The Regional Alliance is passionate about providing great resources to equip and strengthen families, especially those caring for kids who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma. Join us for our 4th 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, teachers 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.

*Pending state approval for in-person gatherings after Covid-19



Destiny Community Center

6850 Five Star Blvd.

Rocklin, CA 95677

Saturday August 29th

8:30am - 4pm

(Subject to Covid-19 Guidelines)

Ticket Pricing

Early Bird (Until June 15) $35*

General Registration (June 16-Aug 21) $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
1-1:45pm             Family Resource Fair 
1:50-2:45pm        Breakout Session #3
2:55-4pm             Main Session #2


With 30+ local





Plus cafe lunch is

included with registration



Resource Parents: earn up to 5 Hrs of Training

Providers: earn up to

3 Hrs. of CEUs

Trauma alters the brains and bodies of children often forcing them into survival mode. Over time, perceptions and behaviors drastically change making it difficult for loving, competent caregivers to understand or relate to them. At the 2020 Training Up Conference our main sessions will focus on EXPECTATIONS: what are the normal physical and emotional expectations babies have coming into the world, what happens when typical expectations go unmet and how to re-frame our expectations as parents, providers (social workers, therapists), and educators to effectively meet the needs of kids from hard places. 


Main Session Topics/Speakers

  • Typical Childhood Expectations & the Effects of Trauma (Neurobiological/Physiological vs. Emotional/Psychological) 

    • Leanne Liddicoat, O.D. | ClearVue Eye Care

  • Burn the Ships: Taking a Whole New Look at Caring for Kids after Truama

    • Tiffany Loeffler, DPT | DTCRA Director

Main sessions

Breakout  Sessions

Parent & Caregiver Track

The Foundational Importance of Belonging  

  • All children enter the world in need of a family to belong to, one with safe healthy adults who will meet their needs and protect them from harm. Kids must be claimed and feel like they are part of a tribe in order to connect with others, develop trust, and thrive in life. Being part of a family is not just beneficial but essential to survival. In this breakout we’ll explore the foundational importance of belonging, what happens to a child’s brain and behavior when they are not claimed and the value of maintaining contact with birth relatives even in the instance of foster care and adoption.

  • Speaker: Tiffany Loeffler, DPT | DTCRA


The Power of Forgiveness in Healing a Hurting Child

  • Meeting the heightened physical and emotional needs of foster/adopted children or kids with a trauma history can be a daily challenge and source of conflict in your home. Controlling behaviors, disrespect for authority and interpersonal rejection are common responses to childhood trauma making the need for forgiveness paramount for parents and caregivers. In this breakout, we’ll discuss simple insights and exercises to master the art of forgiveness, reduce power struggles and empower children to reach a more hopeful and resilient state mind. Come learn about the powerful mind-brain connection and create a more peaceful family environment by responding differently to adversity.

  • Speaker: Joanna Jullien | Core Connectivity


Expanding Your Crisis Toolkit

  • This interactive workshop offers strengths-based parenting techniques and tools for managing crisis moments. The training is focused on the impact of crisis moments on the family system, offers an opportunity to create an individualized crisis plan specific to the needs of your family, identifies effective de-escalation techniques to avoid crisis moments, and highlights the importance of the post-crisis recovery period to build resilience and strengthen relationships. 

  • Speaker: Dayna Freier | California Alliance of Caregivers


Advanced Parent & Caregiver Track

Empowering Principles of TBRI

  • Trust-Based Relational Intervention addresses healing the whole child. Part of this strategy is learning how to empower children by addressing their physical needs. In this breakout session we’ll be discussing how to support children from hard places physically, as well as how to structure their environment to best help them succeed.

  • Speaker: Charlotte Fritz, LMFT | Growing Hope


Increasing Felt Safety to Disarm Fear and Build Connection

  • Being safe and feeling safe are two very different things. While a child may BE safe in their new foster or adoptive home, they can remain in survival mode because they’ve been conditioned to fend for themselves, put up thick walls around their hearts and shut out the world. If the adults who were supposed to care for them didn’t, why would other adults (especially strangers) be any different? As parents or caregivers of foster/adopted children, we need to understand the difference between the safety we think we are providing and the safety kids are actually experiencing. In this session we’ll figure out what beliefs are driving our trauma kids and how to increase felt safety in our homes.

  • Speaker: Carla DeRose, LMFT | The Parent Cooperative Community


Secondary Trauma & Compassion Fatigue  

  • Compassion Fatigue can be a serious occupational hazard for anyone serving in a caring profession or capacity.It’s typically those who exercise the most empathy who are at highest risk. In this breakout session, seasoned chaplain and trauma expert Mark O’Sullivan will outline the relationship between secondary trauma and compassion fatigue, the typical characteristics of physical and emotional exhaustion along with a profound decrease in the ability to empathize, plus valuable tools to combat these things when caring for kids from hard places.

  • Speaker: Mark O’Sullivan, Senior Chaplain | Educational Ministries, Inc. & O’Sullivan Consulting

Specialty Breakout Track


Sensory Processing/Healthy Sensory Diets: Raising your Sensory Smart Child 

  • Is your child constantly on-the-go? Is getting dressed a constant struggle because your child complains that their clothing doesn't feel right?  These behaviors may be caused by an invisible condition called Sensory Processing Disorder. Learn about the many senses our mind and body use to process information and strategies to support your child's needs so that he/she may be successful at home and in the community. You may also learn something new about your own sensory processing abilities!.

  • Speaker: Rose-Stella Pierre-Louis, OT | Ms. Rose's TheraPlace

Enhancing Care & Understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, is a common diagnosis for children in the foster system due to the prevalence of prenatal alcohol exposure. Join FASD expert and Empowered to Connect trainer, Eric Osborn, for an interactive training on the causes and effects of FASD, typical strengths and characteristics of an individual with FASD, and ideas to support and accommodate the various traits of people with FASD. We’ll also discuss the importance of ongoing self-care and connection/support from other caregivers in similar situations.

  • Speaker: Eric Osborn, MDiv | Transformational Family Ministries


Trauma-Informed Child Care from a Biblical Perspective

  • Trauma-informed care involves a scientific, research-based approach to caring for children that have been impacted physically, emotionally and/or mentally from past trauma.  The human brain is intricately wired and throughout scripture God weaves in principles of connection, empowerment and correction as he binds up broken hearts and cares for the least of these. Join me as we explore the biblical foundation of trauma-informed care as well as gain a deeper understanding of the Father's heart.

  • Speaker: Heidi White | DTCRA

Provider Track

Stuck Spots for Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Families

  • When parenting or caring for a child with a trauma history, there can be many road blocks to connection and functioning successfully as a family unit. In this breakout designed specifically for social workers and therapists, we'll explore the common challenges foster, kinship and adoptive families face and ways to move past these hurdles to a place where adults and children alike can thrive.

  • Speaker: Debbie McJimsey LMFT | Debbie McJimsey Counseling

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” parents/caregivers and children struggle with. Neurodevelopmental Movements help mature and organize this part of the brain. In this session, counselors, therapists and social workers will learn how these simple and fun yet transformative activities can help children heal from difficult beginnings.

  • Speaker: Teri Gelgood, LMFT | Creating Joy Now


Creative Interventions to Address Childhood Trauma & Promote Healing

  • In this session providers and clinicians will explore new approaches to go deeper with their clients to work with underlying issues of grief, loss, and identity. 

  • Speaker: Debbie McJimsey LMFT | Debbie McJimsey Counseling

Educator Track


The Need for Trauma-Informed Educators: Changing Adult Mindsets so ALL Kids Can Learn

  • Little things set Bobby off and he can be highly reactive, fighting with students and arguing with teachers. Susie is quiet and withdrawn with few friends. Tommy is fidgety, easily distracted and works erratically. Do you recognize these students? Children with neurodevelopmental trauma are 2.5 times more likely to fail a grade, have poor social emotional skills, are suspended more often, and frequently get placed in special education. Teachers may not know their students’ backstories, but we can peel back the layers so educators understand how neurodevelopmental trauma impacts the brain, how a child’s belief system is influenced, and what kids are communicating through misbehavior. In this session we’ll explain why education must be brain-based for children and educators to be successful, learn specific techniques and trauma-informed principles to help all students, and how to help schools become trauma-informed.

  • Speaker: Judy Knapp | PreventionWORKS

Alternative Teaching Methods for Traumatized Youth

  • While schools are becoming more trauma-informed each year, there still seem to be gaps when it comes to educating foster youth or children with a trauma history.  In this session, educators will take a look at the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) curriculum and adaptations that could make this a valuable alternative teaching method for traumatized youth. We’ll also discuss the benefits of incorporating more kinesthetic and visual learning in the classroom, using positive behavioral interventions, finding connective factors, and the interconnection between teacher’s attitudes and student’s success.

  • Speaker: Dr. Michelle Cook, Ed.D., LMFT, RPT | Institute for Children's Aid


Self-Care & Mindfulness for Educators: How to Reign in Your Emotions & Keep your Class on Track

  • Children with disruptive behavior due to childhood trauma not only attract the attention of their teacher but also can become disruptive to the entire class and take away from effective educational time. This can dysregulate even the most experienced teachers especially if interruptions happen daily or multiple times in a single day. In this breakout learn how to relate to kids with a trauma history while maintaining your own composure during the school day. We'll also discuss in-the-moment mindfulness techniques and self-care strategies so you can leave classroom challenges at work and not bring them into your family life. 

  • Speaker TBA


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.

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 currently the Program Director at California Alliance of Caregivers. She began her career as a child welfare social worker and has emerged as a strong advocate for system-wide improvements within the child welfare system. As a Housing Program Manager, Dayna collaborated with housing developers and non-profit organizations in Portland, OR and Washington, DC to develop low-income housing. Dayna is a former foster parent, adoptive parent and mother to five amazing children.

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.

Eric Osborn

Eric has a Master of Divinity and extensive experience in teaching and parenting children with special needs. He is an Empowered to Connect Parent Trainer (teaching Connected Parenting/TBRI) and has been teaching in private schools for more than 25 years. Eric and his wife Amy have adopted four wonderful special needs children who deal with a variety of issues: FASD, attachment disorders, sensory processing disorders (SPD), learning handicaps and autism. They have co-authored the book, In the Midst Of... a guide for encouraging parents of special needs children (  They also facilitate a monthly support group for FASD called FASD SacValley. Their passion is helping others care for children living with neurodevelopmental trauma and FASD. 

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.

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.

Leanne Liddicoat, O.D.

Dr. Leanne Liddicoat completed her undergraduate studies at UC Davis in Economics. Motivated by her own vision issues, she chose a career in optometry out of a desire to help others see and function better.  She graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry in 1998, receiving awards for both her theses work on vision related learning disorders and emergency eye care.  Dr. Liddicoat's passion for pediatric eye care leads her to coordinate school vision screenings, publish articles, and give presentations on vision therapy to other colleagues, pediatricians, school teachers, administrators, and parents.  She and her family reside in the Loomis/Newcastle area, and she's been practicing optometry in the Roseville, Rocklin & Granite Bay area for almost 20 years.

Mark O'Sullivan

Mark has been a career Law Enforcement and Public Safety Chaplain for over 38 years. He holds a Masters of Ministry Degree in Public Safety from Trinity Biblical University and attained Master Chaplain Certification with the International Conference of Police Chaplains. Chaplain O’Sullivan has served as the Senior Law Enforcement Chaplain in Placer and Sacramento Counties, as a Senior Chaplain with the F.B.I. and Past President of the International Conference of Police Chaplains. He is a “Certified Expert” in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and an educational provider in the field of Critical Incident Stress Management, Crisis Response and Traumatics. He is currently the President and Executive Director of Educational Ministries, Inc. and President of O’Sullivan Consulting. Chaplain O’Sullivan and his wife Patti have three grown children, Daniel, Michael and Erin. 

Dr. Michelle Cook, LMFT

Michelle, a Northern California native, is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and registered Play Therapist.  She received her B.A. in Youth Ministry from William Jessup University, followed by an M.A. in Counseling Psychology (emphasizing in Marriage & Family Therapy) from the University of San Francisco, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Management from Alliant International University. Michelle first worked with teachers and students in public schools and school districts, then moved into private practice serving foster/adoptive youth and their families. Currently Michelle is the Regional Manager for International Christian Adoptions, a local Non-Profit agency specializing in foster care, adoptions, counseling and refugee work.  

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.

Rose-Stella Pierre-Louis, OT

Rose-Stella is an intuitive pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT) and the owner of Ms. Rose's TheraPlace, an outpatient clinic in Rancho Cordova.  Since 2008, she has been providing early intervention treatment for infants through ALTA Regional Center, teaching special education classes and treating children at her clinic.  Ms. Rose holds a Master’s degree in OT from Samuel Merritt University, is certified in the Dr. Porges Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) which helps children achieve a grounded state of emotional and physiological well-being and is also certified by the Sensory Processing Therapy and Research (STAR) Institute. Ms. Rose enjoys staying current with evidence-based treatment practices and research contributing work to the Sensory Processing Measure Quick Tips. She serves as a consultant to the Sacramento Children’s Museum and is a co-founder of its free Autism pre-school program called ExplorAbility.

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, DPT

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 (13) & Laurie (18), who were adopted from Haiti after a miraculous 6 1/2 year international adoption process.

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The Alliance

4010 Foothills Blvd. #310 PMB #1

Roseville, CA 95747

(916) 633-1KID







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