Power of Hope training scheduled for April 13, 14 and 15 in Oxford, Pearl and Gulfport

April 9, 2021

Court Focused Training programs will be presented on April 13, 14 and 15 by Chan Hellman, Ph.D., a leading researcher in the power of hope to improve the lives of impoverished children and families who have experienced abuse and neglect.

More than 1,200 people who work with abused and neglected children in the Youth Courts have registered to participate in the training in Oxford, Pearl and Gulfport.

Justice Dawn Beam, co-chair of the Commission on Children’s Justice, said, “ There is this real thirst for how we can make systemic change in our state.”

Participants will include judges and court staff, Department of Child Protection Services leaders and social workers, Department of Education school attendance officers, representatives from the Department of Human Services, representatives of the Department of Mental Health, representatives of child advocacy centers and service providers. Youth Court teams from each jurisdiction will participate as groups in the interactive training.

Resident Jurist John N. Hudson of Natchez, who will help lead the training, said that hope needs to be infused from the top down in all Youth Court settings. “We want everything that touches this court to be hope-centered – on the juvenile delinquency side, on the child protection side – that when we bring those social workers into the courtroom, when we bring those juvenile counselors in the courtroom, their message is we are about hope here.”

All presentations are scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The schedule is:

• April 13 at the Oxford Conference Center, 102 Ed Perry Boulevard, Oxford;
• April 14 at the Clyde Muse Center, 515 Country Place Parkway, Pearl;
• April 15 at Michael Memorial Baptist Church, 15053 John Clark Road, Gulfport.

The program agenda and training material are available on the Commission on Children’s Justice website,, at this link:

Dr. Hellman, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Director of The Hope Research Center. His research is focused on hope as a psychological strength helping children and adults overcome trauma and adversity. He is the co-author of the book Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life.

His approach includes teaching people to do three things:

• set desirable goals;
• identify viable pathways to goals, finding solutions to the problems that stand in the way;
• maintain the willpower to pursue those goals.

“Hope is the belief that the future will be better, and you have the power to make it so,” Dr. Hellman said.

The Commission on Children’s Justice established Programs of HOPE to continue to address child neglect prevention. The model is centered on hope. The idea is to create pathways of hope for children and families.

Justice Beam said, “We are committed to help them improve their lives. We believe this is possible one person, one family, one community at a time.”

The presentations are part of the Court Improvement Program. The programs are sponsored by the Commission on Children’s Justice and Casey Family Programs in cooperation with the Mississippi Judicial College.