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Youth at Risk


Conference Costs

Register for YAR

$100.00 per person.
YAR 2017 Brochure

2017 Workshop Descriptions

Includes breakfast, lunch, networking opportunities, CEUs, two keynote speakers, and two workshops.      

Where North Campus
1 Meier Drive, Salem, MA 01970
When Friday, June 9 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Contact 978.542.2085
Links Register

2017 Keynote Speakers

  • Kenneth V. Hardy, PhD

    Kenneth V. Hardy

    Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy is a professor of family therapy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is also director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in New York where he maintains a private practice specializing in working with at-risk children and their families. He is the former chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. 

    Dr. Hardy’s work with children and families has earned him considerable public acclaim including appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show20/20Dateline NBC and PBS. He was also the featured therapist in "Living Room Wars," a Discovery Health Channel program devoted to providing family therapy to traumatized youth and their families.


    Dr. Hardy has provided training and consultation to numerous organizations, agencies and institutions devoted to working with at-risk children and their families. He has also provided training, consultation and supervision to public and private schools throughout the United States and Canada

    Dr. Hardy is a frequent presenter of conferences on the topics of at-risk youth, trauma and oppression. He has published prolifically and is the co-author of the following books: Minorities and Family TherapyTeens Who Hurt: Clinical Interventions for Breaking the Cycle of Violence; and Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, Class, and Culture. In addition to his publications, Dr. Hardy is also featured in several videotapes including a documentary devoted to slavery. His videotape “The Psychological Residuals of Slavery” has been well received by both the professional and lay communities for serving as a catalyst to promote conversations about the intersections of race, oppression and trauma.

  • Susan Cooper

    Susan Cooper

    Susan Cooper is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion for self-care and assisting others in finding and living their most authentic self. She has provided support and guidance for the past 25 years to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Currently, she leads bereavement groups for local hospice facilities and conducts psychosocial assessments for new patients in psychiatric hospital care. As a consultant to managers, Susan provides trauma support and stress management to employees around the state teaching meditation and other relaxation and self-care techniques.

Learn more about this year's conference

  • Who Should Attend

    The Essex County Community Foundation established the YAR conference in 2000 as a response to the need for increased collaboration and coordination among the many providers of services to at-risk youth in and around Essex County. As of 2015, Salem State has taken over the program and pledges to carry on the YAR mission of trainings and outreach. The conference remains an amazing opportunity to tap the wealth of expertise in Essex County on the topic of youth at risk. It continues to be a one-of-a-kind and most anticipated annual event. 

    The 17th annual Youth at Risk (YAR) conference is the region’s only annual all-day conference for professionals who work with at-risk youth. The event will feature over 20 morning workshops and a variety of afternoon breakout sessions, as well as keynote speakers, program exhibitions and networking opportunities.

    The YAR conference is geared toward individuals working with and caring for youth in a variety of settings—family, community, school, religious, healthcare, human service, recreational and legal. Attendees include social workers, psychologists, youth counselors, family therapists, educators, school adjustment counselors, guidance counselors, community and public health workers, program managers, agency and organization CEO's, police officers, juvenile court personnel, lawyers and volunteers.

    CEU, agenda and registration information will be available in April 2017.

  • 2017 Youth At Risk Committee

    Jane Truesdell Ellis, Attorney
    Hailey MacDonald, Pathways for Children
    Maria Avila, MA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
    Jessica Berry, Children's Law Center of Massachusetts
    Christine Biscardi, Juvenile Probation Officer, (retired)
    Linnea Burrill, Department of Children and Families
    Claire Crane, Salem State University
    Missey R. Donohoe, Lahey Health Behavioral Services
    Matthew Doyle, Castle Hill Counseling and Consulting
    Taylor Dunn, Salem State University
    Nancy Ebersole, Salem State University
    Michelle Fyrer, Department of Children and Families
    Staci Gergely, Salem Juvenile Court
    Lea Hill, DDS, NE Regional Autism Services
    Jenney Dale Holland, Salem State University
    Kimberly T. Hutchins, Harborside Counseling Services
    Bob Lewis, Consultant
    Omar Longus, Salem State University
    Dick Muzzy, Catholic Charities North, (retired)
    Linda M. Richards, Department of Mental Health
    Linda Sahovey, Endicott College/Tufts Medical Center
    Christine Shaw, Merrimack College
    Karen Wilk, Educational Clinical Consultant
    Jacqui Williams, Department of Public Health, (retired)


  • 2017 Youth At Risk Sponsors

    As a Sponsor of YAR, you will align yourself with thousands of working professionals in northeast Massachusetts. It is an exclusive opportunity to support their important work and reach a wide range of community members. To learn more about our sponsorship packages, please contact Taylor Dunn at or at 978.542.7560.

    Thank you to our sponsors:


    Tower Foundation logo

    The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation


    EBSCO logo



    Lahey Health logo

    Lahey Health


    Margaret M. Collins Charitable Trust

    Edward S. and Winifred G. Moseley foundation 


    Essex County Community Foundation ECCF

    YAR Endowment Fund of Essex County Community Foundation

    Belinda Fund of The Boston Foundation
    East Boston Savings Bank
    Merrimack College
    Salem Five Charitable Foundation
    Shawmut Communications Group

    For more general information, please contact or 978.542.2085.

  • Registration and CEUs

    Registration for the 2017 conference is $100 per person. Register online. This fee includes breakfast, lunch, networking opportunities, CEUs, two keynote speakers and two workshops.

    The following CEUs have been approved:

    • 6 CLC
    • 5 LMFT
    • 5 NASW

    Applications for EEC, LMHC and NLN continuing education credits have been submitted for approval.

  • Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award

    Each year, the Youth at Risk (YAR) conference honors a special person who has made an outstanding contribution in supporting youth at risk. The Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award honors the memory of an extraordinary social worker who was tragically killed in 2008. Diruhi was dedicated to her profession and always wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people over and over again. The award was created in her name to recognize those who, like Diruhi, do outstanding work in the community for our youth.

    Nominations for the Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award are now closed. Thank you to those who took the time to nominate a hero like Diruhi.

    We will present this special award at the 2017 YAR Conference on June 9 at Salem State University.

  • Exhibition Hall (Expo)

    The 2017 Conference Exhibition showcases nonprofit organizations and industry vendors that provide unique services and resources to those who serve and care for youth. Space is limited, so please sign up soon. We Will follow up with confirmation of space.

  • Archived Resources

    For access to the 2015 and 2016 YAR Community Resource Manuals please visit CLCM.ORG

    For the 2016 Service Roadmap for Youth, 2016 Brochure and resources provided by 2016 YAR presenters visit ELEARNING.

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