Annual Conference Registration


The Conference is SOLD OUT  and at Capacity

To add your name to the wait list, email 

"Emerging Trends with Connecticut Youth"
October 2, 2015, 8:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m.
Sheraton Hartford South Hotel, Rocky Hill, CT


$75 Early Bird Registration, by September 15th
$85 Registration after September 15th
$35 Guests - Lunch Only
Registration Deadline: September 29, 2015

Checks: Payable to CYSA, Mail To: CYSA Conference, c/o ARI, 100 Western Blvd. Glastonbury, CT 06033
Credit Card:  Click Here


Break Out Sessions


Stephanie Hertz, Anti-Defamation League
Breakout Sessions I & III
Many times, when kids see bias and bullying they do not know what to do to stop it. This interactive workshop will draw from ADL’s education programs to illustrate how you can: - empower students to improve their school climate; - engage students to move from the role of a bystander to that of an ally; - collaborate with local schools to offer student-centered peer leadership programs. 
Stephanie Hertz is the Associate Project Director of the CT office of the Anti-Defamation League.  She oversees all aspects of the regional A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute programs, including teacher training programs, campus and workplace programs and K-12 programs such as Names Can Really Hurt Us.

  • ADOLESCENT SUBSTANCE USE: Assessment Tools & Resources

Inés Eaton, DCF, Program Manager, Substance Use Treatment & Recovery Unit
Breakout Sessions I & III
This training will examine current drug and alcohol trends for adolescents in CT, regionally, and nationally, as well as the reasons adolescents use substances.  It will discuss signs of substance use and will present a screening tool used to assess the need for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment.  Finally, the training will present and discuss available substance use services for adolescents. Participants will be able to:
-Describe reasons adolescents use substances -Identify signs of substance use
-Utilize a substance use screening tool
-Identify substance use services available to adolescents
Inés Eaton, MS is a Program Manager in the Substance Use Treatment & Recovery Unit in the Clinical and Community Consultation and Support Division at DCF.  Currently, Ms. Eaton coordinates and oversees substance abuse programs for youth and caregivers.  She is responsible for developing service specification and outcomes in the programs and ensures compliance with the models, budgets, and scopes of service.  Ms. Eaton has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Criminal Justice from Central Connecticut State University.


    Michele Stewart-Copes, SEET Consultants, LLC 
    Breakout Session I
    There is a compelling need for cross cultural skills as organizations respond to demographic changes, work toward eliminating health disparities, improve the quality of human services and meet regulatory and accreditation mandates.  This seminar will help individuals to be more comfortable and skilled in relating to people of different identity groups and will facilitate the formation of strong working teams. Participants will be better able to recognize diversity issues and will learn how to respond productively.
    Michele Stewart-Copes is CEO of SEET Consultants, LLC, System for Education Equity & Transition and a national trainer and consultant in system of care and cultural competency coaching As a Principal with Health & Equity LLC, she develops implements and evaluates cultural responsive organizational policies and procedures based on CLAS, Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services, standards to improve health outcomes for women and families of color.
    Working with LGBTQ children, youth and families

Robin McHaelen, True Colors
Breakout Sessions I & II
Using interactive small group exercises, experiential techniques and a respectful approach to differences of belief and background, this workshop will enable participants to: Become familiar with some of the new language and identities that youth are using; Identify issues of risk, challenge and strengths specific to LGBTQ populations; Explore obstacles to the creation of agency environments which protect and affirm LGBTQ clients and staff; And develop or strengthen a strategy for becoming a human ‘safe zone’. 
Robin P. McHaelen, MSW is the founder and current Executive Director of True Colors, Inc.  She is co-author of several books and articles on LGBT youth concerns. Robin is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2014 Human Rights Campaign’s Upstander Award for Leadership in LGBT youth issues, the 2011 UConn, Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement; the 2008 National Education Association’s Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights and the 2008 Social Worker of the Year (National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter). 

    Applying lessons learned from Colorado to Connecticut

John Daviau, MACP
Breakout Sessions II & III
We can learn some important lessons from Colorado’s experience with legalization of retail marijuana.  In this workshop you will hear what’s really happening in Colorado, the effects of legal marijuana on youth, and marketing strategies.  We will also discuss Connecticut’s medical marijuana law and how it works.
A Community Psychologist with almost 30 years of training, management and consulting experience in nonprofit organizations and schools, John Daviau has focused his work on coalition and organizational development, substance abuse and violence prevention, and school safety initiatives.  He has significant experience in supporting communities, organizations and schools with systems change issues; utilizing the Strategic Prevention Framework as a community-wide prevention model; implementing best practices and evidence-based programs; organizational development; and problem solving issues and barriers to effective prevention practice.  John is a passionate leader in the field of prevention.  He is the executive director of the Connecticut Association of Prevention Practitioners and CT SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), serves on the Board of Directors for Mobilize Against Tobacco for Connecticut’s Health (MATCH), and is a former director of the Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking.


    April Heavens-Woodcock, Touching Clients
    Breakout Sessions II & III
    Are you using social media and ready for the next step?  Learn best practices, time saving tricks, and simple strategies.  This workshop will give you a closer look at popular social media networks - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.  We will show you the benefits of using each, how other organizations are marketing with them, and some dos and don'ts of each.  You will also get tips on how to tell if your social media activity is working.
    April Heavens-Woodcock is the Managing Partner and Chief Buzz Officer of Touching Clients.  April works with small- to mid-size companies to help them develop a robust online presence by using strategic marketing initiatives. April is an Authorized Local Expert of Constant Contact who presents regularly on email marketing and social media throughout the New England area.

    Paul Weigle, M.D., Natchaug Hospital
    Breakout Sessions II & III
    In this workshop participants will: Appreciate the extent of video game and Internet habits in the lives of American youth, Identify symptoms of Internet gaming disorder, the DSM criteria, and the research evidence surrounding this controversial diagnosis Understand research findings regarding the epidemiology of Internet gaming disorder including risks factors, comorbidity, and outcomes.  Be able to help parents promote healthy and safe media habits in their children. 
    Paul Weigle, M.D. is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and associate medical director at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield, CT and cares for children and adolescents at the Joshua Center Partial Hospital Programs in Mansfield and Old Saybrook.  Dr. Weigle is co-chair of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s Media Committee, and has served on the committee since 2002.  He has authored numerous articles on the effects of video game and internet habits on the mental health of youth.
  • GANGS: A three part series
    Choose any one, two, or three

Sgt. Jason Amato, Bridgeport Police Department

  • INTRO TO GANG VIOLENCE - Breakout Session I
    This session provides information about how gangs / groups are identified, the paraphernalia that they use and the way it’s forced upon youth.  Q&A.
  • STRUCTURE OF GANGS - Breakout Session II
    Gang structures, and how they use Social Media.  This session will also focus on the narcotics / drugs consumed by gang and or group members along with street terms that gang member’s use.  Q&A
  • GANG VIOLENCE - Breakout Session III
    A look into their world, crimes they commit and the numbing effects of violence within the community. Q&A.

Sgt. Jason Amato has been a member of the Bridgeport Police Dept. for 13 years, currently assigned to the State Police Gang Task Force.  With more than 11 years of experience in the field of narcotics and firearms investigations, and criminal activities related to gangs. In 2010 he was assigned as the Gang Intelligence Sergeant for the City of Bridgeport, working in conjunction with the State Gangs Task Force and has made hundreds of Gang related arrests.   Sgt. Amato uses the information obtained through these investigations and street level sources to educate and inform other Law Enforcement and State Agencies and the community in how to work with and combat gang related violence. 





The ATOM Studies
Helping teenagers struggling with
substance abuse for over 15 years!







CYSA Trainings Announced
« previous
Annual Conference Sponsors
next »