First National Safe & Together™ Symposium 2013


Register 5 people from your community and get the 6th conference registration free*

*Certain OVW grant programs have been approved to attend this conference (See below for details). 

You are invited to join us for a two-day symposium bringing together child welfare professionals, domestic violence advocates and their partners in a discussion about the intersection of child maltreatment and domestic violence. Using the Safe and Together™ model, with its emphasis on perpetrator behavior patterns as a framework, participants will work by individual discipline and collaboratively to enhance skills related to intervening to increase child and adult safety and well-being.  This symposium will include plenary sessions, skill building and discussion breakout sessions, and panel discussions.  

The symposium will give special emphasis to how the Safe and Together™ model can enhance collaboration in communities where co-located domestic violence advocates or specialists work inside child welfare agencies. The conference will offer networking opportunities with colleagues across the country. (Preconference welcome reception the evening of Wednesday May 8th included with conference registration.)  Objectives: As a result of this training, participants will better be able to:

  1. Articulate the Safe and Together™ model principles and components as they apply to their roles and responsibilities
  2. Describe how to use the model to improve collaboration around adult and child safety as well as perpetrator accountability and change
  3. Apply the Safe and Together™ model to enhance their advocacy for survivors and their children involved with the child welfare system (advocates)
  4. Partner with domestic violence survivors around the safety and well-being of their children (child welfare)
  5. Identify how juvenile/dependency court proceedings (e.g., abuse and neglect adjudications, evaluations, reasonable efforts, etc.) could effectively lead toward child safety and well-being 


May 8, 2013

4:00-6:00 Registration

 5:00- 8:00 Networking Reception

May 9, 2013

7:00- 9:00 Registration

8:30-9:00 Breakfast

9:00-9:15 Welcome

9:15-10:15 Plenary: The Safe and Together™ Model

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Plenary: The Safe and Together Model: Collaboration to Improve Outcomes for Children Exposed to Perpetrators’ Behaviors

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:30 Breakout Sessions

Session 1:

Domestic Violence Advocates: Using the Safe and Together Model to Enhance Advocacy with Child-Welfare Involved Clients.

This session will provide advocates and domestic violence service providers with a framework for focusing of the behavioral choices of perpetrators to guide work with survivors and advocacy on behalf of survivors within the child welfare systems. Advocates, domestic violence service providers, shelter staff, domestic violence counselors, and administration of domestic violence agencies are encouraged to attend.

Session 2:

What Does it Mean for Child Welfare to Practice from the Perspective of Perpetrator Accountability and Intervention?

This session will provide child welfare workers, supervisors, administrators and others within the child welfare system with a framework for how to keep children safe and well through focusing on perpetrators of domestic violence. This session will provide skill-based training and information on how intervening with perpetrators meets the mission of child welfare work and keeps families safer.

Session 3:

Intervening with Domestic Violence Perpetrators: How Focusing on Perpetrators Improves Community-Wide Practice for Families.

This session is designed for mental health and substance abuse providers, guardians ad litem, attorneys, probation officers, law enforcement, batterer intervention providers and others who have various roles within a community to improve outcomes for child and adult survivors by focusing on perpetrators of domestic violence. This session will provide skill-based training and discussion of practices that support the needs of families from various angles.

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:45 Breakout Sessions

Session 4:

Partnership with Domestic Violence Survivors: Critical to Helping Children Heal, Building Collaborative Relationships and to Supporting the Mission of Child Welfare

This session is open to any participant. Facilitators and participants will discuss strategies for partnership between agencies and domestic violence survivors. There will be a strong focus on how these partnerships supports the needs of children, maintains a meaningful focus on child safety and wellbeing, and aids in collaboration.

Session 5:

Using the Safe and Together Model to Enhance Collaboration: A Case Study Discussion

Using their knowledge and expertise from their own disciplines, participants will discuss a case study. Using the Safe and Together™ model, participants will have an opportunity to see how the “critical components” guide case practice and develop a shared language for communities to discuss strategies for addressing the needs of families experiencing domestic violence.

Session 6:

How do Domestic Violence Services and Advocates Help Children?: Closing the Gap in Understanding the Importance of Domestic Violence Services for Children

Participants will explore the importance of domestic violence services and advocacy for children. Advocates who attend this session will discuss ways to enhance practice and clearly communicate the significance of their services, particularly the ones offered to adult survivors, to the safety and well being of children. Child welfare professionals who attend this session will discuss ways to more meaningfully work with advocacy agencies to support the healing and safety needs of children.

3:45-4:00 Closing

4:00-6:00 Networking Event 


May 10, 2013

8:30-9:00 Breakfast

9:00-10:00 Panel Discussion: Using the Safe and Together Model: Experiences of Successful Collaborations and Implementation

10:00-10:45 Breakout Sessions

Session 7:

What are the Skills at which Advocates are Expert that Child Welfare Needs

This session is designed for advocates only. This session will support advocates in identifying strategies for using their unique skills to support collaboration, aid child welfare and child welfare-involved clients alike, and ways to articulate advocates’ strengths and skills to community partners. Using advocates’ expertise as foundation, child welfare training and case consultation strategies will be explored.

Session 8:

Using the Safe and Together Model to Guide and Enhance Policy Related to Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment

This session is open to any discipline and will provide guidance on addressing child welfare, domestic violence agency and juvenile court/guardian ad litem policies. This session will provide discussion on how to use the Safe and Together™ model components and principles to look at existing and future policies to maintain child and adult survivor safety and perpetrator intervention.

Session 9:

Addressing the Perpetrator as Parent: A Cross-System Examination of Gaps and Interventions

Participants will examine how services and interventions, across systems, do or do not hold perpetrators to high parenting standards and expectations.  Each discipline will have an opportunity to address their practices related to perpetrating parents and the children they harm. 

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Veil of Ignorance Activity

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:15 Plenary: Using the Safe and Together Model to Create a “Domestic Violence Informed” Response to Child Safety and Wellbeing

2:15-2:30 Break

2:30-3:45 Plenary: Action Planning Steps Related to Implementing and Using the Safe and Together Model

3:45-4:00 Closing

Panel Speakers

Shelby Borchers

Shelby Borchers is a licensed social worker in the state of Ohio and has over 20 years experience in working in the domestic violence field.  Shelby has spent the last 18 years working for Artemis Center, a non-shelter Domestic Violence resource agency, as a co-located victim advocate within Montgomery County Children Services. Prior to that she worked as a General Advocate at Artemis Center and as the Domestic Violence Specialist at the YWCA Shelter.  Most recently Shelby has become a certified Safe and Together trainer for the state of Ohio.

Lesley Keown

Lesley has nearly 28 years of social work experience in direct Child Welfare practice and Mental Health/ Education Services to children and families. She is actively involved in program development at her agency and in the community to improve safety and well being out comes for families involved with the child welfare system. It is through her co-leadership of the county’s implementation of the Alternative Response that she began her involvement with The Safe and Together Model.  She coordinated extensive training for her agency and has continued this commitment to best practice by working to become a certified trainer.

Tamika Thurston

Tamika Thurston is a Wheeler Clinic Domestic Violence Consultant for the Department of Children & Families Manchester Area Office of Connecticut.  Working in this role for the past 3 ½ years, Tamika provides expert case specific consultation and training on an array of domestic violence issues that include initial screening, safety strategies for helping adult and child victims of domestic violence, intervening with perpetrators and collaborating with community providers.  In addition, Tamika has worked with DMA as a per diem National Trainer, providing training to various child welfare agencies and their partners.  She also facilitates batterers groups as well as co-parenting groups for parents who are divorcing. Tamika has previous work with the Network Against Domestic Abuse of Enfield (CT) where she was the Children’s Program Manager, providing counseling and support to mother and child(ren) victims of domestic violence.  She was also a Family Violence Victim Advocate for the Interval House of Hartford (CT).  It was in this role that Tamika worked extensively with criminal and family courts, providing advocacy and helping to shape these systems’ responses to domestic violence, including judges, prosecutors, GALs, probation officers and family court workers.  She worked extensively to help build legislation around immigration and undocumented victims of domestic violence and participated in the Connecticut Task Force on Immigration and Domestic Violence.  She continues to serve on various task forces and collaboratives related to systems’ responses to domestic violence. In her personal time, Tamika is very committed to her community.  She is the Youth Ministry Leader for Liberty Christian Center, Int’l where she leads teens and young adults in self awareness, community responsibility and volunteerism.  She is also a board member of TLC, Inc., a respite living center for at risk youth.

Donna Bushur

Donna Bushur is the Associate Director of the Resource Development Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. Her varied career includes child protection service delivery, program administration, system reform, program and organizational design, project coordination, grant writing, training program management, and the management of multi-disciplinary work teams.  Currently Donna supervises a team of researchers providing community leadership in research, evaluation, community development, and consultation services to improve the quality of lives of vulnerable populations. For over 11 years Donna guided the initiatives developed by the Jackson County Safe Family Coalition, a public and private agency collective focused on reducing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. Bushur began her involvement with the Safe Family Coalition as the Project Direct for the Heart of America United Way Safe Kids Safe Streets -KIDSAFE federal initiative. She has coordinated multiple professional development and technical assistance events, a county level safety and risk assessment, and the implementation of several best practice models including the Safe & Together Model and the Lethality Assessment Protocol for First Responders. Donna has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri Kansas City. She sits on the Missouri State Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board, United Way of Greater Kansas City Health Impact Council, and the Jackson County Community Quality Assurance Committee.  In the past, she has held positions on the Board of the Greater Kansas City Council on Philanthropy, Kansas City Missouri Safe City Initiative, Kansas City Weed and Seed Advisory Board, Missouri Probation and Parole Project Connect, and St. Teresa’s Academy.

Select your currency
USDUnited States (US) dollar