Thank you for another successful year!  We hope that you enjoyed yourself at the 2013 Western Regional Tapestry Conference!

Slippery Rock University will be issuing your CEU’s.  You should expect those in the mail over the next few weeks.  You will also receive a certificate for attending the conference via email from The Bair Foundation within the next 2 weeks.  

We look forward to seeing you again next year!
Administrative Track [clear filter]
Thursday, October 24


Ethics A (Ethics in Clinical Care)
Limited Capacity seats available

An ethical audit enables health and human services as well as professionals in the field to assure that their clinical practices and the practices of the organization within which they are employed meet certain minimum standards of care.  Whether examining this from the perspective of the Hippocratic Oath or the performance improvement mantra of “do the right thing and do the right thing well” the clinician, direct care worker, manager and/or administrator must wrestle with solving principled and moral dilemmas on a daily basis.

This workshop will address from an individual and organizational view the principles of ethics and negligence, will discuss concepts related to the duty of care owed, and provide a framework from which participants can conduct an ethical audit from a risk management perspective.


  • Introduction and Welcome
  • Overview of Goals
  • Definition and Principles of An Ethical Audit
  • Defining the Duty of Care Owed
  • Defining Negligence
  • Discussion: What’s Wrong With This Picture? Real Life Examples & Real Life Solutions
  • Q&A

 Learning Objectives

  • Learn a Functional Definition of Ethics for Social Services
  • Understand the Principles and Techniques of a Personal Ethical Audit
  • Learn to Use the Principles and Techniques of an Organizational Ethical Audit
  • Understand the Expectations of the Duty of Care
  • Avoid Practicing Negligently
  • Learn to Differentiate and Solve Ethical Dilemmas 


Brian Block

Wolverine Loss Control Services (Bethlehem)


Ethics B (Social Networking in the Workplace)
Limited Capacity seats available


In our very busy lives most of us use one or the other of the internet choices for social media.  Social media is a popular way to stay in touch with our friends, family and colleagues, and the proliferation of sites for specific purposes and types of connections grow in number every day.  Oh yeah–“got an app for that?” 

But what parameters define the ethical use of social networking in your workplace?  What advice do you give clients and families about boundaries related to the use of social networking?  When does the liability of allowing use by clients, families, staff, your development department, and the organization outweigh the good?  What parameters are needed?  What limits are required?  Who holds the liability when something bad occurs and who gets praised when allowing use of social networking brings dividend?  Within these questions and other questions as well issues of productivity, what defines an inappropriate posting, and the personal life clients and employees enjoy outside of the work environment are embedded. 

While not new, the principled use of social media and social networking can be confusing for child caring organizations.  This workshop will examine the ethical questions raised by the decisions and desired outcomes of the use of social networking by your organization.



Brian Block

Wolverine Loss Control Services (Bethlehem)

Thursday October 24, 2013 10:40am - 12:10pm
Ballroom C - Slippery Rock University, Robert M. Smith Student Center


Creating a Higher Performing Goal Driven Environment
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation will describe Auberle’s journey to becoming high performing and goal driven.  Auberle received the Wishart Award and the National Alliance Agency of the Year Award as a direct result of our planning and outcome goal driven processes.  

Auberle Senior Leaders will describe the evolution since 2004 when we began our scorecard and goal based process.  We will share lessons learned along the way and provide participants with tools to create a goal driven environment within their own agency.


Bridget Clement

Auberle Foster Care (McKeesport)
avatar for Darla Poole

Darla Poole

Director of Community Services, Auberle


Using Kaizen Burst (Continuous Process Improvement) for Agency Success
Limited Capacity seats available

The Kaizen Burst an operational excellence tool used to make a large process change in an organization.  Toyota, General Electric, Kennametal and others have used Kaizen as part of their lean management approach to building cultures that continuously improve outcomes. 

Kaizen has recently been applied in non-profit and health care settings.  This presentation will demonstrate a Kaizen Burst process and how it can be used to enhance change within a social service organization.


Larry Breitenstein

Social Work Program Coordinator, Slipper Rock University
Child Welfare worker.

Friday, October 25


Financial Stability / Retooling for Community-Based Non-Profit Organizations
Limited Capacity seats available

A Second Chance, Inc. (ASCI) is a nonprofit organization established in July of 1994. Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families and the Department of Human Services of Philadelphia are the primary funding sources of ASCI. ASCI specializes in Kinship Foster Care, reunification, kinship adoption, subsidized permanent custodianship, and in Philadelphia the organization has a Kinship care, traditional foster care program, and the primary contract for Family Group Decision Making.

In today’s economy, when everyone is being asked to do more with less, the nonprofit sector faces a particularly challenging environment. The demand for nonprofit services will continue to grow given the continuing high rates of social problems such as poverty, unemployment, underemployment and child abuse.

Sustaining an organization over time can be a challenge as priorities change, community issues come and go, and retooling an organization to meet the needs of a changing environment can be costly. The workshop will look at factors affecting sustainability of a nonprofit organization. These factors are based on A Second Chance’s 18+ years of experience as a dynamic community-based nonprofit organization in both Allegheny and Philadelphia counties in the state of Pennsylvania.

Successful organizations are good at networking, secure social capital from local supporters, are innovative and passionate about the mission; develop a diverse resource base using networks and relationships, and are flexible and creative (can do much with little). In addition, there are internal support systems that support the needs of staff and volunteers. They use collaborations, are focused and think strategically about how they work with funders.

Community based nonprofits are often at the center of many important community and social issues, playing a critical role in helping those communities and consumers. This workshop will help nonprofit organizations to use their creativity to set up business management practices to effectively sustain and retool the work over time.

  • These leaders of these organizations understand the importance of being able to work with other groups in the community and the benefits of linking to support systems and networks regionally and nationally.
  • It can take up to five years sometimes longer, for a group to obtain a stable resource base for an organization. This stability depends on the ability of the organization to develop social capital that can be used to leverage grants and contracts to accomplish organizational goals.


avatar for Lisa Ford

Lisa Ford

Sr. Vice President of TECD & Quality Improvement, A Second Chance, Inc. (Pittsburgh)

Misty Patterson

A Second Chance, Inc. (Pittsburgh)


The Legally Proficient Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation will detail the legal implications for writing proficient IEP’s to ensure students educational benefit. The format will be interactive, demonstrating the IEP writer software along with a power point presentation explaining the legal implications behind writing legally proficient IEP’s.

The role of the presenters is to help people understand this very important process.



avatar for Dr. Matthew Erickson

Dr. Matthew Erickson

Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education Slippery Rock University
Dr. Matthew Erickson is a faculty member in the Special Education Department. He received his undergraduate degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Slippery Rock University. He earned his Master’s degree in Education with Principal Certification from California... Read More →

Dr. Joseph Merhaut

Chairperson of Special Education Department and Faculty Member, Department of Special Education Slippery Rock University
Dr. Joseph Merhaut is the Chairperson of and faculty member in the Special Education Department.  He received his undergraduate degree in Special Education from SRU.  He earned his M.Ed in School Leadership with Principal Certification from California University of Pennsylvania... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2013 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Room 321 - Slippery Rock University, Robert M. Smith Student Center 1 Morrow Way Slippery Rock, PA 16057