Last month, Institute partners came together at the TCOM annual meeting in Chicago to connect with the international TCOM community and share the work of the New York learning collaborative. Presentations shared by Institute regional leads, coaches, and our youth peer advocate included:
- Grassroots Implementation: Provider Collaborative Models from Around the Country
- Supporting Collaborative Assessment with the TCOM Tools: Training for Supervisors
- Feedback-Driven Collaborative Practice Improvement
- Taking TCOM to the Maya: Lessons from a Pilot Project Using the FAST and CANS with Indigenous Maya in Guatemala
The spirit of transformational care and collaboration was present throughout the conference. Here are some reflections from Institute partners who attended the conference!
Kristen Kennedy, CANS-NY Coach
The invitation to attend the TCOM 2018 conference was shared with me as a CANS-NY Coach and I couldn’t be happier that I went! The spirit of collaboration that was present throughout each day of the conference was really inspiring. Presenters not only shared their success with utilizing TCOM but also spoke honestly of the hurdles they went through along the way. The conference was a great opportunity to be surrounded by talented professionals who bring positive energy and sincere investment to the topic of system change.
My favorite presentations were from parent advocates Jennifer Griffis and Janet Hoeke. I had the privilege of starting my first day at the conference with a powerful affirmation from Jennifer Griffis: Every. Story. Matters. Her story of the journey to getting her adopted daughter the care that matched her needs was remarkable and hearing about the role of the CANS assessment in that process really set the stage for my renewed appreciation for TCOM. The second day, when Janet Hoeke shared her story during the opening plenary, it highlighted one of the most valuable features of using TCOM tools across systems – reducing the need for those in our care to share the details of their trauma again and again. Both of these stories gave the conference a vital reminder of what TCOM success looks like – transforming lives by truly making decisions together.
There are two general sentiments about change that we all know too well in human services – it’s hard and no one likes it. It takes a unique group of professionals to fuel the opposite message of hope and excitement and I believe the TCOM community does just that. Feeling the tremendous potential TCOM offers our field was an invaluable experience and I highly recommend the annual conference to all TCOM users who want to see the possibilities this approach has for our clients, their families, our organizations and the greater system at large!
Cynthia Schelmety, CANS-NY Regional Lead and Coach
As a Southern Regional Lead and Certified CANS-NY Coach of the CANS-NY Technical Assistance Institute it was an honor to not only be invited to the 14th Annual TCOM Conference, but to also present and collaborate with other professionals who share a common goal. By collaborating with children and families on a shared vision we are able to promote well-being and restore trust.
There is something to be said when a room full of professionals and individuals join forces to create change and, more importantly, want change. On the second day during the Opening Plenary, Janet Hoeke spoke on “Am I Really Needed Here?” Her story was inspirational and telling on the importance of creating services and supports around mental health. Through her challenges she saw the need to create a team approach with a primary focus on individualized care for children. A TCOM implementation in systems addresses just that-transformational collaboration.
Another session, Fostering Radical Collaboration, emphasized the importance of collaboration. How to build, sustain, and foster collaboration by working in unison. This paradigm shift is all about real collaboration, real partnerships, and real team-building. TCOM is about all that and so much more. The annual conference highlighted innovative ways on how the TCOM approach has made a tremendous impact on so many children and families by working together to create goals that are achievable and sustainable. When communication is effective, change emerges.
To learn more about what is going on in the international TCOM Collaborative, visit and follow the TCOM blog!