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CFRA Member Convening

Please join the California Family Resource Association (CFRA) for a Member Convening on Thursday, April 29th from 9:00 – 12:00pm. The convening will be virtual/online and the purpose is to connect CFRA members around a shared vision and purpose, build mutual support and enthusiasm among members and networks, and communicate and engage more deeply in the work and future of CFRA. The agenda will include:

  • Opportunities to connect and share your work with each-other;
  • A keynote address by Chan Hellman on How Hope Nurtures Staff, Family and Community Well-Being;
  • Presentation highlighting the work of the CFRA Policy Committee presented by Co-Chairs Katie Albright and Ron Brown;
  • Presentation highlighting the work of the CFRA Networks Committee presented by Co-Chairs Teressa Johnes and Debbie Comstock;
  • Remarks from experts in the family-strengthening field including Judi Sherman, Angela Ponivas, and Sheila Boxley.
Our keynote speaker will be Chan Hellman, director of Hope Research Center.

To register click here


**Please note this convening is for active (paid) CFRA members only. If you have not yet renewed your CFRA membership, please visit our membership page to JOIN TODAY!

Chan M. Hellman is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Director of The Hope Research Center.  He has written more than 150 scientific publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences worldwide.  Chan has also presented his work on hope with TEDx in the Spring of 2021.  Chan’s research is focused on hope as a psychological strength helping children and adults overcome trauma and adversity.  This research informed the development of the “Hope Centered and Trauma InformedÔ” training program. Chan is the co-author of the award-winning book “Hope Rising:  How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life” with his co-author Casey Gwinn published by Morgan James.



Judi Sherman launched her work with family resource centers (FRC) as associate director of the FRC in her neighborhood in the mid ‘90s. Its director was a visceral community organizer, a mentor to Judi who influenced her passion for inclusive practice and social justice. Previously, she had worked for a Fortune 500 company in the Silicon Valley where she directed customer service staff, and then the Monterey Bay Aquarium designing and delivering staff and management training. These experiences led her to the original Strategies, where she worked for 10 years. She contributed to the launch of training for FRCs, statewide convenings to shape the field, co-implemented the Family Development Matrix project, helped design the Network Sustainability project supporting networks across the state, and co-chaired the committee to design the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support. Judi moved on to formalize her private consulting practice where she continues to work with FRCs, child abuse prevention councils, First 5 Commissions, public and private cross-sector networks, coalitions, and community change initiatives.  Here, she helps to advance their mission, advocate for individuals and policy, and engage community members throughout the journey. She has co-authored several resources including Family Resource Centers, Vehicles for Change: the Evolving Field, Re-visioning Case Management, and was curator of the NICE Guide (Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement), providing resources to integrate social service and social change efforts. Judi has long been passionate about making a place for dialogue and action for social justice. She humbly strives to be an ally to marginalized, black, Indigenous, and people of color by listening, learning, and acting.


Katie Albright attorney and children’s advocate, has more than 24 years of legal and non-profit experience. She currently serves as CEO and President of Safe & Sound, a children’s advocacy organization focused on strengthening families and ending child abuse.






Shiela Boxley has over two decades as President & CEO of The Child Abuse Prevention enter, dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She serves as an appointed member on several councils and steering committees.






Angela Ponivas, MSW, is the Chief of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, CDSS. She is a mission-driven leader who is committed to supporting child welfare in preventing harm, strengthening families, building communities and inspiring unity through authentic connection and collaboration.





Dr. Ronald E. Brown has been the President & CEO of Children’s Bureau since 2018. He joined the Children’s Bureau in 2000, where he managed the operations of Children’s Bureau’s foster care, adoption, mental health and child abuse prevention programs.






Teressa Johnes, a veteran in the field of Family Strengthening.  Teressa, has worked in the field for over 24 years, and retired in early 2019.  She has worked for nonprofits and most recently for First 5 Santa Barbara County, where for 12 years, she was the Program Officer of the countywide Family Support Focus area. Teressa was also the catalyst for creating the Network of Family Resource Centers of Santa Barbara County, a local network recognized for quality practices, training & technical assistance and capacity building of Family Resource Centers.





Below is the agenda for the day: 
9:00-9:15: Welcoming Remarks
9:15-9:45: Keynote Speaker- Chan Hellman, Hope Research Center
9:45-9:55: CFRA Overview
9:55-10:05: Policy Committee
10:05-10:15: Networks Committee
10:15-10:30: Break
10:30-11:00: Breakout Room #1 (Policy and Advocacy; Training Standards; COVID-19; Strengthening Networks; Anti-Racism and Equity)
11:00-11:10: Break
11:10-11:40: Breakout Room #2 (Policy and Advocacy; Training Standards; COVID-19; Strengthening Networks; Anti-Racism and Equity)
11:40-11:50: Debrief Breakouts
11:50-12:00: Closing Remarks