Friday April 17, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM EDT
Add to Calendar 


The Conference Center 
130 East 59th Street
Between Lexington/Park Avenues
New York City, NY 10022

Driving Directions 


New York Zero-to-Three Network 

Conference Schedule

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Plenary #1 


Plenary #2 

Presentation of 2015 Emily Fenichel Leadership Awards 


Networking Lunch in the Conference Room

Breakout Sessions




Register Today for our
2015 Annual Spring Conference!

Stress, Risk & Resilience:
The Interplay of Parenting, Child Development
and Social Context

featuring plenary speakers
Cybele Raver, PhD

Michael MacKenzie, PhD 

Friday, April 17, 2015
8am-4pm, The Conference Center, NYC 

Current research and practice has increased our understanding of the complex interactions among parenting, child development, and the social context. Children and parents reciprocally impact one another, truly reflecting nature and nurture rather than nature versus nurture.  In turn, family dynamics are influenced by the social context - factors such as poverty, marginalization and oppression, privilege, and immigration have a profound impact on the evolving parent-child relationship.  In this conference, we will explore these themes and their relevance for our work with young children and their families. 

Cybele Raver, PhD
Promoting resilience among families facing high risk:
Lessons from early intervention”
In her talk, Dr. Raver will briefly review evidence from neuroscience and developmental psychology to understand the role of "toxic stress" in the lives of parents and young children. Raver will argue for the ways that practitioners can support families through evidence-based interventions targeting child brain development, parenting, and parents' well-being.  Raver will place parenting programs in the context of "2-generation" approaches designed to help families persevere in the face of challenges and to gain economic self-sufficiency. 

Dr. C. Cybele Raver is the Vice Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs at NYU. Prior to joining the Provost’s Office, Dr. Raver served as inaugural director of NYU's Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC). As a behavioral social scientist trained in psychology and public policy, Raver played a key role in fostering interdisciplinary research at NYU through the IHDSC. Dr. Raver’s own program of research focuses on early learning and development in the contexts of poverty and policy. She also examines the mechanisms that support children's cognitive and emotional outcomes in the context of early educational intervention. Dr. Raver and her research team currently conduct the CSRP, a federally-funded longitudinal study of the short- and long-term impacts of preschool intervention for low-income children in Chicago. Dr. Raver also serves as a co-investigator on several other large educational evaluation studies. Dr. Raver’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation as well as by private foundations such as the Spencer, McCormick-Tribune, and MacArthur Foundations. Her research has garnered several prestigious awards from organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the William T. Grant Foundation.  In addition to her work at NYU, Dr. Raver regularly advises local and federal government agencies and foundations on promoting healthy development and learning among children from birth to 3rd grade. Dr. Raver also serves on the Board of Directors of the Spencer Foundation as well as on several other boards of community agencies and initiatives. Before joining the faculty of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Dr. Raver held faculty positions at University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Studies and at Cornell University's Department of Human Development. Dr. Raver earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Yale University.


Michael MacKenzie, PhD
Exploring transactions in applied domains:
From harsh parenting to out-of-home care

Over the last 40 years since the introduction of the transactional model in 1975, we have seen marked advances in our understanding of child development. In particular, as described in the first major updating of the model since its introduction (Sameroff & MacKenzie, 2003), it is now understood that the child is a player in a complex web of transactions in which she is not only affected by the caregiver and the surrounding environment, but where she is also a molder of that relationship through reciprocal processes. This has necessarily led to a more complex view of development where nature and nurture are seen as inseparable, with the two intertwined in a dynamic relationship, continuously transacting with and changing each other. Children from families immersed in environments that present multiple social risks are in danger of behavioral and emotional difficulties proportional to both the level of that risk and the parents’ ability to cope with the external stressors. Child maltreatment and entry into the child welfare system are complicated problems, which are best understood by research that concurrently examines environmental, parent, and child factors and the reciprocal chains of influence between them over time. 

Michael MacKenzie is currently Associate Professor of Social Work at Columbia University. He joined the faculty at Columbia following completion of his MSW and a joint PhD in Social Work and Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. In May, Dr. MacKenzie will be joining the faculty of the Rutgers University School of Social Work as the Chancellor’s Scholar in Child Well-Being, and Associate Professor of Social Work, Psychology and Pediatrics. Dr. MacKenzie is one of a very small number of Social Work researchers with advanced graduate training in molecular genetics and physiology, allowing him to incorporate work on the stress hormone system and gene expression into his transdisciplinary studies of early social deprivation and harsh parenting. Mike’s focus is on the accumulation of stress and risk in early parenting and its impact on caregiver perceptions and subsequent parenting behavior, including the etiology of harsh parenting and the pathways of children into and through the child welfare system.  Dr. MacKenzie is a member of the Academy of Fellows of Zero-To-Three and was Co-Principal Investigator on a multi-year UNICEF funded randomized trial of foster care and community diversion alternatives to institutions for youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The project represented the first formal implementations of community-based alternatives to institutional care in the region, including foster care and juvenile diversion. Mike was also recently honored with his selection as a W.T. Grant Foundation Scholar for 2014-2019 to support a project examining the biological and social underpinnings of serial placement instability in the foster care system.


(Alphabetical order by speaker last name. Speaker bios will be in program journal)

Registrants will choose 3 breakouts in the registration section and will be assigned to one session.

Nina Burtchen, MD/PhD
Effects of Maternal PTSD on Very Young Infants
In this workshop we will be watching brief video-clips of mother-infant interactions that were filmed as part of a research project investigating the effects of maternal trauma on very young infants. First, a general introduction to different methods of behavioral analysis will be given. Second, we will discuss typical and atypical parenting behaviors in the context of maternal trauma as well as the infants’ response to them. This workshop will thus allow participants to deepen their observational skills when working with traumatized parents and their very young children.

Martha Edwards, PhD
Holding the Parent in Mind
We work with parents to support them in promoting their children’s development and well-being.  At the same time, using a parallel process, this work also has to include supporting parents’ development and well-being.  This means “holding the parent in mind,” i.e., paying attention to, empathizing with, and validating his or her experience.  The experience of being “held” in the relationship between parent and professional supports the parent to do the same for his or her child.  In this workshop, using video and experiential exercises, we will explore ways to understand and work with parents’ experiences that facilitate work with them and their children. 

Gil Foley, EdD
The Loss Grief Cycle: Coming to Terms with the Birth of a Child with a Disability
This presentation describes a task-centered, strength-based model of a process of  mourning and recovery some parents experience when faced with the challenge of rearing a child with a disability. The model was constructed out of qualitative research conducted with 24 families followed longitudinally for two years. The model expands on the concepts formulated by Solnit and Stark in their classic article on mourning.

Dorothy Henderson, Ph.D., LCSW
Marching to the Playroom: Incorporating Sensory Integration into Trauma-focused Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
Young children who experience early relational trauma and/or witness family violence often present with serious emotional and behavioral difficulties.  The cumulative effects of developmental trauma can lead to very young children being labeled as disruptive and that can lead to suspension from preschool because they cannot be managed in the classroom.  Young boys of color are disproportionately suspended from preschools.  Dorothy Henderson will draw on her years of experience providing CPP supervision and case consultation to clinicians in mental health clinics and preventive services agencies to discuss ways of using Sensory Integration techniques to help parent and child feel safe in their bodies as they begin to address their trauma in Child Parent  Psychotherapy.   

Robbie Levy, MA, OTR/L
The Power of Sensory-Motor Play: 
Why it is more important than ever!

Young children are spending increasing amounts of time using technology in our society.  Little credence is given to the importance of sensory and motor play to a child's overall development. Sensory and motor play is however critical especially in the role of preparing the bodies and minds of our young students for future learning.  This lecture will outline the research supporting the need to recapture and increase non-technology, sensory and motor play in our homes and schools.  We will discuss the positive and important impact that sensory and motor play has on our motor development, emotional/behavioral development, self-regulation and ultimately academics. 

Sonia Murdock 
Maternal Depression: 
Building a Safety Net for Children and Families

This workshop addresses the major public health concern of maternal depression (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders).  It  will welcome participants to have an increased awareness of the role they play in the Family Mental Health Safety Net and to engage in best practices and programs in their community to increase positive outcomes for children and parents.Research data will be presented on the impact the illness has when left undetected as well as when diagnosed but left untreated or undertreated.  The workshop will provide for best practices in screening, prevention practices and interventions and current resources.

Suzi Tortora /Jessica Anenberg /Jennifer Whitley
Shall We Dance? Collaboration Across Disciplines Including Integrative Medicine And Child Life To Support Medically ill Babies And Their Families In A Cancer Hospital
This presentation will discuss an innovative collaboration across disciplines including Dance/Movement Therapy and Child Life at a major NYC cancer hospital to provide integrative services that support long-term in-patient medically ill infants and their families. How key principles of infant mental health are used to support each infant’s social and emotional development to address complex family issues that challenge the baby’s medical treatment -- including socio-economic stressors and the lack of consistent caregivers at bedside -- will be discussed. This collaborative model will highlight the use of the creative arts therapies, including music and dance as an instrumental tool for coping and healing for both the baby and their parents. 



Register Now!