2009 Conference

Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N Roll icon

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll West Virginia Child Care Association Fall Conference Tackled the Toughest Issues and Opportunities Facing West Virginia Teens and the Professionals Who Care For Them

Teen sex and pregnancy; underage drinking and illegal drug use; reaching teens who live in an on-line world…these are some of the most important issues the professionals who care for today's at-risk teens. And these difficult issues inspired the theme for this year's West Virginia Childcare Association (WVCCA) Fall Conference, "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll", which took place October 27-28, 2009 in Charleston.

"For years, 'Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll' has been the unofficial slogan for what it means to be a teenager. As professionals who are on the front lines providing care for troubled teens, we know the dangers and opportunities inherent in this slogan. That's why we decided to tackle it head on and make it the theme for our fall conference," said Tricia Kingery, Executive Director, West Virginia Child Care Association. "We know it's important to take an honest look at these issues. We need to fully understand why trouble teens turn to risky behaviors and how our profession can successfully prevent and treat their devastating outcomes

As the name suggests, the conference was divided into three tracks. For the "Sex" track, social workers, therapists, case managers, direct service providers, law enforcement, advocates and professionals working with at-risk and vulnerable populations received leading edge training on how to confront the challenging sexual issues in teens. The "Drugs" track focused on prevention and treatment drug abuse in teens, as well as treating children who are drug endangered. And, for the "Rock 'n Roll" track, conference participants took a look at how advances in technology and global cultural influences have drastically changed the way teens interact and provided new opportunities for engagement.

In addition to hard-hitting themes, the conference featured a number of prominent West Virginia leaders. West Virginia's First Lady Gayle Manchin and Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Patsy Hardy got the conference underway on the morning of the 27th. The First Lady's remarks focused on recognizing the WVCCA's milestone 30th anniversary of helping West Virginia's children and families. Secretary Hardy addressed the challenges of managing teens troubles in today's world, in West Virginia and DHHR's priorities for children in the months and years to come. On the evening of the 27th, the WVCCA's 30th Anniversary Awards Dinner featured the recognition of award winners including the Champion of Children, Child Care Worker, Non-Agency Community, and Foster Care Treatment Family. The No Pants Player improv group will be the featured entertainment for the dinner.

The conference took place at Blessed John XXIII Pastoral Center, 100 Hodges Road, Charleston. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were available for social workers and counselors.