Campagna Academy successfully hosted its ninth Annual Foster Care Conference April 27 at the Patrician Banquet Center 410 U.S. 30 in Schererville, IN from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference was filled with over 300 attendees eager for more knowledge about the common trends and topics involving fostering.

The conference gave the attendees the opportunity to connect with one another, share stories and learn new techniques on how to care for their foster youth. It also was an opportunity to gain seven in-service hours along with continuing education units being offered.

Tamika Clemons is a foster parent who looks forward to the conference every year. Clemons said, “This conference adds more insight and knowledge on fostering and coincides with the actions I already take.”

Clemons feels she is introduced to new skills and techniques every year she attends the conference. “The conference progresses each year and I enjoy being a part of the committee, not to mention the opportunity to receive my service hours,” said Clemons.

The conference included several guest speakers, vendors and breakout sessions. The breakout sessions consisted of three tracks.

Each track had its own room and topic for the attendees to gain knowledge. The attendees would split up and go to their designated track room until it was time to go on to the next track.

Vickie Davis is a foster parent who attends the conference yearly and enjoys the concept of the breakout sessions. Davis feels the breakout sessions are beneficial because it is an opportunity to get in depth knowledge about a trending topic involving fostering.

Davis said, “I really enjoyed the track about the signs and symptoms of drug use because it gave me insight on what to look for and a new awareness.” Davis feels this specific session was eye opening and the knowledge obtained would be applied to her household.

Helen Sanders is a foster parent who has attended five of Campagna’s annual conferences. “This conference is definitely bigger than last year and I appreciate the new information,” said Sanders.

Sanders appreciate each year there are different speakers, new topics and a bigger turnout. “I enjoyed the conference and I specifically enjoy learning something new,” said Sanders.

Each year the conference grows larger and generates new information for the community. The goal of the conference is to educate foster parents and service professionals with information and trending topics regarding foster care and foster youth.

Director of Foster Care Lekeesha Edwards feels the goal has been achieved and continues to set new goals next year. “I was pleased with the turnout and I felt reassured that the foster parents and service professionals were taking the necessary steps to make themselves more knowledgeable of the common trends and information involving fostering,” said Edwards.

Edwards feels the conference is not possible without the generous sponsors and the dynamic volunteer presenters. Edwards said, “With continued support I expect the conference to grow even bigger next year.”

Campagna Academy is a non-profit organization that has provided services to at-risk youth in Northwest Indiana since 1947 and serves over 500 youth and families annually. For additional information regarding Campagna Academy and its programs, please call 219-322-8614 or visit online at