2023 Conference Presentations


2023 CWDA Annual Conference

This year, CWDA welcomed over 1,100 attendees to our annual conference in October. We had phenomenal keynote speakers who are noted below and a wide-array of fantastic breakout sessions.

Below are PDF versions of breakout presentations from those presenters who shared visual presentations with CWDA. 

Keynote speakers:

  • Stephanie Land - Author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

  •  Wesley Hamilton - ADA & DEI Consultant; Inclusive Training Specialist and Founder of Disabled But Not Really
  • Randy Morris - Santa Cruz County Human Services Department Director

  • Cheryl Brown - Chair of the California Commission on Aging (CCOA)

  • Ellen Schmeding – (former Chair of CCOA)

  • Moderator Karol Swartzlander - CCOA Executive Director

Below are the breakout session presentations:


Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress, Supporting Skill Development, and Improving Workforce Resilience Through Reflective Supervision/Consultation (RSC)

Learn how RSC is increasing trauma-informed systems and positively impacting workplace culture. Presenters introduce RSC, followed by two innovative models for implementation (1) Reflective Supervision and (2) Reflective Consultation. The ACTS project highlights practical skills and key strategies from county child welfare agencies who partnered with ACTS to implement Reflective Supervision training and coaching, followed by a joint presentation with Los Angeles County Child Welfare on lessons on adoption.


Adult Protective Services Specialized Strike Team to Address Homelessness and Other Catastrophic…

This panel presentation provides an overview of San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services- Public Guardian (DAAS-PG) Adult Protective Services (APS) Strike Team- a collaborative program to facilitate efficient and strategic assistance to individuals impacted by homelessness and other catastrophic events, such as weather-related catastrophes and mass evictions.


DEI, Policies, and County Work

California government, human services program participants, and employees are asking counties to center diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in their work. But what does that look like? What kinds of results should counties expect?


Fiscal Essentials 101

Fiscal Essentials 101 is back and will allow you to learn the essentials of human services financing. Fiscal Essentials 101 will provide a high-level overview on how human services is budgeted. In addition, it will provide information on how programs are funded, including 1991 and 2011 realignment, and current changes in finance.

Monica Bentley – Assistant Director of Finance, Riverside County Department of Public Social Services

Robert Manchia – Chief Financial Officer, San Mateo County /County Executive’s Office


Medi-Cal Unwinding and Eligibility Expansions

Medi-Cal is undergoing historical changes to eligibility in 2024 which include elimination of the asset test for all Medi-Cal programs, expansion of full-scope Medi-Cal to adults aged 26 through 49 regardless of immigration status, and the unwinding of the continuous coverage requirement. The Medi-Cal Unwinding and Eligibility Expansions workshop will provide up-to-date information about these changes, best practices that counties can leverage for successful outcomes, and innovative strategies DHCS is employing to reach diverse populations across California.


Building a Racial Equity Strategy in Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services

This presentation will bring the strategies, tools, wins and woes experienced by Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as it built a Racial Equity Strategy from the ground up. Presenters will dive into how they got started, how they achieved buy-in at the department and then county-wide level, and how to bring staff and branch leaders into the conversation.


California’s Juvenile Justice Continuum Post SB 823 Realignment

The passage of SB 823 in 2020 and SB 92 in 2121 marked the final shift of realigning the entire juvenile justice system that began in 2008 from the state to counties. County Probation Departments are now responsible for serving and supervising all youth who come before the California juvenile court and/or are referred to probation by their local law enforcement agency.


Intergration and Innovation in Providing Services to Veterans

This presentation will highlight how the Nevada County Veterans Services Office has fully integrated itself within the larger Department of Social Services to increase revenue streams, decrease DSS workload, and offer services to veterans that are truly unique. This presentation will also discuss new technologies that have been used to increase access to services and increase staff performance. Last, the Nevada County Veterans Services Office will discuss how its unique programs have assisted with increasing awareness to services available to veterans within the community.


Collaborative Caregiver Support Teams: A New Approach To Increase Ihss In Permanent Supportive…

Travis Hamilton – Associate Director of Housing Services Episcopal Community Services – San Francisco

Tamisha Mouton – IHSS Program Manager San Francisco Human Services Agency (SFHSA)

Shantel Weingand – Deputy Director Homebridge

Rod Finetti – Planning Analyst and Project Management Lead San Francisco Human Services Agency (SFHSA)


Fiscal Essentials 102

Fiscal Essentials 102 will provide you with a high-level understanding of how costs are charged to Social Services programs in the state claiming process, how time studies drive the allocation of costs, and why it is critical to have a global view of resource and funding and how those factors may impact your programs, and a review of the complete local budget cycle and how that might impact planning for your programs.

Monica Bentley - Assistant Director of Finance, Riverside County Department of Public Social Services


CalSAWS Customer Service

In this session, CalSAWS will describe how we will be of service to the 58 counties, bringing new and existing self-service opportunities, new system functionality, and training. The CalSAWS team will talk about how the project has upgraded the system to improve worker experience (including task management) and is providing virtual assistance and chatbots, more ongoing training, and a training environment for BenefitsCal.

Ashley Arnold – CalSAWS Training and DEI Manager CalSAWS

Karen Rapponotti – CalSAWS Policy Director CalSAWS


Contra Costa County Shares Powerful New Mapping and Visualizations of Social Services Data

This year, the Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) launched an exciting new set of Public Information Sharing Tools. Our panel will present a tour of EHSD’s Benefits Program Geographic Information System (GIS) Maps and its Interactive Program Data Dashboard. EHSD has gained significant experience in depicting and democratizing public agency data from the building of its Public Information Sharing Tools.


Fathers Matter: Collaborating with Communities to Re-imagine Father-Focused Engagement & Service

San Joaquin County’s 2019 County Self-Assessment illuminated a gap in father and paternal relative engagement. Therefore, SJC developed a Father’s Initiative as a System Improvement Plan Strategy comprised of several elements. A primary component of this custom-designed initiative included the development of a community-based workgroup that collaborates to develop and expand father-focused services; improve paternal engagement and outcomes; and build local awareness and appreciation for the roles fathers play in the family and community.


Getting Creative About DEI: What Can YOU Do?

Diversity? Equity? Inclusion? These terms are being discussed more than ever and organizations are also taking a closer look at these terms and how they can incorporate these concepts in their organizational practices. The objective of this interactive session is twofold: 1) to introduce the CWDA DEI Committee and 2) to educate attendees on common terms used in DEI settings. Members of the CWDA DEI Committee will provide an overview of their work and provide an update on the CWDA DEI plan.


The Provider AssistanceTeam (PAT): Improving and Expediting In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

An increase in the aging population has increased the demand for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). In-home care providers are a critical component of IHSS, yet many potential caregivers encounter multiple challenges as they began their enrollment process, resulting in delayed client services. The Adult Services Division of Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) formed the Provider Assistance Team (PAT), a specialized and centralized unit to address fragmentation of the enrollment process for IHSS caregivers and to expedite client services.


Behavioral Health and Wellness in 2023: A Roadmap for Success!

This exciting workshop focuses on introducing administrative, clinical and paraprofessional staff to an inclusive and systematic, person-centered approach to performing comprehensive behavioral health and wellness services for older adults. The workshop is facilitated by members of the San Bernardino County Age Wise Program, a seven-time national award-winning behavioral health program which assists the aging community.


Enhancing the Call Center Experience Through Technology

San Bernardino implemented our Call Center on August 11, 2011. With caseloads increasing, staffing levels remaining static and the need to evolve with technology, we decided to chop our overgrown Interactive Voice Response (IVR) tree down and plant a new seed to meet our current demands. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology was now available based on the decreased cost and our goal was to develop a modern system that would create a customized experience, provide critical case specific information without being asked and streamline the process to speaking with an agent.


Growing a Restorative Agency

Staff retention is a challenge for many Child Welfare Agencies.  This workshop will walk participants through a multi-prong staff retention strategy that utilized trauma-informed principles.  Solano County Child Welfare Services turned its focus inward, it began to see positive shifts in staff morale and staff retention.  The focus on Secondary Traumatic Stress and psychological safety generated exciting new trauma informed initiatives and launched Reflective Consultation Groups for staff.  This process has included a regular analysis of quantitative and qualitative data


How to Make Work Suck Less: Improving the Work Environment with Employee Engagement Strategies

The purpose of this session is to -Describe why we think employee engagement is important; -Share background information on how we built readiness, infrastructure, and capacity; -Provide highlights of specific programs, tools, and resources that can be used in your own organizations to support employee engagement

Diane delos Santos – Project Manager County of Santa Clara Social Services Agency

Mark Lapiz – Program Manager III County of Santa Clara, Social Services Agency


Intern & Earn: Opportunities for Youth to Gain Work Experience, Inform Program Planning, and Support

There’s increased desire for public agencies to include client voices in developing programs, yet most agencies lack infrastructure to do so. We’ll showcase how Santa Clara County Social Services Agency was able to create a paid internship program for CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Foster Youth that includes participants informing program planning and evaluation. Presenters will discuss program creation, structure, and challenges encountered when developing the program and engaging clients in planning and evaluation.