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1st Annual New York State Conference on Infancy Save the Date! October 14-16, 2004

Conference Objectives

To convene professionals, program administrators and policy makers for the purpose of:

  • learning about research based principles and practices that have demonstrated positive outcomes for infants and their families
  • exploring successful cross disciplinary ventures and comprehensive service delivery strategies that illustrate these principles
  • stimulating systems change through the development and expansion of collaborative partnerships that support families with infants and toddlers at the local, regional and state level.

Plenary Sessions have been selected to convey the principles and promising practices in each of our three areas of focus

Thursday 2:30 – 4:30 – Healthy Children Moderated by Dr Rachel deLong, NYS Health Department.
This panel presentation will inform participants about principles and research outcomes that are transforming health care practices for infants and their families. It will feature presentations about technological advances for providing health care, and strategies for engaging families in the physical and mental health of their young children (e.g. Early Head Start program, home visiting programs). Confirmed speakers include Dr. Neil Herendeen, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center; Ann Stadtler, Director of Site Development and Support at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston Children’s Hospital; Linda Pollock and Sharon Brown from the Washington Co Early Head Start Program; and Dr John Eckenrode, Professor at the Family Life Development Center at Cornell University.

Friday 9-11 Strong Families Moderated by Deborah Benson, Director of Policy, Research and Planning at the NYS Council on Children and Families
The Strong Families plenary will address the principles of family empowerment, engagement and support by looking at various models and highlighting key principles. Panel presentations will explore two generational approaches to supporting families, grassroots leadership efforts, and innovative strategies for family support services (e.g. use of mass media and community resources such as libraries). Confirmed speakers include Jim Coffey, President, Rochester Parent Network; Kathleen Deerr Assistant Dorector, Midle Country Public Library on Long Island; Sarah Walzer, Exec. Director of the Parent Child Home Program.

Friday 2:30-4:30 Early Learning Moderated by Karen Schimke, Exec. Director of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
This panel will present the case for including infants and toddlers in the discussion about early childhood education and school readiness. Presentations will highlight the importance of early learning environments through exploration of collaborative strategies for providing child and family centered care, professional development of early childhood staff, and emergent literacy. Speakers will include Desalyn DeSouza, Infant Toddler Specialist with the Region 3 IT Technical Assistance Center at the Child Care Council of Onondaga; Jacque Cady, Volunteer board member with the Rochester Early Childhood Development Initiative.

Workshops to date

Thursday afternoon

Building Community Collaboration – The Building Brighter Futures for Broome initiatives sponsored by Broome County Early Childhood Coalition include Effective Parenting, Healthy Children and Quality Child Care/Early Education. This successful partnership has integrated preventive service components of home visiting, caregiver mentoring, parent education, child care health education, literacy building activities, family resource centers and early childhood education professionalism into a comprehensive project. Presenter: Pam Guth, ECC Coordinator, will describe the developmental process of this replicable community collaboration, goals, funding and service delivery partners.

Changing Policy and Practice for Babies: Building Awareness in the Judicial and Child Welfare Systems about the Importance of Early Relationships - This presentation demonstrates a model for training professionals in the judicial and child welfare systems about infant mental health. The goal is to help those empowered to make decisions about babies become aware of the importance of sensitive caregiving relationships in promoting social- emotional development. Presented by Dr. Dorothy Henderson CSW Assoc Director of the Infant Parent Study Center and Director of the Judicial Consultation Project both projects of the Institute for Infants, Children and Families at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York City.

Collaboration from A-Z Using QUILT Resources - QUILT is a national project supporting partnership work across early care and education settings. Collaboration is at the heart of coordinated efforts by child care, Early Head Start and Head Start and Pre K programs to mee the needs of children and families for quality care, continuity of care and workforce support. This session will discuss support of collaborative efforts with a focus on practical application of QUILT and NCCIC tools and resources. Presented by Gene Gousie, Coordinator of Technical Assistance at the Natl. Child Care Information Center.

Healthy Families NY: A Strength Based and Culturally Sensitive Approach to Working with Infants, Children and their Families – This workshop will present the Healthy Families NY initiative through video and lecture format. The workshop will describe the collaborative relationship between the contract agencies, the Office of Children and Family Services and Prevent Child Abuse NY. Participants will learn how the Healthy Families NY Program Goals and 12 Critical Elements guide the program in impacting lives and strengthening families in diverse communities across the State. Presented by Kimberlee VanBurch, MSW from the Vincent J Fontana Center for Child Protection’s Healthy Families Staten Island Program and Lisa Gelatio, Program Manager for Healthy Families Steuben

Friday Morning

Reducing Depressive Symptoms in Low Income Mothers : A Report on the National Institute for Mental Health funded Study in Early Head Start - This workshop will provide background on the issue of maternal depression in low-income mothers and describe the project currently being conducted in 5 Early Head Start sites across the country, including Onondaga County in New York Start. The presenter, a Co-Investigator for the grant and manager of the Onondaga County site, will describe the project’s goals and activities and how they enhance Early Head Start services for mothers and their young children. Presented by Regina Canuso MS, RN, Mental Health Coordinator for PEACE Early Head Start/Head Start in Syracuse NY.

Family Resource Center Network: A Statewide effort to support all families with Young Children (Supported by the NYS Children and Family Trust Fund) - Presenters will offer an overview of this comprehensive primary prevention effort to reach all families with young children through resources, support and education in informal settings that promote positive parenting, healthy child development and family self sufficiency. The workshop will provide a brief overview of funding, philosophy, core services and established peer review practices. This will be followed by a description of three Centers from rural, suburban and urban settings discussing their specific communities, highlighting unique characteristics and, key partnerships the role of families in developing and operation of the Center and their overall efforts to assist parents in their caregiving roles. Presenters include Judy Richards, Program Director NYS Children and Family Trust Fund at OCFS; Wyn Frachette, Family Development Coordinator at the Lakeside Child and Family Center in Rochester; Judith Rae Wolf, Extension Team Coordinator of Cornell Coop Ext of Tioga County; Linda Ruffo, Director, Family Resource Center programs at Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network of South Central NY; and Sicily Mitchell, Family Development Coordinator at Peter Castle Family Resource Center in Rochester NY.

Books! More Than a Delight for Babies and Toddlers, They Can Provide Parenting Tips as Well! – We will review selected books for zero to three years olds asking 1) why are they good books for children and 2) How can they be used to provide parenting tips for adults. Presented by Jennie Birckmayer, Retired Senior Extension Associate with the Dept of Human Development at Cornell University.

Friday Afternoon

Ten Components of High Quality Child Care for Infants and Toddlers – This workshop will convey the newest research based information about high quality care for babies. What is developmentally and culturally appropriate practice for babies in centerbased and homebased settings? How is infant care different from preschool programs? What is the role of the curriculum, the teachers and parents? Come and meet the new IT Specialists from the TA Resource Centers cross the State and hear about the resources available to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers through the Child care Resource and Referral network. Presented by Evelyn Efinger MSEd, Infant Toddler Coordinator at the NYS Child Care Coordinating Council and a Team of IT Specialists from the CCRR IT TA Network.

How Reflective Supervision Leads to Quality Services: Cultivating Relationship Centered Approaches in Infant, Toddler and Preschool Programs - A lot has been written and said about reflective supervision for infant-family practitioners in the last decade. What is reflective practice? Why is it important in infant-family programs when the goals are healthy children, strong families and quality early learning experiences? What is it and how does it work across disciplines? And how do we begin bringing reflective practices into agencies that don’t yet have the tradition and have next to no dollars to spend on it (at least not yet). Presented by Dr. Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok, MSW, PhD. Founder and Director of the Institute for Infants Children and Families at the Jewish Board of Family and Childrens Services in New York City.

Check back next week for a few additional confirmations