Early Start Partners Symposium 2018
"Partnering for Lasting Change"

Download information about the Early Start Partners Symposium

The Department of Developmental Services,
the California Department of Education,
and the WestEd Center for Prevention and Early Intervention
are pleased to invite you to participate in the Early Start Partners Symposium.

The Early Start Partners Symposium (ESPS) has been developed to address the needs of early intervention service providers, service coordinators, and family support professionals across Early Start partner agencies. ESPS offers a comprehensive, in-person professional development and networking opportunity for the entire Early Start community. The Symposium agenda provides timely information about topics of critical interest to both seasoned and new Early Start personnel. Please join us!

April 26-27, 2018
San Jose, CA

Registration Deadline: April 4 (or earlier if capacity is reached)
Fee: $90

Dolce Hayes Mansion
200 Edenvale Avenue
San Jose, Ca 95136
A special room rate of $140 single/double is available until March 31, 2018.(or earlier if capacity is reached) If you call the hotel to make your reservation Identify yourself as a participant of the Early Start Event and ask for the WestEd Special rate.

Registrant Information

Are you a parent of a child with special needs? *

Day One General Session
9:00 am-10:15 am
(All registrants attend the general session.)

What’s Next for IDEA Part C?  
Presenter: Sharon Walsh, Walsh-Taylor Incorporated
National policy consultant Sharon Walsh, Walsh-Taylor Incorporated, will provide an update on recent federal action impacting services for young children with disabilities and their families, including the new federal budget and tax plan as well as other federal legislation, regulations and budget activities that impact education, social services, and health care. Ms. Walsh will also discuss the final phase of State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) activities, future Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) plans for systems improvement sustainability, and perspective on California’s SSIP implementation and evaluation efforts.

Day One Morning Session:
10:30 am-12:00 pm
(Choose one session to attend.)

1A. Disparity Funds Program Grants: What’s the Status?
Dr. Marie Kanne-Poulsen, Advisory Group Member; Rapone Anderson, Department of Developmental Services; Regional Center Cultural Specialists TBA
In 2016, California allocated funding to DDS to assist regional centers to implement strategies to reduce disparities in regional centers' purchase of services for regional center service recipients from communities of color, such as Latinos, African Americans and Asians. Funds were awarded to all 21 regional centers and a variety of activities are being conducted throughout the state. This presentation will offer an introduction to the initiative and a progress report on grant activities followed by an interactive panel of regional center representatives responding to prepared interview questions and then questions from the audience. Panel members will discuss their efforts in outreach and screening, the role of the Cultural Specialist, and community-specific programs.

1B. Track the Milestones and “Learn the Signs. Act Early.”
Debra Sarmento, Family Resource Network of California; Fran Goldfarb, University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Monica Adrian, Merced County Office of Education
What’s new from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? The Milestone Tracker! presenters will demonstrate this fun and easy-to-use app for tracking a child’s development, as well as the suite of free, family-friendly materials available through the CDC “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. 

1C. Person-Centered Planning: Supporting Families in Transition
Yvette Baptiste, Eastern Los Angeles Family Resource Center; Liz Rodgers, Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center
Transitioning from Early Start to regional center and educational services can be a challenging time for families.  Person-Centered Planning (PCP) offers families skills and strategies to communicate their child’s needs and their family’s goals. Presenters will provide an introduction to PCP and an overview of PCP tools and approaches that can be used to support families in articulating their child’s needs as they exit the Early Start system.

1D. Developing a Culturally Competent Organization: Part 1                                                                   
Dr. Camille Smith, Consultant
Early intervention professionals must be able to work effectively with families from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. This 2-part workshop is for program managers and agency directors who want to understand and build capacity for cultural competency in their programs. Participants will learn the individual and organizational behaviors necessary to effectively interact in cross-cultural situations, and support their staff in practicing cultural competency in their work with families.                                                                               
NOTE: Registrants will be automatically enrolled in session 2A, which is the second part of this two-part training activity.

1E. Safe Havens: Serving Children from Undocumented Families
 Martha Arevalo, Santa Clara County Office of Education; Claudia Harty, Parents Helping Parents Family Resource Center
Current law says that school-age children living in California must not be denied a free public education based on citizenship status. What about younger children? This session will review current state policy and recommended practices for reaching out to families to access early intervention and preschool services, as well as strategies for reassuring families and sustaining their program participation. Presenters will share their experiences as collaborative partners serving very young children with disabilities and their families.

 1F. Jump into the (Gene) Pool: Learn All About Genetic Condition
Pip Marks, Family Voices; Dr. Richard Olney, California Department of Public Health; Dr. Tracy Trotter, Pediatrician; Lila Aiyar, Hawaii Department of Health
A panel of experts will provide an overview of genetics from the prenatal period through childhood and touch on adult onset of genetic conditions. The presentation includes: the impact of genetics on the family throughout the life course, basic information about seeking genetic services and resources, advances in genetics (identification and intervention), implications of identifying more and more rare conditions, and the different California programs that work on genetics. 
Choose One (1) Day 1 Morning Session to Attend: *

Day One Afternoon Session:
1:15 pm-4:00 pm
(This will be a 2.5 hour session with a 15 minute break. Choose one session to attend.)

1H. What Does It Look Like? Recognizing Relationship-based Practices
Ross Adams, WestEd; Shondra Lawson, Parent Partner
The Take a Minute – Provider Tips for Supporting Social-Emotional Development is a checklist of family-centered practices for early intervention service providers to use with families. But how do service providers know if they are “doing it right?” What do the practices described on paper look like in practice? This session offers video examples of supportive, relationship-based practices. Presenters and audience will view videos together and engage in reflective discussions to analyze what works, what doesn’t, and how the practices might be applied in their own real-life work situations.
1I. Writing Meaningful, Functional Outcomes to Support Social-Emotional Development
Angela McGuire, WestEd; Kristine Pilkington, Early Intervention Consultant; Carina Chaij, San Andreas Regional Center
This interactive workshop offers specific information and resources for developing Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) outcomes related to social and emotional development. Presenters will review components of written outcomes and the five protective factors of Strengthening Families and discuss how they can be integrated to develop outcomes that increase parental capacity to support the social and emotional competence of their child. Participants will practice writing functional child and family outcomes using the Protective Factors Framework as a context and a template for writing complete IFSP outcome statements.
1J. Shift Happens: Making the Transition from Expert to Coach
Tawnya Roesner, Shasta County Office of Education; Monica Mathur-Kalluri, WestEd
You’ve studied and trained for years to establish your expertise as an early intervention service provider… and now you’re supposed to be working with the parent instead of on the child. Early Start professionals are increasingly engaged in coaching practices with families in order to build their capacity to support the development of their children. Practicing this way may be a significant shift. This session offers strategies for actively engaging with and educating parents, implementing routines-based intervention, and working in the natural environments of families. Participants will discuss and generate strategies to address challenges and barriers to utilizing coaching practices.

1K. Early Start SSIP: The Long View
Sharon Walsh, Federal Policy Consultant; Sharon DeRego, DDS; Noelia Hernandez, CDE
The goal of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), now in its second year of the implementation phase, is to effect long-lasting change. How do we know the activities and resources are making a difference? What comes after the final phase of the SSIP? Presenters will discuss possible next directions for the Office of Special Education Programs, the data on California’s implementation so far, and expectations and strategies for sustaining improved practices in Early Start. Participants will engage in table discussions and generate topics for dialogue between the presenters and the audience.
1L. Project Leadership: Effecting Change, One Parent at a Time
Patty Moore, Alpha Family Resource Center; Linda Landry, Family Resource Centers Network of California 
Families of children and youth with special health care needs have had significant real-world experiences that could help make health care policies and administration more family-centered and culturally competent. However, many lack the training and experience to make their voices heard. This session provides an overview of a Family Voices of California program, Project Leadership, which was designed to increase the capacity of families to partner in the development and oversight of services, systems, and programs upon which they and their children depend. Project Leadership features a comprehensive training curriculum, paired with mentoring and support, that prepares families to build partnerships with professionals and engage in public policy advocacy on behalf of children and youth with special health care needs. An independent evaluation found that program graduates from diverse backgrounds showed significant improvement in leadership skills and more confidence in their ability to advocate. In the project’s first two years, 79 parents completed the training and began actively participating on a variety of committees and planning bodies. In addition, they gave testimony at state and local hearings and were covered by the media.
1M. Working Together to Improve and Sustain Effective Early Start Services
Patrice Linehan, National Association of State Directors of Special Education; Jessica Dailey-Keithline, DDS; Jennifer Teykaerts, WestEd
Early Start has a long history of relationship-based practice in the delivery of services to families. Yet, relationships are often undervalued as strategic investments within agencies and systems. Leading by Convening offers a strategy of partnership that builds connections and fosters authentic engagement across stakeholders who work in the same landscape of practice. This strategy has real importance and potential for supporting collaboration at the local and state levels to build and sustain our SSIP efforts in California’s complex and interconnected systems. Authors of the Leading by Convening Blueprint for Authentic Engagement share stories of systems transformation and offer tools for moving partnerships from INforming to TRANSforming in the co-creation of effective programs for children and families.
1NEarly Start 101: Orientation to the Early Start System
Pramila Sindhia, Parents Helping Parents Family Resource Center; Karen Casey, Santa Clara County Office of Education; Howard Doi, San Andreas Regional Center
If you are new to Early Start, this session is for you! This interactive session for new staff clarifies the who, what, when, where, and how of the California Early Start system. Presenters offer insight from the regional center, local education agency, and family resource center/parent support perspectives, to give participants the “whole picture” of Early Start.
Choose One (1) Day 1 Afternoon Session to Attend: *

Day One Afternoon General Session
4:15 pm-4:45 pm

CA State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Cohort Presentations
California’s SSIP has been operational for two years. The first cohort of local teams has been active for over 18 months; the second cohort has been active for over 6 months. What were the revelations for each cohort? What has been the impact of SSIP activities throughout California? DDS and CDE representatives will summarize California’s recent report to OSEP. Leads from each cohort will share what they’ve accomplished, what they’ve learned, and what the final cohort of local implementation teams can expect in the year ahead. Following the presentation, an informational Walkabout will be conducted to allow for direct engagement with cohort and department leads.

Day One Networking Reception
4:45 pm-6:00 pm

SSIP Walkabout and Networking Reception
Attendees are in for a treat! After the brief presentations from SSIP Cohort teams, be our guest at a reception where participants will have the chance to network as they visit information stations where the state lead agencies and each of the local teams will display and discuss SSIP materials and information. Take this opportunity to talk about what’s worked and lessons learned with the people who are putting the SSIP strategies into practice.

Day Two General Session
9:00 am-10:15 am
(All registrants attend the general session.)

Family Journeys: From Early Start to Today
Lauren and Kelly Young; Fernando Gomez; Antwon Talford and Cid Van Koersel; Eli and Elizabeth Morgan
Early Start professionals work with infants and toddlers and their families every day, and become intimately familiar with their stories. But when a family “graduates” from Early Start, providers and support staff often don’t know the next chapter of the family’s story. This panel of early intervention graduates and their families have gathered to share their journeys of life after Early Start, and how early intervention played a role in where they are today.

Day Two Morning Session:
10:30 am-12:00 pm
(Choose one session to attend.)

2A. Developing a Culturally Competent Organization: Part 2
Dr. Camille Smith, Consultant
Early intervention professionals must be able to work effectively with families from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. This 2-part workshop is for program managers and agency directors who want to understand and build capacity for cultural competency in their programs. Participants will learn the individual and organizational behaviors necessary to effectively interact in cross-cultural situations, and support their staff in practicing cultural competency in their work with families.
NOTE: If you wish to register for this session, please scroll back up to Day 1 morning sessions and register for session 1D. Doing so will register you for both occurrences of this two-part session.

2B.Motivational Interviewing to Support Relationships
Dr. Liz Barnett, Motivational Interviewing for Change
Do you have trouble motivating the families or staff that you support? “Motivational interviewing” is a collaborative communication style for strengthening a person's own motivation and commitment to change by addressing the common problem of ambivalence. In this session, you will learn about motivation and the four stages of motivational interviewing and practice the micro-skills needed to help people get over “Motivation Mountain.”

2C. Under Construction: Early Start Online Special Topic on Transition
Angela McGuire and Jennifer Teykaerts, WestEd
A special topic training package on transition at age three is currently in development for Early Start Online and we need your input. Participants should come prepared to WORK. The group will actively engage to review and provide feedback on the learning outcomes and existing resources on transition, including Effective Early Childhood Transitions: A Guide for Transition at Age Three. Ideas for interactive personnel development activities and follow-up support for sustaining practices and relationships will also be generated. This is your chance to join the Early Start Online production team ‘behind the scenes!

2D. Supporting Staff Through the Stressors that Distract: Remembering Your “Why”
Robin Larson, Far Northern Regional Center; Renee Menefee, Shasta County Office of Education; Marlene Pena, EPU Children's Center
High caseloads, paper jamming, audit preparation… How can supervisors make service coordination more manageable and meaningful for service coordinators? Paper work and technical tasks move service providers away from the more supportive work that they love and may blind them to the importance of the paper plans that they are creating with families. This session offers some ideas for helping your staff to manage the operational tasks that they must complete, nurture and maintain a relationship-based approach, and reframe the view of the ‘paper work’ that memorializes plans and progress in the work with families.                           

2E. Autism—Early Identification and Family Support
Diane Storman, Jennifer Fisher, and Tara Sisemore-Hester, CAPTAIN
California’s Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN) is a multiagency network of trainers whose goal is to increase the early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs). In this presentation, participants will learn about the current prevalence of autism in California, current accepted EBPs, and free training and implementation resources specifically developed for toddlers and young children with autism.  In addition, resources for supporting parents in early developmental monitoring from Centers for Disease Control’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign will be shared, including local resource brochures that assist parents with finding support. 
2F. Early Start ‘Au Naturel:’ Café Discussions about Services in Natural Environment
Patty Moore, Alpha Family Resource Center; Kristine Pilkington, Early Intervention Consultant
What are natural environments? It doesn’t only mean the home for all families. Where and how can early intervention services be provided? This session will begin with a review of regulations pertaining to service delivery in natural environments. Then, participants will engage in a World Café to discuss responses to persistent or emerging challenges, such as insurance-funded services, costs to working in natural environments, identifying and working in a wide variety of settings, working in vast geographic expanses, ideas for outreach and education to families, and providing services to families who are monolingual.

2G. Oral Health Information and Strategies for Families of Children in Early Start
Dr. Jay Kumar, California Department of Public Health; Dr. Paul Glassman, University of the Pacific Center for Special Care 
Good oral health starts before an infant even has teeth. This session offers resources for communicating with and educating families about good oral health practices for young children, as well as strategies for communicating and collaborating with oral health professionals about children with disabilities and special health care needs. Participants will receive evidence-based oral health information, outreach materials (oral health kits) that may be shared with families, and food recommendations related to oral health.
No choices will show here if you chose session 1D. Developing a Culturally Competent Organization: Part 1. You are automatically registered for session 2A. Developing a Culturally Competent Organization: Part 2.
Choose One (1) Day Two Morning Session to Attend: *
(0 remaining)

Day Two Afternoon Session:
1:15 pm-2:45 pm
(Choose one session to attend.)

2H. Presenting the NEW Early Start Service Coordination Handbook!
Angela McGuire and Jennifer Teykaerts, WestEd
Remember Cordi and Nate, the service coordinator spokespersons from the Early Start Service Coordinator Handbook? Well, they’ve retired. The NEW Early Start Service Coordination Handbook is ‘coming online.’ This session will provide an orientation to the organization and roll-out schedule of the new Handbook, demonstrate how to access chapters, and introduce currently available chapters. Participants are invited to engage in interactive discussions about how they might use the Handbook and provide suggestions on future training utilizing the Handbook.

2I. Reflective Practice and Sustainability… Let Me Think About That
Monica Mathur-Kalluri, WestEd; Carina Chaij and Arushie Nagapitiya, San Andreas Regional Center; Karin Crosby, Santa Clara County Office of Education; Trudy Grable, Parents Helping Parents
Reflective practice… taking time to think about our work and make it better in the future. Who has time for that? You do. This session provides the opportunity for managers and supervisors to engage in a facilitated conversation with peers around the barriers to and supports for reflective practice. Are the barriers technical or adaptive? How can they be addressed? Ideas generated will be transcribed and disseminated to participants for future action.
2J. Support for Developmental and Behavioral Screening in California: A Panel Discussion
Jennifer Miller, WestEd; Karen Finello, Statewide Screening Collaborative; Alise Paillard, California Developmental Screening Network; Heather Little, Help Me Grow California; Monica Adrian, Merced County Office of Education
This facilitated panel presentation discusses key initiatives in California that support the development of robust, responsive screening and referral systems to identify infants and toddlers who may benefit from Early Start and/or other community-based programs designed to support children and their families. Representatives from California initiatives will describe their focus, activities, outcomes and technical assistance opportunities in support of early identification and access to services and how stakeholders can be involved. Presenters will dedicate time for audience ‘Questions and Answers.’
2K. Ecomaps: Charting Your Way to Understanding the Family
Ross Adams, WestEd; Debbie Whitmer, Early Intervention Consultant
An ecomap is a tool to describe the elements impacting the lives of a child and family in an organized and visual way. Ecomaps diagram key social and personal relationships for a child and family. But when and how do you use them? This session provides an introduction to ecomaps and a hands-on opportunity to practice creating one. Come ready to ask questions and share!
2L. Movin’ on Up: From Natural Environments to the Least Restrictive Environment
Kim Pierce and Vanessa Oamelda, San Andreas Regional Center; Dr. Wendy Hacke, Franklin-McKinley School District
As children and families transition from Early Start, the vocabulary changes… and then so does the focus. This session explains the difference between natural environments for early intervention services and the least restrictive environment for a child’s educational placement. Discussion will include importance of early referral to the Family Resource Center, how to educate and support the family to prepare for transition, strategies for collaborative transition planning to facilitate positive relationships between the family and education agency personnel, and various service models for education and related services in the least restrictive environment.
2M. What’s New in Accessing Insurance for Early Start Services
Katie Hornberger, Disability Rights California
Accessing insurance for Early Start services continues to be a complicated process for both service coordinators and families. What impact can be expected from federal policy and budgetary changes? This session will cover information concerning the use of public or private insurance for early intervention therapy services. Presenters will discuss developmental vs. medical services, covered services, what to do when there are no providers available in the network, and what to do when a service is denied.
2N. Supporting Families Whose Children Have Medically Fragile Conditions
Wendy Longwell, Rowell Family Empowerment of Northern California; Debbie Salazar, San Andreas Regional Center
Families of children who have medically fragile conditions experience frightening, complicated, and often ongoing threats to their children’s health. The conditions are emotionally challenging for both families and service providers. This session defines medically fragile conditions and how they may impact the delivery of services. Presenters will also offer strategies for supporting families, responding appropriately to ‘hard to hear’ news and comments about a child’s condition, and facilitating the participation of medical professionals (pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, etc.) on the IFSP team.
Choose One (1) Day Two Afternoon Session to Attend: *