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WebinarSSPPolyvagal Theory

Live Webinar: Integrating the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) within a foster and adoption care organization — Alternative Family Services

Date: October 12 @ 12 p.m. ET
Register now

In this Provider Spotlight webinar, Unyte Health is excited to welcome Alternative Family Services’ CEO, Marsha Lewis, Mental Health Director, Tricca Hodges, LCSW and Brittany Ratiani, LMFT. Hosted by Rebecca Knowles, Director of Research and Education at Unyte Health, this webinar will explore the implementation of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) within the Alternative Family Services organization.

Join us as we discuss the following:

  • The implementation of the SSP within AFS programs and how it differentiates their offerings from other organizations
  • The SSP delivery model: influencing factors and changes over time
  • Success strategies for working with clients and the SSP: titration and a slow approach
  • The role of SSP clinical mentorship and additional Unyte Health support services
  • The future of the SSP at AFS: incorporating resource families and the Integrated Listening System, also known as the Focus System

Unyte Health is proud to partner with foster care and adoption agencies, including Alternative Family Services (AFS) in Northern California, who serve over 1,500 families annually and employ over 200 staff. AFS utilizes the SSP in their mental health program, and in this webinar their team will share how the SSP can be transformational for young clients, especially for those experiencing difficulty in home placement and regulation at school. Brittany Ratiani, LMFT and Clinical Supervisor will share a case story of how the SSP has impacted one of her clients at AFS.

The SSP supports AFS’ mission of helping vulnerable children, youth, and families by empowering them to lead more regulated and resilient lives, opening the door to more effective treatment plans at AFS and long-term success in the community and beyond. By helping young people increase their sense of felt safety and more easily shift between autonomic states, the SSP has been beneficial in areas such as emotional/behavioral regulation, social functioning, sensory sensitivities, and more. 

Reserve your spot!

Marsha Lewis-Akyeem, CEO of Alternative Family Services

Marsha Lewis-Akyeem, CEO of Alternative Family Services (AFS), has over two decades of experience as a compassionate advocate and seasoned leader in championing the well-being of children and families.  

Marsha holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from UC Davis and a Master’s in Counseling from CSU Sacramento. Her diverse background includes Wraparound, Mental Health, Foster Care, Crisis Nurseries, Therapeutic Preschool Programs, Court for Individualized Treatment of Adolescents Diversion Programming, Residential Treatment (Level 14), Family Finding, Prevention Services, Non-public Schools, and Intensive Family Preservation Programming. 

A Sierra Health Leadership Program graduate, Marsha is equipped to lead the nonprofit sector effectively, including the approximately 1,500 families cared for annually at AFS. Marsha’s expertise and fervent drive for change make her a powerful advocate for supporting families.

Tricca Hodges, Mental Health Director at Alternative Family Services

Tricca Hodges is the Mental Health Director at Alternative Family Services (AFS) and has been with the agency for 25 years. She currently oversees a Mental Health Department that provides Specialty Mental Health Services to children and families in 5 Bay Area Counties, as well as a family visitation center in Alameda County. Prior to becoming the Mental Health Director, she was the Program Director of one of the Foster Care programs at AFS and has extensive experience in both Mental Health and Social Service programming. Prior to joining AFS she was a Clinician providing Individual and Family Therapy to children in a Day Treatment program. 

Tricca graduated from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in Spanish and African-American Studies.  She went on to earn her MSW from the University of California at Berkeley and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Brittany Ratiani, Clinical Supervisor at Alternative Family Services

Brittany Ratiani is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and has been with Alternative Family Services for the better part of a decade. She is currently a case carrying Clinical Supervisor in Santa Rosa, CA. Her commitment to social justice and healing aligns with AFS’ mission to serve children and families impacted by the child welfare system. With an extensive background in special education, she enjoys integrating multidisciplinary practices into therapy to create a healing environment that supports the whole mind, body, and spirit. 

Brittany is a graduate of the University of San Francisco with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an MFT emphasis. She currently enjoys teaching social justice centered therapy as an adjunct professor at USF.  When she’s not in the office, Brittany can be found outside hiking with her dog, a cup of coffee and a library book in hand.

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