Heartland Juvenile
Services Association


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© 2019 Heartland Juvenile Services Association 

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2019 Conference Details


Our annual conference brings together professionals from a wide variety of disciplines and agencies that provide services to juvenile justice youth including members of the justice system, juvenile service providers, direct care/probation/parole officers, social workers, case managers, educators, mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, child and youth advocates, law enforcement and other stakeholders in mutual efforts to provide education on the implementation of best practices to strengthen and improve residential and community-based services for youth and their families.

2019 Schedule

Wednesday, April 10 (Pre-conference sponsored by Provo Canyon)*:

6:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference and and Early Conference Registration Starts

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The Healing Power of Relationships: Battling Addiction and Rising Suicide Rates in a Selfie Society

Jennifer Morgan Smith, LMFT 

Continuing Education: 2 hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

Pre-conference presentation also includes dinner!



*Pre-conference not included with full conference registration

Thursday, April 11:
7:00 a.m.

Conference Registration Starts

8:15 - 8:45 a.m.

Welcome: Jerid Wedige, HJSA President

Presenting of the Colors: Boys Town

Opening Remarks: Deputy Chief Ken Kanger

8:45 - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: 

Ross Szabo, Human Power Project

Creating a Life Changing Connection

Continuing Education: 1.5 hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

Mental health challenges have quickly become the most complicated and largest problems facing our country. This workshop discusses common mental health challenges and provides tools for how people of every age can begin to work on their mental health.  

10:30 - 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: 

Annual Conference
April 11-12, 2019
Omaha Hilton
1001 Cass Street, Omaha, Nebraska
Criminogenic Continuing Education Credits and Code Definitions


A certificate of attendance will be given to each participant to submit for CEU hours. 


JJS = Juvenile Justice Services CEU

SA = Standardized Model for the delivery of Substance Abuse CEU

ABHS = Adult Behavioral Health Services for Probation have been approved and exact number of hours are listed for each session

LE = Law Enforcement CEU

CLE = Continuing Legal Education (Nebraska) This conference has been approved for 11 hours of Nebraska CLE credits. 

Law Enforcement CEUs:
2 LE CEUs for Wednesday
6.5 LE CEUs for Thursday
3 LE CEUs for Friday

Where to Stay and Places to Go


Special 2019 conference room rates are available for conference participants at

Omaha Hilton. *Limited number of rooms available.

Conference Room Rate:

$145 single/double

or use group code HJS

when calling 1-800-Hiltons

Free shuttle service on the top and bottom of every hour to and from Eppley Airfield is provided by Omaha Hilton. Pickup location is at Door #5 near Southwest Airlines. For shuttle information call (402) 998-4390.

Additional Accommodation Options:

Homewood Suites
1314 Cuming St, Omaha, NE
(402) 345-5100


Hampton Inn & Suites
1212 Cuming St, Omaha, NE
(402) 345-5500


Holiday Inn Omaha Downtown-Airport
1420 Cuming St, Omaha, NE
(402) 341-0124

The Omaha Old Market area offers many entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities within walking distance from
our conference. LEARN MORE >>

Your Mental Health

Ross Szabo, Human Power Project

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

This workshop provides a definition of mental health and discusses the reasons people do not seek help for mental health challenges.  Participants will be challenged to explore their current thoughts and feelings about mental health while offering a clear definition for them to build a positive foundation of understanding.

Opioid Crisis in Nebraska

Tyler Kroenke- Nebraska State Patrol and Tactical Diversion Squad, DEA

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

This workshop will give participants an overview of the opioid crisis in Nebraska and nationwide and also educate participants on the warning signs and various forms opioids can take.  

Queer Here, There, and Everywhere

Dominique Morgan, Black and Pink, Inc.

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

This workshop will provide an overview of LGBTQIA+ inclusion for youth from the Black and Pink Safe Space Training. Participants will be challenged to identify  biases that they may have toward LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming individuals.

Juvenile Justice Trauma

Ree Reimers, Project Harmony

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

Participants will identify the multiple ways in which adolescents encounter trauma as well as the unique traumatic experiences common to justice involved youth. 

Achieving Positive Outcomes for Crossover Youth through Youth and Family Engagement

Honorable Douglas F. Johnson, Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge; Nick Juliano, Director, Boys Town; Ryan Spohn, PHD, Nebraska Center for Justice Research, UNO; Emily Wright, PhD, Nebraska Center for Justice Research, UNO

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

This panel of experts will challenge participants to better understand the unique needs of crossover youth and how the CYPM is designed to address these needs.  Participants will learn about the This presentation will focus on an innovative and unique implementation of this model in Douglas County, NE.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch (provided)

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: 

Self Love is More Than a Selfie

Ross Szabo, Human Power Project

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

This workshop helps participants better understand what coping is, how coping mechanisms develop and the importance of making them more effective.  This workshop is a critical step for a person to be able to build the foundation necessary to address mental health challenges.

Adolescent Rationality and Development

David Moshman, Professor Emeritus, UNL and Julie Kinder, Pathfinder Support Services

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

This workshop will review research and theory on adolescent reasoning, rationality, morality, identity, and development.  Participants will identify and challenge common misconceptions often attributed and generalized among adolescents.

Promoting Safe Schools - Remember the Days of the Old School Yard - Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

William E Reay, PhD, President & CEO, OMNI Inventive Care

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

This presentation will provide the latest research on assessing school-based threat, understanding the components of assessment, identifying key characteristics of those students who have used weapons in school, and discussing the role school climate and culture play in this complicated social problem.

What Now? Reaching Court-Involved Youth with Real World Answers to their Situations

Traci Webber, Nebraska Supreme Court, Court Improvement Project

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, CLE)

Going to court can be a scary and confusing experience for our clients.  They are a going through a flood of emotions and feelings and may not know what’s going on.  The Nebraska Court Improvement Project created two resources to help kids and families learn what happens in both child welfare cases (when kids are taken from unsafe homes) and juvenile justice cases (when a kid is in court because someone said they broke a law).  This workshop will walk you through these resources to help you better understand the process so you can help your clients on their journey through the system. 

Creating a Brave Space for Marginalized Youth Through Resilience

Cammy Watkins, Inclusive Communities and Barb Jessing, Project Harmony

Continuing Education: 1.5 Hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

This workshop will explore the concept of generational trauma, substance use and their impact on youth of color in the justice system. This training will explore the ACE’s pyramid with focus on the new layers of trauma and social location and how racial or identity discrimination has contributed to trauma related behaviors.


2:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Afternoon Speaker: 

Project Harmony

Working with Families

Continuing Education: 2 Hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

This immersive training experience will offer participants the opportunity to explore what we bring to the table when working with families, the difficulties of collaboration, and a special challenge to keep in mind why we all chose to do the hardest jobs in the world: protecting children and serving families.  

4:45 - 6:00 p.m.
Networking Reception in foyer/vendor area

Please join us for an opportunity to network with colleagues. Includes one free drink ticket, appetizers, prizes and additional cash bar. Attendees are entered for a chance to win one door prizes and gift certificates! Must be present to win!


Friday, April 12:
7:30 a.m.

Conference Registration Starts

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: 

Matt Bellace, PhD., Matt Bellace Presentations, LLC

A Better High, Laugh, Help, Run and Other Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Continuing Education: 3 Hours (SA, JJS, ABHS, CLE)

This workshop brings a humorous and witty focus on how educators and staff can help foster skills such as self-control, resilience, and fitness in a supporting environment with less arguing.  Participants will understand the role of techniques such as mindfulness meditation, effective communication and using natural highs as healthy coping mechanisms against stress.