Explore. Connect. Go Deeper at AFAH Conference.

  • If you want to care for the foster & adoptive community, explore how you are called to serve at AFAH.
  • If you want community with others, connect to people with similar passions at AFAH.
  • If you want healing for your foster or adoptive child, go deeper in understanding trauma-informed care at AFAH.

Date, Time & Location

February 24, 2018    

Hill Country Bible Church, Lakeline

We are changing up the format and its going to be better than ever. You won’t want to miss it! Professionals! We are changing it up for you all too. No longer AFAH, your day is called REST. Mark your calendars for May 24, 2018.

Who Is This Conference For?

  • People who want to support the adoptive/foster care community
  • People who are exploring foster care and adoption
  • Post-placement families who want to learn more and connect with other families
  • Professionals: we have a special day for caseworkers and other child welfare professionals. CEUs are available.

At registration, you will be asked several questions. We want to tailor this conference to YOU so please answer these so we can be sure to address what you need.

We have two general sessions this year. One for people who are exploring foster and adoption and one general session for people who are foster or adoptive parents or who have had direct care for children.

We’ll have a new registration by December 2017.  When you register, please indicate if you will attend the general session with Marshall or Jason.

Main Speakers

Jason Johnson

Exploring Ways to Serve – For people who want to explore foster care, adoption and supporting roles

Jason Johnson is a writer and speaker who encourages families and equips churches in their foster care and adoption journeys so they can find the hope and support they need along the way. He is the author of ALL IN Orphan Care and The Beauty and Brokenness of Foster Care, and blogs regularly at Jason Johnson | Blog. He has a passion to encourage and inspire families no matter where they are in their foster care and adoption journey, and his hope is to see the gospel catalyze a movement of orphan care within the Church across the country around the world. His current role is the Director of Church Ministry Initiatives with Christian Alliance for Orphans. Jason lives in College Station along with his wife Emily and 4 daughters.

Marshall Lyles

Go Deeper in Understanding Trauma – For families with children from hard places

Marshall Lyles, LPC-S, LMFT-S, RPT-S, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, has 15 years of practice in family and play therapy. He has extensive speaking and training experience and has worked in a variety of mental health settings. Most of Marshall’s clinical practice has focused on attachment trauma and its effect on family relationships. Marshall conducts supervision and consultation sessions with counseling professionals and leads training in both parenting and professional settings; much of his consultation and training focuses on the use of sandtray therapy within a trauma-informed context. He is EMDR-certified and TBRI-trained and uses these with foster and adoptive families. As Marshall is nearing the completion of his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, more writing opportunities are emerging and this has become a passionate point of interest for him.

Special Guest Musician:  Kyle Hutton

Explore. Connect. Go Deeper at AFAH Conference

There are two breakout session tracks:

  • Explore Track. We have broken down all aspects of the foster and adoptive community within 5 categories.  We have a breakout explaining each of the 5 areas to get involved in.
  • Go Deeper Track. We have several sessions for people who have experience caring with children from hard places and want to learn more.

Connect.  Look for people at the conference with “I Said Yes” stickers.  This will help you connect with others with similar experiences and interests.

You may choose any session you’d like. Session tracks are only recommendations.

Explore Track

If you are not sure where you want to serve or if you are just learning about an area of service, we recommend our Explore Sessions. Most of the session in the Explore Track are repeated and we have broken down the areas of service in the foster and adoption community into 5 areas of need.  If we all serve in some capacity in these various service areas, we will dramatically improve the lives of children in care!

Family Preservation

Session Block 1

What is the role of the biological family in the life of a foster child? Come learn how the court makes decisions to keep the child in their family of origin and opportunities for you to get involved with programs that support biological families.

Presenter:  Judge Aurora Martinez-Jones


Session Block 2

This session will be repeated.

Foster Care

Session Block 1

Fostering or fostering to adopt comes with many challenging questions to ask and consider.

Get an in-depth look at how to better match your family with a foster child and the difficult process of having to say goodbye when they leave.  This session will look beyond the process to foster and dive into motivations, expectations and the challenges of foster care.



Session Block 2

This session will be repeated.


What adoption option is right for your family? What countries are even open for adoption now and what does open adoption really look like? This session will compare and contrast domestic and international and provide an overview of each process.

Session  Block 2

Infertility causes a whirlwind of emotions and questions.  It can be very hard to check our motivations and expectations as a person tries to determine how God would want them to grow their family.  Find encouragement and clarity at the session if your are struggling with infertility and the possibility of adoption.

Presenter:  Julie Kouri


Wrap-Around Support


If you don’t feel ready to welcome a child into your home just yet, come learn about the many other roles you can fill to impact the life of a child or family.

Presenter: Tara Hutton

Session Block 2

Trust Based Relational Intervention or TBRI is a method of trauma-informed care.  It is also one of the trendiest buzzwords in the foster and adoption community.  Receive an introduction to TBRI and become more compassionate toward children from hard places when you understand how brains are affected by trauma and more importantly, how children (and adults!) can heal from traumatizing experiences.

Presenter:  Anna Valdez,

Aged Out

40% of youth who age out of foster care are homeless and  60% end up in jail within the first year. These staggering results leave many opportunities to get involved and change the path these teens are on.

Presenter:  Andrew Fike

Session Block 2

This session will be repeated.

Go Deeper Track