia advocated for all individuals to be able to tell their stories from their perspectives rather than have societal labels define their futures.  For the last four years, Dacia has trained and built social justice curriculum for young adults, undergraduate and graduate level students, and working parents. Dacia is currently the Assistant Director of Children’s Services of Roxbury Family Visitation Program, she sits on the Board of Trustees of Cambridge Montessori School, is the co-chair for the Massachusetts Coalition of Supervised Visitation, and Founder and lead facilitator of Truss Training Institute LLC.  Dacia takes a personal approach to the content and is a living testimony, as a Black female, regarding cultural responsiveness and changing the lens, creating a more humane perspective and way of working with people and families of color.


Kira Riley (they/them) graduated in 2019 from Simmons University with a Bachelor’s of Social Work. Kira joined the CSR Visitation Program almost two years ago, and draws from their experience in disability justice, LGBTQIA+ advocacy, and family housing work. Kira recently became a facilitator to integrate such skills with their belief that dynamic and justice-oriented trainings have the potential to expand the imagination, inspire collective action, and build an equitable future.


Hello / Goodbye: Managing difficult transitions in Visitation

Let's face it; the process of family visitation can be stressful for everyone. The beginning and end of visits is often the place where emotions run highest. We seldom know going into a visit what a parent or child has experienced that may trigger an emotional response, nor do we know what they may be feeling about the visit itself. Guilt, shame, uncertainty, loss of control, and anger are just a few of the emotions that we must deal with as we begin a visit. Though we have limited control over the existence of these emotions, visits are an opportunity to help families anticipate and develop strategies to manage their emotions during visits. By doing so, families are better equipped to utilize their time together in the best way possible. 

 In this session, you will learn what makes starting and ending visits so challenging. We will discuss trauma triggers that can send visits into a tailspin, and how to help parents anticipate and deal with them. Finally, we will consider how to partner with parents to make transitions smooth and less traumatic for the child. The way in which a parent engages a child at the beginning and end of a visit can set the template for not only that day, but for future visits as well. 

Rodney D. Little, MHDL, Clinical Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work has worked in the field of social work and child welfare for 29 years. Having served as a frontline social worker, manager, and faculty/curriculum developer, trainer, and lecturer, he has seen the issues of social work from many perspectives. Having particular interest in the areas of parent child visitation, child sexual abuse, grief, and substance use, he combines his experience with research to produce workshops that are conversational, yet provide a strong framework in best practice.


Domestic Violence & Technology-Enabled Abuse

Abuse has gone digital. This statement is particularly relevant in the field of domestic violence, with the National Network to End Domestic Violence reporting a 146% increase in digital abuse calls in the last 2 years. Given the ubiquity of technology in our lives, we expect this statistic to continue to rise. For those working with domestic violence survivors and their children, it is now critical that we be able to interact with and understand how certain technologies are misused to do harm.

Adam Dodge's work is characterized by his dedication to addressing the existing and future threats posed by technology to victims of crime and abuse. Toward that end, he has written extensively on technology-enabled abuse, non-consensual intimate imagery, co-authored a domestic violence advisory on the emerging threat of deepfakes and his work in the field of digital impersonation has been featured in the Washington Post and Mashable. As the founder of EndTAB (Ending Technology-Enabled Abuse), Adam spends a great deal of his time delivering innovative technology-enabled abuse trainings to victim-serving organizations around the world. As the former Legal & Technology Director of Lauras House, Adam led a department that processed over 1,200 domestic violence restraining order cases annually. Dedicated to advancing impact legislation and public policy, he sits on the Policy Advisory Council for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. He co-authored The Empowered Womans Guide to Divorce and has contributed to features in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, SELF Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Gizmodo and others. He also writes for the Huffington Post and his television appearances include Dr. Phil. A frequent speaker and lecturer at universities and national conferences, Adam earned his B.A. from UC Santa Barbara and his J.D. by way of McGeorge School of Law and Hastings College of the Law.


Mindfulness of Self Care

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce Mindfulness as a component of Professional Self-Care as we go about our work serving individuals, families, organizations and communities. With compassion, service providers assist in the facilitation of bridging connections to appropriate resources while recognizing the importance of collaborating and partnering with the families served. The main points in the workshop presentation will examine secondary traumatic stress and how to alleviate the secondary impacts to service providers by finding a healthy and balanced working relationship with those served. We will introduce Mindfulness as a process that is intentional, purposeful and centers on being present in the moment. Professional and personal self-care as well as organizational self-care will be examined, thereby allowing participants to draft their own self-care plan as one of the meaningful takeaways from participating in this workshop. The workshop will discuss the elements of modern life vs. mindfulness and how this drives our decision making capacity that critically examines outcomes for families served. Mindfulness "Charts our Course" while we journey toward self-care and continue to serve families with compassion, empathy and in a non-judgmental manner that places emphasis on and appreciates the importance of client self-determination and capacity building.

Caroline Dailey is an enrolled tribal member of the Pueblo of Isleta and is the Program Director for the Pueblo of Isleta Social Services where the primary area of service delivery is in child and adult protection, domestic violence prevention and supervised visitation and safe exchange services. Ms. Dailey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is also an Adjunct Instructor with New Mexico State University and New Mexico Highlands University Schools of Social Work. Reyes Abeita is an enrolled tribal member with the Pueblo of Isleta in New Mexico. She has been employed with the Pueblo for a number of years and recently was selected and transferred to the position of Project Coordinator for the Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Program. She is also a certified parenting trainer in the Circle of Security Parenting Curriculum and maintains a caseload of parenting participants. She has been involved in a number of awareness raising activities and campaigns throughout the course of several years in the area of domestic violence prevention and child abuse/neglect prevention.


Productive Venting

I need to vent is an expression often heard. With the understanding of how difficult our work can be, this training will explore the difference between toxic venting and productive venting. This session is highly interactive, with ample opportunity for discussion with fellow attendees, where you will experience different scenarios, role play interactions, and leave with concrete skills and new ideas to take back to your day to day work.

Emilyn Haugen has worked in the supervised visitation field since 2004, starting out her career as a monitor of supervised parenting times and then as the Director of Someplace Safe Parenting Time Centers. Emilyn has extensive knowledge in respectfully working with families going through a turbulent time in their lives. Emilyn serves as Secretary and Vice President of the Minnesota Supervised Visitation Networking Group. Emilyn enjoys teaching Parents Forever, a divorce education program mandated by the Minnesota judicial system. Emilyn is also passionate about affordable housing and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity since 2003, currently serving as Secretary of her Local Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. In her free time, Emilyn enjoys spending time with her two teenage children, hiking the beautiful hills of Minnesota, and working in her garden.


Nurturing Skills for Parents in Supervised Visitation

This session will be an overview of the Nurturing Parenting Skills for Families in Supervised Visitation curriculum, an innovative program designed to empower parents and parent educators in creating customized, competency based parenting programs to meet the specific needs of families. It consists of 45 lessons, each lasting between approximately 30 minutes that are intended to either precede a supervised visitation, or be incorporated into the visit. The lessons are taken from the evidenced-based Nurturing Parenting Programs for Parents and Their Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, and Parents and Their School Age Children. Based on the assessed needs of the family, parents and parent educators work together and select competency based lessons from the curriculum to form a parenting/visitation program that is customized to meet the specific needs of the families.

Attendees will know the underlying concepts of the NP programs

Attendees will understand how the research supports this work

Attendees will be able to determine the suitability of this program for their practice.

Joe Nullet, a graduate of Harvard University, has led the Supervised Visitation Network since December 2007. Before that he was the Executive Director of the Family Nurturing Center of Florida, a Supervised Visitation and Parent Education program in Jacksonville, Florida. During his tenure at FNC, he led the organization through an exciting growth period, helped reshape the organizational culture and design to better serve the needs of clients, and has served locally and nationally on numerous task forces, advisory boards, and collaborative partnerships as an expert in the field of supervised visitation and has trained providers in Great Britain, Japan, and Singapore. Joe also served on the statewide Committee that developed an innovative Supervised Visitation database and as a member of State of Florida Standards Committee that was formed as a result of legislation to establish statewide standards. Joe has completed Graduate Coursework at the Kennedy School of Government, a Nonprofit Executive Program at the Harvard Business School, as well as completing the Jessie Ball duPont Fund's Community Coaches Program.


Teen visits/Child Refusal/De-escalation techniques

Teenagers are a tough group to get involved in supervised visits with their parents. How to get the teenagers buying into the can work and be successful. Child refusal is a real problem in providing supervised and therapeutic supervised visits. Why do children refuse and how can we help support the children in understanding a safe and healthy relationship with their parent is important. De-escalation techniques...otherwise known as how to help all parties regulate. These techniques need to be taught at the beginning of Supervised Visits and Therapeutic Supervised Visits both to the parents (custodial, non-custodial and children) to avoid problems during the visits. A new proactive approach is to get all family members to the "visitation starting gate." The family court system is an adversarial system and how can the Supervised and Therapeutic Supervised Visit providers help families in their post divorce adjustment? We are here to help!


Carrie Short LCSW, BCD is a Licensed clinical social worker specializing in counseling and assessment for Attention Deficit Disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, grief, and infant mental health issues. Ms. Short provides individual, family, blended family, and co-parenting counseling utilizing a strength based approach. Ms. Short will accept parenting coordinator assignments from the court with prior agreement. Ms. Short also provides reconciliation counseling when ordered by the court. Ms. Short graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1984 with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. She is a certified divorce and family mediator and a diplomat in the American Psychology Academy for Psychotherapy. Ms. Short has completed postgraduate training in Family Systems Theory sponsored by the Georgetown School of Medicine, Georgetown University and specializes in the treatment of the family adjustment issues. She has testified as an expert witness in Tulsa, Creek, Rogers, and Ottawa Counties. As a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Oklahoma since 1987, Ms. Short is a board-approved supervisor, providing clinical supervision to candidates seeking licensure and has served as an assistant clinical professor for the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work.



 Highlights from the 2018 SVN Annual Conference