Human Services Conference 2017

6th Annual Human Services Conference

Cultivating RESILIENCE with Clients and Communities

Friday, April 7, 2017, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wojcik Conference Center, Harper College
1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine, Illinois 60067

Human Service Conference 2017Join practitioners, educators, students and leaders for professional development on current human services issues, relevant resources, and best practices for serving our changing communities. At this inter-disciplinary conference, you will find dynamic sessions led by recognized leaders in the field, round-table discussions, panels, visual displays of healing and resilience, and a resource and university fair.

Our theme, Resilience, will involve sessions on clinical issues across the lifespan, under-served groups, social justice issues, and community organization with respect to cultivating resilience with clients and communities. Serving our diverse communities involves adaptation and resilience as professionals, organizations, and communities. As practitioners and organizational leaders, we utilize new resources, expand our competencies and engage in inter-disciplinary partnerships. In order to cultivate resilience in our clients, we engage with multiple systems, intercultural factors, social justice advocacy, and community development issues.

This annual conference is valuable for practitioners, educators, faith and organizational leaders, and students in human services, social work, criminal justice, education, health care, and related fields.

Please note that registrations made after Friday, March 31, 2017 at noon CST cannot be guaranteed a lunch.


Register online here. Call 847.925.6616 if you have questions.

Public/Professionals: $79; Students: $39

Resource Fair Participants: $25;  University Fair Participants: $99

The registration fee for all participants includes a light breakfast, admittance to all sessions, the Resource and University Fairs, lunch, and verification of participation. Harper students may request a Continuing Education transcript which will reflect that they have attended the conference. All attendees will receive a Verification Letter that they have attended this conference. Third party billing is available.

Sessions and Speakers

Check In: 8 - 8:25 a.m.
Presentations, Luncheon, and Special Features: 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Morning Welcome Presentation

Creating Safe Spaces with Clients & Communities, with Dr. Gilo Kwesi Cornell Logan, Logan Consulting Services, LLC

Luncheon Guest Speaker

On Being Resilient with Breanna "Bree" Bogucki, Special Olympics Athlete and Global Messenger, All-American for the National Junior College Athletic Association, Human Services Student at Harper College. And with Stacey Watson, M.A., LCPC, Human Services Faculty & Counseling Advisor, Office of Access and Disability Services, Harper College.

Session One: 9:15--10:30 a.m.

Creating Safe Spaces through Engaging in Diversity Dialogues and Collaboration 
Dr. Gilo Kwesi Cornell Logan, Logan Consulting Services, LLC
Black Lives Matter! Whites Lives Matter! Blue Lives Matter! Whose lives really matter and how do we bridge the gap between us all? In this interactive session, we will explore common questions, issues and practical strategies for approaching sensitive and divisive topics of difference with clients and communities. We will share and discuss real scenarios to help us explore how to face adversity around these topics, build resilience, and create safe spaces for us all.
This addresses the content in the Morning Welcome Presentation, and is a continuation from the previous session.

Integrating the ACES Assessment to Maximize Resiliency Factors in Trauma Interventions 
Dr. Robin Palmisano, Children’s Advocacy Center
Integrating the ACES Assessment to Maximize Resiliency Factors in Trauma Interventions: This session will examine how to utilize understanding of adverse childhood experiences (ACES) in building resiliency.  This session will summarize major results from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, examine the impact of ACES on development and the brain, discuss how to integrate the ACES Assessment into treatment to build resiliency, and provide examples on community programs that have integrated ACES assessments to build resiliency.

The Role of Spirituality in Resilience
Stanley McCracken, Ph.D., LCSW, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
A paradox of human service work is that workers experience both benefits from caring for and giving to others, and we also experience stress from hearing and carrying the stories of those we seek to help. This workshop will present an overview of burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue and also compassion satisfaction and vicarious resilience. Participants will learn about organizational and individual strategies to promote satisfaction and resilience. Particular attention will be given to the role of spirituality in self-care and will consider the use of ritual as both an organizational and individual approach to foster resilience.

Resiliency Factors in Working with Older Adults
Deena Karno, MSW, MPH, LCSW, and Claire Purkis, MA, LCSW, Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation
In this session participants will discuss resiliency as it relates to challenges often experienced by members of the older adult population. At the end of the session participants should be able to: 1-Describe common challenges faced by older adults in the United States. 2-Identify factors linked to successful aging and resilience in older adulthood. 3-List sample questions for assessing resilience in older adults. 

Exploring Resilience in Latino Communities
Jenny Jarrin, MA, LCPC; Kelsey Salazar, MS. Ed., LCP; Kristine Vasquez, MA, LPC, Barrington Youth & Family Services
The purpose of this presentation is to provide mental health professionals with tools, knowledge, and a different perspective on fostering resilience in the Latino community. We will explore implicit biases and the impact they have on the individuals we work with.  

Session Two: 10:45 a.m.--12:00 p.m.

The Role of Leadership in Developing a Successful Practice
Gina Martin, M.S. Candidate, Barrington Youth & Family Services, and Greg Vrablik, MBA. Principal, The Presidents Forum
This led-discussion session is targeted at practice owners, Executive Directors, practice managers, Clinical Directors, and Board members of clinics and practices. We will be discussing the role of the leader in developing a successful practice. What you can do to help make your organization more successful? 

Inter-Faith Dialogues – Building Communities of Resistance and Resilience
Father Corey Brost, C.S.V., Founder of Children of Abraham Coalition, Co-Director, Viator House of Hospitality
Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism are rising in our nation and world. Religious extremists in all traditions are preaching fear, division and hatred while stoking violence. How do we respond? This workshop will provide options. 

Teaching Resilience to Children: Lessons from a School & Police Social Worker
Laura Campbell, LSW, Type 73 and 75, Park Ridge/Niles School District 64, Harper College Human Services Faculty
Teaching Resilience in our schools: The good news is that resilience skills can be learned. Building resilience—the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress—can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else's loss or trauma. Topics that will be explored with the understanding that resilience can be fostered through education, through friendships, through failure and trauma, research based programs, and human development stages. 
Teaching Resilience in our criminal justice community:  Resilience is essential when dealing with trauma and crisis.  The concept that some individuals seem to have an innate ability to cope and other struggle through traumatic events is an important factor.  The session will offer a discussion of ways to assist clients through resources that will offer them resilience even in very trying times.

Neurocounseling: Cutting Edge Approach to Treatment of Comorbid Disorders
Marta McGuiness, CMHC, NCC, LPC, CADC, and Jennifer Zielinski NCC, LCPC, Families and Adolescents In Recovery, Inc.
Presenters will discuss relevance of brain research and application of neuroscience in treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders.  Neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and mirror neurons are among new concepts that will be explored while focusing on therapeutic life style changes. Current research supports the fact that therapy facilitates change in behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, as well as on neurochemical and neuro-structural levels.  Practical application of the neuro-scientific research will be provided to improve client’s resiliency and wellbeing.

Available During the Luncheon Program: 12:00--1:30 p.m.


Session Three: 1:30--2:45 p.m.

Moral Injury and Resilience:  Military Veteran Experiences
Dr. Susan Harrison-Grant, Health Sciences Coordinator & Faculty, Harper College; Jack Flight, LCSW, RDDP, CSOTS, Clinical Director, NEXUS, Adjunct Faculty Dominican University & Harper College
This session explores the concept of moral injury and discusses factors that contribute to resilience.  Clinical differentiations between PTSD and Moral Injury, as well as practice recommendations are included.
The session considers the needs and viewpoints of Veterans who have experienced moral injury and discusses community resources for mental health professionals.  The session includes a Q&A panel with student Veterans. 

The Resilient Social Worker: Self Care in a Digital Age
Ellen Belluomini MacKenzie, Ph.D., LCSW, Dominican University
Often times as helpers we recognize our need for help in  the late stages of a crisis or collapse altogether afterward. Helpers can learn the balance they need to stay in health and wellness. This workshop challenges the helper to help themselves by listening to the call of self care. In this interactive session, participants will identify key short and long term stressors, and will develop strategies to reduce stress. Additionally, participants will learn about secondary trauma and how to release other's energy after a session.

Current Issues Impacting Muslim Clients and Community Members
Sarah Syed, Psy. D, Post-Doctorate Fellow, Kahlil Center
Given the current social and political climate, what considerations are needed for working with Muslim clients, particularly immigrants? Dr. Sarah Syed from the Khalil Center will be discussing issues relevant to working with this diverse population including issues related to acculturation, women's rights, family violence, and fear of government agencies. Learn more about cultural and therapeutic considerations and clinical implications for Muslim immigrant clients and their families.

Ego Defenses and Resiliency Through the Lifespan
Scott Adair Cox, LCSW, Barrington Youth & Family Services and Carrie Estrada, LCSW, Children’s Advocacy Center/Safe from the Start
Ego Defenses are synonymous with resilience. They are humans’ innate methods of coping with adversity to reduce emotional distress and maximize enjoyable experiences. While ego defenses have a positive origin, there are discrepancies between their benefit and maladaptive nature in the therapeutic environment. Specifically, ego defenses are often the techniques individuals use to survive adverse situations (i.e., negative home environment, violence, negative community factors, addiction, emotional distress, etc.) to maintain their current level of functioning. Conversely, ego defenses often are barriers to treatment success. This presentation will review the different categories and definitions of ego defenses. It outlines adaptive and maladaptive uses of ego defenses. Finally, this presentation will provide numerous examples of how to generate emotional vulnerability, enhance emotional connectivity, assist individuals in determining when ego defenses are beneficial, and ultimately highlight treatment interventions that assist individuals in reducing their use of ego defenses that have a maladaptive impact on their overall functioning.

Session Four: 3--4:15 p.m.

The Culture of Poverty and Homelessness for Diverse Youth: Hope and Resilience on the Streets
Meghan Hoxhalli, MDiv, MSW, Congregational and Community Relations Coordinator, The Night Ministry
More than 10,000 young people ages 14-21 are homeless in Chicago over the course of a year. The Night Ministry addresses the needs of young people through street outreach and three different shelter programs. Our staff from Youth Outreach and Community Relations will share best practices for working with homeless young people.  We will focus on the intersections of race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity and how those intersections affect the lives of the youth that we serve. We will discuss methods of trauma-informed care and harm reduction as strategies for working with homeless youth.

Cultivating Resilience in Grief Work
Rita Rippentrop, M. Div., LCPC, Executive Director, Barrington Youth & Family Services
In this session, Participants will gain a broad overview of the grief process, and learn about myths our society has about grief. Through a theoretical and practice, participants will gain understanding of the phases of grief (John Bowlby) and tasks of grief (J. William Worden). Through interactive discussion, helpful strategies to support a person in the midst of a grief process will be discussed. Additionally, participants will learn some strategies to increase their own or another's resiliency whenever a loss is a part of one's life.

Resilience: Lessons Learned from Accompanying Detained Immigrants
Melanie Schikore, Executive Director; Jen Sarto, Pam Shearman, Beth West, Program Directors - Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants
Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants provides pastoral care and accompaniment for immigrants through six different programs.  Staff will share lessons learned about fostering resilience with immigrants whose lives are in limbo.  

Contemplative Practice and Mindfulness as Resources for Resilience
Michele DeCanio, LCPC, and Debra Reuter, LCPC, Counseling Faculty, Harper College
The application of mindfulness as a counseling intervention has gained significant attention among healthcare researchers and practitioners within the past decade (Germer, 2013). Learn how mindfulness practices are relevant to professional work through a dynamic, thoughtful presentation. Leave with a new tools to enhance awareness and commitment to a practice that leads to increased calm and clarity. Mindfulness can have a powerful positive effect on individuals, families, groups or communities and benefit professional practice.

Evaluations and CEU’s: 4:15--4:30 p.m.


NEW this year: The Resource Fair fee includes full conference participation. The University Fair fee has been reduced and includes full conference participation.

Six CEUs for LCSW, LCPC, Psychologists, Nurses, Educators (CPDUs) provided FREE by Amita Healthcare.

Six CEUs for ICDVP are provided by WINGS at the door for a $10 fee paid by check to WINGS.  

Contact Valerie Walker,, with any CEU or Conference Program questions. The Conference schedule is subject to change. Please return to this web page for updates.

The Harper College Human Services Conference is jointly coordinated by the Harper College Human Services Program, the Human Services Club, and Harper College Continuing Education.