Category Archives: Other

Reflecting Back …

It goes without saying that 2020 has been an unusual year.  Hardly a day has gone by without hearing the word “unprecedented” in reference to current events, mostly about the Covid-19 pandemic.  For most of us, it’s been an adjustment in work/school arrangements and social activities, but for many others, it’s been a year of tragedy – financial distress, severe illness, violence and fatalities.  Our hearts go out to everyone who has suffered this year, especially the families served by all of us.

With all of this swirling around us, I’ll admit, sometimes I’ve worried about the future of NFPN and the agencies we serve.  Fortunately, we’ve been able to continue activities and pursue projects that allow for social distancing, and as far I know, most agencies are surviving, too.  In fact, some have told me that they’ve had a busier year than usual.  So, I’d like to take this opportunity to touch on NFPN’s main highlights from 2020.

  • NFPN conducted frequent trainings.  We did in-person trainings in the first couple months and then transitioned to live, online training.  We’ve refined this process and will likely continue to have the option of virtual training from now on. 
  • Dr. Esteban Gómez Muzzio developed an online training series on the NCFAS tools in Spanish, which was launched in the summer.  It has been completed by numerous participants so far, and it can be accessed at:
  • Our website was completely redesigned, making it more user-friendly and mobile-accessible.  If you haven’t seen it already, please check it out at
  • For years, we’ve offered a web database in the United States through Integrated Imaging.  This year, we expanded our web-database options by partnering with Community Data Solutions in Australia. 
  • We compiled a report on “Remote Services During Covid-19” which will be published in the Child Welfare League of America’s Child Welfare journal in the near future.
  • We’ve continued to make progress on other goals which are not ready to be unveiled yet, but stay tuned in 2021 …

It is with extreme gratitude that I reflect back on these accomplishments.  I want to thank everyone who has been involved.  I deeply appreciate all that you do for your families and for each other.  I hope that you’re finding joy in this holiday season, despite the fact that it’s different than usual, and that 2021 will be a magnificent year for all of us!  I wish you all the very best!!!

Posted by Michelle Reines, NFPN Executive Director

Family Preservation Conference

On October 22nd & 23rd, Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington, NC hosted a virtual “Intensive Family Preservation Services Conference”.  Several speakers from various organizations spoke on topics related to family preservation.  Approximately 140 people attended, mostly within North Carolina.  The presentations were very informative and valuable, and here are some of the highlights:

“The Intersection of Racial Injustice and Family Preservation”

Dr. Mit Joyner, DPS, MSW, BSW, LCSW, NASW President

This presentation focused on critical multiculturalism, intersectionality and ethics.

Challenges and complexities of culturally-competent practice in the current sociopolitical context were examined, and leadership and competency skills essential to successful interventions with individuals, families, and communities were identified. Discussion included the implications of ethics and values, self-awareness, professional education, and cross-cultural leadership and knowledge.

“Safety and Cultural Competency in Community-Based Services”

Logan Keziah-Hamill, MSW, LCSW, Coastal Horizons IFPS Region 11 Supervisor & Shantel Casiano, MSW, Coastal Horizons Region 7 Supervisor 

Best practices for ensuring staff and client safety in community-based services were highlighted. There was also discussion on safety considerations through the lens of cultural competency and an exploration of how cultural differences impact physical and psychological safety in the therapeutic relationship.

“Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health”

Diane Britz, MSW, LCSW, Child First NC Regional Clinical Director & Shannon Queiroga, MA, LPC, IMH-E® Clinical Director

Participants learned what infant and early childhood mental health is and how it directly relates to an infant’s/young child’s experiences with their primary caregiver. Together they thought about the caregiver-child relationship as a buffer to toxic stress and how to protect and support those relationships, even when a removal is imminent. Participants learned to identify signs and symptoms of social-emotional concerns for infants/young children in order to provide appropriate referrals that support an infant’s/young child’s mental health.

“Community Resiliency Model (CRM): The impact of community trauma on families”

Aimee Williams, MSW, LCSW, Intensive In-Home Coordinator

In addition to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), there are traumas in the community known as Adverse Community Environments which impact the health, safety and well-being of families. CRM® introduces six wellness skills designed to help adults and children learn to track their own nervous systems in order to bring the body, mind and spirit back into greater balance, and to encourage people to pass the skills along to family, friends and their wider community. Through hands-on experiences, participants were introduced to CRM and learned “The Basic Three” skills to bring them back into their “resilience zone” where they can function as their best selves.

The above presentations were video-recorded.  If you’d like access to view them, please contact Ryan Estes, Coastal Horizons Center Treatment Operations Director, at 910-202-3155 or

Posted by Michelle Reines, NFPN Executive Director

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