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IUN Form on Child Abuse – Creating LGBTQ+ Affirming & Empowering Child Welfare Spaces

April 23, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Thirty-first Annual IUN Forum on Child Abuse & Neglect

Partnering for the Power of Prevention with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana

Listed here is the entire Webinar Series – To see the entire Event Brochure, click here     Please note all times are Central time.


April 23, 2021 (9:00 – 10:30 am Central Time)

Creating LGBTQ+ Affirming & Empowering Child Welfare Spaces


     Jay Watts (She / They), Vice President of Equity and Impact National Domestic Violence Hotline & President, Diversifirm Group, LLC

     Natalie Lukich, LGBTQ Program Coordinator and Supervisor, Crown Counseling Services


In this session, presented in partnership with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, two LGBTQ+ experts join together to present a detailed review of ways to affirm and empower LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system.  Research suggests that LGBTQ youth in Indiana, and in the country generally, are more likely to wind up in the child welfare system, more likely to be homeless, and more likely to be bullied in school than other youth. The presenters will detail this research and address the difficulties faced by LGBTQ youth including the special challenges faced by LGBTQ youths of color.  The session will conclude with a panel discussion with LGBTQ youth.


Jay Watts (She/They) is an Affrilachian Queer Sexuality & Diversity scholar and the new Vice President of Equity and Impact for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She has a Bachelors degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Louisville; Masters of Art in Human Services: Student Personnel Services in Higher Education from Eastern Kentucky University; Master of Education in Cultural Foundations of Education; and is in the process of completing a PhD in Mental Health with a focus in Race, Sexuality & Healing from Walden University. They have over a decade in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion field with experience in working with numerous K-12 school districts, higher education institutions, and National Conferences amounting to over 60,000 touchpoints in training. Her research and writing can be found in the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education; Encyclopedia of Social Justice & Diversity; Journal of Social Research; and ScholarWorks.  She is a mother, a board member for the Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana, a community advocate specializing in interpersonal violence prevention and healing, President/CEO of DiversiFirm Group, LLC., and a consultant for faith and political leaders.

Natalie Lukich, LMHC is LGBTQ Program Coordinator, Therapist, and Supervisor of Resource Family Support Services for Crown Counseling. A graduate of Purdue University Northwest with degrees in Sociology (BA) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MS), her theoretical base for therapy is Cognitive Behavioral, but she also utilizes Expressive Arts, for which she holds certification, and other methods in her practice.  She is founder and co-facilitator of an affirming support group, Pride Initiative, which provides support and education for the families, friends, and allies of the LGBTQ community.  She also provides training on LGBTQ+ issues for DCS workers, foster and adoptive resource parents, and social service providers.


Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


 CEU’s / Certificates of Participation

Social Work CEU credits for this webinar are as follows:

April 23rd          LGBTQ+/Natalie & Jay                  – 1.5 units


Access to the CEU certificates and Certificates of Participation will be granted through a link in the chat box at the end of the event.  Session moderators will provide detailed instructions on getting the certificates at the beginning and end of each session.


Some sessions may be recorded and made available for review later.  CEU credit CANNOT, however, be granted for viewing a recorded session.

For further information about CEU’s please contact Elena Mrozinske at

For problems with printing certificates contact Chitona at The Villages — (219) 762-3465.


April 23, 2021
9:00 am - 10:30 am


Indiana University Northwest
View Organizer Website