Wednesday, July 21 / 11:00a - 12:30p

Children's Experiences in Families Affected by Domestic Violence  

Workshop Number: A-1

Description: Discover the roller coaster journey that foster parents take and why your expertise is just what they need.  In this interactive workshop, you will hear confessions from parents about how fostering impacts their marriages and learn three specific ways you can support foster families in your community.

Presenter: Lupe Valdez, South Texas Family Connections 


Strengthening Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Families

Workshop Number: A-2

Description: There is a unique and growing population of families among us. They are foster, adoptive, and kinship families. People who have opened their homes to children and youth who come from difficult  backgrounds. The needs of these families are distinct and require specialized consideration and resources. This workshop provides a proven and effective model of serving this population. Strengths-based curriculum coupled with a well thought out delivery method will be explained.

Presenter: Kristin Orphan, Family Wellness Associates


Keeping the Puzzle Together: Strengthening Relationships while Parenting a Child with Special Needs

Workshop Number: A-3

Description: While marital stress can have serious health consequences for each partner, as well as their marriage, the negative impact on children is rarely fully appreciated. Because of the impact of health relationships on child well-being and the special stressors couples with a child with special need face, this presentation will offer strategies to improve parenting relationships and the many challenges that may arise. We will introduce the work of Champions for Children and how, through the Positive Parenting Program (P3), we are helping families with special needs to strengthen their relationships and increase their knowledge and skills when parenting a child with special needs, while also empowering these families to live happier, healthier lives. Specifically, this presentation will focus on how P3 provides services to families and the impact our services have on individual and relationship well-being. 

Presenter: Oscar Figueroa and Mickia Freeman, Champions for Children 


Motion Matters 

Workshop Number: A-4

Description: Moving is Learning: Incorporating movement into workshops to increase retainment of information, and strengthen participation.

Presenter: Christina Jewett, MSW, AVANCE-Houston 


Is Masculinity Really Toxic?

Workshop Number: A-5

Description: The public image of manhood has really taken it on the chin the last couple of years. But is this image created by many in Hollywood, social commentators and journalists accurate? Glenn T. Stanton will explain through a unique look at sociology and anthropology how masculinity, in its true sense, is not toxic but rather an essential social, familial and marital virtue.

Presenter: Glenn Stanton, Focus on the Family 


We've Got to Start with the Kids! (Part 1 - Theory)

Workshop Number: A-6

Description: Most adolescents are preoccupied with relationships and romance, friendships, crushes, dating, sex, jealousy, and heartbreak. Join this workshop to learn what teens aspire to, how their love lives are not neutral, and how relationship education builds agency in their intimate lives. 

Presenter: Kay Reed, Dibble Institute and Alan Hawkins, Ph.D., Brigham Young University


Wednesday, July 21 / 1:45p - 3:15p

Recruitment and Retention of African American Couples 

Workshop Number: B-1

Description:  This workshop will discuss ways in which to recruit and retain African Americans in programming.

Presenter: Avis Files, Pathway Toledo 


Preparing for the "Inciting Incident": Forming and Norming Collaboration-Oriented Organizations 

Workshop Number: B-2

Description:  In this interactive workshop, participants will learn (from a conflict resolution practitioner and labor and employment attorney) how to 1) identify and recruit collaboration-oriented individuals, 2) create an environment conducive to healthy conflict, and 3) enhance their organization's capacity to move the mission from first generation to second generation and beyond.

Presenter: Robert and Peggy Pecchio, Operation Keepsake 


The Missing Link in Making Marriage Work

Workshop Number: B-3

Description: Marriage is the hardest thing we will ever do.  To quote David Schnarch, he states, "Marriage is a people growing machine."  And it is true.  If we want to grow up emotionally, marriage is one avenue orchestrated to do that.  What is it that keeps us from creating a space for us to both be able to step into that more mature person as opposed to the learned behavior patterns from our childhood in our family of origin.

Presenter: Carol Greenberg, New Life Counseling Center 


Linking Healthy Marriage Research and Practice: Emerging Priorities from the Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center

Workshop Number: B-4

Description: This workshop will introduce the work of the newly-created Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center (the MAST Center) and seek input from practitioners. The MAST Center serves as a nexus between a) research and evaluation on marriage and families in the United States and b) programmatic approaches to supporting healthy marriages and families. In this workshop, we will: 1) highlight findings from ongoing Center research, 2) identify new priorities and questions that have emerged from this work, and 3) connect with practitioners to get their feedback and input on these emerging questions. Specifically, we will highlight findings from a State of the Field research and evaluation synthesis, conducted over the past year. The workshop will provide the opportunity for Center researchers to highlight findings from this work and discuss implications for future research, HMRE practice, and evaluation. Small break out groups will then meet to discuss the relevance of these implications for HMRE programming, focusing on specific topics of interest to the MAST Center and ACF. 

Presenter: Mindy Scott, Ph.D., Child Trends 


Creating a Fun and Nurturing Professional Environment for Learning and Behavioral Change, The CLFC Way!

Workshop Number: B-5

Description: Come learn how the evidence-based Creating Lasting Family Connections (CLFC) Curriculum Series generates a nurturing atmosphere for participant learning that leads to positive behavioral change for participants. The CLFC Series includes the Original CLFC Program for youth and adults, the CLFC Marriage Enhancement Program for married or committed couples and the CLFC Fatherhood Program: Family Reunification for anyone (male or female) in a parental role who has experienced any form of emotional or physical separation. 

Presenter: Ted N. Stader and Christopher Kokoski, COPES, Inc.


We've Got to Start with the Kids! (Part 2 - Practice)

Workshop Number: B-6

Description: Success in youth relationship education requires a plan. Who do you serve? How do you find them or gain access? What do you teach to reach them? What funding? All great questions that we will address in this workshop.

Presenter: Kay Reed, Dibble Institute


Thursday, July 22 / 11:00a - 12:30p

Community Healing Community

Workshop Number: C-1

Description: The suffering that is not transformed gets transmitted. Based on two research based and trauma informed programs: Safe, Secure and Loved and Family Wellness, this workshop provides a model on how to strengthen our families and communities from the inside out. Key elements in wellbeing (healthy attachment, mindfulness, compassion, emotional presence) are learned and practiced by mothers of young children and the people who support them. Other benefits of the model: Community-led, promotes intergenerational healing, low-cost implementation, applicable to families from diverse backgrounds.

Presenter: Ana Morante, LMFT, CFLE, Family Wellness Associates


Skills and Drills: A Workshop for Marriage Educators, Mentors and Coaches

Workshop Number: C-2

Description: Marriage is the ultimate team sport! Help couples dominate the game by teaching core relationships skills through interactive drills.

Presenter: Leslie Griffin, Ph.D., CFLE, Marriage Champs


What about Sex? Are We Doing Enough in CRE?

Workshop Number: C-3

Description: The sexual relationship is a crucial component of couple romantic relationships. Does marriage enrichment education give this important dimension adequate attention? Many well-known programs do not have a direct focus on the couple sexual relationship. We will provide the findings of our survey of a sample of well-known marriage/couple enrichment curricula on how they do or do not give attention to the couple sexual relationship. In addition, we will explore possible reasons why many programs may not be giving direct attention to the sexual relationship. Finally, we will examine how the field could give more direct attention to the sexual relationship, making suggestions for crucial curriculum to include. 

Presenter: Alan Hawkins, Ph.D., and Tamara Hill, Brigham Young University 


The Modern PSA: How To Cultivate Stories That Address A Public Need

Workshop Number: C-4

Description: In the year 2020, developers of relationship educational content must understand that audiences (particularly millennials & younger) use social media content to make sense of their own worlds. With the increase of social media content, so too has audience skepticism, particularly towards educational content. How then do you develop a product that respects their individuality, their intelligence, and their potential? 
,Learn how to use edutainment to tell stories with multiple points of connection that will provide the service of education and hope. 

Presenter: Robyn Cenizal, National Resource Center for Healthy Marriages and Families, and Robert Salazar, Family Bridges


Working with Prisoners and their Families to Create Strong Family Bonds

Workshop Number: C-5

Description: Effective strategies to serve prisoners and their families in order to develop strong marriages and healthy parent child relationships. This workshop will equip participants to learn an effective model for successful family reunification and personal transformation. 

Presenter:  Ron and Catherine Tijerina, The RIDGE Project


Marriage Under Fire: Understanding and Helping the Marriages of First Responders

Workshop Number: C-6

Description: First responders carry unique challenges and stress in their line of work. This reality directly impacts marriage and family dynamics. In this workshop, we will explore the specific context of the first responders closest relationships and the best practices for marriage and family educators when seeking to help them.

Presenter:  David Mabry, One Another Relationships, Inc. 


Friday, July 23 / 9:00a - 10:30a

Getting to the Root Cause by Building Healthy Relationships

Workshop Number: D-1

Description: So many deleterious health outcomes are prevalent in the culture such as depression, substance use, crime, school shootings, drop out rates, vandalism, teen pregnancy just to name a few. This workshop will connect the dots regarding going upstream for primary prevention through building  healthy relationships and positive social supports and getting to the heart of the matter.

Presenter: Joneen Mackenzie, RN, The Center for Relationship Education


Relationship Satisfaction, Skills Acquisition, & Emotional Intelligence: An Exploratory Analysis of HMRE with Low-Income Couples 

Workshop Number: D-2

Description: Marriage and relationship education programs have demonstrated moderate positive effects in middle-class couples. There is limited research that focuses on MRE programs dedicated to low-income couples. Supporting Healthy Relationships (SHR) has provided services for low-income couples for 14 years. The program provides couples with relationship education, employment services, and family support services. SHR's recent local evaluation was an exploratory analysis regarding the association between HMRE services and the quality of relationships in low-income couples. This study used a within-group design to conduct an exploratory analysis to assess correlations and outcomes and to examine factors and sub-groups that may contribute to these results. 

Presenter: Traci Maynigo, Psy.D., Ed.M., Montefiore Medical Center, and Moshe Moeller, Ph.D., Montefiore Medical Center


Accomplishing Your Mission through Creative Collaborations in Your Community 

Workshop Number: D-3

Description: Discuss creative ways to increase participation in your program(s) through identifying and developing strategic community partnerships. We'll discuss ways to make community partnerships mutually beneficial increasing the likelihood of sustained relationships that outlasts changes in leadership.

Presenter: Reggie Madison, M. Div., and Gena Ellis, MS, First Things First 


Empowering Urban Youth For Healthy Relationships

Workshop Number: D-4

Description: Marginalized youth can move into healthy, purposeful adulthood when they grasp a vision for their lives and are equipped with life skills, communication tools, and developmentally-appropriate career exploration opportunities. In this workshop, Healthy Babies Project, Inc. (HBP) presents its working blueprint for life skills, relationship competencies, and job readiness education implemented successfully in the poorest neighborhoods of our nations capital for the last five years. HBP will (1) Give an overview of how we structure the life skills and job readiness intervention and develop a community partner referral funnel (2) Explain how staff and volunteer facilitators use an appropriate evidence-based intervention to operate a highly-engaging interactive program producing documented results in urban youth (3) Show how we have built strong, working relationships with 30+ community partners to provide social services and referrals as each youth needs.

Presenter: Jazmine Brazier and Christine Marhone, Healthy Babies Project 


How do I Father my Wife's Children?!?: Engaging Fathers by offering FREE Resources through the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

Workshop Number: D-5

Description: This interactive workshop will share resources available through the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse ( that can help support fathers in blended families.  Discord between parents and children, tension between ex-spouses, and a lack of extended family support are issues commonly experienced.  Encouraing fathers to be involved in the lives of children, biological or not, can help increase family stability.  This workshop will introduce interactive tips for encouraging health practices and strategies for fathers such as, practicing forgiveness and communication, pre-family counseling, and the importance of parenting coordination.

Presenter: James Worthy and Rush Bishop, The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse


Defining Your Marriage Brand

Workshop Number: D-6

Description: No two marriages are the same, and neither are the approaches to marital challenges. In order to define and identify solutions to specific marital concerns, couples must first become self-aware of their unique strengths and vulnerabilities. This workshop defines marriage as an authentic brand and demonstrates how tools such as the BRAND Assessment can help couples learn their specific intricacies in order to develop effective, proactive strategies for a healthy and successful union. 

Presenter: Melva Robertson, MAPW, The Write Media Group


Friday, July 23 / 11:00a - 12:30p

Pinocchios Nose: Truth or Fiction

Workshop Number: E-1

Description: Unlike in the fable Pinocchio, when our actions don't align with our beliefs or when we are dishonest our noses stay the same size.  When we are not acting with integrity the consequences may not be as obvious, but they can certainly be catastrophic, especially in our relationships.  In this workshop, participants will work through processes and learn tools for building and maintaining integrity-based relationships in all facets of their life.

Presenter: Lindsay Pyfer, Ascension, Inc. and Cameron Thompson, Ascension, Inc.


Preparing for an RCT Evaluation

Workshop Number: E-2

Description: Participants will learn hands on how to prepare for an RCT and what they are really about. The joys and pains of the RCT will be discussed.

Presenter: Avis Files, Pathway Toledo


Character Guide to Marriage Success

Workshop Number: E-3

Description:  Successful marriages rarely happen by accident. Most can be successful with intentional focus on vital factors affecting their connection and communications. Presenters have linked marriage and character research, as well as couple-coaching experience, to identify couple and character-based factors for success. Professionals working with couples can incorporate these into their work through the workshop learning and can augment their capability with an available assessment and educational materials.

Presenter: Susanne Alexander, Marriage Transformation, LLC, W. Grant Pierce IV, Pierce Group


One Heart, Two Homes: Co-parenting Tools for Working with Single Parents, Step Parents, Never Married Parents and Todays Complex Families

Workshop Number: E-4

Description: What do we do when traditional marriage isn't an option? In this workshop attendees will enjoy an overview of co-parenting ideas that help professionals navigate the lingo, the lifestyle and the logistics of raising children with divided parents and complex families. The workshop will include a very lively and interactive family sculpt as part of the presentation that identifies what competing attachments are for kids in divided families. 
 It is possible for children to THRIVE with one heart between two homes! Come learn how!

Presenter: Tammy and Jay Daughtry, MMFT's, Co-Parenting International 


Creating a Family Vision Tree

Workshop Number: E-5

Description: This interactive workshop is intended to help students or even engaged couples, to recognize that they have choices in building their future family; they don't have to repeat cycles of unhealthy behaviors, negativity, or abuse, there is hope, it IS possible to build a healthy family and it begins with a plan, a vision of what you're working towards. Participants will create their own healthy family vision tree in a small group.

Presenter: Amy Gilford, Marriage and Relationship Education Center 


Home Run Dads: Evidence Based Family and Parenting Programs

Workshop Number: E-6

Description: Learn how to facilitate the evidenced-based Home Run programs for entire families or just parents/dads. Both are fun and engaging with activities- developing a game plan for parenting goals, individual child stat sheets, family motto, family meetings plan.

Presenter: John Van Epp, Ph.D., Love Thinks