TCOM 2018 Speaker Spotlight- Vida K. Khavar


Meet one of your #TCOM2018 Presenters!

Featured in this post: Vida Khavar

khavar picVida Khavar is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has 25 years’ experience in child welfare. Vida began her career as a clinician in various agencies throughout Los Angeles. She developed expertise in all areas of child welfare while striving to bring Permanency to center stage. Vida became a consultant in 2012 and since then, has assisted a multitude of organizations in developing new or enhancing existing child welfare programs. One of Vida’s priority is to transform the platform on which public and private organizations operate by creating a community that embraces collaborations.

Vida served as a master coach and fidelity reviewer for RISE, a $15 million federal initiative which aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ youth in foster care. She is currently the getREAL CA project director through Family Builders. She has been collaborating with the California Department of Social Services to develop and implement new policies for LGBTQ+ children in child welfare.                                                e: vkhavar@familybuilders.org

Q: What does Person-Centered Care mean to you?
VK: Many of us have entered the field of social work and social justice in order to improve the lives of children and families. It is crucial to remember that each person is their own expert, therefore, as healthcare practitioners, we must focus on developing treatment plans that match our clients’ needs and the way they see themselves. We must remember that each person is at the center of the many identities they represent through their culture, race, religion, socioeconomic background, SOGIE (Sexual orientation, Gender Identity & Expression), mental health etc., therefore we must listen in order to serve them appropriately.

Q. Why should individuals attend this year’s conference/your presentation?
VK: 22.8% of children in out of home care in the United States identify as LGBTQ, and 57% of these youth are youth of color. These numbers are startling. As health care practitioners, it is essential to develop appropriate programs that meet the needs of these children and their families. LGBTQ+ youth are at a higher risk to find themselves involved with child welfare, criminal justice and homelessness because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

This presentation will address how to implement practices that address the needs, well-being and permanency of LGBTQ and gender expansive children.  The necessity to address every aspect of each child through the intersection of race, culture, ethnicity and SOGIE will be discussed. Finally, the SOGIE portion of the CANS as well as new policies, lessons learned and practical concepts will be presented to initiate and implement child welfare practices that are LGBTQ affirming.

Q: What drew you to attend this year?
VK: The SOGIE portion of the CANS is not yet well known, even though several counties throughout the US are already using it. It is a wonderful assessment that should be used more systematically and I hope to shed some light on it.

Q: What drew you to present on your specific topic? 
VK: I have had the privilege to collaborate with John Lyons and April Fernando from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago in redesigning the LGBTQ portion of the CANS. It is an important piece of assessment for organizations who seek to get a better understanding of the children and youth entering their programs. The SOGIE piece allows agencies to provide better tailored services toward the needs of the children they serve. It is my goal to highlight the importance of using this tool when assessing all children.


Connect with Vida!

Attend Vida’s presentation at the 14th Annual TCOM Conference on Thursday, 10/4/2018 at 4:00 pm.

Child Welfare Practices for the Well-Being of LGBTQ and Gender Expansive Children and Youth

22.8% of children in out of home care in the United States identify as LGBTQ. Child welfare reforms throughout the country are mandating that all children be affirmed, and respected and their families supported. This presentation will address how to transform your organization in becoming affirming and develop programs that will address the needs, well-being and permanency of LGBTQ and gender non-conforming children and their families. This plenary will also discuss the intersection between race, culture, ethnicity and SOGIE, and the necessity to address every aspect of each child.

A special thanks to our sponsors this year and other individual donors!
The Praed Foundation, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Casey Family Programs, eINSIGHT (eCenter Research), Seneca Family of Agencies, Centene Corporation, Okay to Say (Meadows MHPI), Fidelity EHRMagellan HealthcareCommunity Data Roundtable, California Alliance of Children and Family Services TenEleven Group

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