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An Unforgettable Experience

This was my first year attending the Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) Conference and it was truly an unforgettable experience. The wealth of information in each conference was something that I could tap into multiple times, yielding different and better results for me in my role as a supervisor. Having the opportunity to sit amongst like minds across the 50 states was refreshing in and of itself and afforded me the opportunity to engage with other agencies, glean from them and learn about their structures and how they’re moving forward in treatment foster care. It was good to hear of some similar struggles and successes amongst the many agencies.

All of the workshops I attended were mainly focused on program development, leadership and capacity building. The workshop that had the most profound impact on me was “Trauma-informed Supervision: Use of Reflective Practice Approaches in Treatment Foster Care.” The major points of this workshop, was understanding my supervision style by using self assessment tools and to intentionally practice those tools in my role as a leader, situational leadership which teaches leaders to use four skills with their team members: directing, coaching, support and delegating. Those tools are effective measures to help you gauge the needs of your staff in a way that cultivates a high level of productivity through two-way communication and socio-emotional support.

These tools were extremely useful for me because each time a request is given to a team member I am forced to self reflect to ensure my directives were respectful, responsive and clear. This information was also great in helping me understand, if I am under supervising, if I am cultivating fear in my staff and how fear shuts off the brain and reduces productivity, or if I’m encouraging when mistakes are made and reframing those mistakes are opportunities. In sum, the conference was wonderful, the information was priceless and time well spent.

I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity and I truly hope next year other members of my team can participate.

Special thanks to Community Connections, the Mental Health Trust and the Division of Behavioral Health who made $10,000 available for agencies to send staff to this conference!

The Family Focused Treatment Association was established in 1988 to develop, promote, and support Treatment Foster Care. Since that time, FFTA has grown to become the only national, non-profit association that represents treatment foster care programs across North America. FFTA’s mission is to strengthen agencies that support families caring for vulnerable children.
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For more information about AK Child & Family's Treatment Foster Care program, click here: