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Tue, Oct 12


Online Event

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

Pamela Parkinson, Ph.D., LCSW

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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

Oct 12, 2021, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Online Event

About the Event

Pamela Parkinson, Ph.D., LCSW

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-basedwhen 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 services for them without using negative labels! If we can get better at this, it will be a win-win for system involved youth and families and our organizations which support them with better outcomes that can come through allowing our understanding to better guide our support to our youth in our continuum of care without pathologizing labels/language!

Learning Objective

  • Describe and understand what being strength-based does and does NOT mean and to articulate at least 3 principles of strength-based support that we can use with youth in our continuum of care.
  • Identify what the negative language/labels are used and how these can follow our kids and worsen their outcomes!  Learn the history behind this confusing language that has stigmatized those most at risk (our kids in the system of care)!
  • Apply our understanding of our system involved youth in a meaningful way by integrating/honoring:                           -The role played by environmental risk factors related to stress and trauma that most of our kids in the     continuum of care have experienced.                                                                                                                                                                -The role played by Cultural Relativism.


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

10:30 AM –11:00 AM 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 AM – 11:15 AM BREAK (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

11:15 AM – 1:00 PM Identify what these labels are really trying to communicate albeit in a confusing kind of way.

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM LUNCH (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM Culture and Environmental factors in exploring/understanding the challenges of our youth: Applying these as the core factor.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM  Group work on identifying reducing the use of stigmatizing labels.

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM  BREAK (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Review of theory and what this actually is? I almost never hear anyone discussing theory in depth. It can’t guide our service delivery if we don’t know what it is!

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM Final group work on applying theory to guide our services.

4:15 PM – 4:30 PM  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 with an emphasis on the importance of family engagement and on the healing of traumatic attachment ruptures in work with youth, especially youth who we serve in our continuum of care: child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and the school systems. Dr. Parkinson is also a certified PCOMS evidence-based practice trainer. She currently works as a child/family trainer and 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 CEUs 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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