13:56 PM

Center for Public Service and Family Strengths Attracts Social Science Leaders for National Roundtable

Last week, UHD's Center for Public Service and Family Strengths (CPSFS) hosted its annual Title IV-E Roundtable, entitled, "Dialogue Among Title IV-E Programs: A National Collaboration and Consultation," at the San Luis Hotel in Galveston.

The symposium - also sponsored by the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work - brought together some of the nation's preeminent social service leaders to share research on pressing social work issues, including mental health needs, substance and physical abuse, neglect and violence among families.

The event included 20 workshops, many of which were led or co-presented by state and university partners. Workshop topics included:

• Bringing child wellbeing into daily practice;

• Ending childhood poverty in America;

• State/county permanency in Harris County;

• Practical use of the new DSM-5 in child welfare; and

• Self care for professionals

Attendees enjoyed keynote speeches from Alvin Sallee, LISW, ACSW, former director of UHD's Center for Family Strengths; Robert Sanborn, Ph.D., president and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK; and Ken Nakamura, MSW, LCSW, Title IV-E project coordinator at San Diego State University.

"The title of this year's symposium affirms our ongoing commitment to children and families and diversity in all of our educational, service and research endeavors," said Noël Bezette-Flores, Ph.D., executive director of CPSFS and member of the Title IV-E Roundtable Planning Committee. "Child welfare will continue to be at the heart of our work, in partnership with state agencies and other universities, in addition to serving vulnerable families in our community. Our goal is to educate and train social workers for best practices in the new millennium."

Bezette-Flores presented findings from the Homeless Youth Research Project's first phase and shared research pertaining to familial factors that contribute to youth homelessness, including history of abuse, history of family homelessness, history of foster care, stigma and shame, sexual orientation, and pregnancy and parenting.

Other renowned speakers addressed critical national data, application of Title IV-E project goals and ways to bring about change in the legal system.

In addressing symposium attendees, UHD President Bill Flores noted, "Since Professor Alvin Sallee created the Center for Family Strengths, UHD has strongly supported this symposium and child welfare initiatives alongside our nonprofit, university and governmental partners. I thank you for your contributions throughout this conference and for your role in changing the lives of individuals facing a myriad of social welfare issues in our country."