(These workshops run twice, so all attendees will get to attend two of the workshop offerings)
- Change: The Continuing Challenge in Immigration Policy
Eric Seymour, Esperanza Center Client Services Manager
This workshop will explore current best practices in working with documented and undocumented immigrants and their families, including updates on current policy changes and challenges. Learn what local resources are available if you are working with immigrants, including working with mixed-status households.
- Navigating Our Journey: Helping Youth Experiencing Homelessness Access Resources and Build Stability
Ingrid Lofgren, Homeless Persons Representation Project
This workshop explores different safety-net programs and their various intricacies as they relate to individuals who lack stable housing, particularly youth and minors experiencing homelessness. Presenters will discuss the challenges faced by youth who attempt to navigate various services and requirements, and the presenters will also outline opportunities for advocacy going forward.
- Flip the Script: The History and Challenges of Addiction and Policy
Ann Ciekot, Public Policy Partners and LaTavia Little, University of Maryland School of Social Work
This workshop will examine the evolution of attitudes towards – and treatments for – people with substance use disorders. From a criminal justice response in the 1990s to the current public health approach, treatment options and polices have changed, though sigma and discrimination continue. Participants will also be given a look at the policy decisions ahead, especially for people living in poverty who have substance use disorders who interact with public assistance and child welfare programs.
- Welfare Myths and Realities
Letitia Passarella, University of Maryland School of Social Work
“Welfare Queen.” We’ve all heard this derogatory language to describe individuals receiving public benefits. This presentation will challenge this stereotype and many others by providing data about families in Maryland who receive Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefits.
5. Past. Present. Future. What’s Next for the Family Investment Administration?
Representatives from the Family Investment Administration, Department of Human Services
The Family Investment Administration oversees the majority of our state’s public benefit programs, including SNAP, TCA and TDAP. Join the new leaders of the Family Investment Administration as they outline upcoming initiatives, improvements, and plans for the department and the programs it oversees.
A. Evolve. Enrich. Empower. – The Educated Consumer is the Best Served Customer.
Connie Tolbert, Cameron Miles, and Lynn Bowens, Maryland State Department of Human Services – Office of Constituent Services
The DHS Constituent Services Office provides support that encompasses all DHS programs and services. The presenters have the rare perspective of being former consumers of human services programs and outreach experts who aided in designing and implementing many of the current human services policies and programs. This workshop will share how they helped shape and support the way these services are currently provided.
B. Welfare to Work: Opportunity for Many, Struggle for Some – Examining the Benefit Cliff
Angie McAllister and Windy Deese, United Way of Central Maryland
ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) is one who works hard, earns above the Federal Poverty Level, but cannot afford a basic survival budget. A major barrier for ALICE is the benefits cliff – when an income increase puts workers at risk to lose their benefits. The Impact of the Benefits Cliff on Maryland Working Families is a new study that examines the impact of the cliff effect statewide and offers policy solution recommendations.
C. Casting a Wide Net: Consumer Panel
Individuals living in or near poverty share their stories of trying to access public benefit programs.
How can we cast a wider, more inclusive safety net for those struggling in our communities? This panel will highlight the experiences of individuals who have sought assistance through various service agencies, and facilitate a discussion on benefits and barriers consumers encounter when seeking help.
AFTERNOON PLENARY SESSION:
Our Afternoon Plenary will be a panel of experts discussing the intersection of education, poverty, and public benefits, specifically focusing on some of the work of the Kirwan Commission, as well as discussing opportunities for advocacy in the next legislative session.