Annual Conference

Pre Conference Institute

Positive, Strength-Based Communicating with Supervised Visitation Clients


Wednesday, May 29, 2019. 9:00 AM- 12 Noon
Cost: $75


Strength-based practice is an emerging approach to guiding individuals that is extremely positive and inspiring.

This session will introduce a host of strength-based verbal interventions that will help supervised visitation providers to better connect with the parents and children they are supervising, and help foster positive relationships that lead to safer, less stressful visitations. Techniques include: Solution-focused questions; reframing, the use of inspirational metaphors, positive-predicting, humor, affect control, and core strength-based verbal interventions

"Charlie brings many years of experience, as well as an engaging, humorous, and practical style to his presentations. This past fall, he presented both the keynote and an all-day workshop at our annual conference. Participants gave him universally high marks on his insight and real-world advice, and I don't think it's overstating the case to say that all in attendance felt thoroughly engaged and energized for another year of caring for children. We would not hesitate to bring Charlie back, and cannot recommend him more highly."

"As a foster, adoptive, and biological parent myself, I can attest to the value of Charlie's strength-based approach, detailed in his book, "No Such Thing as a Bad Kid." It works - with real kids, and real parents, in real situations."

Larry Pilla, NH-FAPA (New Hampshire Foster and Adoptive Parent Association)


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.

Post Conference (Free)

Research, Neuroscience, and Brain Development: Everything we know about trauma and resilience, and why it matters in Supervised Visitation

Friday, May 31, 2019 2:00 PM- 4:00 PM
Cost: Free


Scientists have discovered that parts of the brain are negatively affected by toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences. This chemical response affects humans' executive management -the part that helps govern impulse control and emotional regulation, including anger management and decision-making. The groundbreaking ACE studies show that a significant proportion of the public has experienced traumatic events, and that exposure to multiple traumas in childhood can create such serious physical and emotional wounds that ACEs are considered a major underreported source of adult health problems.


Still, recovery and resilience are possible. Neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to heal from trauma, has emerged as an important area of scientific study. Scientists believe that the brain is adaptable; the same experiences that make us feel "safe, cared for, relaxed and loved" help heal the brain. In short, just as the brain can be harmed by negative experiences, so too can it be healed through positive experiences.


Come to this session to put together the pieces of the puzzle and leave with real tools to use at your program. Learn how supervised visitation can be trauma-informed and can help build resilient families.

Karen Oehme, J.D. is a Distinguished University Scholar and the Director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies at the Florida State University College of Social Work. She develops national training programs on domestic violence prevention, human trafficking, policing, and child welfare issues, in addition to directing the Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation. Oehme's research includes the role of trauma and resilience in individual and family functioning, and she is the director of the FSU Student Resilience Project, a unique initiative to help students heal after adversity. Her scholarly research has been published in journals including the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Family Court Review, and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, among others.