AFKA 48th Annual It's All About Kids Training Conference, Awards Banquet & AGM
OCTOBER 27 – 30, 2022
Registration closed on October 10th, 2022
We look forward to seeing those registered in Jasper!
what's our annual conference all about?
For 48 years, the AFKA has hosted the annual “It’s All About Kids” Conference and it’s become an event we truly look forward to as an opportunity for learning, connection, networking, and a dab of relaxation and fun too!
Our annual conference is jam-packed with amazing courses that enable us to learn and grow, but also an opportunity to recognize your meaningful contributions to the lives of children and youth in care at our awards banquet!
Each year our courses vary but all provide the types of coursework the foster and kinship community asks for. It is our pleasure to be able to provide these tools to our community and we look forward to having you join us!
For details on this year’s sessions, keynote address, awards ceremony, and entertainment, scroll down to view the particulars!
*Conference schedule is subject to change without notice
- 1:00 pm – Board and President’s Meeting
- 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Conference Registration
- 5:15 pm – Cash Bar Opens
- 5:45 pm – 6:30 pm Opening Ceremonies
- 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Buffet Dinner
- 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Keynote Speaker:
- Craig Wanless – “Finding the Courage to Care”
- 7:00 am – 8:45 am Breakfast & Conference Registration
- 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Workshops
- 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
- 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm Workshops
- 4:15 – 7:00 pm – Supper on your own and free time
- 7:00 pm Cash Bar opens
- 7:30 pm Entertainment – Mind Magic
- 7:00 am – 8:45 am Breakfast
- 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Workshops
- 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
- 12:45 pm – **Silent Auction Closes**
- 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm Workshops
- 6:15 pm – Cash Bar opens
- 6:45 pm – Banquet doors open
- 7:00 pm – Awards Banquet
- 9:00 am Annual General Meeting (Doors Open at 8:45 am)
- A continental breakfast will be provided for those in attendance at the AGM
- 11:00 am Hotel Check-Out
A Message from AFKA President, Sylvia Thompson
It is with smiling hearts and overwhelming gratitude that we invite you to join us at our 48th annual “It’s All About Kids” Conference; we are excited to be bringing back our AFKA Awards ceremonies this year! Our caregivers and support staff never stop going above and beyond for those whom they advocate. We recognize these efforts and are delighted to host an awards banquet to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our foster and kinship families, child intervention workers, support staff, and all those who make the well-being of children their life’s work.
Our annual conference also allows us the opportunity to provide meaningful training that supports foster and kinship caregivers, to create a sense of community by coming together to share our stories and experiences, and to gain insight from one another as we navigate the world of caregiving.
The AFKA has spent the year growing, learning, creating new and exciting supports and programs, and reaffirming our commitment to offer caregivers a real sense of community, in the ways they need most. We’ve dedicated ourselves to being the support system our community needs, adding a team of advocates to our staff – those who can help navigate the system and provide a safe space to talk when caregivers need it the most. This is but one of a host of new tools we’ve incorporated, along with the way we share information with our membership, new relationship-building within the province to better support caregivers, a revision of our Mentorship and CAST programs, and an array of new ideas we will bring to realization as time goes on. It’s an exciting time for the AFKA; we’re committed to continuously moving forward as an association, as a team, and as those who would stop at nothing to support our caregivers.
Though our conference is meant as a learning and networking opportunity, it’s also a time to rejuvenate, refresh, and empower ourselves to continue to strive for our best selves. Being in beautiful Jasper lends itself to this and we encourage you all to enjoy the scenery, take in some well-deserved quiet time, revitalize yourselves with a nice spa experience…whatever helps you relax, so that you leave feeling rested, energized, and feeling great; newly empowered with all you’ve learned and experienced while being here.
We thank you, for all that you do for children and youth in care and we hope to see you at this year’s 48th annual conference.
Friday, October 28, 2022
101 – Engage – Plenary Session
Presenters: Leann Wagner, Assistant Deputy Minister, Child Intervention Division, Children’s Services; Jessica Winship, Executive Director, Policy, Practice and Program Development, Children’s Services; Bonda Thompson, Regional Director, Calgary Region, Children’s Services
An opportunity to hear first hand about current Children’s Services initiatives. You will have an opportunity to ask questions about what to expect and what it means for you.
201 – Understanding Bill C-92
Presenters: Joan Conibear, Associate Director Edmonton Region, Children’s Services; Tim Gillis, Associate Director, Indigenous Services, Edmonton Region, Children’s Services; Heather Storoziuk, Associate Director, Calgary Region, Children’s Services; Nicole Samoisette, Manager, Indigenous Services, Children’s Services
Join Joan Conibear, Tim Gillis, Heather Storoziuk and Nicole Samoisette as they take us through better understanding Bill C-92. The presentation will include Jurisdiction and Indigenous Governing Bodies, the Federal Act, CS Policies and Changes – the process and practice, principles, and what caregivers can expect. This session will include a presentation, followed by discussion and Q&A portion.
203 – Traditional Parenting
Presenter: Elder Martha Campiou
Join Elder Martha Campiou for a Teaching Circle focused on Traditional Parenting.
204 – EPS: Cyber Bullying and Internet Safety
Presenter: Sergeant Corinne Kline
- Cyberbullying, signs, and tips on how to deal with victims or perpetrators
- Internet safety for parents and youth alike
- How to access resources on help, including Victim Services
205 – Beyond Behaviours: Supporting Youth with Compassion
Presenter: Craig Wanless, Clinical Director, Counsellor, Facilitator, Benchmark Counselling
In this 3-hour experiential, trauma informed and attachment based workshop, you will have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how trauma affects children and youth behavior and increased confidence to support those who have experienced trauma. As well as a solid understanding in how our own attachment style and personal history will better support us to make positive changes to become more secure and become a child’s secure base to feel confident, safe and protected. There will be an opportunity for group discussions and for some experiential learning.
Human’s have a fundamental need to evolve. We are wired for growth and healing and this happens in the context of relationships. This means we are wired for self-righting, and resuming impeded growth which naturally happens when we feel safe. We are shaped by a deep desire to be known, seen, and recognized.
If we can seek to harness the motive forces of this self-righting evolution we can facilitate change.
206 – Fun with Paint – Landscape (Pyramid Lake)
Join Joshua as he leads you step by step through fun filled instruction on painting the gorgeous Pyramid Lake landscape on canvas. Expect to learn a few techniques and tricks to help you along the way, while exploring and expressing your creative side. Don’t worry, no experience necessary for this guided activity.
301 – Advocacy and the OCYA (Office of the Child and Youth Advocate)
Presenters: Terri Pelton, Child and Youth Advocate (Alberta); Kim Spicer, Director, Investigations and Legal Representation
Foster Parents and Kinship Caregivers are natural advocates to the young people in their care. You will learn more about the work of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and the ways you may interact with the OCYA. You will also learn about children’s rights and advocacy.
401 – Care for the Caregiver (Practical Strategies) & Trauma 101 (SESSION FULL)
Presenter: Dr. Wanda Polzin, MA, RCSW, EdD
This workshop will discuss developmental trauma, looking into the aspects of physical/emotional/mental/sexual and spiritual trauma(s). We will discuss the potential impacts across time, including attachment and relational issues, emotional regulation, and overall functioning. We will explore the impacts on children/youth, caregivers, as well as within the family. We will further explore strategies for caregivers to address responses to trauma including aggression, anxiety, mood dysregulation, communication, and disrupted attachment. Practical interventions will be take-aways to support caregivers moving forward.
402 – Exploring What it Means to be Human: The Reality of Bias and Stigma
Presenter: Dr. Peter W Choate, PhD, Clinical Social Worker, Program Coordinator, Social Work Professor, Social Work
Understanding we are all biased; it is a human condition, so what can we do about it? If bias is part of living as a human in society, then it affects all of us and influences all we do. Most of us want to treat everyone fairly, we believe the kids we work with deserve the best. Let’s work with who we are and think about bringing the best out in ourselves.
403 – Advantages of Starting Early
Presenter: Gordon Cairns, CFP, Ba., BSc
We tend to get lost in words like compound interest and investment assets, without much guidance to help us navigate the fiscal world as we come of age. As caregivers, we can help guide our kids when they’re young, teaching them the power of money, investing, etc., and give them the advantage of this highly important knowledge before they leave the nest! This course is designed to help you prepare.
405 – Fun with Paint – Pet Portrait
Presenter: Joshua Heudes
Do you have a pet that you think the world of? …at least when they behave? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your fur baby (feathers and scales too) in a portrait? Here’s your chance to have a professional artist help you make that happen. Join Joshua Heudes help you create a portrait of your beloved pet. No experience required as he introduces simple steps and techniques that will help you create your very own painted pet portrait.
Confirmed registrants of this session will be contacted to email in a photo of their pet they wish to paint ahead of the session.
406 – Men’s Group (SESSION FULL)
Presenter: Rene Rajotte, AFKA Vice-President
Join Rene and other caregiver dads in a session where you will explore topics about fostering that are specific to men. This session has been successfully held at various retreats and has met with a great deal of success and enjoyment. Sorry ladies – men only!