Angelo Giardino is the medical director of Texas Children's Health Plan, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and an attending physician for the Texas Children's Hospital's forensic pediatrics service at the Children's Assessment Center in Houston, Texas. He graduated summa cum laude from Temple University and earned his MD and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Giardino completed his residency and fellowship training in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Giardino led "Little Partners," a lay home visiting program focused on fostering enhanced prenatal care and improved healthier birth outcomes. Additionally, Dr. Giardino began the Child Abuse and Neglect Team for Children with Special Health Care Needs, which was funded by a three-year grant from a local philanthropy. Dr. Giardino is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Texas Pediatric Society, and the Harris County Medical Society, where he serves on the Managed Medicaid Forum and the Medical Directors Committee. He is 10-year member of the American College of Physician Executives and a member of the American College of Medical Quality.
Prior to relocating to Houston, Dr. Giardino served as chair of the Philadelphia Branch Board of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Red Cross, president of the Board for Bethany Christian Services in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, and a member of the Board for the Support Center for Child Advocates, where he was named a 2005 Champion for Children. His academic accomplishments include publishing eight textbooks on child abuse and neglect, presenting on a variety of pediatric topics at national and regional conferences, and, most recently, being appointed to a three-year term on the National Review Board for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Karl Dennis retired as the Executive Director of Kaleidoscope, Inc., a non-profit community-based childcare agency in Chicago, where he provided leadership and vision for 27 years. Under Karl's direction, Kaleidoscope became nationally recognized as one of the top five child and family serving agencies in the country. Karl is a youth worker, a teacher, and a cultivator of strengths. His profound international reputation is based on fundamental principles which he brought to life and seeded: that children can best be served in their families, in their communities; that the assets and strengths of their situation are best known to those closest to the child and family. Through WrapAround services, the youngster and family with individual human care, supervision, and concern is safer, better and cheaper than tearing apart child, family, community and systems. Karl has provided training in all 50 states and many foreign countries, including New Zealand. He has been the keynote speaker for such prestigious conferences such as the National Conference of Juvenile Court Judges, Roselyn Carter's Mental Health Conference, and Tipper Gore's National Mental Health Symposium.
"Everything is Normal Until Proven Otherwise," co-authored with Dr. Ira Lourie, a noted child psychiatrist is a series of stories about the children and families that Karl has worked with over the years. Written for parents and professionals, the book provides guidance for using creativity and compassion in the delivery of services.
Part African American, Cherokee, Blackfoot, and Irish, Karl brings to his presentations an understanding of culture and the important role that it plays in the healing process. Karl has received many honors for his visionary work...but he is truly revered for his passion, humor, and humanity in working with those who are most often forgotten.
Audrey Deckinga is DFPS Assistant Commissioner for Child Protective Services. Prior to that she was senior policy analyst at the Health and Human Services Commission in the office of health services. She has worked in the human services field for over 30 years in three states. Ms.Deckinga has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Calvin College in Michigan and a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Texas at Austin.
Family Expert Keynote Panel Moderator, DeShaun Ealoms is currently the Parent Program Specialist for Child Protective Services (CPS), Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Family experts will share how what workers do to help families and ways to improve services. A focus on collaboration with families is critical to family based services. The statewide Parent Collaboration Group provides technical assistance to the CPS regions across Texas with their local parent information and support groups for parents involved with the CPS system.
Ms. Ealoms is also a parent who has utilized CPS services to access needed support and services for her son who has autism. Ms. Ealoms is a member of Autism Society of America, and has served on the Austin Independent School District Special Education Advisory Committee and Mental Health Mental Retardation Center Advisory Committee. Ms. Ealoms received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Huston-Tillotson College and a Masters Degree in Special Education from Texas State University.