Tue, Mar 30 | Online Event

Crucial Conversation Skills for Foster Families

Michele and Tory Ponsford

Time & Location

Mar 30, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Online Event

About the Event

Michele and Tory Ponsford

Training Description

A significant challenge faced by many Foster Families is communication within the family. There is a need for establishing an open and easy system of communication when the emotions are strong, the stakes are high and there is a need for a crucial conversation.  Individuals infrequently have the knowledge and understanding of how to effectively communicate what they want and need without a “blow up”.  Giving individuals basic knowledge of how to have a crucial conversation creates an opportunity for families to establish a system to communicate effectively and create resolutions together instead of separating.

Foundational knowledge will be presented for how to effectively communicate to create resolution from the “pool of shared meaning” which establishes a family “base camp” from where communication can begin as well as a place of safety to where they can return.  Learned skills will be directly applied to support foster families in having a crucial conversation using this technique. Families will learn how to avoid communicating from a place of reactivity.  Techniques and practices will be shared for supporting foster families in understanding, interpreting and communicating about emotional experiences, dissonant feelings (depression, anger, and anxiety) and trauma.  Participants will learn to recognize triggers and how to maintain a place of “safety” while communicating.  Interactive and physical experiential techniques will be explored, demonstrated and participants will be asked to engage in role play opportunities during this course.

Participants will be asked to actively participate physically and to engage in role play scenarios to apply techniques and develop experiential skills.  This course is interactive and not advised for passive participants.  Active participation is required for participants to fully develop the techniques and skills in this course and for the success of the role play participation section of this course.

Learning Objective

  • Participants will gain knowledge of how to support foster families to have a crucial conversation from the “pool of shared meaning”, while maintaining safety in the experience.
  • Participants will learn how to navigate the emotions involved in having a crucial conversation and to create resolution while staying in safety.
  • Participants will learn techniques to support foster families to effectively communicate when emotions are strong and the stakes of the situation are high and how to “respond” instead of “react” to the emotions.
  • Participants will learn strategies to teach families about how to have a crucial conversation on their own.


12:00pm-12:55pm Overview of Crucial Conversation

12:55pm-1:05pm Break (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

1:05pm-1:55pm Overview of the Impact of Emotions on Conversations

1:55pm-2:05pm Break (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

2:05pm-2:55pm Communication Role Play Activity

2:55pm-3:05pm Break (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

3:05pm-3:50pm I Lack Chart Activity

3:50pm-4:00pm Question & Answers & Evaluations

Meet Our Trainer

Tory Ponsford is the Co-Founder of Evolution Consulting Firm. He brings over 25 years of professional experience to the team. His focus throughout his career has been primarily on Finance and Small Business Development. Over the last several years, Tory has developed his understanding of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and it’s importance in the business context. Tory specializes in teaching individuals how to develop Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and optimally utilize EQ development to improve overall professional performance. Working with leadership teams to integrate all aspects of business intelligence has been a key focus for Tory. Tory is a Certified Awakening Excellence Instructor with the Total Integration Institute.

Michele Ponsford is the Co-Founder of Evolution Consulting Firm. She has developed her career in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past 20 years. Her experience in Business Management has deepened her understanding of the value of breathing humanity and morality into business globally. Consulting with businesses to evolve into purpose driven entities has become her current passion. Michele specializes in teaching conscious business communication techniques, creating healthy business cultures & relationships as well as implementing core values into systems & operations. Michele is a Certified Awakening Excellence Instructor with the Total Integration Institute.

This course meets the qualifications for (3.5) BBS CEUs for LCSWs and MFTs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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