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On Demand

Innovations in Education Advocacy Panel and Audience Conversation

MCLE Credits: 0.75 including 0.75 MCLE, 0 Ethics

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Education |  Family Law |  Juvenile Law
Barbara Haflich, MSSW |  Amy O'Keefe |  Brenda Sweeten, MSSW, LCSW
35 Minutes
Audio and Video
Product Type:
On Demand
Access for 30 day(s) after purchase.


This panel will educate us on the new exciting programs that are being implemented to effectuate legislative mandates and social service goals to help foster and other children succeed academically. The panel will invite the audience’s viewpoints, questions, and ideas on how we can all better advocate for improved education results for vulnerable children.


Barbara Haflich, MSSW Related Seminars and Products

Coordinator of Social Work Services, Homeless and Foster Care Liaison

Denton I.S.D

Ms. Haflich has been the Coordinator of Social Work Services for Denton ISD since 2007. In addition to providing crisis services and information and referral for the district campuses, she is the Homeless and Foster Care Liaison, as well as the coordinator for homebound services and the teen parent program. She became a school social worker for DISD in 1995 after receiving her MSSW from The University of Texas at Arlington. Her primary experience, after receiving her LBSW in 1984  from Texas Woman’s University, was as a social worker with a private adoption agency working with birth and adoptive families, a position she held for 10 years. Ms. Haflich loves direct practice and building relationships with families. She feels fortunate to still love being a social worker and has never doubted that she chose the right profession.

Amy O'Keefe Related Seminars and Products

Campus Alliance for Resorce Education (CARE) Director

Texas Women’s University

Ms. O’Keefe is the Executive Director of CARE in Student Life (Campus Alliance for Resource Education) at Texas Woman's University (TWU).  She leads her team to provide services designed to impact student retention on the TWU Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses. Active in the field of student affairs with an emphasis on underserved populations (commuters, adult learners, veterans, student parents, online students, foster alumni and homeless students), Ms. O’Keefe also gives presentations on the effective and strategic synthesis of traditional student affairs work with non-traditional students.  These topics include: e-student affairs, bringing university traditions to online students, orientation needs of “invisible” students and living learning communities for off campus students. Ms. O’Keefe is also interested in innovative collaborations and has presented to diverse audiences regarding civic agency and commuters, grooming non-traditional students for nationally prestigious fellowships, and bridging the gap between student and academic affairs. Prior to her 15 years in higher education, she worked in social services with survivors of domestic violence and young children at risk for child abuse and neglect.  Ms. O’Keefe serves on many boards including most recently Education Reach for Texans, a non-profit focused on post-secondary success of foster care alumni. Ms. O’Keefe is the Liaison Officer for foster care alumni at TWU.

Brenda Sweeten, MSSW, LCSW Related Seminars and Products

Clinical Assistant Professor, BSW Field Director

University of North Texas Foster Care Liaison Officer

Ms. Sweeten is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Texas.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Baylor University and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Sweeten has spent the majority of her twenty two-year career working as an advocate in the child welfare system and serving children and families involved in the judicial system. She continues to practice social work in the community and is a social study evaluator for private and independent adoption cases.  She served as the Program Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Denton County, Inc. for almost twelve years before accepting a full-time faculty position at the University of North Texas in 2010. She currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Director of Social Work Field Education in the Department of Social Work. Ms. Sweeten participates on a number of community boards and advisory councils including Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County, Texas Woman’s University Social Work Advisory Council and Education Reach for Texans, a non-profit that brings together higher education and child welfare professionals from across Texas to learn and share ideas for helping former foster youth succeed in post-secondary education. She serves as the faculty advisor for PUSH (“Persevere UNTil Success Happens”). PUSH has received considerable support from the north Texas community and has grown from the grassroots efforts of students who experienced foster care as youth into a program at UNT specifically geared toward improving the successful educational outcomes of foster care alumni attending the University of North Texas. Ms.Sweeten participates on various work groups in the community that support youth in foster care and has been appointed to serve as the Foster Care Liaison Officer for the university.