• Preparing for the FFPSA

Preparing for the Family First Prevention Services Act

A free virtual training series by the Florida Institute for Child Welfare and ALIA Innovations


FFPSA aims to prevent unnecessary removal of children from their families by allowing federal funding for mental health services, substance use treatment, and in-home parenting skill training. It also attempts to improve the well-being of children in foster care and provides for increased support for young people as they transition from foster care to adulthood.

The purpose of this four-part training series was to prepare community based lead agencies in Florida to implement FFPSA. Questions about the training can be directed to Marianna Tutwiler, Program Director of Administration, at mtutwiler@fsu.edu.

Learn more about the training content by reading the presentation slides linked to below. 

First Training Session: Building a New Way, Together!

We understand more now than ever what children need for healthy development…an uninterrupted sense of belonging; however, our systems are not based on this knowledge. The child welfare system is not “broken;” it’s doing just what it was set up to do; rescue and remove children, punish parents, and separate families. The system was not set up as a family preservation system or family strengthening system, and now we know that must change. Together with families and communities, we can redesign a new way of work; one that keeps children safely with their family, not from their families. This session will discuss the mounting evidence for change and the inspiring efforts to work together to build a better way.

Session Presentation

Second Training Session: Managing Organizational Change

This webinar will examine the vital role leaders play in managing organizational change. It will deepen your understanding of the change process and offer practical tips and tools for preparing for normal responses to change and navigating the potential backlash and resistance of change; including how to prepare and protect those leading change movements.

Session Presentation

Third Training Session: Creating a Trauma-competent Organization: Public & Private

This training focus on understanding trauma, identifying trauma behaviors, and creating trauma-competent responses. Building blocks for creating a trauma competent organization include changing language, shifting mindsets, and initiating behavioral changes. Variables that create change readiness plus an awareness of the barriers to the change process together create the scaffolding for building a trauma competent organization.

Participants will leave with ideas and strategies on how to create micro-changes that contribute to building trauma competencies. It is now no longer enough to be trauma-informed; we must know what to do what that knowledge. It is in the application of the knowledge that we create competence. Competence is knowledge in action.

Session Presentation

Fourth Training Session: Creating a Trauma-competent Organization: The Role of Leadership & Healing

Leadership creates the environment for building a trauma-competent organization that focuses on healing. When leadership prioritizes healing and sanctions the importance of trauma competencies is when the growth and changes will occur.

Discussions will include concepts of Emotional Intelligence, vulnerability and shame resilience. Leaders are encouraged to look at their own leadership styles while building a culture that embraces vulnerability and Emotional Intelligence. With these leadership insights, organizations can focus on healing. Participants will hear specific strategies on how to lead change, build trauma competencies, and incorporate Emotional Intelligence in the change process.

Session Presentation


Meet Our Trainers 

Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer, LISW is the founder and CEO of the national non-profit, Alia: innovations for people and systems impacted by childhood trauma. Alia is building a Proof of Concept that public child welfare agencies can serve as primary prevention agencies with a newly redesigned purpose of keeping children safe with, not from, their families.

Alia works with child welfare leaders who are innovators and early adapters in jurisdictions around the country and the globe to create transformational change child welfare. The new way of work is referred to as an “UnSystem;” although we don’t know what the new way will eventually be called, we know it’s not this system.

Team Alia’s expertise is in workforce wellbeing (recently named “Best Places to Work in the Twin Cities 2020”), leadership supports, building prevention systems that keep children safely with (not from) their families, healing trauma for older youth to allow them to obtain permanency, building empathy and trauma-informed care into child welfare practices, and using Human Centered Design to co-design innovative systems change with families and communities. We are building new ways of work by “Doing what love would do.”

Amelia was named as one of People Magazine’s “25 Women Changing the World” in 2018 and has a widely viewed TEDx Talk on the Human Need for Belonging. In 2015, Amelia was also honored as a Bush Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow. Amelia and Team Alia are leading a national movement to create a child welfare system across the country where all people - youth and their caregivers - can thrive.

Debi Grebenik trains internationally and is known for her expertise in healing child trauma. She also trains on Vicarious Trauma within child welfare and judicial systems as well as for first responders and medical professionals. She is known for her engaging and enthusiastic presentations on healing for children, youth, families, teams, and systems.

Her education includes a Masters’ Degree in Social Work; a Master’s Degree in Religious Education; a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the University of Colorado.

Debi is the Chief Learning Officer of Alia, a nonprofit organization focused on innovations for people and systems impacted by childhood trauma. Previous to Alia, Debi served as the Executive Director of Maple Star Colorado, a child welfare agency providing foster care, domestic violence advocacy, human trafficking services, clinical services, autism supports, placement prevention, and other innovative programming.

Under Debi’s leadership, Maple Star expanded and grew; one of their innovative programs was accepted into the Colorado Compendium of Promising Practices. Maple Star led the state of Colorado in innovative programming.

In 2014, Debi was awarded the 360 Degree Leader of the Year of Providence Service Corporation out of 11,000 employees. She was also appointed by Colorado’s Governor to serve on the Human Trafficking Council where she chaired the task force on standards.  In 2017 she was awarded the outstanding adjunct faculty of the year award for Newman University where she’s taught for the past 11 years in their Master’s of Social Work program where she created a class on Traumatology.

Debi’s mission is for everyone to have the “aha” moment about the impact of trauma on their personal and professional lives.  What she is best known for is her love of the color pink, her 7 grandchildren and Starbucks as well as her nonstop energy.

Training Provided by The Florida Institute for Child Welfare and Alia 


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