Improving Services to Children and Families
Since 1975


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Keynote Speakers

Chadwick Sapenter

You Can Do It!

Every one of us has the opportunity to change a life, to make an impact, and alter the trajectory of a person’s life. In this inspirational talk, Chadwick shares his personal story of grief, abuse, homelessness, abandonment, nearly being murdered twice, raising his siblings, and entering the foster care system. He takes his audience into the depths of his pain and shares how one person used four little words (YOU CAN DO IT) that changed his life. You will leave equipped to more effectively engage with your constituents and inspired to overcome adversity in life.

Chadwick Sapenter is a former foster kid turned entrepreneur, best selling author, motivational speaker, and currently the CEO and founder of Little Book of Words Publishing. Chadwick has spent the last decade as a motivational speaker helping youth in foster care find their purpose in life and showing the adults who work in child welfare how to make meaningful connections and that a little encouragement can go along way.

Kyle Hutton

The Foster EP - The Texas Foster Care System

Kyle Hutton shares stories and songs written from the front lines of the foster care experience. Kyle, an adoptee and foster parent, has a unique perspective and sheds light on many of the emotions and situations found in the foster world. Insights on challenges facing foster parents, the plight of foster children, and the role of the

community will all be discussed during this informative and entertaining session.

Texas-based singer/songwriter and founder of Real Life Real Music, Kyle was

adopted at six weeks old after a brief stint in foster care through DePelchin Children’s Center in Houston. Kyle, along with his wife Tara, have navigated the Texas foster care system over the last year and have fostered five children during that time. Kyle has recorded five albums and had songs recorded by Texas mainstays Roger Creager and Walt Wilkins. His Real Life Real Music syndicated radio program is heard by thousands weekly across the state and beyond.

Hank Whitman, Jr., Commissioner, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), with Executive Leadership

A New Future for DFPS

DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman Jr, along with his executive leadership team, including Kristene Blackstone, Associate Commissioner of Child Protective Services, and Jean Shaw, Associate Commissioner of Child Care Licensing, will provide an overview of the recent legislative session including updates on implementation of House Bill 5, which makes DFPS a stand-alone agency, Senate Bill 11, and more. He will also discuss priorities and goals he is working towards to move the agency forward, as well as current initiatives underway that impact the Texas child welfare provider community.

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