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Wed, Sep 27


Online Event

Being Strength-Based with System Involved Youth: Avoiding the Labeling Trap!

Pamela Parkinson, LCSW, Ph.D.

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Being Strength-Based with System Involved Youth: Avoiding the Labeling Trap!
Being Strength-Based with System Involved Youth: Avoiding the Labeling Trap!

Time & Location

Sep 27, 2023, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Pamela Parkinson, LCSW, Ph.D.

Training Description

Strength-based, strength-based, strength-based! Wow, this seems to be an important mantra in our field! Since all of us understand our youth in our own ways, I hope that anyone supporting system involved youth and their families will attend! This training is about how we can remain strength-based when we have to use pathologizing/stigmatizing labels. While I hope that we are all advocating (in our own ways) for important changes that will allow us to be more strength-based and individualized, what do we do NOW to make sure that these negative labels don’t follow our youth in the system of care (foster care, juvenile justice and mental health systems)?

This training is meant to help us see the importance of understanding why our system-involved youth are struggling and how we can provide support for them without using negative labels! If we can get better at this, it will be a win-win for system involved youth, their families, and our organizations to better support them with better outcomes!

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

1. Explain what being strength-based does and does NOT mean and identify at least 3 principles of strength-based support that we can use with our system involved youth.

2. Identify at least 2 negative language/labels are that we use and explain how these can follow our kids and worsen their outcomes.

3. Explain:

  a. The role played by environmental risk factors related to stress and trauma that most of our kids in the continuum of care have experienced.

  b. The role played by Cultural Relativism.


10:00 – 10:30AM  Check-in and defining/understanding what strength-based and negative labeling are.

10:30 –11:00AM  Group work and brainstorming on specific pathologizing labels and what we believe they tell us that is unhelpful to our system-involved youth.

11:00 – 11:15AM BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

11:15AM – 12:00PM Identify what these labels are really trying to communicate albeit in a confusing kind of way.

12:00 – 12:30PM LUNCH (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

12:30 – 1:00PM Culture and Environmental factors in exploring/understanding the challenges of our youth: Applying these as a core factor.

1:00 – 2:00PM  Group work on identifying reducing the use of stigmatizing labels.

2:00 – 2:15PM  BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

2:15 – 2:45PM Review of theory and what this actually is? I almost never hear anyone discussing theory in depth. It can’t guide our how we support our system involved youth if we don’t know what it is!

2:45 – 4:15PM  Final group work on applying theory to guide our support services.

4:15 – 4:30PM  Check-out and ADJOURNMENT

Meet Our Trainer

Pamela Parkinson, PhD, LCSW, is a clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, whose specialty area is working with youth and their families who are being served by our continuums of care. Dr. Parkinson’s emphasis is on the importance of family engagement and the healing of traumatic attachment ruptures. Pamela is also a certified PCOMS evidence-based practicetrainer. She currently works as a child/family consultant to CBO’s in the Bay Area and Pamela has worked in level 14 residential, NPS, hospitals, and a variety of community-based settings including outpatient clinics, schools, diversion, kinship, etc.

This course meets the qualifications for (5.5) BBS CE hours for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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