What to Expect at the 2019 Annual Conference


The 2019 Palmetto Association for Children and Families (PAFCAF) Annual Conference is quickly approaching!

The PAFCAF conference will be “Making Waves” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Monday, February 25 - Wednesday, February 27, 2019. This year’s event will host more than 200 individuals from PAFCAF member agencies, statewide partners and others in the child welfare field.


Before the official start of the annual conference, a pre-conference workshop presented by the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning! “Askable Adult: Talking to Teens about Tough Topics” will explore the best practices to become an ‘askable adult’ for teens and how to support their decisions. This pre-conference workshop is a separately ticketed event; to attend, you can register with your conference registration.

The conference will begin on Monday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m. with the Charles B. Barnett Address.

Dr. Barnett was the first executive director of the South Carolina Association of Children's Homes and Family Services starting in 1990 before it was named ‘PAFCAF.’ He served as commissioner for the South Carolina Department of Mental Retardation, and in 1988, founded Palmetto Consultant Services, a private health and human services management consultant practice. PAFCAF has named this general session and keynote speech in his honor for his lifelong dedication to South Carolina’s children and families.

This year, Monday’s keynote will be given by Michelle Madrid-Branch. Ms. Madrid-Branch is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, international adoptee, and global advocate for women and children, specializing in the areas of adoption, foster care, abandonment recovery, and identity reconciliation! Her mission is to ensure that the adoption community is heard, seen, valued, respected, and understood, which she achieves through her various work. In addition to being the founder of Everything Adoption, she hosts “The Greater Than” podcast, is the recipient of the 2004 Congressional Angels in Adoption Award, was inducted into the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006, and received the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women by Governor Bill Richardson!


Following this address is the first of five breakout session offered throughout the conference.

These breakout sessions will offer attendees tools to further attendees’ education and skills to provide quality care for South Carolina’s children through a variety of topics from adoption law to understanding and leading children on the Autism spectrum.

Throughout all three days of the annual conference, exhibitors will be located in the Cambridge Hall. These vendors have multiple diverse tools available to PAFCAF members. We encourage all attendees to walk through the hall and meet with exhibitors to gain tools and resources available throughout South Carolina for your organization.

The first evening of the conference offers the opportunity to explore the Embassy Suites or Myrtle Beach with your colleagues. On this free night, team dinners are strongly encouraged. Many different restaurants are available onsite at the hotel, such as Coastal Grill, Vintage Twelve, and much more! If your team could not join you at the conference, now’s a good time to sit down with new contacts you’ve made throughout the day. In addition to the restaurants available on site, not too many are far away — Flip Flops Bar and Grill, Bimini’s Oyster Bar, and Finn McCools.

The Coastal Grill offers complimentary breakfast through attendees’ hotel reservations to start Tuesday morning off with a delicious meal!

The conference will kick off on Tuesday with the Nancy K. Perry Address at 9:00 a.m.

Ms. Perry began her career in 1972 as the initial house parent at "Welcome Home" in Lexington. In 1978, she was named executive director, a position she held until 1994. In 1992, a new shelter was constructed, and in honor of Nancy's dedicated service, it was named the "Nancy K. Perry Children's Shelter." Nancy was an Adoption Specialist with Children Unlimited, specializing in special needs adoption. Additionally, she served in the Office of the Governor, Continuum Care Division, as Director of Planning and Development. She also served as Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Children's Homes and Family Services from 1994 until her death in 2007. As a tribute to her passion for children in need, and the great respect of those who knew her, this annual address has been named in her honor.

This year the address will be given by Dr. Keith Bailey. Dr. Bailey currently serves as the Training Director for Harmony Family Center, previously serving as a consultant for the University of Tennessee’s Social Work Office of Research and Public Service, and Curriculum Coordinator for the University of Tennessee. He has had over 25 years of experience working with children and families in the child welfare system! For the past 10 years, Dr. Bailey has operated his own training and consulting business, serving schools, child welfare agencies, and social service agencies across the U.S. and in Canada.


The breakout sessions on Tuesday will be accompanied by a second general session during lunch, featuring Dr. Alex Karydi.

Dr. Karydi will focus on South Carolina Department of Mental Health Suicide Prevention Office, a statewide initiative that has called upon and joined together suicide prevention individuals from across the state of South Carolina. The keynote will instill hope by empowering communities with knowledge and encouraging them to combat stigma, collaboratively.  

As the second day of the conference comes to an end, be sure to join us at the annual Awards Reception!


PAFCAF will honor a child welfare worker for their hard work and dedication to providing quality care for South Carolina’s children during this dinner. This banquet is open to all and attendees are strongly encouraged to come!

The last day of the conference will start Wednesday morning with the final breakout session of the event. After this session, all attendees will gather for the closing general session, featuring Mr. Frank Crawford.

With 40 years of progressively responsible human services work in North Carolina, 14 years with the Mecklenburg County Court System, eight years doing casework with children/youth referred to the court system, and six years doing supervisory work including overseeing probation caseloads of some 400+ youngsters, Mr. Frank Crawford has extensive experience with youth.

Mr. Crawford also served four years as Administrative Director and later Interim Exec Director of The Children's Law Center in Charlotte, a non-profit law firm representing abused, neglected, and delinquent children in the court system. In 1992, Mr. Crawford accepted the Executive Director position of Youth Homes Inc of Charlotte, a non-profit child welfare agency serving children in residential programs. After retiring in 2014, he developed a small and selective consultation practice working with agencies around strategic planning, board development, and facilitating staff retreats and workshops with a focus on inspiring the important work that child welfare staff do.

In this general session, professionals will be challenged to dig deeper into why they chose to do this work and why they drive to work every day. His perspective will leave you inspired to continue doing the great work you do every day!

Be sure to join PAFCAF by “Making Waves” through networking and collaborating with others in your field, furthering your education and training, and join together in Myrtle Beach for the 2019 annual conference!

Follow all the updates about the conference on Facebook and Twitter with #MakingWaves.