Affordable virtual training for professionals who work with children and families

Heather Steffl

BISMARCK, N.D. – Behavioral health, child welfare, and other professionals who work with children and families to strengthen, stabilize and empower families to prevent the out-of-home placement of children will be gathering virtually at the 2021 North Dakota Family-Based Services Association (NDFBSA) conference March 9-11 and 23-25. 

Presenters will include local, regional and national experts, including behavior management expert and best-selling author of “Breaking the Bullying Circle,” Ron Shuali. Shuali will lead a session on March 24 about the different ways people miscommunicate and ways to be more empowered in the classroom and at home using behavior management strategies, self-regulation and general well-being practices. He will also lead a second session titled, “Up the Rabbit Hole: Escaping the Matrix of Your Mind,” that explores how and why people can be stuck in patterns and mindsets that repeat and impact their lives.

Training sessions scheduled March 9-11 will focus on addressing challenging behaviors in young children, food hoarding by children in out-of-home placement and interventions, ethical standards for social work, the basics of implicit bias, early childhood mental health and school-based mental health services.

Sessions offered March 23-25 include Safe Zone transgender cultural competency training, special topics in foster care, including visitation transitions, disproportional anger toward foster mothers and lying behaviors; North Dakota Safety Framework practice model for child welfare; the supervisor’s role in work unit culture; and ethics and supervision. The NDFBSA annual meeting and awards will be held March 24.

Behavioral health and child welfare service providers, juvenile justice personnel, parent aides, foster parents, students, educators and others who work with children and families are invited to attend this professional development opportunity. Continuing education credits are available for licensed social workers.

Conference details, including online registration for the entire conference ($180) or individual sessions ($20/session), are available at . Individuals who need accommodations to participate should contact Allison at in advance of the conference.

The 2021 NDFBSA conference is organized and planned by NDFBSA and sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Human Services. Partner agencies include the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, The Village Family Service Center, Catholic Charities of North Dakota, Chrysalis, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, North Dakota Post Adopt Network and Youthworks.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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