Speaker Information

Speaker and contact information:

 Call 503 722-8091 or email callander3@comcast.net for information including fees and availability. Presentations customized to your needs and timeframes.

 Joan Callander Dingle, keynote and workshop speaker, is a grandmother, mom, author of three books on grandparents raising grandkids/drugs, and a blogger who talks with audiences from Kentucky to California about her personal struggles as well as sharing advice and experiences from professionals and other families. 

Typical comments from clients & event attendees:

“Provided insightful information and “sparkle”.  Grandparent Lexington, Kentucky.”

“Your information, as a result of life experience, means (a lot) to these grandparents.  They often feel alone in their struggles…hearing you speak helps them feel not so alone.”  Susi Deeds, Family Caregiver Support Specialist, Senior & Disability Services, Oregon.  

“There are so many people that need your information…”  Diane Inskeep, Grandmother Salem, Oregon.  

“Great information! Touching story. Gives perspective to school personnel.” Kentucky educator.

“Joan Callander Dingle was invited to give remarks on a panel (at the White House) about preventing children from re-entering foster care.  She did a fabulous job!”   Jaia Peterson Lent, Deputy Executive Director, Generations United, Washington D.C.

“Top notch conference speaker.  Our audience of kinship caregivers raved about her outstanding, informative and insightful presentation.  Relevant and inspirational.”  Maura Provencher, Director of Information Management for Connecticut Association of Foster & Adoptive Parents.

“Keynote speaker excellent-very knowledgeable about children’s experiences, the process and experience of caregivers.”  Attendee Pierce Country, Washington Relatives Raising Relatives Conference.

Sample Topics:

Visitations, Boundaries and Transitions.  Whether visitations are court mandated, or privately negotiated, all children deserve happy memories and a safe visitations.  Five types of visits, including prison, holidays and non-supervised, are discussed with tips for helping young ones cope. Simple tips can make transitions between households less stressful, and help children/teens set appropriate boundaries with inappropriate parents.

Handling Tough Questions.  Learn how to answer questions from grandchildren about their birthparents in honest, non-threatening ways.  Discuss benefits of anticipating difficult situations for grandkids, such as their being told to draw a picture of their family, create a family tree, or answer questions from teachers, peers or even family members. Review ways that you can help them practice responses thereby increasing their self-confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills so they know how to respond appropriately in stressful situations.

-Parenting Children of Trauma. All children, whether infant or teen, who have experienced trauma respond to everyday circumstances and requests differently than peers who have not.  Explore parenting and classroom teaching styles that meet their need for structure and schedules; choices rather than dictates, and consistent consequences. Learn questions and resources to help you find ‘trauma informed’ counselors, doctors and teachers who help, not re-traumatize, your grandchildren.

Refocus & Reconnect:  Changing Childhoods, Restoring Hope, Enjoying Today.  Kinship families face a tangle of emotional, legal and practical challenges often resulting from parental use of drugs or alcohol. Simple techniques and practices can reduce stress for caregivers and children by tweaking current parenting styles, setting appropriate boundaries, initiating needed legal action, and changing a few everyday words and phrases. Understand that you don’t have to control your grandkids to be in control, and that failures are stepping stones to long term success.