UMFS Staff Fly to Germany to Participate in an International Conference

In 2003, we began a partnership with Diakonie-Rosenheim, an organization similar to UMFS, and it has continued as an ongoing relationship ever since. This unique collaboration focuses on increasing knowledge and skills, challenging staff on both sides to improve continuous learning, sharing strategies, strengthening child advocacy and exploring differing cultural norms. As part of this partnership, UMFS sent a group of staff to Berlin for a conference called the 15th German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (DJHT). DJHT is Europe’s largest congress and exhibition in the field of child and youth welfare. There, our staff learned from other international agencies, and have since begun sharing our experiences from here in Virginia.

President and CEO Greg Peters and Dr. Erik Laursen, vice president of research and development and executive director of Charterhouse School, presented at the conference about creating innovative public/private partnerships for high-risk youth.

They focused on the 11-year partnership we have had with Diakonie as we develop international solutions to strengthen our services to children as both organizations grow. They also shared the Circle of Courage as a framework for our treatment approach while highlighting our various programs and services.

We hope to continue to build on our relationship with Diakonie by developing extended staff and intern exchange programs and joint programs and leadership trainings in the future.