I am going to be speaking at The Idea Camp-Orphan Care next month.  They have been releasing the workshop topics all week and I am really excited to be a part of this, for a couple of reasons.  First, I like the philosophical model of the Idea Camp.  It is a post-modern exploration of topics, with a focus on the participants. The Idea Camp functions under the premise that the crowd is collectively smarter than any one speaker. I am really interested to see how such a collaborative conference works. Most of all, though, I really appreciate that they are working hard to uncover all of the complex issues involved in orphan care.  The topics that will be discussed are really getting to the heart of the matter.  The weekend will be broken down into four segments: The State of the Orphan (looking at the big picture), Causes & Ramifications (looking at why children are orphaned and the effects), Adoption & Foster Care (looking at adoptee issues, family preparation, and barriers to foster care), and finally Preemptive Orphan Care (looking at ways to prevent children from being orphaned in the first place).  I am proud to be a part of this thorough discussion.  My workshop will be under the Causes and Ramifications portion: The Psychology of Abandonment: Implications for Adoption and for Orphanage Life This session will address the psychological impact of being orphaned, including issues of loss, abandonment, attachment disorders, and institutionalized behaviors.  We will explore how these factors effect children who are adopted into families, and the importance of education and preparation for adoptive families.  We will also evaluate the best practices for children who live in institutions, and how orphanages can best prepare children to succeed relationally and spiritually as the move into adulthood. You can see the full list of workshops here. The Idea Camp is February 25th and 26th in NW Arkansas.  (And if you are from Southern California, you can fly nonstop from LA to NW Arkansas for about $80 each way on Allegiant Air.  Just saying)