Meet some of your #TCOM2018 Presenters!

Featured in this post: Jen Griffis and Marrianne McMullen


Jennifer Griffis is a Parent Consultant with the YES Project, which aims to empower the mental wellness of children, youth, and their families. She engages with the system transformation in Idaho by serving on workgroups and supporting the development of statewide parent network designed to encourage parent voice within children’s mental health programs. Jennifer also serves on the Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Board of Directors and recently became a Certified Parent Coach. Jennifer draws upon her own experiences as a mother of seven to provide support to parents who are raising children with behavioral health challenges. e:


Marrianne McMullen is the Director of Communications and Dissemination at Chapin Hall . She is a former journalist and foster parent whose career in communications has centered on social justice and child welfare. Most recently, she served six years in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs at the Administration for the Children and Families in HHS. She’s also worked for DC Public Schools and for the Service Employees International Union. She and her husband, Jeff Epton, ran an alternative newsweekly in Dayton, Ohio for seven years. Together they’ve helped raise nine children, including six foster children. e:

Q: What does Person-Centered Care mean to you?
JG: As a parent, person-centered care means that professionals are considering more than just a diagnosis when they’re treating my child. They’re also looking at environmental and relational challenges that may not be immediately evident. Instead of attempting to simplify a complex mental-health challenge, they take the time to look at each layer of the situation and use all of those pieces to help my family move forward.
MM: I’m fortunate to have former foster daughters who continue to be my family as adults. One of them recently posted a video that really captures person-centered care (Check it out!). Person-centered care is about focusing on the person, and disregarding everything about how a service is typically delivered. Sometimes our systems work with families in ways that can be counter-productive. Person-centered care is productive and responsive to the individual and the family.

Q. Why should individuals attend this year’s conference/your presentation?
JG: The systems that are serving children do not always make it easy for professionals to apply TCOM principles and strategies. Attending TCOM can provide a refreshed perspective for professionals who are working to transform systems for children and families.
MM: The conference is an amazing opportunity to recharge and learn with a community of people dedicated to children and families. At this year’s  conference, I will take time with participants to look at some of the research and practice on persuasion, and consider how these principles can be used to change behavior to provide more responsive services. Do you need to persuade someone to change a behavior or adopt a new behavior? Come to my workshop and you’ll gain a few more tools in your toolbox to help you do that!

Q: What drew you to attend this year?
JG: I attended my first TCOM conference last year. I appreciated the focus on encouraging and empowering parent voice. It’s that focus that is bring me back this year.
MM: I came to last year’s conference and was moved by being with so many people dedicated to practicing human services in the most compassionate, respectful, and effective way possible. I’m excited that this year’s conference will be in Chicago, and proud to be a part of a Chapin Hall team that will be there in force.

Q: Why did you choose to present on this specific topic?
JG: My presentation is the result of spending the past five years advocating for my daughter’s treatment while at the same time advocating for changes in our state’s children’s mental health system. I’ve personally experienced the power of being able to trust your own story, as well as the power found in encouraging systems to trust the stories of other families during the transformation process.
MM: My study and practice of persuasion includes a set of tools that can help those in local and state child welfare systems implement the changes they need to make to improve services. Why do people adopt new behaviors? Why do they resist doing so? How can you accelerate the adoption of innovation? Let’s talk. Let’s figure out what the field of persuasion and the dissemination of innovations has to offer to members of the TCOM Collaborative.

Connect with Jennifer and Marrianne!

Attend their presentation at the 14th Annual TCOM Conference on Wednesday, 10/3/2018 from 1-4pm.

When All You Can Trust is the Story: A Parent’s Perspective on the CANS

Parenting children with emotional and behavioral challenges is a difficult journey that requires interacting with multiple systems, programs, and professionals. During this journey, parents often lose trust in the system. They begin to fear the professionals aren’t listening. They worry that decisions will be made that aren’t in the best interest of their family or their child. This session, presented from a parent perspective, will shed light on these challenges. It will also share how the right tools, like the CANS, can help parents trust their story to speak when they aren’t feeling heard. And finally, participants will learn how one system is providing opportunities for stories from families to positively impact their systems, programs, and processes while also empowering parents to participate in  larger system change.

Building Change: How to Use Tools of Persuasion to Make Positive Change for Families

This workshop will help those in a position of managing change to thoughtfully strategize about how to best communicate with, and persuade, their target audience. The tools that will be introduced in this workshop can be used anywhere. They can be helpful in both internal and external communications. They can be used to both achieve management objectives, and to achieve public communication goals.

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