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2021 PCCYFS Annual Conference

A Year of Resilience

September 29 & 30

The Conference

PCCYFS is excited to present an IN-PERSON conference for 2021!

The theme, “A Year of Resilience,” is one in which everyone can relate following the challenges of the pandemic. As we collectively look forward, we can be assured that we have grown stronger together as a result of those struggles.

The PCCYFS 2021 Conference includes two dynamic keynote speakers and 24 educational sessions on industry-relevant topics, including workforce development, research, LGBTQ issues, trauma-informed care, addiction issues, leadership, technology and more. We think you will find the well-crafted presentations useful and thought provoking.

Networking activities are available throughout the event as are opportunities to engage with our exhibitors.

The Venue

This year’s conference will again be held at the Best Western Premier located at 800 E. Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111. If you would like to make reservations online, you can do so right here.

If you’d prefer to make reservations over the phone, you may call 717-561-2800, choose option #4 and then option #1. Remember to ask for the PCCYFS discounted group rate!

Annual Business Meeting Notice

Don’t miss our Annual Business Meeting during lunch, Thursday, September 30 at noon.

Lark Eshleman, Ph.D.


Lark Eshleman came to her career in child healing through her own childhood family experiences, by parenting her own children, through her work as a children’s librarian, elementary school principal, school psychologist, and then dramatically through her overseas volunteer work with children traumatized in the war in the Balkans after their wars of independence from 1991 – 1995.

Lark is an author, therapist and educator whose expertise is working with children and teens who have experienced early emotional trauma, attachment difficulties, neglect and abuse. She is Board Certified in Domestic Violence by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and is the creator of STAT™, Synergistic Trauma and Attachment Therapy



For more than 25 years, Ron L. James was in and out of prison because of choices. While in prison, he met a man who encouraged him to write his story. As he wrote, he realized he did not like the man he had become. It was then that he began intentionally making different choices.

In May of 2012, Ron was released from prison and has been a productive member of society ever since. He has been drug and alcohol-free for over fifteen years. He is passionate about helping others understand that they can avoid the mistakes he made. As a result of this passion, he now shares his message across the country as a Keynote speaker. His message about CHOICES continues to influence and inspire students, professionals and fellow entrepreneurs to “make their next choice their best choice.”

September 29

Session 1

Trauma Lens Paradigm Shift – 4 Questions, 1.5 CEUs

Faye Hall & Jeff Merkert

Jeff and Faye partnered in 2000 and journeyed through mental health together being trained in models such as Theraplay, EMDR, DDP, Love and Logic, Circle of Security, etc. Through strong advocacy and collaboration with Rachel Kuhr at Jewish Family Service of Greater Harrisburg, Faye and Jeff began Healing Hearts: Attachment and trauma resolution family-based program in 2010. In 2019, they created Trauma Intensive Focused Family Support Service at Pa Child.  In 2021, Faye and Jeff became independent consultants for agencies and parents on early trauma and attachment. 

Their book Healing Traumatized Children was published October 2015. They facilitate a monthly support group for foster and adoptive parents in Marietta, Pa. and frequently train parents and professionals in early trauma and attachment disruptions.

FTC & FGDM: Partners in Recovery – 1.5 CEU’s

Carla Clark & Leslie Ward

Carla Clark is currently the FGDM supervisor at the Northumberland County Children and Youth Services. Carla has been employed by Northumberland County Children and Youth Services since May 1991.  Carla has worked in the permanency department as an adoption worker and termination specialist.  She has been the FGDM Supervisor since August 2011.  She currently serves on the FGDM Statewide Leadership Team. Carla graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare.  

Leslie Ward is currently the Director of Social Services over in-home services and Family Treatment Court at Northumberland County Children and Youth Services.  She had been the Family Treatment Court Supervisor from 2018 – 2020.  Prior to that she was in the General Protective Services Unit as a caseworker from 2014 – 2018.  Previous employment included a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at White Deer Run. Leslie graduated from Mansfield University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and in 2019 she graduated from Marywood University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Carla Clark is currently the FGDM supervisor at the Northumberland County Children and Youth Services.  

Carla has been employed by Northumberland County Children and Youth Services since May 1991.  Carla has worked in the permanency department as an adoption worker and termination specialist.  She has been the FGDM Supervisor since August 2011.  She currently serves on the FGDM Statewide Leadership Team.  

Carla graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare.  Leslie Ward is currently the Director of Social Services over in-home services and Family Treatment Court at Northumberland County Children and Youth Services. She had been the Family Treatment Court Supervisor from 2018 – 2020.  Prior to that she was in the General Protective Services Unit as a caseworker from 2014 – 2018.  Previous employment included a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at White Deer Run.  

Leslie graduated from Mansfield University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and in 2019 she graduated from Marywood University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work.

Improving Youth Outcomes Through Machine Learning

Shawn Peck

Shawn Peck is Vice President of Adelphoi Innovative Solutions.
Shawn was previously the SPEP™ Project Manager for the Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support (EPIS) at Penn State University where he oversaw the statewide implementation of the SPEP™. In this role, he assisted service providers and juvenile probation departments to apply research findings and improve data driven decision making. Prior to EPIS, he spent ten years as a service provider and held various leadership positions. Shawn holds a Master of Public Administration from Penn State University.

What Does the Future Hold for Behavioral Health Services?

Joan Erney

Joan Erney recently retired after over 35 years in the public behavioral health system. Starting her career as a direct services worker in crisis intervention services in Dauphin County, she was most recently the Chief Executive Officer at Community Behavioral Health, Philadelphia’s administrative management organization for the Health Choices behavioral health Medicaid program. During her tenure Philadelphia saw the expansion of Medicaid to over 700,000 Philadelphians. Joan was noted for developing a collaborative approach with providers, members, advocates and system partners to effect positive change to the Philadelphia behavioral health landscape. 

Under her tenure, CBH received National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) full accreditation status and launched numerous successful initiatives to improve access to and the quality of children’s services, including psychiatric residential treatment services. CBH also developed innovative approaches to address the opioid epidemic, support individuals on the Autism spectrum, and redesign day services for persons with serious mental illness.  Pay for Performance, enhanced use and payment for evidenced based practices and the development of value- based payment models were further developed and used to impact the quality of service delivery.   

Prior to her role at CBH, Joan was in senior leadership roles at SAMHSA and Community Care Behavioral Health and was the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Use Services (OMHSAS) under the Rendell administration. In her state role, Joan closed three state hospitals, expanded the HealthChoices behavioral health system statewide; created a criminal justice initiative; saw the development and impact of peer services, created a robust advisory structure, and made numerous policy and program changes to enhance the services for children and their families with behavioral health challenges. Her prior experience also includes policy and legislative work with the PA Community Providers Association (now RCPA) and CEO of Community Behavioral Health Network of PA (now Perform Care). 

Post retirement, Joan has been consulting with PCCYFS to work with providers to expand and enhance behavioral health treatment services.  Joan has also consulted with the Disability Rights Network, is a member of the Spyglass Solutions Team, and currently serves as the VP of the CASA statewide organization. Joan is a graduate of Penn State University and received her JD from Widener School of Law.

Session 2

Best Practices to Avoid Abuse Incidents at a Provider Agency

Lisa Bellis

Ms. Bellis currently serves as the Senior Vice President in charge of Risk Management and Loss Control Services at Brown & Brown of Lehigh Valley.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Albright College in Business Administration and will complete her graduate degree from Moravian College in December.  Lisa is also currently pursuing her CPCU (Chartered Property/Casualty Underwriter) designation.  This past July, she was inducted as a Certified Praesidium Guardian, where she launched her idea for the RAAMP it Up™ Abuse Prevention Program as part of her Impact Project.  Lisa has served in the Commercial Property/Casualty insurance industry for over 32 years.  

Equine Assisted Therapy: Building an Innovative Practice

Heather Girvin, Ph.D., M.S.S. 

I am a lifelong horsewoman, academic, and social service professional and Founder of Lone Oak. I work to build community wellness by offering equine-assisted therapeutic and developmental programming.

I am currently an associate professor at Millersville University, earning my Doctorate from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research.  My practice experience centers on children and families, primarily in child protective services and foster care.  I have also worked in residential programs, public child welfare agencies, provided in-home services, and worked as an outpatient therapist. My research interests include trauma, social justice, and alternative interventions that are accessible, individualized, and effective.

Abigail Wilson, LSW, MSW

I am a Licensed Social Worker in Pennsylvania working towards a Doctor of Social Work degree at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. I received my Master of Social Work degree in 2016 with a Specialization in Child Welfare and Child Well-being from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. Before that I graduated from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania with my Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 2014. I currently work at the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services as the Manager of Children’s Policies and Programs.

Sarah Primak, LCSW, MSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lancaster County.  I have worked with various populations across all age groups to address complex social and mental health needs.  I received my MSW at Millersville University in 2011 and continue to adjunct for their School of Social Work periodically.  While social work is one of my greatest passions, being a mother is what makes me happiest.  My husband and I are currently certified foster parents and continue to work with a local agency to open our hearts and home to children who need it the most.  I believe in the powerful impacts of relationships with horses and am looking forward to sharing these experiences with others.

Katie Linebarger, LPC 

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and received a Master’s in Counseling from Messiah University (formerly Messiah College) in 2018, with an emphasis in School Counseling and Mental Health. I am also a National Certified Counselor (NCC). In the daytime I work as a School Counselor in alternative education. 

I have worked with children in the school setting since 2013 and spent several years as a Behavior Support Specialist for adults with Dual Diagnoses. My experience in the field of mental health has taken me on quite a journey. I have worked with children who are behaviorally and intellectually challenged and adults with an intellectual disability, suffering from various mental health concerns and trauma. I am trained to perform sexuality assessments for those with an intellectual disability and have spent a good portion of my time educating adults on “what makes a healthy relationship” and how to navigate through the day-to-day life in a relationship.

Lindsay Kelly, LSW, MSW

I am an LSW working full-time as a Therapist at a behavioral health hospital in Lebanon County. I earned my MSW from West Chester University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware. My professional experience includes working with children, adolescents, and adults with a trauma-informed approach. I have specialized training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). I also have several years of experience working with clients of varying levels of functioning on the Autism spectrum. I enjoy spending my free time knitting and crocheting fabric crafts. I enjoy being at the barn to spend time with a community that enjoys the horses and helping others in the community grow and learn.

Engaging Your Community Through Social Media Strategies

Emily Ferguson

Emily Ferguson is a Staffing Specialist with Sarah Reed Children’s Center in Erie, Pa.  She actively recruits candidates and assists in the onboarding and orientation of new hires.  Emily coordinates the employee rewards program and run the social media accounts for the agency.  Utilizing her art background, Emily creatively generates different ways to recruit new talent for Sarah Reed through advertisements, job fairs, and building connections within the Erie community.  She began her career with Sarah Reed Children’s Center as a Clinical Care Staff in the Residential Treatment program.  Emily received her BA in Dance Performance and is currently working toward her Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Mercyhurst University.

9 Transformational Competencies Needed by Today’s Nonprofit Leaders

Dennis Miller

Dennis C. Miller, the Founder and Chairman of DCM Associates, Inc., is a nationally recognized expert in nonprofit leadership executive search, strategic planning and board and leadership performance coaching with more than thirty-five years of experience working with nonprofit board leadership and chief executives across the country. Dennis is also a successful author of five books and over 100 articles. 

Dennis is also an expert in board governance, leadership development, philanthropy and succession planning. In addition, he is a sought-after motivational speaker, retreat facilitator and leadership performance coach. Dennis’ experience working with hundreds of nonprofit organizations has provided him with the knowledge and insights to understand the competencies required of today’s nonprofit leadership. 

Dennis has served in a leadership role on numerous national, state and regional nonprofit boards and business and trade associations. Passionate about leadership and governance, Dennis was the Founder of the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy at Fairleigh Dickinson University and served as their Executive Director from 2012-2016. 

DCM Associates Inc. was founded in 2005 and is one of the most recognized national executive search firms for nonprofit leadership and the Center for Nonprofit Leadership & Board Performance

Session 3

An Appreciative Approach to Staff Retention

Stacy Taylor

Stacy Mae Taylor is an Ed.D. candidate at Concordia University Chicago. She is also the Vice President of Education at Hoffman Homes for Youth, serving as Director of Hoffman Academy. Her passion and work are focused on organizational leadership and transformation, promoting a work culture of person-centered learning, growth, and collaboration, inclusive of all people. Stacy believes and practices under the code success of a program is dependent on the success of its individual employees. The success of students is dependent on the success of their teachers. Therefore, a strength-based, appreciative approach to leadership will result in successful teachers, successful students, and program growth.

Autism & the Juvenile Justice System: How & Where Supporters Can Intervene

Kate Hooven & Lindy Mishler

Kate Hooven is the Justice System Project Coordinator for ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) where she is using her former background in PA’s Juvenile Justice System, and her passion for advocating for children and adults living with autism, by training probation officers, police officers, attorneys, judges, correctional officers and others employed in the justice system to raise awareness of the impact an autism diagnosis has on those individuals involved in our juvenile and criminal justice systems. Prior to her decision to stay home with her three children, one of whom has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, she was a Juvenile Court Consultant for the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission, a Home and School Visitor for Central Dauphin School District and a Juvenile Probation Officer for Dauphin County Juvenile Probation.

Lindy Mishler is a Clinical Consultant for the Office of Developmental Programs-Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations where she provides oversight of clinical implementation of service delivery in BSASP programs, provides consultation to providers, assists with mitigation plans to prevent crises, develops and oversees state policy execution and implementation, develops and facilitates trainings across the state, participates and assists with implementation of statewide survey and data analysis.

Measuring What Matters Most: The Power of Business Intelligence

Scott Bachik

Scott Bachik is the CEO of enkompas BI.  Scott has 27+ years of experience in healthcare, with a focus on strategic planning, organizational performance improvement, business intelligence (BI) and decision support systems (DSS). He is an entrepreneur and senior executive with a strong history leading healthcare, IT and consulting businesses. Scott’s robust consulting and IT background creates a focus to drive innovation and enhance information and knowledge sharing to improve overall organizational performance. He has designed and implemented BI and DSS in over 200 healthcare organizations across the U.S. and has been the lead in delivering BI for Behavioral Health and Human Service Providers through the creation of enkompas BI. Scott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and his Master of Administrative Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Communicating Trust: A Strategic Approach to Reputation Management

Tracy Pawelski

Tracy combines strategic communications experience with a background in politics and public policy. Clients appreciate Tracy’s approach to problem-solving and coalition-building, her quick read on complex policy issues, and commitment to social responsibility. Her corporate background in media relations, crisis communications, reputation management and community engagement helps clients understand how to move the needle through proven tactics and inspired storytelling. At PPO&S, Tracy leads the agency’s reputation management and crisis communications functions, helping clients identify opportunities to strengthen trusted relationships and prepare for issues that can adversely affect brand loyalty and reputation. 

Tracy is the former vice president for a $26 billion grocery retail leader where she oversaw media relations, crisis communications, reputation management and community engagement. She served under Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as the director of communications at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. In that position, she spearheaded interagency and community-based partnerships to promote children’s health insurance coverage, the adoption of children in foster care through SWAN, and worked to reduce the stigma around mental health issues. 

Prior to her tenure in state government, Tracy worked in Government Relations for The Hershey Company. Before returning to her roots in Pennsylvania, Tracy worked in national politics for The White House and U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

September 30

Session 1

Effectiveness of Pre-Adjudicatory Diversion Panels in PA

Joseph I. Abraham, Ed.D

Joseph I. Abraham, Ed.D., is the co-founder and President/CEO of The IMPACT Project, Inc., in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.  IMPACT provides foster care, independent living programs, juvenile court evaluations, Community Justice Panels, Collegiate Mentoring Program, School Justice Panel Program, and counseling services to a variety of clients. The program specializes in working with problem adolescents, most notably, juvenile offenders.

Academically, Dr. Abraham holds a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University, with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. His master’s and doctorate degrees are from Lehigh University’s Counseling Psychology Department. He also served for ten years, as an adjunct faculty member at Lehigh University, in their graduate school’s Department of Counseling Psychology and their undergraduate Psychology Department. His specialty was coursework in Psychological Testing, Tests and Measurements, and Psychological Statistics.

Courtney Wagaman 

Courtney Wagaman began her career with IMPACT in 2006 after graduating with a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Villanova University.  While she began providing clinical services to clients, she quickly became enamored with the Case Management realm and moving into a supervisory role, eventually taking on the position of Executive Director in 2015. Under her guidance and supervision, Courtney has focused on program development, agency enhancement, and overall quality of service. She helped to mold a Case Management team and service delivery unmatched across the commonwealth in serving adolescents. Her direct supervision of the team has led to multiple county agency executives and judges to commend the services offered by the agency. Ms. Wagaman has also sustained a position as a sough-out member of various state led teams working with the Quality Improvement Initiative, Prudent Parenting Development, Child Welfare Council and multiple PCCYFS workgroups.

Stuck on Resiliency: A Paradigm Shift

Evette Clarke

Evette Clarke earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan University and her master’s in counseling psychology from the University of Baltimore. For the past 22 years, Evette led programs to support the mental and emotional health of children, youth, and families through her work at Progressive Life Center, a non-profit, child-welfare, human services organization.  She provided individual, family, and group counseling for adjudicated youth; managed the Healthy Families Program, a parental skill-building program that maximizes the healthy development of children from birth to age five. She directed the Kinship Care and Family Preservation programs to ensure safety, well-being, and permanency for children at risk of out-of-home placement due to allegations of abuse and/or neglect. She launched the African American Community-Based Bystander Prevention Program, a culturally specific training and education program addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Evette was selected as a Fellow in Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), “a nonprofit leadership development organization inspiring and supporting civic leaders to end the injustice of educational inequity.” She is the co-founder of EquityWorksBest, LLC a training and consulting firm supporting organizations in developing equitable practices in human services.

Precision Analytics & Machine Learning to Improve Mental Health

Kristen Gay

Kristen Gay serves as President/CEO of Gemma Services. She has devoted her career to serving children and families, previously at Silver Springs – Martin Luther School prior to its merger with theVillage; the combined organization is known as Gemma Services. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and an M.Ed. in Psychological Services and a Ph.D. in School, Community and Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Kristen joined the Silver Springs staff in 1999 and served in various roles throughout the organization, including: Clinical Intern, Foster Family Care Caseworker, Independent Consultant, Performance Improvement and Family Resource Services Director, Development Director, and Vice President. In addition, Kristen has clinical experience in Counseling and School Psychology and has served as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Kristen’s diverse experience working within programs and administration informs her strong and passionate vision for the future of the organization, and the myriad ways through which Gemma Services brings hope and healing to children and families. A proven collaborator and decisive leader, Kristen is honored to lead Gemma Services and its many programs that provide hope, education, and healing for children, youth, and families in our region and beyond.

Peter York

Peter York is Principal at BCT Partners. He has over 20 years of experience as a consultant and researcher in the evaluation and nonprofit fields, as well as a national spokesperson for social impact and impact measurement issues. He has spent the last nine years developing analytic techniques that leverage machine learning algorithms and administrative data to create predictive, prescriptive, and rigorous evaluation (causal) models and tools for social change agents in many fields, including child welfare, juvenile justice, workforce development, adult justice and child mental health. He has published numerous peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and a book on the topics of evaluation, impact measurement, nonprofit capacity building and the use of machine learning to improve program outcomes. He holds a BS in Psychology from Purdue University, a Masters in Social Service Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and has completed all but his dissertation towards a PhD in Social Service Administration.  

Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan is the Director of Special Projects at Gemma Services focusing on supporting the agency in utilizing data, project management, training and clinical support.  Kate is a Clinical Social Worker who received her BS from Drexel University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Kate has experience in special education, positive behavior support programs, and clinical supports across the continuum of mental health services.  Kate is focused on data driven interventions to improve outcomes.     

How Green is Your Program Resiliency?

Andrea Richardson

Working with people who want to improve the lives of others is some of my most inspired work. As a Human Services Expert for Info-Matrix Corporation and founder of ICPromise, I leverage my 26 years of experience in human services and non-profit management to guide professionals by improving their skills as leaders and utilizing technology to make a difference! Let’s develop solutions together because Teamwork makes the Dreamwork!

Enhancing Provider-County Continuous Quality Improvement Under FFPSA

Kristine Creavey, PhD

Kristine Creavey, PhD, is a Research and Evaluation Specialist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center. She assists internal and external stakeholders in utilizing an evidence-informed approach to decision-making. She also assists county and state organizations in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of their data. Kristine served on the PA Council Title IV-E Prevention Services Ad-Hoc Workgroup in an effort to inform the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based programs under the Family Frist Prevention Services Act. She will be serving as the lead program evaluator for Family First evidence-based programs in PA.

Andy Grimm, MSW

Andy Grimm, MSW, is a Quality Improvement Specialist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center.  He supports Continuous Quality Improvement efforts across the state including Quality Service Reviews and Child and Family Services Reviews instrumental in gathering case review data to inform and improve child welfare practice.  He has been involved with supporting Pennsylvania in implementing and monitoring a Program Improvement Plan designed to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families served by the child welfare system.  Prior to joining the Child Welfare Resource Center he spent time teaching social work courses, serving as a program director working with transitional aged youth in California, and has had direct practice working with children youth and families in home and community based settings.

Promoting a Team Culture of Resilience

Susan Damico

Susan is a graduate of Bucknell University and received her master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago. Prior to returning to graduate school, Susan worked in Washington, D.C., as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill. Susan joined the Devereux Early Childhood Initiative after completing her graduate studies in 1996. In her current role, Susan is responsible for managing and coordinating all aspects of the now-named Devereux Center for Resilient Children, including: customer relations, marketing, funding and new resource development. Susan is also responsible for overseeing the development and delivery of DCRC resources electronically via web-based platforms.

2021 Employment Law Compliance Issues & Trends

Rick Hackman, Esq. & Sarah Ivy, Esq.

Rick Hackman, Esq. is Chair of the Labor & Employment Group at Saxton & Stump. He has been representing employer and management in all aspects of labor and employment matters for 25 years.  Rick’s experience includes representation of clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, similar state and local agencies, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor and numerous federal and state courts throughout the country.   He frequently litigates claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. As an employment counselor, Rick advises clients with respect to compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, including the FMLA, OSHA and the FLSA and provides training to employers on all issues related to employment law compliance.  Rick also counsels employers on minimizing risk during both the discipline and termination process, with a focus on being proactive versus reactive. A frequent lecturer, Rick presents to human resource groups and management on workplace investigations, terminations and layoffs, union matters, social media, as well as other employment law related issues.
Rick earned his J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and his B.S. from the University of Dallas. 

Sarah Ivy, Esq. is a Shareholder at Saxton Stump where she focuses her practice in the areas of employee benefits law, executive compensation and taxation. She has more than 20 years of experience analyzing regulations under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and applying those rules to a range of benefits plans such as qualified retirement (401(k), 403(b), profit-sharing and pension plans), welfare benefits plan, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and equity-based compensation plans.
Sarah advises clients across all industries including both for-profit and non-profit organizations with respect to compliance with complex employee benefits regulations and employee stock ownership plan (ESOPs). Sarah earned her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University and her B.S. in accounting from Frostburg State University.

Richard S. Calabrese, Jr., Esq., focuses his practice in employee benefits and executive compensation tax, corporate and business law, and is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). In his employee benefits and executive compensation practice, Rick is experienced with developing non-qualified deferred compensation plans, advising on compliance with Section 409A, mitigating qualified plan failures, and assisting with non-profit compensation analysis and review; and in his general business practice, he drafts operating agreements and shareholder (buy-sell) agreements with a focus on minimizing adverse tax consequences. Rick also provides advice regarding corporate and partnership tax planning and applying and interpreting state and federal tax law. He also negotiates and resolves client tax matters with various tax authorities. Rick earned his J.D. and L.L.M. in Taxation from Villanova University, School of Law and his B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Current Adolescent Drug Trends

Matthew Null

After ten years as a science teacher Matthew took his teaching background to help educate the patients at The Caron Foundation. There, Matthew created and taught an original Life Skills Curriculum for the Adolescent and Young Adult Populations. Null then move back to the schools but this time in the form of Drug and Alcohol Certified Prevention Specialist. Working in three different counties Null held the positions of Curriculum Coordinator and Prevention Program Specialist. Matthew has personally thought several evidence based prevention programs and is most proud of getting AA/NA meetings in a high school during school hours. Matthew sits on numerous community and coalition groups and has provided services for many task forces and prevention/recovery organizations. Currently Matthew is the Referral Development Manager for Gaudenzia.

Cybersecurity: Things that Keep You Up at Night

Rex Johnson & Mark Fahnestock

Rex is the Cybersecurity Practice Lead for CAI. He has over 30 years senior level management experience encompassing IT, Cybersecurity, Privacy, Digital Forensics and Analysis, and Enterprise Risk Management.  He has assisted numerous organizations in assessing and reducing their risks leading to improved operations and security maturity. He has provided both technical and advisory services for a variety of industries; to include a cyber risk assessment of a major entertainment and resorts corporation. Prior to joining CAI, he held similar roles with Computer Science Corporation, Deloitte, and Cap Gemini. Rex is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army. He has an MBA from the University of Kansas, graduated from the Command and General Staff college and National Defense University. He won an award for his thesis on “An Executive Approach to Cybersecurity” addressing the security risks with the US supply chain and national infrastructure. He is a frequent speaker on Cybersecurity, and has addressed national and international audiences with Gartner, Secure World, and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and others. He carries the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Payment Card Industry Professional (PCIP) certifications.

Mark has delivered projects for more than 25 years.  He has extensive experience in providing strategic solutions for complex projects, including implementing Medicaid Expansion for Pennsylvania, implementing child welfare systems, streamlining home and community-based service definitions, and developing regulatory guidance for program services.  Mark has implemented multiple Project Management Offices in state and federal government.  He delivered work to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Department of Defense, and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency in redefining Project Management methodologies and improving business operations.  He holds B.S. degrees in accounting and information systems and an executive M.B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University.  He has been a certified Project Management Professional for more than 19 years and a certified public accountant (CPA) for the past five years.  He has numerous other certifications, including Six Sigma, ISO, and more than 15 DAWIA certifications with Department of Defense.  Mark works as a public servant with the state and federal governments, focusing on bridging delivery and budget execution.

Competitive Recruiting & Retention Strategies for 2021

Nick Hill & Calyn Brewer

Nick is the Program Director for Bethany Children’s Home where is he passionate about the success of others through coaching supervisors and direct care workers to advance in their roles or supporting the residents to transition to their forever homes within the community. While he has had numerous contributions throughout his 6 years with BCH, Nick’s most impactful contributions have been guiding the organization through key structural improvements, supporting his programs through the pandemic, and nurturing relationships with external stakeholders. Nick earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration through Alvernia University to kickstart his career in the human services field. Additionally, Nick serves as a member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Berks Technical Institute in Reading, PA. Outside of his work and community involvement, Nick enjoys spending time with his son and fiancé who can transform any of his mindset hindrances allowing him to bring his best self to serve the BCH residents.

Calyn is the current Director of Campus Safety for Bethany Children’s Home, where she has dedicated the past four years to culture improvement and growth. During her time with BCH, Calyn has led the Professional Learning & Development department, worked closely with HR on recruiting and the hiring process, and started the new Campus Safety department she currently leads. Calyn has a Chemical Technology A.A.S. and currently is studying Organization Development & Leadership through Saint Joseph’s University. In addition, she serves as the Board Treasurer for the nonprofit organization Project 13th Grade Fund and as a committee member for the Pennsylvania Council of Children Youth & Family Services Membership and Governance Committee. In her spare time, Calyn enjoys hiking with her husband Eric and two dogs, camping, and spending time with family.

Wednesday, September 29


Registration & Hot Breakfast


Exhibit Booths Open


Welcoming Remarks


Keynote: Lark Eshlman
Lark is an author, therapist and educator whose expertise is working with children and teens who have experienced early emotional trauma, attachment difficulties, neglect and abuse. She is Board Certified in Domestic Violence by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and is the creator of STAT™, Synergistic Trauma and Attachment Therapy.

Read the ppt

(1.0 CEU credits)


Break, Please Visit Our Exhibitor Booths.

Session 1


Research/Systemic Challenges

Trauma Lens Paradigm Shift-4 Questions

Speakers: Faye Hall and Jeff Merkert/Connection Resources

Four questions are often asked about early trauma: How does early trauma occur? What are the neurological impairments? How does it affect the person? and How do I intervene? This session will answer each and give the audience opportunities to delve more deeply into the topic.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Family Treatment Court & Family Group Decision Making: Partners in Recovery

Speakers: Carla Clark and Leslie Ward/Northumberland County Children & Youth

This presentation will discuss how Northumberland County Is utilizing Family Treatment Court in conjunction with FDGM to address addiction issues with parents and extended family.

The speakers will address how FTC and FGDM work hand-in-hand to educate extended family as well as help the individual and the family work through the recovery process. Case examples will be provided.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Improving Youth Outcomes Through Machine Learning

Speakers: Shawn Peck/Adelphoi Innovative Solutions

Matching a particular youth with a program that has a demonstrated ability to achieve a positive outcome is the most underleveraged variable in the success equation for youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 

FirstMatch™ is a state-of-the-art software solution that uses predictive analytics to help providers and placement decision makers, identify the most appropriate program for a child, both out of home and in home services, significantly increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.  FirstMatch™ uses information that has been collected from various assessments from youth, their families, past records, and the courts, and compares this information to the historic results of providers. 

By use of artificial intelligence, it compares the predictive factors of the referral to the historical outcomes achieved by unique programs for clients that presented with the same or similar predictive factors.  A trained algorithm is utilized to determine which program has the highest likelihood of producing the desired outcomes from this specific youth.  As part of the FirstMatch™ model, a report is provided to the courts or decision maker identifying each youth’s likelihood of program completion and remain-out-of-care, along with other desired outcomes.  Implementing FirstMatch™ could benefit the child welfare and juvenile justice systems by making the decision making process less subjective and more scientific by use of machine learning and data that is specific to the particular needs of a youth.

Additionally, it has the capability to incorporate all readily available information that has been collected over the years but never formally analyzed.

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What Does the Future Hold for Behavioral Heath Services & Supports for Our Children Youth & Families?

Speaker: Joan Erney

This presentation will provide a national and state update on innovations and best practices in meeting children, youth and families behavioral health needs.  In our post COVID world, increasing access to and assuring high quality behavioral health treatment services is imperative, irrespective of setting or family situation. 

We will look at state policies and current practices; and forge new ideas for family driven, youth guided, cross system strategies to impact long term outcomes for those we serve.  We will review barriers and opportunities to influence state and local policies to address the challenges that agencies face in delivering quality care.  We will also discuss financial strategies, including Value Based and braided funding across systems. 

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Networking Luncheon

Session 2


Research/Systemic Challenges

Best Practices to Avoid Abuse at a Provider Agency

Speaker: Lisa Bellis, Brown/Brown

Has your Abuse & Molestation coverage been non-renewed recently?  Maybe the premium sky-rocketed or the retention increased?  When was the last time your employees received training on abuse prevention?  Do you have a formalized program and are all employees actively part of the implementation?  

As a Certified Praesidium Guardian, Lisa Bellis utilizes The Praesidium Safety Equation® as the foundation for this one hour discussion.  By the end of the course attendees will be educated on prevention practices for abuse and molestation, including:  the development of abuse prevention policies, screening & selection, employee training, monitoring & supervision, internal feedback & communication, consumer participation, responding to an incident, and administrative practices. 

She will review Brown & Brown’s exclusive RAAMP It UP™ program, which is provided to all Brown & Brown clients with abuse exposure.  This course will help you to begin to identify gaps in your prevention program and provide thoughtful, practical solutions. 

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Equine-Assisted Therapy: Building an Innovative Practice

Speakers: Heather Girvin, Abigail Wilson, Katie Linebarger, and Sarah Primak/Lone Oak

Founded by Dr. Heather Girvin, Lone Oak is a equine-assisted therapeutic program that provides various services with various populations across all age groups to address complex social and mental health needs.

As a new and innovative program, Lone Oak was created to fill a gap in services in a Lancaster County community. Programming was thoughtfully combined to meet client’s needs while building a community. This presentation will review the creation of a non-profit, creation of an innovative program, and the theoretical framework utilized. It will also describe equine-assisted therapeutic services and the benefit to clients.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)    


Engaging Your Community Through Social Media Strategies

Speaker: Emily Ferguson/Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center

As organizations serving children and youth, we not only have a responsibility to educate our clients and families, but also the communities where we exist. This presentation will discuss how social media can aide your organization to reach its goals.

This presentation will address the use of social media for non-profit organizations, and how to utilize different platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more) to engage and educate your audience about your mission, values, and services.

We will discuss the ways different departments can collaborate to help achieve mutual success in addition to using resources in the company and community. This presentation will assist organizations in creating a plan leveraging the resources they already possess to effectively utilize a variety of social media platforms.

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9 Transformational Competencies Needed by Today’s Nonprofit Leaders

Speaker: Dennis C. Miller

This is an engaging, interactive and motivational presentation on the new nine competencies needed by today’s nonprofit leaders. The nine competencies are: visionary thinking, emotional intelligence, relationship building, entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration, CEO’s role in philanthropy, collaborator, succession planner, becoming a positive brand builder and inspirational motivator for your entire organization.

The traditional leadership competencies of being mission driven, community relationships, grant writer and program and services provider are still crucial. But in today’s challenging times, successful nonprofit organizations seek leaders with the nine leadership competencies.

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Exhibitor Networking Ice Cream Social

Session 3


Research/Systemic Challenges

An Appreciative Approach to Staff Retention

Speaker: Stacy Taylor/Hoffman Homes for Youth

The presentation will cover information discovered during dissertation research along with anecdotal experiences regarding experienced success with staff retention.

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Autism & the Juvenile Justice System: How & Where to Intervene & Support (Untangling the Justice Web)

Speakers: Kate Hooven, Lindy Mishler/ASERT Collaborative

From 2009 to 2014, the Pennsylvania Autism Census found that the number of Pennsylvanians with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receiving services increased from nearly 20,000 individuals to over 55,000 individuals. The number of individuals with autism who had contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems also has increased.

The location, the circumstance and the outcomes are different in each case, but, there is an underlying theme in each incident-a call for training for law enforcement, corrections, justice system professionals and providers on how to identify, interact and support individuals with autism in the juvenile and criminal justice system.

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Measuring What Matters Most: The Power of Business Intelligence

Speaker: Scott Bachik/enkompas BI, LLC

The presentation will provide a foundation of Business Intelligence (BI), how it works, and highlight case studies of how Human Service Providers leveraged the power of BI to organize cross-functional data, visualize and communicate that data, and create insight and knowledge to drive transformational change and growth. 

The presentation will outline the Provider journey from their initial state through the transformation to having a functional decision support system with timely information. It will highlight what worked, what did not work, and outline the keys to success in implementing BI. The presentation will also review how to leverage BI to create automation and eliminate manual data management.

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Communicating Trust: A Strategic Approach to Reputation Management

Speaker: Tracy Pawelski/PPO&S

Trust is an essential part of any organization’s success. But almost daily, reputational issues make headlines, eroding trust with key stakeholders. This is especially relevant for PCCYFS where trust and reputation go to the very heart of your relationship with your members, children and families, policymakers and the media. This training leaves participants with concrete steps to proactively communicate your mission at the same time you are preparing for the challenges ahead.

Read the ppt


PCCYFS Board Meeting


Dinner On Your Own But Not Alone.

Join a group of your choice.


Networking Event

Thursday, September 30


Registration & Hot Breakfast


Exhibit Booths Open


Welcoming Remarks


Keynote: Ron James

Ron is a passionate person who is always looking for ways to help others. After spending 25 years in and out of prison, he learned that choices have the power to change lives. Now, as he reflect on his path through life and the chain of events that eventually led to his downward spiral, he is committed to share the freedom he came to know by encouraging and empowering others to learn from his mistakes.

As the Founder and Director of Programs at Your Choice Foundation, Ron is continually brainstorming new ways to address the needs of schools, churches, community organizations, law enforcement and more; delivering a message of hope, love and faith that always inspires and motivates others.

Watch Ron’s movie trailer


Break, Please Visit Our Exhibitor Booths.

Session 1


Research/Systemic Challenges

The Effectiveness of Pre-Adjudicatory Diversion Panels in Pennsylvania

Speakers: Joe Abraham and Courtney Wagaman/The IMPACT Project

Pre-adjudication diversion can occur at various decision-making points in the juvenile justice system. It can provide alternatives for youth who have not yet entered the juvenile justice system but who are at imminent risk of being charged with a delinquent act, and can also channel youth who have been alleged to be delinquent away from formal court processing that could result in an adjudication of delinquency. Pre-adjudication diversion can occur at the school, law enforcement, magisterial district judge, and juvenile court levels.

The IMPACT Project has operated, two distinct, pre-adjudicatory diversion programs in Lehigh County, in partnership with Lehigh County Juvenile Probation since 1999.  This training will provide and understanding of pre-adjudicatory diversion and the recidivism outcomes of a 13 year, 5 year, and another 5 year longitudinal study that demonstrates the effectiveness of Justice Panels in a variety of measures.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Stuck on Resiliency: A Paradigm Shift

Speaker: Evette Clarke/EquityWorksBest LLC

In our society, under-served and marginalized (e.g. black and brown) children and families often are overexposed to trauma and hardship. This extreme exposure compels them to constantly employ resiliency efforts to survive and maintain their life chances, goals and desires.

The cognitive approach to serving and allocating valuable resources to these communities must consider the historic past and lack of equitable resources and treatment in order to improve outcomes for these deserving communities. We will explore these factors and discuss the value of equity in human services programming.  

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Precision Analytics & Machine Learning to Improve Mental Health Services for Children & Teens

Speakers: Kristen E. M. Gay, Pete York and Kate Ryan/Gemma Services

Gemma Services will share how the organization is utilizing past and current client data to improve outcomes for youth in their Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program (PRTF). The presentation will outline steps the team took to develop and implement what they call the Insight Generator. During this presentation, participants will see how Gemma is using precision analytics and machine learning as a part of comprehensive treatment planning. A case study will be shared that demonstrates how the Insight Generator is used in the PRTF.  

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How Green is Your Program Resiliency?

Speaker: Andrea Richardson/Info-Matrix

Frustrated by program evaluation results that are beyond your control? In 2020, we learned that resiliency matters. Creating the structure within your program that supports reporting the effectiveness of the services is crucial to today’s private provider collaboration with county/state agencies.

Using collaboration and data-based decision making as a foundation of our discussion, participants will look at how educational standards and program outcomes can help measure program effectiveness and bridge crucial conversations with county/state agencies.

Participants will review effective strategies from collaborative initiatives that will support productive collaboration around system gaps that will ensure better qualified referrals for your program and better outcomes for children and families.

Read the ppt



Networking Lunch, Annual Membership Business Meeting, Raffle

Session 2


Research/Systemic Challenges

Enhancing Provider-County Continuous Quality Improvement Under FFPSA

Speakers: Kristine Creavey and Andy Grimm/PA Child Welfare Resource Center

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) emphasizes the use of program-level data to monitor program implementation and outcomes to refine and improve practices.

This continuous quality improvement (CQI) process will be explored not only in terms of best practices at the provider agency and program levels, but also in terms of how best to wield this data-driven process to monitor every eligible child’s safety, permanency, and well-being. Participants will be encouraged to consider how they might expand the reach of their CQI process to include county agencies.

In the spirit of enhanced collaboration and teaming, we will end the session by providing tips and tricks for providers to use so that their communication of data to agencies and other stakeholders can be as appropriate and effective as possible.

Read the ppt


Where Transgender and Trauma Intersect

Speakers: Lisa Fritz/Lancaster General Hospital

The presentation will address the multiple traumas encountered by transgender individuals throughout their lifetime. This will include microaggressions, traumas related to daily encounters and brain/body incongruence, and trauma related to systems in which the individuals live. The presentation will, also, address the larger traumas encountered in the forms of transphobia, abuse, and discrimination.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Better Outcomes for Children In and Out of Homecare with CaseAIM

Speakers: Jennifer Brumer and Morgan Ryan/Children’s Home of South Florida

Children are entitled to safe and timely permanency while in State custody.  Recognizing the risk, associated with workload and turnover by direct case managers, CaseAIM was developed as a countermeasure to ensure the needs of every child are met timely.

The CaseAIM support team is comprised of people, process and technology to create efficiencies to support case management and provide timely services to the clients served. Children’s Home Society of Florida is the only organization to develop, in collaboration with tech giants, the innovative solution CaseAIM. This workshop will review how CHS utilized CaseAIM as a countermeasure to lower turnover and decrease the length of stay for children in an out-of home placement, core elements of the program, and what the organization has learned from the implementation. 

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Promoting a Team Culture of Resilience

Speaker: Susan Damico/Devereux Center for Resilient Children

Leading teams can be difficult and leading teams during times of crisis can feel overwhelming. The science of resilience helps us to understand what skills, behaviors and attitudes are essential to navigate challenges and lead in ways that help our teams “bounce back” and move forward. As we navigate the current climate, leading with a resilience mindset is essential. In this workshop, participants will learn a holistic framework for promoting resilience within themselves, their staff and ultimately within the children and families served by the organization.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Break. Please visit our exhibitor booths.

Session 3


Research/Systemic Challenges

2021 Employment Law Compliance Issues & Trends

Speakers: Sarah Ivy, Richard Calabrese, Rick Hackman/Saxton & Stump

Human Resources Professionals and Benefits Administrators have been presented with a new set of challenges due to the change in Administration. From new requirements related to employee benefits and subsidies, implementation of new employment laws and increased enforcement of existing regulations, and COVID-19 return to work issues, employers have been confronted with an onslaught of changes, hurdles and obstacles with respect to protecting employee rights, limiting employer liability and maintaining a safe workplace.

Saxton & Stump attorneys Richard Hackman, Sarah Ivy and Richard Calabrese will identify the timely issues of which you should be aware and how to confront these issues from both a proactive and reactive standpoint.

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Current Drug Adolescent Trends

Speaker: Matthew Null/Gaudenzia

Today’s students are not just drinking beer and smoking a little weed. Are you aware of what waxing, boofing, and robotriping are? If you see writing on the bathroom stall from a student looking for Molly, they are not looking for a girl named Molly. If you were a student looking for drugs where would you try to get them?

Learn what’s new based on the speaker’s years in the drug and alcohol field and working with students in treatment.

Read the ppt

(1.5 CEU credits)


Cyber Security: Things That Keep You Up at Night

Speakers: Mark Fahnestock and Rex Johnson/CAI

Hackers, Ransomware, and Bears, Oh My!  Cyber fraud and abuse is a growing concern for many agencies, small and large alike.  As technology evolves, the opportunity for cyber threats increases exponentially without taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your agency, and your client and staff data. 

Learn about ongoing threats happening in the world today, as well as precautions and considerations you should be thinking about to help protect yourself and your agency.  This session will help give you the tools and thoughts to advance your cybersecurity protections so you can go back to having a good night sleep.

Read the ppt


Recruiting & Retention Loop

Speakers: Sarah Patchske and Calyn Brewer/Bethany Children’s Home

If you were asked what the main concern of most employers today, you would probably say “staffing!” This session provides effective strategies for recruiting the ideal candidates. In addition to recruiting, we all know it is equally important to retain those ideal candidates. With so many changes in the nonprofit sector over the past year, it is crucial to adapt and create an engaging environment to increase staff retention. Join this brainstorming session to learn and share effective ideas in recruitment and retention.

Read the ppt

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities for the PCCYFS 2021 Annual Conference are now available! For more than 45 years, PCCYFS has focused on supporting the critically important efforts of private providers as they work to meet the needs of vulnerable children, youth and their families. As a true membership driven organization, PCCYFS has remained diligent in efforts to raise awareness and influence state leadership around the areas that impact the private provider community.

We’ve streamlined all the marketing opportunities, print, online and exhibit tables into simple, yet comprehensive, opportunities for maximum brand exposure via sponsorship packages. We are only offering 15 exhibit tables, as we’re focusing on quality of attendee engagement. All the tables are in the main areas of attendee congregation, where non-conference attendees at the hotel will also be able to see your table.

We expect hundreds of human service providers and staff working for private agencies offering foster care, adoption, juvenile justice, mental health and education services statewide. Additionally, many government departments participate in the conference. These include the PA Department of Human Services, PA Department of Health, Office of Children Youth and Families, Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services, PA Department of Education and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning – just to name a few! 

If none of the sponsorship packages appeal to you, we hope you might consider making a donation to support our efforts. 

Thank you very much for considering sponsoring our event and supporting the professionals who aid and encourage thousands of disadvantaged children in PA.

To sponsor or for more information contact Kim Yakowski, PCCYFS Communications Director at or 717-460-6813.

Thank you to our Conference Sponsors! 

Click on the logos to learn more about them.

Early Bird Registration – NOW AVAILABLE!

Special Student Rate Offer!

You can now register for the 2021 conference. Take advantage of the Early Bird Pricing which can save as much as $50 per ticket.

Simply select your one or two day ticket based on your member, non-member, or full-time student status. Click the “+” sign next to each ticket to identify how many of each ticket you would like to purchase, and then click the blue “Get Tickets” button at the bottom of the page.

To complete the ticket purchase, you will need each individual’s name, e-mail, organization, and title (for their conference name tag). You will select each person’s sessions for the conference days, however you will be able to change your mind later. Counts for each session are important for assuring large enough rooms are allocated at the conference.

At the end of the checkout, you can select to pay via PAYPAL, or you can select INVOICE ME to have an invoice sent to you. Note: you do NOT need a PayPal account to pay via PayPal. PayPal allows use of a credit card to complete the purchase without a PayPal account. If you select PayPal, you will be taken to their secure website to complete the transaction.

All requests to cancel or modify ticket purchases must be sent to no later that 48 hours prior to the beginning of your tickets events.


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available
Is the conference in-person? Where is it being held?


We are pleased to offer the PCCYFS 2021 Conference in-person at the Best Western, 800 E. Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA  17111. Virtual options are unavailable.


How do I access the group room rate information?

Make your reservations online here.

Or call 717-561-2800, choose option #4 and then option #1. Then ask for the PCCYFS group rate.

Where can I reserve a room if the hotel is full?

The Hampton Inn at 4230 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111. Their number is 717-545-9595.

Do I have to preregister for the event?

Yes, it’s necessary to preregister. You can do so on the PCCYFS website after July 1 here.

Do I have to be a PCCYFS member to register?

Members and nonmembers are welcome to attend the conference.

Where do I direct questions about my registration and the track I selected?

Questions can be emailed to During the event, you may also stop by registration and PCCYFS staff will help you.

What is the registration fee?

The registration fees vary. Find them here.

What methods of payment do you accept?

You may make your reservation using a credit card, PayPal or request to be invoiced. You do NOT need to create a PayPal account to use a credit card.

Are the sessions eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

Yes, many of our sessions are eligible for CEUs. Their eligibility is indicated by the course description online and in the printed program. Credits are $10 per day and must be requested online here. 

Are there any networking events?

Yes, this year’s conference offers many opportunities for networking. Wednesday, September 29 from 2 to 3 pm, there will be an Ice Cream Social for all attendees to enjoy a sweet treat while talking to fellow attendees and exhibitors. The event will be held in the area by registration.

From 6:30 to 8:30 that evening, there will be another networking event. This mixer allows attendees a relaxed atmosphere to talk to other attendees and visit with exhibitors. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

And 8:30 to 11 pm Wednesday, attendees can stop by the Brown u0026amp; Brown Hospitality Suite.

On Thursday, September 30, there will be a networking luncheon from noon to 1:15 pm, the Annual Membership Business Meeting will also take place.

What restaurants are nearby?

Find a list here.

How do I cancel my registration?

All requests for cancelling registrations must be e-mailed to by the end of the day on Thursday September 23.  All non-cancelled no-shows will not be eligible for a refund. 

How can I sponsor the 2021 Conference?



How do I become a member of PCCYFS?
Will PCCYFS be taking any COVID-19 precautions?

The COVID-19 health and safety protocols listed are recommended for attendance at the PCCYFS Annual Conference. These protocols are subject to change and will be updated as we receive new information. 

PCCYFS is pleased to be moving forward with an in-person conference September 29 & 30, 2021 at the Best Western Premier, Harrisburg. PCCYFS continues to monitor hotel, local, state and federal restrictions, mandates, guidelines and protocols.  

Your continued support, flexibility, cooperation and understanding is appreciated as we move forward to present a safe and successful event. Working together, we can provide a healthy and productive environment for the association and its attendees, staff and partners. At this time, PCCYFS is implementing the following COVID-19 protocols and recommendations to maintain a safe environment for all attendees, staff, vendors, partners, as well as hotel guests, visitors, staff and families back at home.

Failure to abide by the PCCYFS and/or hotel protocols may result in removal from the meeting and/or hotel.

  • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in any activity that you did before the pandemic.
  • If you are unvaccinated, wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze or cough, and discard used tissues in the trash.
  • Honor other attendees’ personal choices regarding masks, distance and personal contact.
  • Abide by all hotel and convention center rules/policies including any mask mandates in place upon your arrival.
  • Abide by all federal, state and local regulations.
How can I offer feedback or ask a specific question?

Email the PCCYFS office at or call 717-651-1725

Can I use social media at the conference?


Social media guidelines and best practices

We welcome social media use at PCCYFS’ Annual Conference, including live tweeting. Use includes all public settings such as the exhibit hall and receptions, and presentations and keynotes.

Use the appropriate meeting hashtag, e.g. #PCCYFSCon2021 for PCCYFS Annual Conference 2021.

Employ commonly used hashtags that relate to the content to increase engagement.

Treat all participants, attendees, staff, and vendors with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.

Credit (identify) presenters by name.

Do not take or share photographs of individuals under 18 on social media without explicit verbal or written permission of a parent or guardian.

Photography guidelines and best practices

Photography by individuals for personal use and for social media is allowed at social events, in the Exhibit Hall and in public spaces throughout the PCCYFS Annual Conference is permitted.  

The presenter must be identified by name when a photograph of the presenter, presenter’s slides, or poster is shared on social media or elsewhere.

Attendees should be respectful and considerate of others. Do not use flash, block attendees view of presenters when capturing photos, or otherwise disrupt presentations.

Do not photograph individuals under 18 years of age without explicit verbal or written permission of a parent or guardian. If in doubt, ask.



Social media guidelines and best practices

We welcome social media use on your accounts at PCCYFS’ Annual Conference, including live tweeting. Use includes all public settings such as the exhibit hall and receptions, and presentations and keynotes.

Use the appropriate meeting hashtag, e.g. #PCCYFSCon2021 for PCCYFS Annual Conference 2021.

Employ commonly used hashtags that relate to the content to increase engagement.

Treat all participants, attendees, staff, and vendors with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.

Credit (identify) presenters by name.

Do not take or share photographs of individuals under 18 on social media without explicit verbal or written permission of a parent or guardian.

Photography guidelines and best practices

Photography by individuals for personal use and for social media is permitted at social events, in the Exhibit Hall and in public spaces throughout the PCCYFS Annual Conference.  

The presenter must be identified by name when a photograph of the presenter, presenter’s slides, or poster is shared on social media or elsewhere.

Attendees should be respectful and considerate of others. Do not use flash, block attendees view of presenters when capturing photos, or otherwise disrupt presentations.

Do not photograph individuals under 18 years of age without explicit verbal or written permission of a parent or guardian. If in doubt, ask.

The health and safety of our conference attendees is a top priority. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of the Delta variant, stringent safety precautions will take place. All registrants will be encouraged to wear a mask unless they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the PCCYFS Annual Conference.

Some of the safety measures include:

  • Two tables to expedite registration and promote social distancing
  • Hand sanitizer located in each session room, as well as throughout the hotel
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer given to each attendee in their welcome bag
  • Masks will be available at registration and the front desk for attendees if requested
  • Spaced out seating in session rooms and wherever possible
  • Multiple food lines for quicker/easier access
  • Hotel staff will be wearing masks, as they serve food at buffet