Fostering Communities Conference

Fostering Communities Conference

Fostering Communities Conference 2021

November 15-18, 2021

Conference is fully virtual.

Keynote Speaker – David McCorkle

photo of faculty member, David McCorkle

David McCorkle is a veteran Broadway performer who brings training to life wherever he goes. For many years, David trained organizations in The Sanctuary Model® across the United States and in Malta, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. He has experience with organizations caring for victims of trauma in domestic violence shelters, homeless and migrant shelters, psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, schools, community mental health, and family support centers. This has given David a unique insight into the effects of trauma across a diverse spectrum of people and organizational situations.

David has been the principal trainer of The Sanctuary Model® for Crossnore Communities for Children since 2008. David and the Crossnore Sanctuary trainers devised the Train the Trainer program so that ongoing training could be offered to staff year-round. He co-founded the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities, a program of Crossnore Communities for Children, in 2018.

In addition to his work with the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities and Crossnore, David maintains a private therapy practice in New York City. He has been published in Psychiatric QuarterlyThe International Journal for Therapeutic and Supportive OrganizationsChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal. He co-wrote a chapter on traumatic loss in Loss, Hurt, and Hope: The Complex Issues of Bereavement and Trauma in Children by Lorelei Atalie Vargas and Sandra L. Bloom. He is also the co-author of two Sanctuary psycho-education curriculums, Learning SELF Through Films and Youth Training Manual: Learning from our Heroes. David has been the keynote speaker at the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care. He has also presented on non-violence and conflict resolution at conferences, on webinars, and in person at many agencies throughout the Sanctuary network.

David is a native of North Carolina and graduated from Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. He is a proud father and grandfather and lives in New York City with his husband, Ernest Hood. He taught Sunday School for 20 years and is active at St. Marks in the Bowery in their Arts and Social Justice outreach ministries.

Additional Presenters

Ruby Brown-Herring, Mental Health and Family Connections

Shenandoah Chefalo, Faculty of Center for Trauma Resilient Communities

photo of faculty member, shenandoah chefaloShenandoah Chefalo’s early childhood and subsequent placement into foster care has given her a personal insight into the trauma that children in our nation experience every day. As an author, coach, and nationally-recognized speaker, Shen advocates for foster children everywhere she goes. She also encourages and challenges those in power on state and federal levels, as well as those providing care, to provide the best care possible for these children. With a lengthy career as a paralegal and director of a law firm, Shen has also seen the legal side of children’s care and how much more trauma may be experienced as a child’s case proceeds through the court system.

Shen has been the owner and chief training advocate of two firms in Michigan offering business and life coaching, consultation, and training across the United States. She has consulted with both private and public sector clients providing group and one-on-one training and coaching, workshops, webinars, and keynote speeches. Shen is particularly adept at helping clients identify and address issues, as well as achieve goals, specifically related to the topics of trauma and adversity.

In addition to her work, Shen has authored three books: Setting Your Vision and Defining Your Goals (2013), Garbage Bag Suitcase (2016), and Hiking for Stillness: Healing Trauma One Step at a Time, expected to be published in 2019. Shen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science, Human Resources, & Society from Michigan State University, and is a 2011 graduate of Coach U in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of the Michigan State Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Shen is married to Gerry and the couple have one daughter, Sophia. The Chefalos enjoy adventure and their travels have taken them around the globe. They especially enjoy their family trips during the Christmas holidays and in 2018, they hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania. This trip helped raise awareness for children in foster care and funds for Crossnore Communities for Children.

Jim Hart, Director of Christian Experience & Education, Crossnore Communities for Children

Brett Loftis,  CEO of Crossnore Communities for Children and Founder/Faculty of Center for Trauma Resilient Communities

photo of brett loftisIt doesn’t take long after meeting him to understand Brett’s passion for protecting the most vulnerable children. As the Chief Executive Officer of Crossnore Communities for Children, Brett Lofits leads an organization that is dedicated to growing healthy futures for children and families. His experience working in a residential program for at-risk children and as a Guardian ad Litem in South Carolina; a youth minister in Texas; and an attorney and the Executive Director of the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, NC positioned him well to assume the executive role at Crossnore in 2013.

Brett’s executive leadership and strategic planning with the Board of Trustees led Crossnore to a successful merger with The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem, NC to become Crossnore School & Children’s Home in 2017. Services have expanded to underserved counties in western North Carolina through a satellite office opened in Hendersonville, NC in early 2018. He co-founded the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities, a program of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, in 2018. The Center for Trauma Resilient Communities helps organizations embed and embody the science of trauma resilience. Brett works across the nation training organizations to become trauma-informed and to build trauma resilience for their staff and clients. Crossnore successfully rebranded to Crossnore Communities for Children in 2021.

Brett received his undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Political Science from Furman University. His passion for children eventually sent him to Wake Forest University School of Law to continue his career in child advocacy. In 2018, he was appointed to the North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council by Senator Philip E. Berger and in 2019, he was asked to serve on the Board of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice. He is past chair of the Board of Trustees for Benchmarks NC, an alliance of agencies helping children, adults and families. Locally, Brett also serves on the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Board of Directors and is past president of the Avery County Rotary Club. Brett also speaks statewide and nationally about child welfare, trauma and resilience, as well as leadership development.

Brett and his family live on the Avery county campus of Crossnore Communities for Children and in his free time, he loves to coach youth soccer and basketball. Brett’s greatest love is his wife, Sally, and their three sons, Will, Elijah, and Lawson.

Terry Scraggins, LGBTQ+ Foster Care Advocate

photo of terry scragginsTerrence (Terry) Scraggins (he/him), LSW is from Boise, ID. He graduated from Boise State University with a BA in Social Work with a minor in Family Studies in 2020. Terry is an Idaho foster alumnus as well as US Navy Veteran. Upon graduation, he joined the mere 3% of foster alumni who have the privilege to graduate with a postsecondary degree. He is also the first individual in his family to graduate with a degree.

Terry works in child welfare as a foster care licensing worker for the State of Idaho. He is also on the Board of Directors for Family Advocates, a non-profit geared towards family strengthening and providing Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for youth in foster care. He continues to help advocate for the LGBTQ+ community by successfully publishing a policy report that was addressed to Congress in Washington D.C. with Senator Wyden [OR] and the Senate Finance Committee throughout the summer of 2018. Terry also presented on how to support and empower LGBTQ+ foster youth in February 2020 for the University of Oklahoma.  He is currently working with Lambda Legal and Baker Mackenzie to raise awareness and empower LGTBQ+ POC through the Xchange For Change (

Aspiring to return to D.C. one day, Terry has plans to obtain his Master’s degree either in Social Work or Public Policy and continue to advocate for social justice matters.

For more information, please contact:
Angela Bollo, Fostering Communities Officer
(828) 301-4622

Special thanks to our event Sponsors:

advent health hendersonville logo
blue logo of foster family alliance of nc