Monthly Archives: May 2020

2020 Yellowstone Conference: New Dimensions of Care

Maintaining safety and health of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch youth, staff, and guests is our top priority. Due to the uncertain circumstances of these times, YBGR has decided to make the 2020 Yellowstone Conference: New Dimensions of Care, a FREE virtual conference experience.


The format of the conference will now be offered in free weekly one-hour Zoom panel discussions starting on September 17th from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST (see schedule below). Each panel will still consist of a moderator, professional panelists, and audience participation discussing the important youth and family issues.  CEUs and OPI credits will still be offered for each of the panel discussions (free of charge), 1 CEU or OPI credit per panel discussion.

  • Thursday September 17th from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST-Collaborating for Outcomes: Family 1st Act   
  • Thursday September 24th from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST- The Role of Adolescent Faith & Spirituality 
  • Thursday October 1st from 12:00pm-1:00pm MST- Looking Beyond Behavior 
  • Thursday October 8th from 12:00pm-1:00m MST-Youth Voice: Evolution of Care
Each panel discussion registration is setup as an individual Zoom session, so you will need to register for each of them separately. You can sign up for as many as you like and we encourage everyone to come to all four!


Collaborating for Outcomes: Family 1st Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 has been touted as an opportunity to “change foster care as we know it”. The Act has several provisions to enhance support services for families to help children remain at home, reduce the unnecessary use of congregate care, and build the capacity of communities to support children and families.

To achieve the promise of Family First, Montana will need to adapt. State agencies will need to adjust and change systems. Private providers, particularly group home providers, will need to alter services and business models to better meet the needs of children and caregivers. Judges, attorneys and other legal partners will be relied upon to make informed decisions about what children and youth need to succeed. Members of the community need to be informed of best practices and engaged in active solutions. In short, successful implementation requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.

Moderated by Michael Chavers, YBGR CEO

Panelists: Jeff Folsom, Dennis Sulser, & Nikki Grossberg 

The Role of Adolescent Faith and Spirituality

Spirituality helps people cope with everyday stresses by giving them hope and meaning in life through the values they live out on a daily basis. Looking at the core issues of independence, intimacy and identity is critical in the role of healthy spiritual development. Through questioning what beliefs adolescents will personally own, will help us to understand what values emerge through the formation of healthy spirituality.

Moderated by John Dailey, YBGR Spiritual Director

Panelists to be announced

Looking Beyond Behavior

All behavior is a form of communication. Looking beyond behavior for meaning is an important tool not just for mental-health providers but for communities. Unmet needs continue to echo in problematic behaviors and once you can determine the meaning you can create positive change through support. These concepts are universal in relationships and can be deployed by anyone. In this panel, we will explore the importance of developing communities attuned to the meaning of behavior so that we can all be part of positive change.

Moderated by Tyson Schumacher, YBGR CIO

Panelists to be announced

Youth Voice: Evolution of Care

A panel of former youth who were recipients of mental health services in and out of the state of Montana. We will explore their firsthand experiences in mental health to gather valuable information on past and existing systems of care that affect the lives of children.

Moderated by Rishay Watson, YBGR Executive Director of Business Development and Marketing

Panelists to be announced