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12th Annual Utah Foster Care Virtual Symposium

October 7, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Gathering Wisdom for the Healing Journey

October 7th | Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Park City - The Yarrow

Utah Foster Care (UFC) is dedicated to educating foster parents and the larger community about the hopes and struggles of children in foster care. Our annual Symposium brings local and national experts to share their knowledge and skills. The Symposium is open to foster parents, adoptive parents, professionals, and the public. In addition to being an educational and social event, the Symposium is one way for attendees to meet their personal educational goals. For foster parents, the conference counts towards their in-service training requirements. For child welfare and clinical professionals, there are continuing education credits (CEUs) available. This year 6 hours of in-service training credit is available for licensed foster families. No NASW CEUs are offered for the virtual option. In-person symposium attendance is not available to the general public.

The Virtual Lineup

October 7, 2021


Keynote Speaker: Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD NPR Science Correspondent and author of Hunt, Gather, Parent

Michaeleen Doucleff is the author of the New York Times bestseller Hunt, Gather, Parent. Her book offers culturally-grounded approaches to raising helpful and confident children, which moms and dads all over the world have employed for millennia. She also describes how American families can incorporate these ways into their busy, modern lives.

Doucleff wrote the book after traveling to three continents with her 3-year-old daughter, Rosy. Maya, Inuit, and Hadzabe families showed her how to tame tantrums, motivate kids to be helpful, and build children’s confidence and self-sufficiency.

10:15-10:30am Presentation of the Fostering Community Award to Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox.


All In for Families: Megan Carter and Vanessa Knickerbocker

Megan is the biological mother of two boys who were taken in foster care. Her boys were in foster care for about 18 months before finishing her services with DCFS and was able to reunite. She is excited to share her story of getting her boys back and the ways that everyone involved helped her to have the life they have today!

Vanessa was the foster mom to Megan’s boys. As a former DCFS Caseworker, Vanessa has a deep understanding of the goal and importance of reunification. She and Megan will share how their relationship became instrumental in this reunification story.


The second half of the day will be dedicated to building the Foster Parent Toolbox. Each of our speakers are experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable foster parents. We are privileged to hear from each of them.


Lauren Wallentine (Communication with Professionals)


Suzie and Ryan McCorriston (Ongoing Communication/Integration)


Jenny and Arkin Hill (Managing Expectations)


Borg and Danny Kristensen (Holding our Grief)


Lanai Vaitai (Cultural Humility)


Krista Felts (Resilience)


October 7, 2021
9:00 am - 4:30 pm