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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.

REgistration opens may 15
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         316 Vernon St.

      Roseville, CA 95678



Elk Grove

8939 E Stockton Blvd.

Elk Grove, CA 95624


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

Main Sessions

For All Attendees

When Super-Glue Just Won’t Do: Repairing Attachment Ruptures in Relationships with Teens

Kristen Chichton, LMFT | Adoption Therapist, TBRI Practitioner

Let's take the judgment out of kid's behavior and look at it through a lens of skill-building.  Supplement your parenting tools from Nurtured Heart and TBRI by using this proven system to help kids gain new skills and abilities. This is an excellent model for people longing to *notice* progress and improvements in a concrete way.

The Gift of Presence

Heidi White | Educator & TBRI Practitioner, The Alliance

One of the most precious gifts that we can offer others is our authentic, present self. Join TBRI expert Heidi White as she unpacks the important skills of being mentally and emotionally available when engaging with kids from hard places. Bringing your whole self to each engagement dismantles shame, enlarges the capacity for empathy and promotes healing.

Healing Touch: Engaging the Sensory System to Promote Felt Safety

Amy Oettle, OT | Owner, Highest Potential Therapy

There is great power in physical touch and proper activation of the sensory system. Childhood trauma or mental health issues cause an imbalance in the body which can begin to repair with healthy sensory input. In this session we'll look at ways parents and caregivers can create felt safety and connect with kids of all ages using healing touch. 

Connecting with Teens - Navigating Confrontational & Avoidant Behavior

Dr. Michelle Cook, LMFT | Regional Director, Institute for Children's Aid

The teenage years are an interesting time as the brain is rewiring and kids start to develop a sense of identity and desire independence. Teens with a trauma history experience even more emotional highs and lows so those parenting or connecting with youth between the ages of 13-18 need to have extra patience and some special skills. In this session, we'll discuss age appropriate connection strategies for traumatized teenagers, typical avoidant and confrontational behavior patterns, and how to respond well when working with teens as a professional or parent/caregiver. 

Actionable Strategies for Managing Triggers

Makela N Mims, LMFT | Founder, Owner Still Waters Counseling

Children learn through a myriad of ways, one of which is modeling, or learning through watching. Emotional dysregulation is often the result of triggers or a reexperiencing of a traumatic event, or a painful moment. This is not limited to children; often times adults are unaware of how a current event may trigger past pain. In this session, we’ll share some practical and actionable strategies for identifying and managing your own triggers in order to assist children with theirs.

Diffusing Hard Situations Using the IDEAL Response

Charlotte Fritz, LMFT | Adoption Therapist, TBRI Practitioner

One of the greatest challenges of caring for children from hard places is responding appropriately to negative or hurtful behavior without causing shame.  The I.D.E.A.L. response, taught in Trust Based Relational Intervention, is a highly effective strategy for parents and caregivers that both corrects behavior while maintaining connection. In this sessions, TBRI Practitioner Charlotte Fritz, will unpack the 5 components to a healthy response and give practical examples of using this in real time with your kids. 

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

Ricardo Garza | Community Life Pastor, Southport Church

"Should an emergency situation occur, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help the children around you.” We understand the importance of this concept on an airplane but instinctively think this analogy is selfish or even counter-intuitive in our everyday lives. Caring for children with a trauma history can be complicated, time-consuming and at times very draining. We need to invest in meeting our own needs so that we can be fully available to care for others to the fullest. In this session Ricardo, an adoptive dad, pastor and soon-to-be counselor, shares his personal self-care journey along with practical tips to implement self-care into your life.

18 Love Languages

Debbie McJimsey, LMFT | Adoption Therapist, TBRI Practitioner

Did you know there are way more than 5 love languages? You may be familiar with Dr. Gary Chapman's concept of love languages: physical touch, quality time, gifts, words of affirmation & acts of service. In this sessions we'll discuss an expanded list of love languages and provide you with practical ways to give and receive love that will enhance relational growth with the kids in your life.

Bonus SessionS & Breakouts

For In-Person Attendees

When Super-Glue Just Won't Do:

Repairing Attachment Ruptures in Relationships with Teens

Kristen Crichton, LMFT | Owner & Therapist, Bridge Counseling Group

Typical teens are caught up in a constant struggle with their parents/caregivers that stems from internal tensions created by their simultaneous longing for closeness and their pursuit of autonomy.  For many teens who have experienced trauma, the resulting broken trust in adults to provide support, comfort and protection causes them to push away the very thing they want and need the most- healthy attachments. This workshop will explore how to help professionals and parent/caregivers to become a 'safe haven' for defiant and withdrawn teens by learning how to work with the teen to repair and resolve attachment ruptures without becoming dysregulated ourselves!

What happens to "US" after we say yes to foster care/adoption?

Tips for Married Couples

Dave & Banetta Bacchi | Foster-Adoptive Parents, Parent Coach

Taking children from hard places into your home changes the dynamics, expectations and stressors on marriage relationships. Between navigating behaviors, getting kids to therapy appointments and just making sure everyone is clothed and fed, many couples begin to wonder “What happens to us?” Join experienced foster-adoptive parents, Dave & Banetta Bacchi, to learn some valuable tools to build and strengthen your marriage as you travel the sometimes raging storm of parenting kids/teens who have experienced trauma and loss.

Matters of the Heart are the Heart of the Matter

Dr. John Harris | Pastor & Consultant, Hearts Like His, Inc.

When we experience disappointments, rejection, betrayal, trauma and other painful life experiences we often refer to these moments as heartbreaking. In this session, we’ll discuss a faith-based perspective on what exactly is broken, how heart forgiveness differs from common views of forgiveness, what our hearts need to heal, and how this changes our behavior from the inside out. This helps us overcome the challenges of past experiences and helps increase the quality of our relationships with ourselves and each other.

Suicide Prevention Strategies - Mobilizing Hope in Individuals Who Have None

Bev Wiens, Ph.D. | Director of Counseling, Western Seminary

Suicidal thoughts and attempts are on the rise in our culture today and this reality is greatly impacting teens and young adults. As parents, caregivers, volunteers and providers, we need to know our role in suicide prevention and intervention. In this session we’ll discuss how to spot predisposing risk factors, the need for psychiatric evaluation, safety planning, involvement of the family in managing the suicidal individual and the impact suicide makes on friends, family members and therapists. 

Provider Tips for Working with Children from Foster Care

(Exclusive to the Provider CEU Track)

Sherry Ehrhart, LMFT | Owner & Therapist, Oasis Kids Counseling

This session will focus on therapeutic techniques and strategies that Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) and Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) can utilize when providing services to children and teens in the foster care system.


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Bev Wiens, phd

LMFT, Director of Counseling | Western Seminary

Dr. Wiens did her PhD work in Counseling Psychology as well as her License in Marriage and Family Therapy. Currently she is the Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling program at Western Seminary and has held positions of Chair of the Psychology Department at William Jessup University, Professor of Child Development at San Jose State University and San Jose City College. One of her biggest passions is equipping her students to become holistic, and powerful therapists, and she specializes in developing healthy understandings of sexuality and intimate partnerships.


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Carvin Ayers

Coach, Counselor | Private Practice

Carvin is a Business health coach, Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor with a  BS in Theology and Christian Leadership and a certification in Addiction studies from Bethany College. He has been married for 26 years to his wife Tery and they have 7 grand kids and 1 great grandchild. He works with a variety of clients but specializes in adolescent addiction treatment. Carvin has a passion for helping adjudicated youth coming out of the juvenile justice and foster care system, to improve their quality of life and transition back into society.


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Casey Shortt, MA, PHD

Therapist | Kaiser South Sacramento

Adjunct Professor | William Jessup University

Casey is a therapist, adjunct professor, and emerging researcher who is passionate about helping children and families build resilience. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fuller School of Psychology, and is currently working as a therapist in a healthcare setting. Her primary research interests and clinical experiences focus on trauma, youth development and caring adult relationships, and resilience.  As a researcher at the Thrive Center for Human Development, she has had the opportunity to study thriving and the importance of relationships as developmental assets. Inspired by the catalytic potential of relationships in promoting human thriving, Casey’s current research aligns with her clinical experiences working with youth and families. She aims to use her growing knowledge to work within her community and provide resources for caregivers, community members and clinicians facing burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization.


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Christie Griffith

Founder & Director | Safe, Connected Nests

Christie, creator of the Safe, Connected Nest model, has over 15 years of experience in the mental health field. As a trauma survivor herself, she is passionate about cultivating healing and resilience. She helps organizations, women, caregivers and children build strong, healthy nests. She has also written the Women in Motion series, Winter Friends Keep Their Cool and the Challenge Journal.  


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Dave & Banetta Bacchi

Foster/Adoptive Parents, Banetta is a Parent Coach

David and Banetta fostered 68 teens in their 28 year career as foster parents. Dave and Banetta will celebrate the 40th anniversary in September. They have a biological son and 2 adopted sons from the foster care system. Dave is the program coordinator and placement coordinator for Koinonia Family Services in Loomis. Banetta is the trainer for the pre-approval program for the Loomis Koinonia office and she supports and coaches families during the pre and post approval foster process. 



Debbie McJimsey, LMFT

Adoption Therapist, TBRI & Nurtured Heart Practitioner | Private Practice

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.


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Dr. John harris

Pastor and Consultant | Hearts Like His, Inc. | Harris Coaching & Consulting

John has served as a chaplain in the United States Air Force and Executive Pastor. He is currently a leadership coach and consultant that helps churches and non-profits overcome barriers to growth and health. He also facilitates emotional intelligence workshops to strengthen teams and increase productivity. He and his wife are the co-founders of Hearts Like His, Inc., an online ministry that now reaches people across the U.S. and several other nations. He received his B.S. in Sociology from University of Central Arkansas, followed by a Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary and his doctorate in Transformational Discipleship from Gateway Seminary. John lives in Roseville, CA with his amazing wife, Jeanine, and their three beautiful daughters Elise, Sydney, and Grace.


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juline aguilar, mA

NAMI Trainer & Director | FKCE Program at Folsom Lake College

Juline is passionate about helping families find the resources, support, and information to help their foster/guardianship/adopted children grow and heal. She is the director of Foster and Kinship Care Education at the El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College. Over the past 16 years in this position, she has worked closely with El Dorado and Amador Counties to provide high quality training for resource families. Ten years ago, she discovered the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), and its valuable education and support programs for families. Juline joined the board of NAMI El Dorado and became a certified trainer of NAMI Basics. She has two young adult children and lives in Placerville with her husband and two pugs.


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Kristen Crichton, LMFT

Owner | Bridge Counseling Group

Adjunct Professor | Western Seminary

Kristen Crichton, LMFT, has been a therapist for twenty years with a private practice in Fair Oaks, CA. She has trained many therapists over the years as both a supervisor and a professor for undergraduate and graduate programs with a special interest in equipping professionals to work with adolescents and their families.


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Robyn chu, MOT, OTR/L

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Owner & CEO | Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services

Robyn earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with a biological emphasis from UC Davis.  During that time, she worked with children with special needs in a variety of jobs, as a swim lesson instructor, coach, nanny, and instructional assistant for an applied behavior analysis program for children with autism. Robyn continued on in her education obtaining her master's degree in occupational therapy from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, CA in 2005. Her work experience includes Shriners Hospital in Sacramento and the El Dorado County Office of Education as an Occupational Therapist and then the Lead Occupational Therapist. Robyn completed the Level 1 and 2 intensive mentorship programs and fellowship through the STAR Institute in Colorado. She has specialized in sensory processing for the last 15 years using the techniques and research taught through the STAR Institute.  She is on the faculty of the STAR Institute and teaches all levels of mentorship in addition to passionately mentoring the team at Growing Healthy Children.


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Sherry Ehrhart, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist & CEO | Oasis Kids Counseling

Sherry is a licensed Marriage Family Therapy clinician who has over twenty years experience with children. Serving with a background in education and children’s programming leadership, Sherry has a passion for providing a trustworthy child-friendly space for effective healing work. Lasting effects in child therapy often include parent partnership and this service is integrated into weekly sessions to mentor each child’s long-term goals. Her clinical expertise includes trauma-informed therapy for children, even as young as infants. Sherry’s experience also includes collaborating with resource/ kinship/ foster/ adoptive families, child welfare services, churches, and schools.


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Dr. Stephanie Caine

Professor of Psychology | William Jessup University

Director | The Cheatcode Academy

Dr. Stephanie Caine holds a doctorate degree in counseling. She has worked in education and counseling with a variety of populations including children, students, families, and adults for over 20 years. Dr. Caine is currently a professor of psychology and counseling at William Jessup University, the Program Director for a Master’s of Counseling Psychology program, a therapist, and the Director of The Cheatcode Academy which trains people to become mental health strengthening coaches in the area of trauma. Most importantly, she is a proud wife to Jason Caine and mother to amazing twins Joelle and Jason.


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Wesley Towne

Founder & Director | Better Days

Pastor | Bayside Davis

Wesley is a writer, speaker and the founder of Better Days, a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing awareness, hope and education to the human experience of mental health + suffering. Wesley holds a Bachelor's degree and 2 Masters degrees in addition to being the Senior Campus Pastor at Bayside Davis Church. He is passionate about being an encouragement to people, especially those dealing with mental health issues. He currently lives in Davis, CA with his wife Kara and chihuahua Lucy. They love the sun, healthy eating, exercise and the ocean.