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Upcoming Events    2023-2024

October 2023

Eileen Devine LCSW Brain First Parenting 

BRAIN FIRST: The essential framework for parenting your child with challenging behaviors

October 9, 2023 1PM ET       REGISTER HERE for this free virtual workshop.

Eileen Devine is a parent coach, consultant, trainer, and mom to a teenager with neurobehavioral differences.

"The last decade has shown me that there is more hope for me, my daughter, and our family than I was previously led to believe by other “helpers” and “experts.” This new approach to parenting showed me that it is possible to thrive and find joy in parenting a child with a serious brain-based condition and significant behavioral symptoms.

While I was thrilled to have these pieces come together in my own life, I was frustrated that it took me so long to find answers. I continue my work of supporting parents because I don’t want anyone else to be in that same cycle of chronic frustration, growing hopelessness, and dead-end solutions, in the way that I was nearly ten years ago now.

That’s why next week, on Monday, October 9, at 10am PT / 1pm ET, I’m hosting a free live workshop to share what I’ve learned over this past decade.

At this free workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to shift your lens to thinking Brain First, putting you on the path to experiencing fewer challenging behaviors with your child.

  • The critical steps you need to take to begin parenting your child through a Brain First lens

  • Why understanding nervous system stability, alongside the brain/behavior connection, is critical as the parent of a child who experiences challenging behavioral symptoms.

  • Why recognizing the emotional, spiritual and physical impact that parenting a child with neurobehavioral challenges has on YOU is at the core of the Brain First parenting approach."


Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Maine Association Of School Psychologists (MASP)

Present Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders with Christie Petrenko PhD (In-person or virtual option)

Monday October 30, 2023 8:30 AM - 4:00PM ET  Harraseeket Inn Freeport, Maine

Register here

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) represent one of the most common developmental disabilities worldwide. FASD are life-long conditions and affect 2-5% of the US population. Rates of FASD are even higher in special populations such as those served within child welfare, mental health, special education, and justice systems. Yet most professionals in these systems are not provided the necessary education and training to effectively serve people with FASD. Without access to knowledgeable providers, people with FASD experience considerable inequity and lower quality of life.

This accessible and interactive training offers attendees the essential knowledge and skills to begin to implement FASD-informed care with their clients. Attendees will learn the advantages of identifying FASD in their clients and implementing FASD-informed care principles and skills in their practice. Attendees will see how key skills such as “reframing” and “accommodations” can build on successful strategies they are already using with clients, and effectively tailor them to meet the strengths and needs of people with FASD. Given the high rates of FASD in special education and mental health settings, this will allow providers to promote healthcare equity and improve quality of life in their clients.

Christie Petrenko, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and researcher who has been working with people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) since 2003. She completed her graduate training with Edward Riley and Sarah Mattson in San Diego, CA and is currently a Research Associate Professor at Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester in NY. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating interventions for people with FASD, including the use of mobile health technology to increase access to care. She has experience training teams of providers both regionally and internationally in FASD diagnosis. Dr. Petrenko also runs a multidisciplinary FASD clinic providing diagnostic, intervention, and family support services in Rochester, NY.


















October 31- November 1, 2023    8:00AM - 4:00PM Augusta Civic Center

Register here!

NurtureME Summit speakers on FASD: 

Deborah Hagler MD, Maine pediatrician, will speak about her experience as a participant in the SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative, an FASD ECHO training for providers and clinicians who serve prenatal through adolescent patients. (See FASD ECHO Training below to learn about upcoming SAFEST Choice Collaborative training in Maine.)

Dr. Christie Petrenko PhD, Psychologist and FASD researcher, will be speaking on the first day of the Summit on "Families Moving Forward" (FMF). 

The Families Moving Forward (FMF) Program was developed by Dr. Heather Carmichael Olson in the early 2000s in response to a call from the CDC to develop, test, and implement interventions for children living with FASD. FMF is an evidence-based intervention to help families raising children who are affected by prenatal alcohol exposure, with or without a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) diagnosis. The FMF program combines a positive behavior support (PBS) approach with motivational interviewing (MI) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help parents change their own knowledge and attitudes about PAE and FASDs, leading to improvements in their child’s behavior. The FMF Program is listed as a promising practice by the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse, and it is one of four behavior and education therapy services recommended by the Center's for Disease Control (CDC) for FASD intervention.

FASD ECHO Training "Safest Choice Learning Collaborative"

Recruiting Now for February 2024 Prenatal Cohort*

Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and neurodevelopmental problems in the U.S.

The SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative, a partnership between Boston Medical Center and Proof Alliance, aims to reduce prenatal alcohol exposure and improve outcomes in children with a suspected or diagnosed FASD. Since 2021, we have trained approximately 40 clinics from 9 statesusing virtual education to engage healthcare teams in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest.

Costs of participation are covered through a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Clinics will participate in Prenatal and/or Pediatric trainings. The Prenatal trainings cover screening and counseling about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy. The Pediatric trainings cover identification and care of children and adolescents with a suspected or diagnosed FASD.

By becoming a SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative participant, each health center will receive:

  •  Free continuing education credits (physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, certified counselors) and MOC Part 2 credits (some of the content can be used to fulfill the new DEA substance use  disorder training requirement)

  •  Access to a diverse, interprofessional team of national experts in the fields of FASDs, addiction, maternal medicine, developmental pediatrics, and more (

  • A health center stipend

*The Pediatric trainings began September 2023 and will run through January 2024.

*Prenatal trainings will take place from February 2024 through June 2024.

 Health centers may participate in one or both trainings.

  • After an introductory webinar there will be ten 75-minute virtual sessions held on two Monday mornings per month and delivered over 5 months. Each session will provide a brief lecture by experts, case-based learning and collaborative problem-solving.

  • No clinical data reporting is required by participating clinics.

  • Participating clinics are encouraged to invite all appropriate clinic staff who will be involved in implementation of FASD prevention and care including physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, other medical personnel, behavioral health staff, and paraprofessionals such as community health and outreach workers.

Watch here: Previous Maine Provider Participants share their experience(at 34:45)

BMC team explains the SAFEST Choice training (at 16:45)

Why Maine needs SAFEST Choice trained providers


More information



Ongoing Trainings 2023-2024

The National FASD Collaborative Project    Webinar Training and Support Groups 

The National FASD Collaborative Project was created in late 2020 from a discussion within the NOFAS Affiliate Network, when a need was identified to increase effective supports and evidence-based training at a national level related to FASD. FASD organizations from around the U.S. joined forces under the notion that if we each "give a little," we can create more dynamic FASD systems of care nationally.

The first initiative of the Collaborative Project was the creation of a national support group calendar.The National FASD Collaborative Project is now offering 17 online FASD support groups to caregivers, birthmothers, and self-advocates nationally! These support groups are run by a range of leading organizations and experts in the field of FASD. The support group calendar is an ongoing program through the National FASD Collaborative Project and over time, we hope to expand our support group offerings with the addition of new support groups by existing or new organizations.

Webinar Training is available for  professionals, caregivers, individuals with FASD -  anyone who wants to learn more about FASD. The National FASD Collaborative Project will be hosting  thirty-nine free webinars for the 2021-2022 academic year, from September 2021 through August 2022.

​Nearly all webinars this year will be recorded and added to the 2021-2022 Recorded Webinars page for on-demand viewing as the year progresses.

​​Information about continuing education graduate credit and certificates of completion can be found here.

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