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Recordings of Virtual Trainings Hosted by TC Youth Services 

Moira McJury from Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County: Youth Vaping: Information, Risks, and the Impacts of COVID-19 (download available via Google Drive)

A virtual workshop to discuss the overall trends in youth substance use, nationally and in Tompkins County. Presentation will focus on youth vaping and the implications of COVID-19 on the health of young people who vape.

Jessica Janniere: Look Up and Beyond (download available via Dropbox)

This presentation teaches trauma-informed care strategies that provide the coping skills needed to build a healthy self-image, build resilience, and the ability to successfully move beyond any adversity in life.

 

Not Even Remotely Your Typical Tech Safety Summit: Increasing Connection & Well-Being in a Digital World

 

Growing Up in the Age of Porn: Navigating Sexualized Elements of the Digital World (download available via Google Drive)

Janis Whitlock, Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

The digital age has ushered in many new & novel outlets for youth interested in accessing sexual information, adult entertainment, and social/sexual networking. However, the digital terrain is so new & quick to change that teens have largely been left on their own to navigate the sexualized elements of the digital world and parents are left unsure how to have conversations on this topic. This keynote will explore the nature and challenges of this new age as well as productive strategies & resources for parents and youth workers.

"How Did I Miss It?” Understanding Grooming and the Virtual World (download available via Google Drive)

Kristi Taylor, Education Director at the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County

One of the most common questions asked after a youth is sexually exploited is, “How did I miss this?” The answer is not always simple but often lies in a tactic used by offenders known as grooming. This workshop will provide an introduction into defining sexual exploitation of children and teens, understanding why youth are targeted by predators, exploring grooming strategies often employed, and the role technology plays in the effectiveness of grooming. This workshop will provide a foundation for Workshop 2 that will examine strategies adults can utilize to protect youth and assist in building healthy online connections.

Building Healthy Connections in a Virtual World (download available via Google Drive)

Lyn Staack, Youth Education Coordinator & Andrea Champlin, Lead Youth Advocate at the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County

The role technology plays in our lives has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital and social media provide spaces for education, work, entertainment, and social connection for millions of adults, teens and children globally. As adults we have a responsibility to design these spaces in ways that keep youth safe, and to teach youth how to participate in these spaces in ways that support their health and wellbeing. This includes being able to recognize and respond to harmful or exploitative situations. We often try to protect youth through restriction: rules about what apps they can have, which online games they can play, and who they can talk to. While this is well intentioned, it is nearly impossible to keep pace with how quickly technology evolves. 

This workshop explores a complementary approach: reducing youth risk by maintaining clear roles and boundaries ourselves. Building school and family cultures with both connection and boundaries allows us, and the youth in our lives, to understand sexual exploitation and abuse as boundary violations. Using the framework of boundaries, manipulations and risks can be more easily identified and responded to by both adults and youth. This workshop closes by introducing strategies to support youth following abusive experiences.

Closing the Communication Gap (download available via Google Drive)

Naomi Barry, Lead Educator at the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County

Have you ever had a conversation with a youth in your life that basically consisted of single syllable words or that ended in yelling but you still can’t figure out why? Well, then you are in very good company. Stress, misunderstanding, struggles for independence, and best intentions can often lead to a significant breakdown in communication between caregivers and youth. So, how can we possibly have difficult conversations about their wellbeing? Closing the Gap is a curriculum developed by LOVE146, an anti-trafficking organization, that is specifically designed to help caregivers build the needed skills to reduce youth risk through stress identification, understanding behaviors, enhancing communication, prioritizing needs, and planning for safety. While the entire Closing the Gap Program is 6 hours long, this workshop will introduce the concepts it covers and provide an opportunity to engage with portions of the program. 

Protecting Youth by Building the Safety Net (download available via Google Drive)

Panel of local youth serving organizations moderated by Bridgette Nugent, Tompkins County Youth Services Department

One of the strongest ways we can protect youth from exploitation is by helping them meet their emotional, developmental, or physical needs in appropriate, healthy ways. Often, we approach youth safety by limiting who they see, where they go, or what they interact with online, all of which can unintentionally create isolation or disconnection. A more effective approach is to build strong connections and “fill their jars”- so to say- with people and resources that can meet their emotional and developmental needs in positive and healthy ways. This panel will provide you the opportunity to hear more about a selection of our community organizations, programs, and entities in Tompkins County that are providing those spaces. Presenters will share information about the work they are doing, how to connect youth or how you can support their work, and answer questions you may have.