2013 Family Strengths Symposium

We are pleased to welcome you to the University of Houston-Downtown’s Center for Public Service and Family Strengths 4th Annual Symposium on Family Strengths. "Equity: Partnering for Families" is this year’s theme, which cuts across many issues families face.

Through engaging presentations, innovative panel discussions involving experts on each topic, breakout sessions and networking opportunities, we hope you will become better acquainted with programs and strategies whose applications positively contribute to a cohesive and productive overall family well-being.

This Symposium affirms UHD’s commitment to families and diversity in all of our educational, service and research endeavors. Families are the heart of our community, city and nation. And families are at the center of our work, whether it is through public or private agencies’ services to families with neglect and abuse, mental health needs, developmental delays, or justice, substance abuse or violence issues. Our goal is to save families for children and each member.

This Symposium could not have happened without the dedication and insight of many people, beginning with our planning committee listed in this program. All of our wonderful presenters and their agencies have graciously donated their expertise and time to share their work with us. Many individuals have spent endless hours to bring this conference to you, including, Mirna Medrano, Paulette Purdy in the Center’s office. Special thanks to our university president Dr. Bill Flores for his strong support of the Symposium these past four years and looking forward to the future.

Please enjoy the Symposium and the UHD campus and do engage our students, as they are our future. We are sure the presentations will enhance the important work you do every day with families. We appreciate your dedication and service and are glad you chose to join us! Have a great Symposium!

Supplemental Files

Download 2013 Symposium Program (pdf)

Keynote Speakers

Joyce James, LMSW-AP

Ms. James began her career as a Child Protective Services caseworker in 1980 and has established an impressive 33-year history in the field of child welfare and systems transformation. Ms. James is credited with being a catalyst for significant and nationally recognized improvements in the Texas CPS Program including a reduction in Disproportionality for African American and Native American children and overall improved outcomes for all children, youth, and families. Ms. James is currently the Associate Deputy Executive Commissioner for the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

De Shaun Ealoms, M.Ed., Texas DFPS Parent Program Specialist

De Shaun Ealoms is currently the Parent Program Specialist for Child Protective Services, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She facilitates the statewide Parent Collaboration Group and provides technical assistance to the CPS regions across Texas with their local parent information and support groups for parents involved with the CPS system. Prior to coming to CPS, Ms. Ealoms served as a Parent Liaison with The Children’s Partnership in Austin, Texas. Ms. Ealoms is also a parent who has utilized CPS services to access needed supports and services for her son who has autism. Ms. Ealoms is a member of Autism Society of America, and has served on the Austin Independent School District Special Education Advisory Committee and Mental Health Mental Retardation Center Advisory Committee. Ms. Ealoms received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Huston-Tillotson University and her Master's Degree in Special Education from Texas State University.