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2023 WFAPA Spring Conference
Mar 24, 4:00 PM
Three Bears Resort
"Participants gave him universally high marks on his insight and real-world advice, and I don’t think it’s overstating the case to say that all in attendance felt thoroughly engaged and energized for another year of caring for children." ~ Larry Pilla, NH-FAPA
Spiral Waves

March 24-26, 2023 Spring  Conference

“No Such Thing As a Bad Kid!”

Understanding and Responding to Children, Youth, and Families Struggling with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges Using a Positive, Trauma-Informed, Strength-Based Approach.

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Workshop Description:

Strength-based practice is an emerging approach to guiding at-risk children, youth and families that is exceptionally positive and inspiring. Its focus is on strength-building rather than flaw-fixing. It begins with the belief that every individual has or can develop strengths and utilize past successes to mitigate problem behavior and enhance functioning. This presentation will highlight many of the key principles and techniques of this transforming modality.​

Areas Covered Include:

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Attending this continuing education activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the major principles of a strength-based approach to working with at-risk children and youth.

  • Discuss the importance of personal self-awareness and self-management in working with at-risk children, youth, and families.

  • Cite specific strength-based verbal interventions that help professionals engage and motivate at-risk children, youth, and families

  • Develop individualized behavioral support strategies that help children learn to self-manage.

  • Discuss innovative strategies for enhancing self-esteem in at-risk youth.

  • Describe at least two specific cognitive-behavioral techniques that can help at-risk children, youth, and their parents to better self-manage their actions.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is strength-based practice & the power of a positive attitude & culture;

  • The effects of trauma and positive emotions on the brain;

  • How and why to create trauma-informed treatment environments;

  • Changing negative mindsets and the deleterious effects of pejorative labeling;

  • Strength-based communication principles and techniques – including reframing, using solution-focused questions, positive-predicting, the millimeter acknowledgement, and inspirational metaphors;

  • Self-esteem building & activities for at-risk children and youth;

  • How to help cognitively inflexible young people;

  • The importance of being family-friendly;

  • Why, how, and when to use incentives;

  • The importance of controlling personal emotions (i.e. managing number one first); core strength-based verbal interventions including de-escalation techniques;

  • Respectful, relationship-based limit setting; and a host of creative cognitive behavioral strategies.



Charlie brings many years of experience, as well as an engaging, humorous, and practical style to his presentations. This past fall, he presented both the keynote and an all-day workshop at our annual conference. Participants gave him universally high marks on his insight and real-world advice, and I don’t think it’s overstating the case to say that all in attendance felt thoroughly engaged and energized for another year of caring for children. We would not hesitate to bring Charlie back, and cannot recommend him more highly.

As a foster, adoptive, and biological parent myself, I can attest to the value of Charlie’s strength-based approach, detailed in his book, “No Such Thing as a Bad Kid.” It works – with real kids, and real parents, in real situations.

Larry Pilla, NH-FAPA (New Hampshire

Foster  and Adoptive Parent Association)

To learn and grow

“Charlie Appelstein has a tremendous ability to communicate the reality of working with emotionally disturbed children and adolescents – the challenges, joys, frustrations, and successes. He’s very credible and connects with staff through recognizing the critical role they play while at the same time challenging them to continue to learn and grow and “keep the force.”

Mary C. Regan, Executive Director

Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies

Valuable, take-home-and-use information

“Many convention speakers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the podium, often to be presented in a lecture-style, academic format that puts the audience to sleep. Then there is the dynamic personality at a convention who keeps everybody awake, but people walk away saying, “What did I learn?” Charlie Appelstein is that rare presenter who combines valuable, take-home-and-use information with a presentation style that has everybody nodding in agreement, laughing, and participating.”

Jackie Barger, Executive Director

Shults-Lewis Child & Family Services, Valparaiso, Indiana

Charlie Applestein, MSW

Youth care specialist Charlie Appelstein, M.S.W., President of Appelstein Training Resources, LLC (ATR) provides expert virtual and in-person strength-based training, consultation, publications, CDs, and DVDs for individuals and groups who work with children and youth experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges.

Described as "the best youth care trainer in America" by Robert Lieberman, former president of the American Association of Children's Residential Centers, Charlie has devoted his entire adult career to helping children and youth struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges and those who guide them. An engaging, informative, and humorous speaker,  Charlie's strength-based approach delivers a message of hope and possibility to our most vulnerable youth and those who shape and influence their lives.

Youth care specialist, President of
Appelstein Training Resources, LLC (ATR)

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Advocacy 101

Foster and Adoptive


At our upcoming conference in March, Judy Olmanson CSW, M.A.,M.A.T., is going to be talking with us about Advocacy with foster and adoptive parents. Advocacy is at the heart of change, the product of passion, commitment and the desire to influence policy and/or practice. Advocacy brings about positive change for individuals and society as a whole. Foster and adoptive parents are often called upon to be advocates for the children in their care, whether it be with the child welfare system, schools, mental health services, medical services, or local and state governments. This workshop will provide foster and adoptive parents with the essential skills necessary for you to be an effective advocate in a variety of settings.


Judy Olmanson CSW, M.A., M.A.T.

Judy is a Public Adoption Social Worker for Lutheran Social Services as well as an Instructor for the University of WI-Milwaukee's Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System teaching the adoption classes. With more than three decades of work experience in the Wisconsin Human/Social Services field (as well as in Minnesota and Tennessee), she is committed to serving and advocating for vulnerable populations.

Three Bears Resort






Connect with  other parents

Come spend the weekend with us!

   Rooms are $82.00 (not including local & state taxes). Wristbands for waterpark are included.  Handicapped rooms are available.


The last day to reserve your room is on  March 10, 2023.

For reservations, please call Three Bears Resort at

608-378-2500 and ask for Wisconsin Foster and

Adoptive  Parent Association block.

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Three Bears Resort  *  701 Yogi Circle  *  Warrens, WI 54666



Laser Maze


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