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2015 Annual Conference Keynote Speakers
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Moral Courage
(1.5 Clinical & Ethics CEUs)
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work


Dr. Kim Strom-Gottfried is the Smith P. Theimann, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Professional Practice at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

Dr. Strom-Gottfried teaches in the areas of direct practice, education, and human resource management. Her practice experience has been in the nonprofit and public sectors, focusing on suicide prevention, intervention, and bereavement.
Dr. Strom-Gottfried’s scholarly interests involve ethics, moral courage, and social work education and she is active in training, consultation and research on ethics and social work practice.

She has written over 60 articles, monographs and chapters on ethics and practice. She is the author of Straight Talk about Professional Ethics and The Ethics of Practice with Minors: High Stakes and Hard Choices and the forthcoming text Cultivating Courage. Dr. Strom-Gottfried is also the co-author of the texts Best of Boards, Direct Social Work Practice and Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics: A Curriculum Resource.

Dr. Strom-Gottfried currently holds an appointment as the UNC Institute for Arts & Humanities Associate Director for the Academic Leadership Program, which helps prepare and support the next generation of academic leaders.

Finding A Place For Cultural Humility In A Culture Of Caring
(1.5 Clinical & Social/Cultural Competence CEUs)
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

University of Michigan School of Social Work


Dr. Robert Ortega’s research interests are in the areas of relationship development, group work practice, treatment interventions and service utilization, particularly in the areas of mental health and child welfare.

Dr. Ortega has presented and written on these topics with a special focus on diversity and social justice in research and practice. He has published in the areas of mutual aid, multicultural issues in group work, child welfare permanency planning, family preservation and culturally responsive child welfare practice. He is the principal investigator of the first national study of Latinos and child welfare. He has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and is currently working on projects related to increasing the pipeline for graduates from under-represented groups into research scientist professions, training child welfare managers and supervisors, and culturally responsive comprehensive child maltreatment assessments and treatment.

He is the recipient of the 2013 Recent Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education awarded by the National Council on Social Work Education. Dr. Ortega serves as consultant on several national research projects and organizations focusing on social work, child welfare and social justice issues.


All in the Family: The Critical Role of Family Support in
Preventing Risk & Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth

(2 Clinical & Social/Cultural Competence CEUs)
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Director, Family Acceptance Project
San Francisco State University

Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW is a clinical social worker who has worked on LGBT health and mental health for 40 years. She is a graduate of Smith College School for Social Work and received her clinical training with children, youth and families. Dr. Ryan directs the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University -- a research, intervention, education and policy initiative that helps ethnically and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children. Dr. Ryan and her team have developed an evidence-based family intervention model to strengthen and help families to support their LGBT children, to decrease family rejection and health risks and to promote family acceptance and positive outcomes, including permanency. Her work has been recognized by major professional groups, including the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association’s Counselors for Social Justice and the American Psychological Association, Division 44 that gave her the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for groundbreaking research on LGBT youth and families.

Dr. Ryan served as a member of the Committee on LGBT Health for the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the LGBT Suicide Prevention Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. She coordinated the development of the first clinical care guidelines for lesbian and gay adolescents for the Health Resources and Services Administration in the early 1990s and co-authored the first policy and practice guidelines for LGBT youth in child welfare, juvenile justice and transitional living programs. Her multilingual, research-based family education materials were designated as the first “Best Practice” resources for suicide prevention for LGBT young people by the Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Ryan has trained more than 60,000 health, mental health, social service providers, clergy and families on her research-based family support approach to promote wellness, prevention and care for LGBT children and youth. Dr. Ryan and her team have developed multicultural resources to help ethnically and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children and adolescents including resources for families from diverse faith backgrounds. She is collaborating with institutions, agencies, faith communities and practitioners to develop an international movement of family acceptance to promote wellness and healthy futures for LGBT children, youth and young adults.

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