Virginia Association ofLocal Human Services Officials
Fall 2021 Virtual Conference


Family First

Unite Virginia

Marcus Alert

Conference Videos

  • Keynote Pioneering Deversity, Equity, and Inclusion


  • Trauma Informed Community Networks In Virginia



  • Family First's Role in Enchaning Service Delivery for At-Risk Families  


  • Prospective from the General Assembly


  • Marcus Alert Initiative - Where We Stand


  • The Power of a Coordinated Social Care Network: Unite Virginia



Virginia Association of Local Human Services Officials

2021 Fall Conference Agenda October 4-5, 2021 (Virtual)


Monday, October 4, 2021


10:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

  • Nancy Vincent, President, VALHSO

10:10 a.m. Keynote
The Race Toward Challenging Conversations and Inclusive Excellence…Pioneering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Intentionality in the Practice of Human Services  

  • The Honorable Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia— Dr. Underwood will discuss strategies for pioneering DEI objectives from within an institutional setting, how human services organizations and practitioners can lead the way toward inclusive excellence, and why they should adopt the ONE Virginia mission and vision.


11:15 a.m. Trauma-Informed Community Networks in Virginia
This session will discuss the importance of being trauma-informed as we work with individuals and families through our human-service organizations. The panelists will discuss the science behind the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how it can be leveraged through the framework of a Trauma-Informed Community Network (TICN) to build relationships and advance a common agenda around resilience.

  • Keith Cartwright, Behavioral Health Wellness Consultant with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Chidimma Jenkins, Advisor on Childhood Trauma & Resiliency, Governor Northam’s Office
  • Melissa McGinn, Chair of the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network
  • Nicole Poulin, Executive Director of the Family & Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia
  • Moderator: Rebecca Vinroot, Director, Department of Social Services, James City


1:00 p.m. More Than Funding: Family First's Role in Enhancing Service Delivery for At-Risk Families
This session, facilitated by a panel of state and local representatives, will focus on the
statewide Family First implementation. This will not be a Family First 101 session but a
collaborative discussion on state and local roles in strengthening the treatment continuum
for children, youth, and their families. Family First is meant to be more than another funding
source. Communities play an important role in ensuring a successful implementation. Bring
your questions and join the discussion.

  • Andy Crawford, Director of Bedford Co. DSS and President of the Va League of Social
  • Services Executives
  • Rebecca Morgan, Director of Middlesex County DSS and Legislative Committee Chair
  • of the Virginia League of Social Services Executives
  • Dr. Tamara Temoney, Deputy Director of Hanover DSS and CSA Committee Chair of
  • the Virginia League of Social Services Executives
  • Kristin Zagar, DSS, Deputy Commissioner, Human Services
  • Moderator: Lesley Abashian, Director of Human Services, City of Fairfax, Virginia


2:00 p.m. Perspectives from the General Assembly
Legislative leaders will provide updates on key human services policy issues under
consideration by the legislature and offer a preview of priorities for the 2022 General

  • The Honorable Emily M. Brewer, House of Delegates, 64th District
  • The Honorable T. Montgomery “Monty” Mason, Senate of Virginia, 1st District
  • Moderator: Katie Boyle, Director of Government Affairs, Virginia Association of Counties 


10:00 a.m. Virginia’s Marcus Alert Initiative—Where We Stand
This session will inform conference attendees on the background and purpose of Virginia’s
newly mandated Marcus Alert behavioral health crisis response protocols, offer updates
regarding the plans and progress of program implementation statewide, and showcase the
opportunities, as well as lessons learned, experienced by two of the local jurisdictions
currently piloting the effort.

  • Heather Baxter, Program Manager, Emergency Services, Prince William County
  • Angie Hicks, Deputy Director, Behavioral Health Developmental Services, Virginia
  • Beach Department of Human Services
  • Lisa Madron, Executive Director, Prince William Community Services
  • Harvey Powers, Division Director, Law Enforcement Services Division, Department of
  • Criminal Justice Services
  • Dr. Lisa Jobe-Shields, Deputy Director, Community Services, Division of Community
  • Behavioral Health, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Aileen L. Smith, Director, Virginia Beach Department of Human Services
  • Moderator: Venerria Thomas, Director, Newport News Department of Human
  • Services


11:00 a.m. The Power of a Coordinated Social Care Network: Unite Virginia I
Unite Virginia is a coordinated care network of health and social service providers. Partners in
the network are connected through Unite Us‘ shared technology platform, which enables
them to send and receive electronic referrals, address people’s social needs and improve
health across communities.

  • Hayley Morris, Senior Engagement Manager, Unite Us


1:00 p.m. Beyond the Smoke… Local Implications of Virginia’s Marijuana Legalization
Effective July 1, 2021, Marijuana is legal in Virginia. Now what? This session will focus on
specifics of the legislation along with key considerations linked to marijuana legalization
including implications for public health, social justice, and human resources.

  • Mark Gribbin, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission


2:00 p.m. Membership business meeting


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