Part Natural, Part Learned

CONCORD – State and national child and family experts joined forces on Monday, April 4, 2016, at NH Children’s Trust’s fifth-annual Strengthening Families Summit, “Part Natural, Part Learned,” bringing parents and providers together to foster partnerships for the best child outcomes.

NH Children’s Trust hosted more than 150 attendees at the Grappone Conference Center for the Strengthening Families Summit. Unlike previous Strengthening Families Summits, “Part Natural, Part Learned” offered workshops designed specifically for parents in conjunction with many compelling workshops for people who work with children and families professionally.

“Parent engagement is the core of the Strengthening Families Framework,” said Julie Day, Strengthening Families Director at NH Children’s Trust. “We know when parents and providers work together creating an open and caring environment, our children thrive.”

Keynote speaker Catherine Sanderson and Strengthening Families Director Julie Day.

Strengthening Families is an evidence-based framework that prevents child abuse and neglect by engaging families, programs and communities in recognizing and building their strengths. Everyone can promote strong families by utilizing Strengthening Families’ five protective factors in their everyday lives.

“We want to bring parents and providers together,” said Keryn Bernard-Kriegl, Executive Director of NH Children’s Trust. “Creating strong, nurturing families and communities means better outcomes for children.”

Registrants heard from keynote speaker Catherine Sanderson, the James E. Ostendarp Professor of Psychology at Amherst College. Professor Sanderson described cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provided participants with practical ways to increase their own psychological well-being.

The day included two workshop sessions and a plenary in which participants got a sneak peek at NH Children’s Trust’s “My Voice Matters: Parent Voices” video, highlighting their My Voice Matters parent advocacy campaign. Conference-goers were encouraged to reflect on their own advocacy efforts by finishing the sentence "My voice matters because..."

“The speakers connected well to participants and their workplace needs,” said conference participant Scott Meyer, Ph.D, MSW. “It was very well focused on family and parent empowerment.”

NH Children’s Trust’s mission is to lead the drive to eliminate child abuse and neglect in New Hampshire. They are the NH chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and lead the Strengthening Families program in New Hampshire.

To learn more about NH Children’s Trust's upcoming trainings and events visit or email [email protected]

2016 attendees will improve their work with children and families by...

  • "... using the strategies presented by Dr. Sanderson with clients when working to promote happiness and overall wellbeing when faced with challenges and crisis moments."
  • "... using the family resource guide elements with families."
  • "... utilizing the information in my toolbox in working with child care staff and communities."
  • "... sharing information with staff and challenging them to use this info to improve their practice."
  • "... implementing the 'My Voice Matters' campaign into my work with families."

Unable to attend The Summit this year or need a refresher? 

Attendees shared why their voices matter:


Thank you to our sponsors!

Program Sponsors:




Friend Sponsors:




Child Care Training Associates


In-kind Sponsor: