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Sat. Aug. 24th


The Regional Alliance is passionate about providing great resources to equip and strengthen families, especially those caring for kids who have experienced trauma. Join us for our 3rd annual Training Up Conference where we bring together experts from around the Greater Sacramento Area to share their knowledge on parenting strategies, the anatomy of trauma, mental health and attachment issues, sensory processing challenges, Trust Based Relational Intervention tools, and ways to build connection and attachment with these kids from "hard places". Foster and adoptive parents, extended family members, advocates, mentors, social workers and anyone working with children who've experienced past trauma or loss are invited to learn how to "train up" healthy kids and build resilience.



Destiny Community Center

6850 Five Star Blvd.

Rocklin, CA 95677

Saturday August 24th

8:30am - 4pm

(Doors open at 8am)

Ticket Pricing

Early Bird (April 15-May 31) $35*

General Registration (June 1-Aug 20) $45*

Children's Registration $15

*Price Before Member Discount if applicable

Conference schedule

8-8:30am             Registration
8:30-9:45am       Main Session #1

9:45-10:05am     Coffee Break
10:05-11am        Breakout Session #1
11:05-12pm        Breakout Session #2

12-1pm                Lunch
1-1:30pm             Family Resource Fair 
1:35-2:30pm        Breakout Session #3
2:30-3pm             Family Resource Fair
3-4pm                  Main Session #2


With 30+ local




Plus chances to win

great raffle prizes




Receive up to 5 Hours of

Resource Parent Training

Trauma causes many changes to the brains and bodies of kids and adults alike. At the 2019 Training Up Conference our main sessions will focus on the understanding and impacting the mental and emotional responses found in children who have experienced abuse, neglect or traumatic situations.

TED-Style Talks

  • Penicillin, X-Rays & ACEs: Accidental Discovery of ACEs is Changing our View of Health​

  • Recognizing Trauma in it's Many Forms

    • Dr. Dene' Starks​

  • Rewiring the Brain: Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together

    • Tiffany Saathoff​


Main Sessions

  • Understanding the Unique Responses to Trauma in Childhood (Neurobiological, Physiological, & Psychological)

  • Trauma Competent Caregiving: Re-framing Typical Mental and Emotional Trauma Responses

Main sessions



BREakout Session 1

TBRI & Parental Attachment Styles

  • In Trust-Based Relational Intervention, we learn that trust and attachment are key for children from hard places to heal. How parents build this attachment is profoundly impacted by their own attachment style. In this breakout session, we will discuss attachment styles, how you can determine your own style, and what you can do to foster a secure attachment with the relationships in your life.

  • Charlotte Fritz, LMFT

  • Presentation Slides


Stark Warnings or Preventable Paths?  - ACEs and Our Health

  • Decades of collecting information on Adverse Childhood Experiences has given us crystal clear cautions on the avalanche of medical challenges that can accompany ACEs…yet the same information is also giving us the hopeful message that what is predictable is also preventable.

  • Speaker: Mike Mason, KidsFirst

  • Presentation Slides

  • ACEs Survey


Connecting with Kids in a Media-Centered World

Praying Through-Trusting God in the In-Between

  • Join us (me) as we explore living with faith in the space between our hopes and our current reality.  Explore biblical examples of navigating the tension that exists between a world full of brokenness and God’s plan for redemption. Gain practical applications to pray with faith through any valley. 

  • Speaker: Heidi White, Defending the Cause Regional Alliance

"I am” Statements: Overcoming Mental Roadblocks After Trauma

  • Following the experience of trauma, many unhelpful "I am" statements arise, often without conscious awareness, that get in the way of healthy functioning. Join me in this session to learn about strategies for helping kids overcome these "I am" statements, such as "I am broken," "I am stuck," "I am always going to struggle with this," in order to help them move forward in the healing process. 

  • Speaker: Corinne Brodnicki, LMFT

  • Presentation Slides


BREakout Session 2

Self Care and Self Regulation in the Moment

  • Parenting a child with special emotional needs takes a very well-resourced caregiver. If you are parenting or meeting the needs of a kiddo who comes to you with grief, loss or trauma, their needs are very high and their behavior often matches it! What we know is that relationships are the most significant factor in their healing. This is a very big job. It takes tremendous self-regulation and self-care, in order to meet those needs and to engage in a healing relationship. In this workshop, we will explore techniques of self regulation and micro-moments (sometimes that is all we get) of self-care to make sure you are well-resourced to manage your important role.

  • Speaker: Debbie McJimsey, LMFT


Reaching and Teaching Children with Difficult Beginnings

  • Children with neurodevelopmental trauma (adverse childhood experiences and more) are: two and a half times more likely to fail a grade, have poor social emotional skills, low test scores, suspended more often, and more frequently placed in special education. Trauma-informed schools and districts adhere to key principles creating an environment of safety, trust, and choice, advancing both staff and students alike.  Workshop outcomes include: understanding how neurodevelopmental trauma impacts the brain, understanding behaviors are communication, why education must be brain-based for children to be successful, what trauma-informed principles are and steps to become a trauma-informed district. A trauma-informed toolkit will be given to all participants.

  • Speaker: Judy Knapp, PreventionWORKS

  • Presentation Slides


Foster Care & Adoption 101

  • Are you considering bringing a child into your home through foster care or adoption but don’t know where to start?  In this session we’ll cover the requirements, approval process, timeline and cost of foster care, foster-adoption, private adoption, international adoption and even embryo adoption. It doesn’t take perfect parents to provide a safe, loving home to children in need…just willing ones. Do you have what it takes? Find out more in this breakout session led by a former foster youth who is now a foster and fost-adoptive mom.

  • Speaker: Renee' Hemsley, Hope's Anchor, Inc.


Balancing the Whole: Meeting Individual Needs within the Family System

  • We have all experienced the absolute exhaustion of trying to balance the needs of the whole family when we have members with higher needs. Join me on the U Theory journey as we learn to suspend past patterns, see with fresh eyes, and prototype new ways to operate from the whole family perspective. Learn customized techniques that will assist with a renewed sense of family balance.

  • Speaker: Dayna Freier, California Alliance of Caregivers

  • Presentation Slides

Life After Trauma: From Trauma to Recovery

  • How do you move forward after something happens in your life that challenges your ability to feel safe, secure, and hopeful? More important, how do you reclaim your identity when a life event challenges everything you used to believe about yourself, others, and the world? In this session we will discuss Life After Trauma, in which we will explore the three phases to recovery while offering tips on identifying trauma sources and tools to reconnect with self and others.

  • Speaker: Dr. Dene' Starks, Diversif-I Education Group

BREakout Session 3


Caring for the Caregiver: Creating Community Around Your Family

  • In the middle of the chaos that can go hand-in-hand with kids who have a trauma history, caregivers often find that typical ‘self-care’ mantras are not enough. Messages overwhelmed caregivers receive and perceive from those around them can produce isolation instead of deepening community. In the presence of suffering, our natural response is to protect and defend but in order to stay consistent for the kids we care about help is necessary. In this session, learn what ‘practical support’ REALLY looks like and some clear actionable steps to creating a support system for your family or those you serve.

  • Speaker: Carla DeRose, LMFT

Healing Difficult Beginnings through Neurodevelopmental Movements

  • Developmental trauma thwarts healthy brain development.  An immature and disorganized brainstem is at the root of many of the “disorders” you and your child are currently struggling with.  Neurodevelopmental Movements help mature and organize this part of the brain.  Please come learn how these simple and fun yet transformative activities can help your child heal from their difficult beginnings.

  • Speaker: Teri Gelgood, LMFT


Grief & Loss: Rewriting the Reproductive Story

  • Beginning in childhood, most everyone imagines a family narrative about themselves and their future. These hopes and dreams are with us throughout life and may include children, our relationships and possibly how we see ourselves in the world. But life often does not go  as planned. We don’t foresee trauma, grief and loss. In this session we discuss how to rewrite our Reproductive Story through the exploration of four tasks of mourning.

  • Speaker: Tanya Flores, Sierra Pregnancy + Health

Brainspotting & EMDR

  • Brainspotting and EMDR are two types of “power therapies” that use eye movements and profound therapeutic attunement to allows people to access, process and overcome trauma, negative emotions, and even pain. These modalities are particularly effective for PTSD, attachment issues, dissociation, and self-regulation and are often used in combination with other activities such as sand tray, art therapy, play therapy, etc. Jena Salvi, LMFT, will discuss the neuroscience behind these treatments, her experiences using them in her private practice, and ways you can incorporate them into your daily life. 

  • Speaker: Jena Salvi, LMFT


Carla DeRose, LMFT

Carla and her husband Edward are the parents of seven adopted children and one birth child. Additionally they have been guardian parents to several children and are currently raising their grandson. Growing their family via adoption and guardianship parenting seemed like a natural extension of their separate careers as mental health professionals in the adoption field. Carla and Edward, along with several other adoptive families, founded The Parent Cooperative Community in order to fill the unmet needs of their own and other adoptive families of children from difficult beginnings.

Corinne Brodnicki, LMFT

Corinne is a Marriage and Family Therapist and also has the privilege of teaching at William Jessup University as an adjunct professor of Psychology. In her private practice she works with individuals, children, couples, and families who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, anger issues, and behavior issues. 

Charlotte Fritz, LMFT

Charlotte has been married to her husband Scott for 13 years. They adopted two beautiful children locally through foster-adoption over the course of the last 7 years, and fostered two other children who later reunited with their birth family. Charlotte has been a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2007, and currently specializes in working with families who are raising children who have experienced trauma. Charlotte is a certified TBRI provider and her passion is connecting foster and post-adoptive families with the resources they need.

Dayna Freier

Dayna is an adoptive mother and parent to 5 amazing children, three who have their own special needs and unique challenges. As a life-long advocate, she has spent years working as a social worker and is currently the Program Director at California Alliance of Caregivers. Dayna is a statewide advocate and trainer through Parents and Caregivers for Wellness.

Debbie McJimsey, LMFT

Debbie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Founder/Director of West Roseville Counseling Center. She is a Certified Adoption Competent Therapist, Certified Trainer for the Adoption Competency program and has post-graduate training in EMDR, TBRI, and EFT. She is the trainer for Resource Parents at Lilliput Families and for therapists/social workers who are seeking post-graduate certification in Adoption Competence (an 18-month long certification program). Debbie has been married for 25 years and is the parent of three children: two biological and one through international adoption.

Dr. Dene' Starks

Dr. Dene' J. Starks serves as founder of Diversif-I Education Group, Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that exists for the empowerment of adults and children in under-served communities through enrichment, mentoring, and education programs. Through her journey, she has discovered her passion to inspire, equip, and motivate people from all walks of life to follow their dreams. Dene' is a proven author, speaker, educator, and a successful entrepreneur.

Heidi White

Heidi majored in Sociology in college and began her career with Koinonia Family Services where she worked for 4 years as Child Care Counselor in group homes and as a clerk in adoptions. Heidi joined staff at Bayside Church in 2013 as the Women’s Student Life Director of Thrive School. Her passion for foster care and adoptions began when she was 15 years old and currently Heidi is transitioning into a full-time role with Defending the Cause Regional Alliance as the Church Relations Director connecting the heart of the Father with the hearts and homes of the Church.

Jena Salvi, LMFT

Jena is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is passionate about her work with families and children affected by PTSD and Complex Trauma. Starting her career with San Francisco's Juvenile Justice System 10 years ago, Jena has sought after the most long-lasting and effective modalities for healing the whole person after traumatic experiences. She now specializes in working with children of trauma in her Private Practice in Folsom. Jena is also a dance and yoga teacher and is passionate about incorporating those forms of therapy into her work.

Joanna Jullien

Joanna is the founder and CEO of Core Connectivity, a foundation to empower families. She has served the community as a prevention and recovery strategist and as a parenting and family life educator and coach on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. She is a former technology executive trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, a mother of two grown sons, and an author of books for practical guidance on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture. As a family and technology culture adviser, Joanna has appeared on 103.9FM The Fish, 710AM Keeping Faith in America, 1380AM The Answer, and

Judy Knapp

Judy has worked in the child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention arena for over 20 years. She is the founder of PreventionWORKS, an organization dedicated to violence prevention education, is the co-founder of the El Dorado ACEs Collaborative in El Dorado County, was the Director of Education and Training for a local DV/SA agency, and the Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of El Dorado County. Judy is the creator of many personal safety, bully prevention, healthy relationships and parenting programs and consults with and trains other counties to build capacity.

Mike Mason

Mike has been with KidsFirst Counseling and Family Resource Centers for over 6 years. He is a graduate of the Defense School of Public Affairs & has a B.A. in Communication Studies as well as two Professional Life Coaching certifications. A father of 2 adult children, Mike’s background is Marketing & Public Relations, but he found a new passion in social causes - particularly in advocating for child abuse prevention as well as positive father involvement. In addition to his community relations & development duties at KidsFirst, he teaches Mandated Reporting, Child Abuse Signs & Symptoms and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Awareness in California as well as manages his agency’s Forever Fathers dads support groups.

Renee' Hemsley

Renee and her family have been fostering children since January 2012.  She is a graduate of Butte Community College with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences.  Renee is the Director of Hope's Anchor, Inc. where she provides direct support services to foster, adoptive, kinship and resource families in Yolo County. She and her husband Gary have six children, four of whom were adopted through the foster care system.

Tanya Flores

Tanya is the Reproductive Grief Coordinator at Sierra Pregnancy + Health, a non-profit medical clinic in Roseville. For over 13 years Tanya has provided care and support for those experiencing loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, hysterectomy, infertility and abortion.  Believing all can be an invitation to heal, Tanya became a Certified Instructor for Life Perspectives, equipping individuals nationwide through training and resources so that men and women no longer have to suffer in silence with reproductive loss.

Teri Gelgood, LMFT

Teri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with foster and adopted children and their families for over 25 years in various capacities and settings.   Teri specializes in the area of neurodevelopmental trauma and is a clinician, trainer, consultant and expert witness.  Teri is the creator of Healing Difficult Beginnings:  Neurodevelopmental Parenting and is in private practice in El Dorado County. 

Tiffany Loeffler

Tiffany is the founder and director of Defending the Cause Regional Alliance (DTCRA) in addition to working in the healthcare field as orthopedic physical therapist.  She firmly believes that every child deserves a family who loves them and that collaboration is the only way to see wide-spread impact. Tiffany and her husband Matt led short term mission teams to Haiti for 7 years plus founded a local church-based foster care and adoption ministry where she made connections with agencies and nonprofits all around the Greater Sacramento Area prior to launching DTCRA in 2016. They have 2 amazing kids, James (12) & Laurie (15), who were adopted from Haiti after a miraculous 6 1/2 year international adoption process.

Tiffany Saathoff

Tiffany and her husband Eric have been married 13 years, have two children, Blake and Paige, who were adopted from Placer County Foster Care and a baby on the way. Together, Eric and Tiffany have a heart for strengthening the family unit. They were children's pastors at Destiny Christian Church for 10 years and now are Directors of Destiny Community Center where they offer resources to strengthen and support families. Trained in Love & Logic and Kimochi Social Therapy, Tiffany teaches West Coast leaders in churches, community centers and public schools and she developed a 3-week Co-Parenting curriculum for separated/divorced/foster/adopt/blended families. With a degree from UC Davis in Psychology emphasizing on Child and Family Development, Tiffany is trained in assessing and implementing family health strategies. Eric and Tiffany's goal is simple, to provide the resources and education necessary to see stability and health in local homes. 

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