2019 Conference Presentations


2019 CWDA Annual Conference

This year, CWDA welcomed nearly 1,000 county and state workers, advocates, and others to the Monterey Conference Center in October for our largest conference yet. We had a fantastic presentation from California’s first Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, workshops with the Unconscious Bias Project from UC Berkeley, and engaging breakout sessions on wide-ranging program areas. 

Keynote speakers:

  • David Shipler – The Working Poor, Invisible in America
  • Panel on Critical Issues in Aging Policy
    • Chevon Kothari, CWDA President, Human Services Director, Mariposa County
    • Kim McCoy Wade, Acting Director of the California Department of Aging
    • Dr. Donna Benton, Research Associate Professor of Gerontology and Director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center, USC Leonard School of Gerontology
    • Kathy Greenlee, Visionary Thought Leader, Policy Expert, Advocate
  • Christina Meredith – Overcoming Trauma to Become a Successful Adult and Advocate for the Well-Being of Children
  • Dr. Tiffany Manuel – Breaking New Ground: Building Public Will to Advance Affordable Housing and Inclusive Communities

Below are the breakout session presentations:


Featured Mini Plenary: Putting the Spotlight on Children’s Health: A Conversation with Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Surgeon General of California

Not long after being sworn in as Governor, Gavin Newsom appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris to be the first Surgeon General of California. Years earlier, Dr. Harris delivered a TED Talk on the lifelong effects of childhood trauma that has been viewed more than 6 million times, and her early work as Surgeon General has focused on adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress and their impact on children well into adulthood. In this engaging featured session, Dr. Harris will share her vision for improving Californians’ health and well-being.


News Services to Seniors: CalFresh and Home Safe

Providing services to California’s vulnerable populations is a key piece of the work that counties do daily to advance the well-being of our residents. This workshop will focus primarily on DSS’ new services for seniors and will highlight promising practices and lessons learned in expanding senior access to CalFresh, Home Safe and overcoming specific challenges in serving this growing and diverse population.


Systemwide Partners Take Transformative Steps Toward Integrating a Trauma-Informed and Healing-Centered Lens

The panel discussion will provide a broad and historical overview of the formation of the Cross-Agency Services Team (CAST), a cross-system collaborative of leaders, dedicated to improving well-being, health, and service delivery for families and children from a whole child, whole family approach. System and partner leaders identified historical trauma to be prevalent across many of the families and children in most need of high intervention services. Different from

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

CalSAWS Buzz

Interested in finding out what’s happening with CalSAWS, and what it will mean for you and your county? This session offers the opportunity to learn more about CalSAWS from the project, county, and worker perspectives, including key dates, what counties can do to prepare, and the resources available to support your county with the transition. The session will also demonstrate ways for you and your staff to find more information and get answers to your questions as the project progresses.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

County of Orange Adult Protective Services Simulation: Training Beyond the Classroom

Simulation training is widely recognized as an effective training modality in various fields of employment. However, it is rarely used among Adult Protective Services programs. This presentation will provide an overview and video demonstration of the County of Orange Adult Protective Services (APS) simulation training for attendees seeking to incorporate experiential learning in their respective training programs.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Love All Our Kids: Finding Ways to Connect the Community with the Needs of Foster Children

To share practical ways county child welfare agencies can inspire people in their communities to become involved and tangibly support foster children and their families.

  • Crystal McKiernan: Director, Stanislaus County, Love All Our Kids
  • Eric Jung: City Engagement Director, Stanislaus County, Love Our Cities
  • Amie Prutch: Manager III with Stanislaus County Adult, Stanislaus County Community Services Agency

Download the Love All Our Kids Presentation

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Expanding CalFresh Employment & Training Through Fresh Success

Learn how the Fresh Success program can help counties expand CalFresh Employment & Training opportunities for their clients. Unlike traditional county-led E&T, the Fresh Success program recruits, trains, and oversees community colleges and community-based organizations as third-party providers of E&T services with minimal burden on county staff.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

The Impact of Domestic Violence, Trauma and Neglect on Families

Understanding the impact of domestic violence, trauma, and neglect on children and their families, especially families with young children 0-5. How collaborating with partner agencies extend our reach to families impacted by violence. How to best serve victims of domestic violence in the Welfare System.

  • Carla Charraga: Executive Director, Siskiyou Domestic Violence & Crisis Center- Siskiyou County
  • Karen Pautz: Executive Director, First 5 Siskiyou

Download the Presentation on Domestic Violence & Trauma Impacts on Families

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Understanding Poverty Measures Used to Assess Economic Well-Being in California

We will look at how three major measures of poverty – the Official Poverty Measure, Supplemental Poverty Measure, and California Poverty Measure – can be used to assess economic well-being in California. Experts will explain how each poverty measure works and
provided guidance on when each measure should be utilized. They will also discuss how these three measures can be used to inform policies to reduce poverty in California.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

CalFresh Expansion for SSI Recipients

This presentation will provide attendees with a high level overview of Los Angeles County’s implementation of the CalFresh Expansion to SSI Recipient policy change. Attendees will learn how the county strengthened its business processes to more effectively help elderly and disabled individuals successfully receive CalFresh benefits.
In addition, details of the county’s comprehensive communication plan and enrollment strategies to enroll more than 200,000 elderly or disabled SSI recipients into the CalFresh Program will be shared.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Family First and Beyond: A Mindful Look at Serving Children and Families in a Post-Waiver Environment

This session will explore the current landscape of federal and state-level efforts to implement the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), including prevention efforts already underway, activities to implement the prevention components of FFPSA as well as opportunities to build upon California’s Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) work. Discussion will include county-level efforts to transition from a waiver environment and the implications to both waiver and

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Child Care: A Critical Support for CalWORKs Participant Success

Presentation/panel discussion on the importance of immediate and ongoing childcare to reduce administrative burden and improve client bandwidth (small brain science component -2.0 link) for participant success. Brief review of state requirements and recommendations, and extended panel discussion with San Francisco on operationalizing immediate and 12-month eligibility for child care.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Connecting the Dots – Innovative Collaborations to Address Homelessness in Monterey County

This workshop will highlight the development and evolution of Monterey County’s unique partnership between law enforcement, Adult Protective Services, Behavioral Health, medical services and domestic violence services to address the needs of homeless clients. It will focus on the accomplishments of the Multi-Disciplinary Outreach Team (MDOT), spearheaded by an initial collaboration between the Monterey Police Department and Monterey County APS.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

ABAWD Work Rule: Year 1 Implementation Learnings and A Look Ahead

To share first wave counties’ experience and lessons learned from implementing the ABAWD work requirements, including the challenges the counties faced and the employment opportunities created for clients to meet the requirement.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Enhancing Services to Immigrants in an Uncertain Time

Immigration continues to be a hot topic not only across California, but in the United States under the current federal climate. This workshop will explore some of the many efforts that various California government entities have taken on to combat the federal attacks on our vulnerable immigrant population. This workshop will provide insight on the efforts that some counties have undertaken to help better serve their immigrant populations in addition to exploring some of the local partnerships that counties have been able to utilize.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

The Restaurant Meals Program

Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles counties will share details regarding their successful implementation of the Restaurant Meals Program and its effectiveness in reducing food vulnerability in the Elderly, Disabled and Homeless CalFresh recipient population. The
information shared may act as an incentive for other counties to participate.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Peer Support Teams and How They Can Be Effectively Used to Reduce The Effects of Primary and Secondary Trauma on Social Workers

Child welfare practice has always been challenging on social workers. Recently, there has been increasing recognition that social workers are at high risk of “secondary trauma,” as result of repeated exposure to traumatic situations with children and families. Secondary trauma is found to negatively impact well-being, performance, and staff retention. Historically, we have poorly equipped our staff with tools to help reduce the effects of the trauma they encounter daily.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Cal-OAR: Program Management in the Spirit of Continuous Quality Improvement

Presentation to explore final Cal-OAR metrics, alignment with CalWORKs logic model, and expanded deeper dive into the County Self-Assessment. Discussion will focus on supported analytics, the learn phase of the LI2 process, and maximizing utilization of the Cal-OAR dashboard to explore the performance metrics when completing the CSA.

  • Natasha Nicolai: Branch Chief, CalWORKs and Family Resilience, CDSS
  • Julianna Vignalats: Section Chief, Program Improvement and Performance, CDSS

Download the CalOAR Presentation

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Successful Training Outcomes Using Technology

With limited staffing and resources for many counties, it is imperative that the training units find new and innovative ways to provide paperless training materials to staff. In a technology driven industry the move to digital training materials, such as e-Books and digital job aids that would reduce costs and time associated with printing and assembling training materials for Induction trainings, as well as provide additional tools for learners to assist in the transfer of learning.

CWDA Conference/Symposium Presentation

Serving Nonbinary Customers and the LGBTQ Community

Provide information on serving our LGBTQ community and those identified as Nonbinary, when federal requirements are to report only Male/Female. Also, helping staff navigate conversations that may be difficult.

  • Rhonda Sorrell: Human Services Program Specialist, Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance
  • Allison Keene: Eligibility Supervisor, Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance

Download the Nonbinary LGBTQ Customer Presentation