Institute Tracks and Workshop Descriptions


This track is designed to introduce case managers to the nuts and bolts of the federal TANF program, including case management best practices and strategies to address common barriers to client success and long-term self-sufficiency. 

The Impacts of Historical Trauma and the Power of Resiliency

Historical trauma has been defined as the cumulative, multigenerational, collective experience of emotional and psychological injury in Native American communities and in descendants. This injury is a result of federal policies that upended our traditional practices. While trauma continues to impact our clients and their families, resiliency has the power to promote healing, wellness, and ultimately, self-sufficiency. This workshop will discuss how experiences create trauma in our clients and the ways we can build their resiliency, resulting in better outcomes for them and their families. This workshop will use small and large group discussions and activities to identify needs and explore best practices for both rural and urban programs.

You will learn:

  •        The ways trauma is experienced in Native American communities
  •        The symptoms of historical trauma in our clients
  •        Best practices for practitioners working with traumatized clients
  •        Supportive practices that impart the skills clients need to boost resiliency and self-sufficiency

Introduction to Case Management in Tribal TANF (Full Day)

Case Management is the backbone of any Tribal TANF organization and it is critical that all new case managers have an in-depth understanding of Tribal TANF and its related best practices. This interactive session will begin with an overview of Tribal TANF, including the origins of the program, its intent and purpose and how federal and program policies relate to case management positions and service delivery.

Additionally, the diversity of case management in Tribal TANF settings will also be explored. Through this session, case managers will be empowered with the knowledge required to ensure successful coordination of Tribal TANF services for eligible participants, their families and support systems.

Topics include:

  • The role and function of case managers
  • Principles of case management: intake/eligibility, assessments of needs, service planning, plan implementation, service coordination, monitoring and follow-up, re-assessment, case conferencing, collaboration, crisis intervention and case closure
  • Relevant social work practice models
  • Client engagement
  • Common case management challenges
  • Documentation and case notes

Staying in Your Lane: Reducing Stress and Frustration with Professional Boundaries

If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, burnt out, or ineffective, then this workshop is for you.

Workshop objectives include:

  • Discover new ways to manage your energy
  • Create a list of professional boundaries
  • Commit to regaining control over your time and emotions

Participants will leave knowing the value of focusing only on what they can control, and reduce suffering by staying in their own lane. 

Work Smarter, Not Harder

This workshop is for new and novice case management staff that are looking to maximize their time and energy through a variety of techniques that emphasize efficiency and effectiveness. Concepts and components of time management and prioritization will be covered with emphasis placed on the importance of organization, being effective, planning efficiently and prioritizing tasks. 

Topics include:

• Identifying time wasters 

• Learn strategies to enhance time management - useful tools

  • Outlook Management and Organization – It’s not just about you 
    • Desk Management 

• The Focus Funnel – How to Procrastinate on Purpose and be a time multiplier


Advanced Case Management

This track is for more the experienced worker, looking to further their skills and abilities to provide solutions to specific challenges faced in the communities that they serve. 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Certification (Full Day)

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. NOTE: Each session runs from 1:00pm-5:00pm

Before you can know how to help, you need to know when to help. We call this mental health literacy – or a basic understanding of what different mental illnesses and addictions are, how they can affect a person’s daily life, and what helps individuals experiencing these challenges get well.

You learn about:

  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma
  • Psychosis
  • Substance Use disorders

Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better and use their strengths to stay well. 

Note: Registrants must attend the full day to receive MHFA Certificate.

Community-Based Youth Services

This course will explore the many opportunities in your community that can include youth activities, youth engagement and youth talking circles. This course will include Community Mapping, a tool that can be used to tell a story about what is happening in our communities. ... Community Mapping can empower the public by providing opportunities to have a lasting, positive influence on their community.

Speaker Beni Cromwell will share his current community youth engagement, and walk through how it began and how it came to be. This story will be beneficial for course participants to begin thinking about the strengths and allies in their communities and have options for them to explore once they get back to their community. 

Participant Centered Goal Setting

This workshop will assist in shifting the Helping Professional’s focus to “Work Focused” instead of “Work First” when working with customers. The course has adapted Sir John Whitmore’s GROW coaching model in assisting the participant with progressing forward. This course also includes instruction, opportunities for reflection, practice of skills and strategies that are useful in helping participants change their lives. It focuses on strategies case managers use to establish and maintain a helping relationship with caseworkers and participants.

Topics Include:

  • Have practical steps with the GROW model to develop a meeting into a progressive and focused conversation.
  • Focus on engagement strategies needed throughout the coaching process.
  • Practice using tools in being proactive instead of reactive in working with resistance.
  • Gain additional tools in identifying customers’ challenges and addressing concerns to promote progress.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is an integrated and complex set of skills and strategies based on the principles of self-sufficiency and collaboration. The segment offers opening strategies to use with clients in the early stages of the case management relationship and discusses the process of establishing and maintaining the helping relationship.

Assessing your Clients' Resources for Successfully Transitioning from Tribal TANF Programs

Clients transition from Tribal TANF programs for a number of reasons. Some clients leave because they are self-sufficient, while others exit the program for less positive reasons.  Regardless of the impetus for a client’s transition, case managers have an obligation to ensure the most successful exit possible.  Accomplishing this goal requires a case manager who is knowledgeable, connected to resources, and skilled in assessing client needs and resources. This workshop will use small and large group discussions and activities to identify needs and explore best practices for both rural and urban programs.

You will learn:

  •        Tools for assessing client resources and needs
  •        Strategies for connecting clients to resources
  •        Ways to facilitate the creation of a support system for your client
  •        Options for creating internal policies and procedures that support successful transitions

Trauma-informed Care Assessment Strategies (Heather)

Becoming trauma informed means recognizing that people often have many different types of trauma in their lives.  Trauma affects not only the individual, but families and communities.  Understanding the impact of trauma is an important first step.  We will be looking at different assessment strategies such as ACES to help identify trauma needs.

Wellness and Self Care

This workshop presents wellness as an approach to health that can result in greater vitality, control, responsibility, and on-the-job effectiveness. Participants will better understand factors that may contribute to health risk and ways to reduce chronic pain and tension.

Topics include:

  • The signs and symptoms of stress
  • The relationship of wellness to self-esteem and productivity
  • Better ways to handle job stress
  • Factors and habits that contribute to health risk
  • Relaxation techniques

Working with Participants with Mental Health Challenges (Heather)

Sometimes it seems obvious when someone is going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem.  We will be addressing how to work with participants who may be dealing with mental health challenges.  We will be discussing ways to work with clients who may have mental health symptoms, a dual diagnosis and/or are impacted by historical trauma. 



This track assists managers in developing strategies and skills to lead their teams to improved effectiveness and efficiency when working with their clients to self-sufficiency.

Coaching and Mentoring Conflicts with DiSC

This workshop will improve attendees’ ability to positively influence their relationships with their direct reports, peers, and superiors. Participants will be introduced to tools and models used by seasoned business and leadership coaches.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to DiSC Styles
  • Introduction to Styles in Conflict
  • Introduction to Model to Reduce Internal Conflict to Support Leading from Your Control and Influence

Cross Department Collaboration

This workshop provides helpful guidelines for developing collaborations between departments and agencies working with families to ensure professionals are closing gaps rather than duplicating services.  Cross Departmental Collaboration assists in the delivery of cost-effective, and comprehensive services for children and families with diverse needs.  

Navigating Difficult Conversations

Conflict wouldn’t occur unless two people cared about something. For managers, the true difficulty lies in ensuring that conflicts are resolved in a timely fashion and in a manner that is honest, respectful and constructive. This workshop will explore some of the causes of conflict and provides models of conversation that lead to meaningful outcomes.

Performance Management

This workshop introduces attendees’ to researched based approaches to enhance employee performance. Participants will be introduced to tools and models to better prepare employees to meet the demands of their current and future workplace.

Topics include:

  • 8 Steps to High Performance
  • Skills Development
  • Mindset Shift to Enhance Success

Getting Things Done: Fundamental Systems for Effective Workflow

An overview of several proven time management philosophies and principles by leading experts in the field of leadership. Workshop will include ideologies from Getting Things Done (GTD), 4-hour workweek and other industry leading authors and TED speakers.



This track looks at the dynamics of program management; discussing how to effectively implement new projects and processes, as well as documenting and showing successes and progress on new initiatives.

Best Practices in Program Development

This session is designed to highlight innovative and effective best practices in instituting successful TANF programs. Presenting programs will share what they do to provide exciting opportunities and address unique challenges, as well as collaborate to assist others to develop meaningful programs for their communities.

We are looking for organizations that have implemented successful programs or projects and are willing to produce a 15-minute presentation that details the “why”, “how’ and “what” associated with the project’s success. Selected presenters should be prepared to present and answer questions on their project during the “Best Practices in Tribal TANF Programs” breakout session.

Each submission should identify which of the 4 Purposes of TANF the project addressed:

  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes
  • Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out of wedlock pregnancies
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two parent families

Submissions should include:

  • Program/Project Title/TANF objective addressed
  • The people included in the project team
  • A brief statement of the program/project mission and objectives (Why)
  • Implementation strategy, plan and challenges (How)
  • Project timeframe (When)
  • Program results, recognition and positive impact on the organization/community (What)

If your program has an exciting initiative that you would like to share with other TANF leaders, please fill out and return the online submission form.

Creating Synergy Between Organizations

It’s one thing to working with a partner organization, it’s another thing to do it in a way that is efficient, effective and that benefits both organizations. This session explores the dynamics that exist between successful collaborations between organizations: common goals, strategic planning and communication

Leading Change (Full Day)

With the ever-changing landscape of Tribal TANF, human services policy and client needs, it us of paramount importance that leaders, management and supervisors positively nurture and facilitate the inevitability of program and organizational change.  This workshop will review the dynamics of change and identify the necessary steps for utilization and development in any organizational or program change initiative/transition.

Measuring Successful Program Implementation

This session will provide participants with skills and tools to enhance their ability to accurately evaluate program success and effectively identify what is working and what needs tinkering to improve its efficiency and efficacy.

Participants will:

  • Identify programs and Initiatives to measure
  • Recognize what success looks like for each program or initiative
  • Discern appropriate evaluation methods to utilize
  • Define the categories of a balanced scorecard
  • Explore how other organizations are measuring success