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Volunteer In-Service Opportunities

In-Service Podcasts

This section offers suggestions for podcasts that volunteers can listen to for in-service training hours. The podcasts indicate the number of applicable in-service hours and include a brief summary of the topics covered. For the multi-part podcasts, volunteers should listen to all parts before documenting their experience for credit.

Upon completion of any of the in-service training opportunities listed below, document your experience by completing the KCN Volunteer In-Service Training Form. You will automatically receive a copy of your responses, which you should then forward to your Local Program for its in-service training records. You should complete the form each time you complete a training opportunity. If you have questions about the form or any of the opportunities listed below, please contact us.

Child Welfare Information Gateway Podcast Series

This podcast series presents a compilation of interviews and group conversations intended to provide beneficial information for busy child welfare and social work professionals. The podcasts cover a wide range of topics and provide perspectives from communities served by child welfare agencies, as well as tips and stories from professionals about implementing new services and programs, working across agencies, and improving practice. Below are some episodes that contain relevant content and are recommended for in-service hours. Remember to complete the KCN Volunteer In-Service Training Form after listening to each podcast series.

Birth-Foster Parent Mentoring Teams

This episode features a conversation with both birth and foster parent mentors and leaders, along with the 2018 California Social Worker of the Year. Together, the group describes the work toward changing the culture around foster care to support reunification by creating relationships and partnerships between birth and foster parents. (0.75 hours)

Engaging Fathers:  Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3

Parts 1 and 2 of this series feature a conversation with leaders of local fatherhood organizations. The discussion provides perspective, insights, and recommendations to help child welfare agencies partner with fatherhood organizations to enhance the engagement and involvement of fathers and paternal family members in establishing permanency and safety for children in the child welfare system. Part 3 provides listeners with insights gained from a partnership occurring in Spartanburg, SC. The episode features individuals from the SC Center for Fathers and Families, Upstate Fatherhood Coalition, and Spartanburg Dept. of Social Services. (1.5 hours)

Foster Care: A Path to Reunification:  Part 1  |  Part 2

Part 1 shares the work of the Center for Family Life, an organization that aims to stabilize families by providing an array of neighborhood-based family and social services in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Foster care is one of their programs, and families involved in the center’s foster care program are linked to other services to address the family’s specific needs. As a neighborhood-based organization, they also work to ensure children in foster care can continue to attend their current schools and maintain their social and family connections, where appropriate. Part 2 explores all the partnerships, trainings, and coordination within San Diego County’s Children Services. Listeners will learn about trauma-informed assessment tools, the collaboration with a county-based community college to support training, as well as listen to birth families and older youth as they share their experiences to enhance resource families’ ability to support the children in their care. (1.5 hours)

Housing's Critical Connection to Child Welfare:  Part 1  |  Part 2

Children who lack stable and permanent housing are at greater risk of neglect or being placed in out-of-home care than children who don't. Child welfare professionals are challenged in working with families experiencing homelessness; meeting the requirements of a case plan can be more difficult for families struggling to obtain safe and affordable housing. Episode 1 focuses on how child welfare and housing specialists identify families and work in tandem to navigate the housing system and complete their child welfare case plans. Part 2 discusses how to create effective working relationships, share decisions, and partner with local housing authorities. (1 hour)

Protective Factors:  Part 1  |  Part 2

Episode 1 provides an overview of protective factors and helps listeners distinguish protective factors from risk factors. Guests provide examples of how child welfare professionals can recognize and work with parents and families to strengthen their protective factors. Episode 2 takes a detailed look into a local agency’s efforts to holistically implement a protective factors-based approach. The conversation also focuses on how a public IV-E agency and a policy organization collaborated to train and sustain the approach at all levels of the agency. (1 hour)

Supporting Kinship Caregivers:  Part 1  |  Part 2

Listen to the discussion and learn about the following: how the project identified informal caregivers, how caregivers and child welfare professionals used the project’s online portal, findings from the project’s evaluation, and caregivers' openness to accessing a self-serve collection of resources. The second episode dives into the program's structure and implementation and looks into the findings of a randomized control trial evaluation. (1.5 hours)

Working with the Correctional System and Incarcerated Parents

This podcast features a conversation between those with experience on both sides of the working relationship between the child welfare and correctional systems. Each side of this relationship shares the same vision for the incarcerated parents: reentry into society and reunification with their family where appropriate. Listeners will learn about what professionals should know about sending correspondence to a prison, insight on coordinating child-parent visits, actions incarcerated parents can take to support their case plans, and ways incarcerated parents can participate in court processes and hearings. (1 hour)

Making Kids Count with Terry Brooks Podcast

"Interview with Rick Green and Debby Yetter from the Courier-Journal" (NEW)

Terry Brooks sits down with Rick Green, editor, and Debby Yetter, social services and child welfare reporter, to discuss the Courier Journal’s recent series on Kentucky’s child welfare system and the need to address the Commonwealth’s high rate of child abuse. Tune in to hear their reflections and call to action. (0.5 hours)

"Interview with Dr. Helen Deines, Larry Michalczyk, and Pam Darnall" (NEW)

Terry Brooks sits down with Dr. Helen Deines, Larry Michalczyk, and Pam Darnall, three experts with years of experience in the child welfare field, to discuss the Courier Journal’s recent series on Kentucky’s child welfare system and the need to address the Commonwealth’s high rate of child abuse. This episode is a follow up to the Making Kids Count episode featuring Rick Green and Debby Yetter of the Courier-Journal. (0.5 hours)

"Release of 2019 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book" (NEW)

Terry Brooks shares the latest trends in child well-being highlighted in the 2019 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book and sits down with Beatrice Roussell, a high school senior and leader in StAMINA, and Michelle Elison, Kentucky’s Partnership Coordinator with the U.S. Census Bureau, to discuss takeaways around youth mental health and the importance of a complete and accurate census count in 2020. (0.5 hours)

"Trauma-Informed Care, Resilience, & the Bounce Coalition" (NEW)

Terry Brooks is joined by Betty (BJ) Adkins and Dr. David Finke – both members of the Bounce Coalition leadership team – to discuss the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Kentucky kids, the role of trauma-informed care practices in building stronger communities, and the important work of the Bounce Coalition. (0.5 hours)

"Norma Hatfield, President of the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky" (NEW)

Terry Brooks sits down with Norma Hatfield, President of the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky, who shares her story of becoming a kinship caregiver and how that experience has shaped her advocacy efforts for kinship families across the Commonwealth. Norma encourages kinship caregivers and all of our listeners to urge elected leaders to prioritize investments for children who have experiences abuse and neglect by supporting kinship families, including financial and respite care supports. (0.5 hours)

"COVID-19 and Kentucky Kids: Building Resilient Families" (NEW)

Terry Brooks is joined via phone by Dr. Joe Bargione, a licensed psychologist and a member of the Bounce Coalition’s leadership team. During this podcast, both will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on kids and families, as well as tips and resources to cope with and overcome trauma related to a public health crisis. Dr. Bargione encourages parents and caregivers to review information from the CDC and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network on coping with stress and talking to your children about the pandemic. (0.5 hours)

National Children’s Alliance: One in Ten Podcast

Season 1:

"Child Abuse as a Public Health Issue"

Research indicates that 15-20% of girls and 5-10% of boys in the United States are affected by child sexual abuse. Those are numbers that should make everyone sit up and take notice, and yet one of the biggest funding gaps we see in our field is the lack of government support for research on how to prevent this abuse. Instead of a public health issue, child sexual abuse is still seen by many as a criminal justice problem. In this episode, we talk to Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse about what policies she sees as fundamentally flawed, where the bright spots are, and why prevention should be a federal priority. (0.75 hours)

"Faith, Trauma, and the Problem of Evil"

Teresa talks to renowned writer and trainer Victor Vieth from Zero Abuse Project about the intersection of faith and child protection. How do we respond when children struggle to understand what happened to them in the context of their faith? How can we help survivors and frontline professionals who wrestle with the human need to make sense of a world where we bear witness to trauma every day? As a Christian theologian and a former prosecutor, Victor knows the importance of learning how to handle when faith, trauma, and the problem of evil collide. (0.5 hours)

"The Bystander Effect—Why People Don’t Report Child Abuse"

Wendy Walsh, a research assistant professor of sociology at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, talks about why people shy away from reporting suspected child abuse—and how we can overcome those barriers. (0.5 hours)

"The Failure That Leads to All Others”

This episode features Mary Graw Leary, a former prosecutor and a professor at The Catholic University of America School of Law. Why does child sexual abuse seem to flourish in institutional settings? How can institutions prevent abuse? And when prevention fails, how must institutions respond? (0.75 hours)

“The Science of Storytelling”

Nat Kendall-Taylor is the CEO of the FrameWorks Institute, which works to change the conversation on social issues. We discussed how to get people to engage in conversations about an uncomfortable topic—child sexual abuse. What should we change about our own messaging to give people hope that they can do something about it? We also discussed a new research project into communication strategies on this issue, and when we might learn the results. (0.75 hours)

"Treating the Smoke and Not the Fire"

This episode is a conversation about a new documentary, Cracked Up, an emotionally arresting, trauma-informed look at the lifelong consequences when we fail to protect a child. The film chronicles Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond’s journey from childhood trauma, through decades of misdiagnoses of its effects, toward hope and healing. Hammond and filmmaker Michelle Esrick explore what drove them to make the film and discuss various themes in the film. (0.75 hours)

"Prediction as Prevention"

This episode explores whether big data can help determines which children are most at risk of foster care placement, how resources can be directed at those children to ensure their safety, and how predictive modeling sheds light on the impact of implicit bias in our nation’s child welfare system. (0.5 hours)

"The Edge of Compassion"

Françoise Mathieu, co-executive director of TEND Academy, discusses how child advocacy professionals can protect themselves and their colleagues while dealing with cases of horrific child abuse. Mathieu discussed how child welfare advocates can cope with stress while remaining effective and compassionate for the children and families they serve. (1 hour)

"Housing Instability and Child Welfare" 

The Urban Institute’s Maya Brennan discusses the deep cycle of cascading instabilities that has its roots in housing and what society can do to help keep families strong. This episode explores the impact housing stability has on children, programs that help and those that do not help families. (0.75 hours)

"Radically Vulnerable: Achieving Justice for Survivors" 

In this episode, legal scholar Marci Hamilton from CHILD USA discusses progress that’s been made related to the legal landscape for survivors of child sexual abuse as well as what needs to happen next, policy goals, and how to help adult survivors. (0.5 hours)

"Beyond ACEs"

Dr. Lisa Amaya-Jackson from the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress discusses the benefits and limitations of focusing on Adverse Childhood Experiences. Amaya-Jackson explores whether ACEs have been oversimplified, what the role of the community is in developing resilience, and what we need to know to help survivors heal. (0.75 hours)

"The Family-Focused Advocate" (NEW)

One barrier to improved outcomes for children is getting families to participate in and complete mental health treatments. In this episode, Libby Ralston from Project BEST discusses a shift in the way we communicate—and a focus on family advocacy – to improve family engagement. (0.5 hours)

Season 2:

"Gender Bias and the Myth of Parental Alienation" (NEW)

Everyone’s heard of the vengeful ex-wife who accuses her ex-husband of child abuse just to get back at him during a divorce. There’s even a scientific-sounding term for it: parental alienation. But is parental alienation real? Professor Joan Meier from George Washington University Law School shares some startling data on the subject. (0.75 hours)

"The Hidden Cost of Resilience" (NEW)

The ability to bounce back from trauma is a good thing. But, increasingly, research is uncovering signs that all may not be well with the kids who look like they’re doing just fine. Dr. Ernestine Briggs-King discusses resilience and its hidden costs. (0.75 hours)

"The Child-Trafficking-to-Adult-Prostitution Pipeline" (NEW)

Multiple states and jurisdictions are considering full decriminalization of adult prostitution. On the surface, it seems like a way to help an exploited population. But the potential for harm is real – especially for children. Yasmin Vafa of Rights4Girls speaks about the connections between child abuse and sex trafficking and the adult sex trade. (0.5 hours)

"Minding the Tears of Violence" (NEW)

Adversity and violence are common in kid’s lives. The cumulative burden creates a lifelong vulnerability to physical and psychological issues. So how do we help kids thrive? What strengths are most important in overcoming adversity? Sherry Hamby, research professor of psychology at the University of the South, discusses trauma’s cumulative impact and how teachers, parents, and child advocates can help kids. (0.75 hours)

"Predators in our Pockets: The New Digital Hunting Grounds" (NEW)

This episode features two guests to discuss the overwhelming number of images of child sexual abuse online. Lieutenant Veto Mentzell with the Harford County (Md.) Sheriff’s Office discusses the role of Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces and how well-intentioned efforts to update legislation can criminalize children’s behavior. Emily Cashman Kirstein from Thorn, a nonprofit that builds technology to defend children from abuse, talks about what we need tech companies to do to protect children, among other technology-related topics. (1 hour)

"COVID-19 and Criminal Justice" (NEW)

Amid a pandemic, public health experts are urging folks to stay home and stay away from each other to avoid spreading the deadly virus. Though many people have transitioned to working virtually, the criminal justice system is built around in-person interactions. What still needs to be done in person, and how do we proceed when public health and public safety are at odds? Prosecutor Mat Heck (Montgomery County, Ohio) discusses how the pandemic is impacting his work and how victim advocates can do their jobs under these difficult conditions. (0.5 hours)

Other Podcasts

"Attachment Behaviors in Children with Incarcerated Fathers"

In this podcast episode, child psychologist Julie Poehlmann-Tynan of the University of Wisconsin–Madison talks about a new study on attachment in children who have an incarcerated father and discusses some of the factors that may lead to differences in kids' attachment behaviors. This podcast is produced by the Institute for Research on Poverty. (0.5 hours)

Everyday Americans - BBC Audio Documentary Series

The opioid epidemic in America is hurting all levels of society – in this three-part documentary series, we explore its impact, in real-time, on people in one city, Louisville, Kentucky. We work with a team of reporters on the Louisville Courier-Journal as they follow opioid stories across the community – in particular, how it is affecting schools and colleges, as well as health care, law and order, and prisons. Over six weeks, beginning mid-August at the start of the new school semester, we follow the reporters who have been covering the opioid epidemic in a state which was one of the first to be hit hard by a problem which started with over-prescribing of prescription drugs, and has now spread to become a major urban crisis. (3 hours)

"Kids Count 2018 Breakdown"

On this edition of Eastern Standard, a trio of topics, all linked in some way to the brand new 2018 Kids Count Data Book. It’s a state-by-state breakdown and Kentucky is included. And, for a change, there are slight signs of improvement in the well-being of the children of the Commonwealth. Guests Terry Brooks of KY Youth Advocates, Dr. Mary A. Sciaraffa Associate Professor of Child and Family studies at EKU, and  Dr. Jennifer Lindon President of Hazard Community and Technical College join the conversation. (1 hour)

"Surge in Foster Children Among Opioid Crisis"

This On Point podcast discusses what happens when opioids ravage the lives of mothers and fathers - there is a surge in foster children. (1 hour)