2011 Conference

No Such Thing as a Bad Kid icon

WVCCA 32nd Annual Conference -
No Such Thing as a Bad Kid
Bridgeport Conference Center, Bridgeport, WV

The 32nd Annual West Virginia Child Care Association Conference (WVCCA) theme was No Such Thing as a Bad Kid! Our members, special guests and featured speaker brought this theme to life in a variety of creative ways. Since we believe learning can be inspiring and fun, everyone experienced hands-on opportunities in a creative, relaxed atmosphere.

This year, we were proud to kick-off our conference with a salute to the professionals who care for our most vulnerable and difficult children and their families. Their compassion and dedication impacts the lives of so many each and every day. We began with an Awards Brunch that served to recognize Support Staff, Child Care Workers, Foster Families, Non-Agency Community Members and Champions of Children. In addition, the WVCCA member agencies shared something they do to go the extra mile in meeting the needs of young people in their care by presenting educational, yet entertaining, presentations and skits on what makes their services unique.

Another key highlight of our conference included a presentation by West Virginia University Division of Social Work Professor, Carrie Rishel, Ph.D., who presented the final results of a statewide survey of child-serving professionals about risk factors that impact West Virginia's children. Teachers, counselors, probation officers, early childhood specialists, child care workers, and parents participated in the survey - 440 respondents in all! Funded in part by the OJJDP Congressional Earmark Program, WVCCA is using this information to develop an At-Risk Prevention Outreach and Training Series, titled, Quality Care is in our Own Backyard! This will include an on-line At-Risk Prevention Toolkit comprised of information about risk factors, resources, service providers and outreach materials; hands-on training on using the toolkit in local communities; statewide outreach campaign focused on promoting the ways to prevent at-risk behavior, and most importantly, how children who have experienced abuse, neglect, emotional and behavioral disabilities, substance abuse and/or delinquency should have every opportunity to receive care close to home and in their communities where they can stay connected to their support systems. In West Virginia, Quality Care is in our Own Backyard!

Then, we turned it over to Charlie Applestein, M.S.W., a nationally prominent youth care specialist and author whose primary focus is on working with children and youth with serious emotional and behavioral problems. Described as "the best youth care trainer in America" by Robert Lieberman, former president of the American Association of Children's Residential Centers, Applestein has devoted his entire adult career to helping children and youth struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges and those who guide them. Applestein's training focused on teachings from his book appropriately titled, No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: Understanding and Responding to the Challenging Behavior of Troubled Children and Youth. The training included innovative strength-based principles and techniques for understanding and responding to trouble children and youth.