Agencies throughout Sacramento County working with at-risk youth joined together to share ideas and information at Trading Secrets 2008: Insiders' Perspectives of How Sacramento Juvenile Justice Agencies Work, on November 20th in Sacramento.
Those attending the conference learned about the services available for youth at risk of becoming part of or are already a part of the juvenile justice system, met the people providing those services, and learned how to successfully maneuver through the various systems to obtain those services.
During the event, Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Special Education Principal Lyn Efken received the 7th Annual Roger K. Warren Unity Award, which recognizes an individual who promotes collaboration and cooperation among all agencies, public and private, that work with children in the court system.
The conference featured two keynote speakers. Abandoned, neglected, and abused as a child, Josh Shipp shared his personal story of triumph over tragedy. Shipp, in his presentation, Don't Be Average, spoke of how he was raised in the foster care system. He attributed his personal growth to the encouragement of a great foster home, dynamic teachers, and school programs.
"I've found that sometimes the very thing that has hurt you the most, is the very thing you can use to help others," said Shipp. "Start seeing the problem you face as an opportunity."
Judy Murphy also provided a keynote address. She is co-founder of the nationally recognized Moms Off Meth Support Group and works for First Resources Corporation in Ottumwa, Iowa, as a supervisor of the HOPE (in-home substance abuse) program. She is an executive board member of the statewide Community Partnerships for Protecting Children.
Topics for the conference covered included such complex issues as:
- Youth at Risk,
- Youth Gangs,
- Dependency or Delinquency,
- Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services,
- The Mental Health System,
- The Court System,
- Reducing Recidivism, and
- School-Based Interventions.
Representing SCOE were Marty Cavanaugh, Deputy Superintendent, Judy Holsinger, Executive Director, SELPA, and Dr. Mike Borgaard, Principal, El Centro High School. They conducted a workshop titled Life is a Box of Chocolates: Response to Intervention for Special Education Students. The workshop involved an explanation of the response to intervention service delivery model, an overview of the educational changes involved in using data to drive instruction, and a discussion about empowering students with the skills and tools for academic success.
Also representing SCOE were Stephen Wright, Principal, Esperanza Jr-Sr High School, Felix Duncan, Principal, Gerber Community School, and Jaime Calderon, Carson Creek Jr-Sr High School Teacher. Their workshop, The Secrets of My Success: The New Schools Assessment Tools in Case Planning, included LINKS students from the court's community schools programs and provided an overview of the LINKS program, strategies to engage students in their academic success, and ways to develop to assist at-risk students.
Trading Secrets 2008 was sponsored by the following Sacramento County Agencies:
- Sacramento County Office of Education,
- District Attorney's Office,
- Department of Health and Human Services,
- Probation Department,
- Public Defenders Office,
- Countywide Services Agency,
- Sheriff's Department,
- Juvenile Court,
- Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission, and
- the Sacramento City Police Department.