To Report Child Abuse

Nebraska: 1 (800) 652-1999
Iowa: 1 (800) 362-2178

To Contact Us

(402) 595-1326
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
After hours by appointment only

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Morning

7:30 am – 4:00 pm  —  Registration Open
7:30 am – 9:00 am  —  Continental Breakfast
8:15 am – 8:30 am  —  Opening Ceremonies & Announcements
8:30 am – 9:30 am — Plenary Presentation: Francoise Mathieu

Beyond Survival: How to Combat Compassion Fatigue and Burnout

Speaker: Francoise Mathieu
Session Type: Plenary
CEUs Available: TBD
Track: All

Presentation Description: Compassion fatigue can strike the most caring and dedicated nurses, social workers, physicians, victim advocates and personal support workers alike.  These changes can affect both their personal and professional lives with symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, intrusive imagery, loss of hope, exhaustion and irritability.  It can also lead to profound shifts in the way helpers view the world and their loved ones.  Additionally, helpers may become dispirited and increasingly cynical at work, they may make clinical errors, violate client boundaries, lose a respectful stance towards their clients and contribute to a toxic work environment.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to assess their own level of compassion fatigue.
  2. Participants will be able to develop an early warning system for themselves.
  3. Participants will learn ways to rebalance their workload to address or reduce compassion fatigue.

9:30 am – 9:45 am  —  Break
9:45 am – 11:15 am  —  Breakout Sessions

Suicide Prevention: Instilling Hope and Resiliency

Speaker(s): Julia Hebenstreit, PhD., J.D.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Advocacy

Presentation Description: On average, we lose someone to suicide every 13 minutes in our country. Data shows that victims of crime, specifically bullying and child abuse are at a higher risk for suicide than other populations. Suicide is a preventable form of death and a very real public health problem that impacts individuals from a variety of backgrounds and of all ages. It is important for advocates to be aware of risk factors and warning signs of suicide when encountering victims of crime. In this session, you will learn the local and statewide suicide data, risk factors and warning signs of suicide, protective factors, and positive coping strategies for good mental health. You will also learn how to help someone in need and what resources are available.

Objectives:

  1. Learners will understand how victims of bullying can lead to suicide.
  2. Learn the risk factors and warning signs for suicide victims.
  3. Learn protective factors and other ways to ward off suicidal thoughts or actions.
  4. Learn local and national resources to help yourself and/or others in need.

The Biology of Trauma: The Impact of Trauma/PTSD on the Brain and Body

Speaker(s): Stuart White, PhD.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Medical

Presentation Description: Trauma exposure to victims can have a major influence on human biology. This training will review what is known about trauma and PTSD’s impact on the body, particularly the endocrine system (e.g., cortisol functioning), and the brain, particularly emotion and emotion regulation systems. Moreover, the talk will discuss how the endocrine and brain systems work together during emotion regulation and how this is disrupted for victims of crime and their ability to communicate in trauma/PTSD states. The ripple effect then becomes miscommunication, misunderstanding, misinterpretation and sometimes disbelief by law enforcement. The training will give a non-scientist-friendly overview of the biological systems impacted by trauma-exposure and what happens to these systems following trauma. The symptoms and behaviors associated with trauma-exposure and PTSD will be discussed in terms of changes to endocrine and brain systems. PTSD will be discussed as a normal, adaptive process that has gone wrong, leading to impairment.

Objectives:

  1. Define the role of the endocrine system and how it can be disrupted following trauma exposure.
  2. Describe how emotion regulation takes place in the brain and how it can be disrupted following trauma exposure for victims.
  3. Explain how biological responses to trauma are normal, adaptive processes gone wrong.
  4. Skills developed during this presentation aim to enhance communication between the victim of crime and those who respond to them. I.E. law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates.

Case Study: A Predator in Plain Sight

Speaker(s): Colleen Brazil MSW, Amber Kennedy, Shelly Sudmann, Cassandra Salter, Sarah McGinnis, Kristi O’Donnell

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Law Enforcement

Presentation Description: This presentation will discuss a specific case involving a sexual predator that had many faces in the community: a Douglas County Corrections Sergeant; a supporter of Law Enforcement; a little league coach; a “lifelong friend” and “the house to go to”. This is a case study of a very complex case revolving around possession of child pornography, a “hands on victim” and production of child pornography that was prosecuted in both Federal and State court. The case study looks at multiple faucets of child pornography and what to do when there are multiple angles of a complex investigation and how to implement services/support to the victims.

Objectives:

  1. What to look for in child pornography cases which involve outstanding members of the community.
  2. How to effectively work with multiple different criminal justice agencies, when investigating cases that involve child pornography victims.
  3. How law enforcement can identify multiple victims in production child pornography cases, highlighting that when there is one, there is more.

 


Advocating for Vulnerable Children in the Immigration System

Speaker: Astrid Munn

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Legal

Presentation Description: Undocumented immigrant children are an extremely vulnerable population, especially when they enter foster care, removal proceedings, and/or the juvenile justice system.  It is important that the legal rights of these immigrant children are afforded to them through policy and advocacy efforts.  Many immigrant youth in the United States may be eligible to apply for lawful immigration status. Other common forms of relief for children include U visas, (for children who were victims of crimes), relief under the Violence Against Women Act (for children who were abused by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse), and asylum (for children who are afraid of returning to their home country).

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn about the number of immigrant children in the United States.
  2. Participants will learn about the unique vulnerabilities experienced by immigrant children.
  3. Participants will learn about the different forms of relief for vulnerable immigrant children.

Supporting the Needs of Young Children Affected by Parent Substance Use and the Opioid Epidemic

Speaker(s): Rebecca Vivrette

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Trauma

Presentation Description: This presentation will review the state of the field for prenatal substance exposure and their families. Current best practices for screening, assessment, and interventions with young children and their families will be reviewed. This presentation will also explore a plan of safe care for the infant born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms and consider what constitutes child abuse or require prosecution for any illegal action. Concern has grown about the increasing number of pregnant women and children affected by maternal use of methamphetamines and about households in which children are exposed to the dangers of methamphetamine manufacture.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand the prevalence and outcomes of prenatal substance exposure.
  2. Participants will be able to identify best practices for responding to young children with substance exposure histories and their families.
  3. Participants will learn about screening, assessment and intervention techniques for children victimized by substance use.

From Mindless to Mindful: Living the Psychology of Possibility

Speaker(s): Jan Waters, Masters of Counseling, LCPC.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Self-Care

Presentation Description: This training will examine ways to actively apply mindfulness in our work and our lives. Understanding how to apply mindfulness as a practice of self-care for those who work day in and day out with victims of crime in crisis. The concept of mindfulness has become popular recently.  Many people think of it as sitting quietly and meditating.  Ellen Langer has presented a different, more westernized, view of mindfulness. This view helps us to awaken to the many ways in which are mindless in what we do, following learned scripts and mindlessly moving through our lives, including our work.  We will learn to use strategies to awaken our bodies and our minds to be more present and more creative and inventive in our lives.  We will learn to approach things with the Psychology of Possibility. This will help us have more purpose and intention in our actions, have stronger and deeper relationships, and to solve problems in more creative and meaningful ways.

Objectives:

  1. Introduce theory behind mindfulness.
  2. Learn and practice mindfulness activities that are beneficial to reduce stress in the workplace
  3. Learn and practice activities to awaken our minds to be more present in our relationships and creative in problem solving.

Lunch

11:30 am – 1:00 pm — Speaking of Children Luncheon Event

Title: Overcoming Childhood Trauma
Keynote Speaker: Diana Nyad
Session Type: Keynote
CEUs Available: CEUs not offered for keynote address

Presentation Description: The message of the luncheon is that education and awareness are key to keeping children safe. Each year, Speaking of Children features a speaker who has been a survivor of abuse or who has worked directly as an advocate for children. The luncheon will focus on Diana’s own journey as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and about the importance of education and awareness as parents, professionals working with children, and members of the community to protect kids.

Objectives:

  1. Examine and understand best-practice work for advocates, law enforcement and prosecutors.
  2. Reflect on how her own experiences of childhood trauma affected her and how the support she gained from the children’s advocacy center helped shape her future success.
  3. Teach how child advocacy centers extend beyond the boundaries of investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse by means of education to the public.

Afternoon

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm — Break Out Sessions

Suicide Prevention: Instilling Hope and Resiliency

Speaker(s): Julia Hebenstreit, PhD., J.D.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Advocacy

Presentation Description: On average, we lose someone to suicide every 13 minutes in our country. Data shows that victims of crime, specifically bullying and child abuse are at a higher risk for suicide than other populations. Suicide is a preventable form of death and a very real public health problem that impacts individuals from a variety of backgrounds and of all ages. It is important for advocates to be aware of risk factors and warning signs of suicide when encountering victims of crime. In this session, you will learn the local and statewide suicide data, risk factors and warning signs of suicide, protective factors, and positive coping strategies for good mental health. You will also learn how to help someone in need and what resources are available.

Objectives:

  1. Learners will understand how victims of bullying can lead to suicide.
  2. Learn the risk factors and warning signs for suicide victims.
  3. Learn protective factors and other ways to ward off suicidal thoughts or actions.
  4. Learn local and national resources to help yourself and/or others in need.

The Biology of Trauma: The Impact of Trauma/PTSD on the Brain and Body

Speaker(s): Stuart White, PhD.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Medical

Presentation Description: Trauma exposure to victims can have a major influence on human biology. This training will review what is known about trauma and PTSD’s impact on the body, particularly the endocrine system (e.g., cortisol functioning), and the brain, particularly emotion and emotion regulation systems. Moreover, the talk will discuss how the endocrine and brain systems work together during emotion regulation and how this is disrupted for victims of crime and their ability to communicate in trauma/PTSD states. The ripple effect then becomes miscommunication, misunderstanding, misinterpretation and sometimes disbelief by law enforcement. The training will give a non-scientist-friendly overview of the biological systems impacted by trauma-exposure and what happens to these systems following trauma. The symptoms and behaviors associated with trauma-exposure and PTSD will be discussed in terms of changes to endocrine and brain systems. PTSD will be discussed as a normal, adaptive process that has gone wrong, leading to impairment.

Objectives:

  1. Define the role of the endocrine system and how it can be disrupted following trauma exposure.
  2. Describe how emotion regulation takes place in the brain and how it can be disrupted following trauma exposure for victims.
  3. Explain how biological responses to trauma are normal, adaptive processes gone wrong.
  4. Skills developed during this presentation aim to enhance communication between the victim of crime and those who respond to them. I.E. law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates.

Case Study: A Predator in Plain Sight

Speaker(s): Colleen Brazil MSW, Amber Kennedy, Shelly Sudmann, Cassandra Salter, Sarah McGinnis, Kristi O’Donnell

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Law Enforcement

Presentation Description: This presentation will discuss a specific case involving a sexual predator that had many faces in the community: a Douglas County Corrections Sergeant; a supporter of Law Enforcement; a little league coach; a “lifelong friend” and “the house to go to”. This is a case study of a very complex case revolving around possession of child pornography, a “hands on victim” and production of child pornography that was prosecuted in both Federal and State court. The case study looks at multiple faucets of child pornography and what to do when there are multiple angles of a complex investigation and how to implement services/support to the victims.

Objectives:

  1. What to look for in child pornography cases which involve outstanding members of the community.
  2. How to effectively work with multiple different criminal justice agencies, when investigating cases that involve child pornography victims.
  3. How law enforcement can identify multiple victims in production child pornography cases, highlighting that when there is one, there is more.

Advocating for Vulnerable Children in the Immigration System

Speaker: Astrid Munn

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Legal

Presentation Description: Undocumented immigrant children are an extremely vulnerable population, especially when they enter foster care, removal proceedings, and/or the juvenile justice system.  It is important that the legal rights of these immigrant children are afforded to them through policy and advocacy efforts.  Many immigrant youth in the United States may be eligible to apply for lawful immigration status. Other common forms of relief for children include U visas, (for children who were victims of crimes), relief under the Violence Against Women Act (for children who were abused by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse), and asylum (for children who are afraid of returning to their home country).

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn about the number of immigrant children in the United States.
  2. Participants will learn about the unique vulnerabilities experienced by immigrant children.
  3. Participants will learn about the different forms of relief for vulnerable immigrant children.

Supporting the Needs of Young Children Affected by Parent Substance Use and the Opioid Epidemic

Speaker(s): Rebecca Vivrette

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Trauma

Presentation Description: This presentation will review the state of the field for prenatal substance exposure and their families. Current best practices for screening, assessment, and interventions with young children and their families will be reviewed. This presentation will also explore a plan of safe care for the infant born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms and consider what constitutes child abuse or require prosecution for any illegal action. Concern has grown about the increasing number of pregnant women and children affected by maternal use of methamphetamines and about households in which children are exposed to the dangers of methamphetamine manufacture.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand the prevalence and outcomes of prenatal substance exposure.
  2. Participants will be able to identify best practices for responding to young children with substance exposure histories and their families.
  3. Participants will learn about screening, assessment and intervention techniques for children victimized by substance use.

From Mindless to Mindful: Living the Psychology of Possibility

Speaker(s): Jan Waters, Masters of Counseling, LCPC.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:  

Track: Self-Care

Presentation Description: This training will examine ways to actively apply mindfulness in our work and our lives. Understanding how to apply mindfulness as a practice of self-care for those who work day in and day out with victims of crime in crisis. The concept of mindfulness has become popular recently.  Many people think of it as sitting quietly and meditating.  Ellen Langer has presented a different, more westernized, view of mindfulness. This view helps us to awaken to the many ways in which are mindless in what we do, following learned scripts and mindlessly moving through our lives, including our work.  We will learn to use strategies to awaken our bodies and our minds to be more present and more creative and inventive in our lives.  We will learn to approach things with the Psychology of Possibility. This will help us have more purpose and intention in our actions, have stronger and deeper relationships, and to solve problems in more creative and meaningful ways.

Objectives:

  1. Introduce theory behind mindfulness.
  2. Learn and practice mindfulness activities that are beneficial to reduce stress in the workplace
  3. Learn and practice activities to awaken our minds to be more present in our relationships and creative in problem solving.

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm — Break
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm — Plenary Speaker: Darrel Turner

Paraphilias Among Sexual Offenders: The Driving Forces Behind Sexual Victimization

Speaker: Darrel Turner, Ph.D.

Room:

Session Type: Plenary

CEUs Available:

Track: All

Presentation Description: Paraphilic disorders are diagnoses that indicate a deviant source of sexual arousal in an individual.  This presentation will describe various paraphilic disorders to include pedophilia, sadism, masochism, exhibitionism, hebephiliac, and others.  Common myths about paraphilic diagnoses will be dispelled, and attendees will leave with a better understanding of what motivates certain sexual offenders.  Though the use of decades of combined professional experience and video clips of offenders, Dr. Tuner will discuss interview and interrogation methods that can and cannot be effective with various offender types based on their psychopathology. This understanding will educate the victim advocate on effective ways to approach victims and communicate in a trauma-informed manner.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to understand the nature of paraphilic disorders.
  2. Participants will be able to differentiate between various paraphilias.
  3. Participants will be able to understand how sexual offenders initiate contact with victims.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Morning

7:30 am – 4:15 pm — Registration Open
7:30 am – 8:30 am — Continental Breakfast
8:30 am – 9:30 am — Plenary Speaker: Karen Vadino

And Wellness For All

Speaker(s): Karen Vadino, MSW, LPCC, OCPSII

Room:

Session Type: Plenary

CEUs Available:

Track: All

Presentation Description: Wellness is not merely the absence of illness. It is a state of complete well-being. It includes the ability to manage one’s affairs, satisfy needs, maintain positive relationships and change or cope with one’s environment. It is the integration of the dimensions of wellness and the balance among them.  It is not our choices and individual motivation alone that determine our level of well-being. Our health and wellness are also impacted by a broad range of social, economic and behavioral factors.  This workshop will explore the idea that achieving individual wellness not only helps subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and increase the chances for positive interactions, but also enables individuals to positively impact their environments.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to name the eight dimensions of wellness.
  2. Participants will be able to recognize social determinants of health.
  3. Participants will be able to understand the connection between maintaining individual health to improving their environments.
  4. Participants will discover some proactive methods for achieving and maintaining wellness.

9:30 am – 9:45 am — Break
9:45 am – 11:15 am — Foundational Breakout Sessions*

Saving Our Boys to Save Our Girls

Speaker(s): Stefania Agliano, LMSW. Bryan Hall

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Advocacy

Presentation Description: Many of the discussions, prevention/intervention programming, as well as front line assessments are designed to target either the victim (survivor) of sex trafficking or the buyer by addressing demand through legal interventions or educational programming. The missing component in the fight to eradicate victims of trafficking is a lack of dialogue on services for the potential trafficker. While females can be and are traffickers, this workshop is specifically focused on male perpetrators. Workshop participants will be given an overview on the importance of working with young men and boys and insights into the struggle those who become involved in the crime of trafficking may face, including but not limited to, the mass marketing of hyper-masculinity, socioeconomic inequalities and institutionalized oppression. This workshop will allow participants to critically reflect further on how they assess trafficking cases potentially providing a new means of intervention and victim services to explore. By discussing the trafficker as someone needing services in addition to victims and buyers we position ourselves on the national level to make systemic changes for young men and boys to enhance their well-being while potentially eliminating the market facilitator, the trafficker, the pimp. We firmly believe that by helping our young men and boys to build a healthier sense of self we can potentially save our young women and girls from being victims of exploitation, trafficking and other forms of violence.

Objectives:

  1. Identify the complexities youth face that may lead them to trafficking.
  2. Articulate the impact that mass media has on young men, their development of the idea of masculinity and its correlation to exploiting victims for trafficking related behaviors.
  3. List the techniques that could be used to connect with youth who are caught up in the crime of human trafficking, either as a victim or a perpetrator.

Perinatal PTSD: Existing Evidence, Clinical Recommendations, Implications

Speaker(s): Rebecca Vivrette

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Medical

Presentation Description: This presentation will provide an overview of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and trauma-related concerns for women during the perinatal period.  Perinatal depression and PTSD are serious mental health problems which can lead to not only harm to the mother but also to the newborn child and/or other children in the household.  There is a need to focus on perinatal mental health to include childhood maltreatment trauma.  There is little research on parent-to-child transmission of abuse. Prevalence and scope of the problem, as well as empirically informed approaches for screening, assessment, and intervention for mothers, infants, and families affected by perinatal PTSD will be reviewed.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to define the signs and symptoms of prenatal PTSD.
  2. Participants will be able to identify risk and protective factors for women and families affected by perinatal PTSD.
  3. Participants will learn best practices in screening, assessment, and intervention for perinatal PTSD.

The Interrogation of Shaken-Baby Suspects

Speaker(s): Mike Krapfl and Jon Turbett

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Law Enforcement

Presentation Description: Cases involving child abuse and shaken-baby allegations test the skill set of even the most seasoned investigators. With limited physical evidence and often times no eyewitnesses, these cases are highly dependent on the quality of the interview and interrogation of the suspect. The CTK Group will examine critical legal, interview and interrogation components in two different shaken-baby cases, in two different states, to provide a national perspective on current best practices to elicit the truth in cases where the victims are unable to speak for themselves.

Objectives:

  1. Identify challenges in shaken-baby cases for investigators and working with victims who are unable to speak.
  2. Discuss deficiencies with current interview & interrogation practices for prosecutors and law enforcement.
  3. Establish a more accurate and memorable understanding of critical legal concepts surrounding Miranda custody and voluntariness.
  4. Analyze actual cases and determine where better interview & interrogation practices can lead to progress (even when physical evidence is weak from the victim.)

All We Have is the 10-Year-Old’s Story?

Speaker(s): Colleen Brazil MSW, Molly Keane J.D.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Legal

Presentation Description: This presentation will walk through the case of a child sexual abuse victim, from initial investigation through prosecution outlining how to build collaboration in the case between all responding entities, I.E. advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors as well as deal with potential pitfalls in the investigation. The training will also address how to present the case to the jury and deal with potential defense attacks.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to corroborate resources, information and discovery materials on a case of child sexual abuse in a manner that does not further harm the victim.
  2. Participants will understand some of the common pitfalls in these investigations when there is no corroboration between advocates, investigators and prosecutors.
  3. Participants will learn how to prosecute and testify on these cases especially when the only evidence is the child’s statement.
  4. Participants will learn how to deal with defense experts in court from the prosecution standpoint or as a rebuttal witness.

Mothering, Courage and Resiliency in Women with Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Protecting the Next Generation

Speakers: Teresa Gil Ph.D.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Trauma

Presentation Description: The workshop will name and examine the risk and protective factors that mothers who have experienced child sexual abuse had to overcome in order and protect their children from the abuse they experienced. The workshop will examine the social and emotional challenges faced by this particular group of mothers. However, the workshop will also focus on the protective factors in their lives of these mothers that help them to “defy the odds” and give their children something positive and significantly different from what they experienced as children.

Objectives:

  1. This workshop will increase participants understanding of the long-term intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on mothering abilities and help prevent the consequences of trauma on the next generation.
  2. This workshop will name and examine the protective factors that have helped successful mothers to overcome their negative childhood experiences, and protect their children from the abuse they experienced.
  3. This workshop will examine how child sexual abuse can impact the survivor’s role as mother and will provide useful knowledge for gaining an understanding of family dynamics and parental patterns of child sexual abuse survivors.
  4. This workshop will delve deeper into their lives of mothers with histories of child sexual abuse and explore the risks and the protective factors that helped them be competent, strong, and resilient.

Expressive Arts for the Helping Professional

Speakers: Betsy Funk, LCSW, LIMHP, MPA, REAT

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Self-Care

Presentation Description: Participants will be invited into an engaging discussion and activity involving the use of the Expressive Arts as a method of self-care.

Objectives:

  1. Learn at least one new creative technique to process own feelings and thoughts regarding work related stress.
  2. Understand the purpose of the creative arts as a self-care tool for healing and stress relief.
  3. Identify how the arts experience can be utilized when working with victims of crime, especially children.

Restoring Pieces of the Whole - Creating Resilience with Intentional Care of Self and Intentional Use of Self

Speakers: Jea Theis

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Self-Care

Presentation Description: Jea Theis, co-founder of Omaha Therapy and Arts Collaborative (OTAC), is offering a self-care session that is sure to enhance the participant’s experience at our conference. Jea’s session will offer a blend of lecture and activity that focuses on enhancing the participant’s overall well-being.


Due to limited seating for Betsy Funk’s self-care sessions on Friday, April 10, we are asking that all those interested in attending please email SpeakingofChildren@projectharmony.com. Seating will be reserved for the first 30 people to respond.

9:45 am – 11:15 am — Advanced Breakout Sessions**

Plan of Safe Care: Collaborating to Support Infants with Prenatal Substance Exposure

Speaker(s): Jill Gresham

Room:             

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Advocacy

Presentation Description: Recent federal legislation has been put in place to address the epidemic of children pre-exposed to drugs before birth. The goal of the federal legislation and subsequent state policies are to support the health of the infant, mother, and family. In 2016, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that aims to help states address the effects of substance use disorders on infant victims and families by amending provisions of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). CARA requires states to define what population of infants and families are identified as “substance affected” victims, what a Plan of Safe Care is, and who is responsible for developing and monitoring the Plan of Safe Care.

Objectives:

  1. To include infants, children and family victims in the Plans of Safe Care.
  2. To support the health of the infant and mother, not to penalize the mother and family.
  3. To increases access to treatment and support for all women with a substance use disorder and to protect their children.

Effects of Racism on Child and Adolescent Development

Speaker(s): Maria Trent

Room:

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Medical

Presentation Description: The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to addressing the factors that affect child and adolescent health with a focus on issues that may leave some children more vulnerable than others. Racism is a social determinant of health that has a profound impact on the health status of children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families. Racism supports the ideology that some races are superior over others which leads to hate crimes.  Although progress has been made toward racial equality and equity, the evidence to support the continued negative impact of racism on health and well-being through implicit and explicit biases, institutional structures, and interpersonal relationships is clear. The objective of this policy statement is to provide an evidence-based document focused on the role of racism in child and adolescent development and health outcomes. By acknowledging the role of racism in child and adolescent health, pediatricians and other pediatric health professionals will be able to proactively engage in strategies to optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement, and research in a manner designed to reduce the health effects of structural, personally mediated, and internalized racism and improve the health and well-being of all children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families.

Objectives:

  1. Professionals will be able to proactively engage in strategies that optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement and research for racially discriminated victims.
  2. Reduce health effects of structural, personally mediated and internalized racism against those of low-income, racial bias and criminal history.
  3. Improve the health and well-being of all children, adolescents, emerging adults and their families, regardless of race.

Detecting Patterns of Deception

Speaker(s): Darrell Turner, PhD.

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Law Enforcement

Presentation Description: Dr. Turner will present on the process of grooming conducted by sex offenders, its effects on the victim and the struggles of decision making surrounding reporting.  Attendees will leave with a fuller understanding of grooming and its impact. This is a ‘must see’ presentation for anyone who works with victims of sexual predators.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify elements of the grooming process.
  2. Participants will learn about the impact of the grooming on the victim.
  3. Participants will learn about the complexity of the report/don’t report matrix that the victim is faced with.

Corroboration of Evidence: The Key to child Exploitation Cases

Speaker(s): Justin Fitzsimmons

Room: 

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Legal

Presentation Description: Supporting a child’s disclosure through corroborative evidence is essential in child abuse investigations and prosecutions. This presentation covers the potential areas to discover corroborative evidence, and explains the importance of technology based corroboration. The audience is shown detailed examples of how statements made during the disclosure leads to corroborative evidence.

Objectives:

  1. This presentation will teach investigators and crime scene technicians how to handle and collect evidence against those involved in child abuse investigations.
  2. Teach best practices to child advocacy workers on what to listen for when children disclose evidence against those accused in child abuse investigations.
  3. Participants will learn the importance of technology based corroboration between agencies from the beginning of the investigation, up in to trial of the accused individual.

Serving Expectant & Parenting Foster Youth: Collaboration to Reduce Intergenerational Cycle

Speaker(s): Barbara Facher, Kristine Grush, Hipolito Mendez

Room:

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Trauma

Presentation Description: Teen pregnancy overall has decreased. However, by age 19, 52% of youth living in foster care have been pregnant, as compared to 20.1% in the general population. A comprehensive study in California revealed that children born to foster youth are 3 times more likely to have a substantiated report of maltreatment by age 5 than children born to same age youth in the general population. Thus, ensuring that young parents in foster care have the support and services they need to parent successfully, complete their education and transition to independence is crucial to stopping the inter-generational cycle of foster care. The workshop will first examine the structural and psycho-social reasons for the high rate of pregnancy among foster youth, as well as the unique issues and need of the population. We will focus on the development and implementation of a collaborative approach in Los Angeles County between the child welfare agency and child advocates to best serve Expectant and Parenting Youth (EPY), and the successes and challenges of the program. The panel will include representatives from the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand some of the reasons for the high rate of pregnancy among youth living in foster care.
  2. Participants will learn about an innovative collaboration between the child welfare agency and advocates in Los Angeles to support Expectant and Parenting Youth (EPY) in foster care.
  3. Participants will be able to list several services and resources available to EPY.

Lunch

11:15 am – 1:00 pm — Lunch (on your own)

Afternoon

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm — Foundational Breakout Session (Afternoon)*

Saving Our Boys to Save Our Girls

Speaker(s): Stefania Agliano, LMSW. Bryan Hall

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Advocacy

Presentation Description: Many of the discussions, prevention/intervention programming, as well as front line assessments are designed to target either the victim (survivor) of sex trafficking or the buyer by addressing demand through legal interventions or educational programming. The missing component in the fight to eradicate victims of trafficking is a lack of dialogue on services for the potential trafficker. While females can be and are traffickers, this workshop is specifically focused on male perpetrators. Workshop participants will be given an overview on the importance of working with young men and boys and insights into the struggle those who become involved in the crime of trafficking may face, including but not limited to, the mass marketing of hyper-masculinity, socioeconomic inequalities and institutionalized oppression. This workshop will allow participants to critically reflect further on how they assess trafficking cases potentially providing a new means of intervention and victim services to explore. By discussing the trafficker as someone needing services in addition to victims and buyers we position ourselves on the national level to make systemic changes for young men and boys to enhance their well-being while potentially eliminating the market facilitator, the trafficker, the pimp. We firmly believe that by helping our young men and boys to build a healthier sense of self we can potentially save our young women and girls from being victims of exploitation, trafficking and other forms of violence.

Objectives:

  1. Identify the complexities youth face that may lead them to trafficking.
  2. Articulate the impact that mass media has on young men, their development of the idea of masculinity and its correlation to exploiting victims for trafficking related behaviors.
  3. List the techniques that could be used to connect with youth who are caught up in the crime of human trafficking, either as a victim or a perpetrator.

Perinatal PTSD: Existing Evidence, Clinical Recommendations, Implications

Speaker(s): Rebecca Vivrette

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Medical

Presentation Description: This presentation will provide an overview of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and trauma-related concerns for women during the perinatal period.  Perinatal depression and PTSD are serious mental health problems which can lead to not only harm to the mother but also to the newborn child and/or other children in the household.  There is a need to focus on perinatal mental health to include childhood maltreatment trauma.  There is little research on parent-to-child transmission of abuse. Prevalence and scope of the problem, as well as empirically informed approaches for screening, assessment, and intervention for mothers, infants, and families affected by perinatal PTSD will be reviewed.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to define the signs and symptoms of prenatal PTSD.
  2. Participants will be able to identify risk and protective factors for women and families affected by perinatal PTSD.
  3. Participants will learn best practices in screening, assessment, and intervention for perinatal PTSD.

The Interrogation of Shaken-Baby Suspects

Speaker(s): Mike Krapfl and Jon Turbett

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Law Enforcement

Presentation Description: Cases involving child abuse and shaken-baby allegations test the skill set of even the most seasoned investigators. With limited physical evidence and often times no eyewitnesses, these cases are highly dependent on the quality of the interview and interrogation of the suspect. The CTK Group will examine critical legal, interview and interrogation components in two different shaken-baby cases, in two different states, to provide a national perspective on current best practices to elicit the truth in cases where the victims are unable to speak for themselves.

Objectives:

  1. Identify challenges in shaken-baby cases for investigators and working with victims who are unable to speak.
  2. Discuss deficiencies with current interview & interrogation practices for prosecutors and law enforcement.
  3. Establish a more accurate and memorable understanding of critical legal concepts surrounding Miranda custody and voluntariness.
  4. Analyze actual cases and determine where better interview & interrogation practices can lead to progress (even when physical evidence is weak from the victim.)

All We Have is the 10-Year-Old’s Story?

Speaker(s): Colleen Brazil MSW, Molly Keane J.D.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Legal

Presentation Description: This presentation will walk through the case of a child sexual abuse victim, from initial investigation through prosecution outlining how to build collaboration in the case between all responding entities, I.E. advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors as well as deal with potential pitfalls in the investigation. The training will also address how to present the case to the jury and deal with potential defense attacks.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to corroborate resources, information and discovery materials on a case of child sexual abuse in a manner that does not further harm the victim.
  2. Participants will understand some of the common pitfalls in these investigations when there is no corroboration between advocates, investigators and prosecutors.
  3. Participants will learn how to prosecute and testify on these cases especially when the only evidence is the child’s statement.
  4. Participants will learn how to deal with defense experts in court from the prosecution standpoint or as a rebuttal witness.

Mothering, Courage and Resiliency in Women with Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Protecting the Next Generation

Speakers: Teresa Gil Ph.D.

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Trauma

Presentation Description: The workshop will name and examine the risk and protective factors that mothers who have experienced child sexual abuse had to overcome in order and protect their children from the abuse they experienced. The workshop will examine the social and emotional challenges faced by this particular group of mothers. However, the workshop will also focus on the protective factors in their lives of these mothers that help them to “defy the odds” and give their children something positive and significantly different from what they experienced as children.

Objectives:

  1. This workshop will increase participants understanding of the long-term intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on mothering abilities and help prevent the consequences of trauma on the next generation.
  2. This workshop will name and examine the protective factors that have helped successful mothers to overcome their negative childhood experiences, and protect their children from the abuse they experienced.
  3. This workshop will examine how child sexual abuse can impact the survivor’s role as mother and will provide useful knowledge for gaining an understanding of family dynamics and parental patterns of child sexual abuse survivors.
  4. This workshop will delve deeper into their lives of mothers with histories of child sexual abuse and explore the risks and the protective factors that helped them be competent, strong, and resilient.

Expressive Arts for the Helping Professional

Speakers: Betsy Funk, LCSW, LIMHP, MPA, REAT

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Self-Care

Presentation Description: Participants will be invited into an engaging discussion and activity involving the use of the Expressive Arts as a method of self-care.

Objectives:

  1. Learn at least one new creative technique to process own feelings and thoughts regarding work related stress.
  2. Understand the purpose of the creative arts as a self-care tool for healing and stress relief.
  3. Identify how the arts experience can be utilized when working with victims of crime, especially children.

Restoring Pieces of the Whole - Creating Resilience with Intentional Care of Self and Intentional Use of Self

Speakers: Jea Theis

Room:

Session Type: Foundational

CEUs Available:

Track: Self-Care

Presentation Description: Jea Theis, co-founder of Omaha Therapy and Arts Collaborative (OTAC), is offering a self-care session that is sure to enhance the participant’s experience at our conference. Jea’s session will offer a blend of lecture and activity that focuses on enhancing the participant’s overall well-being.


Due to limited seating for Betsy Funk’s self-care sessions on Friday, April 10, we are asking that all those interested in attending please email SpeakingofChildren@projectharmony.com. Seating will be reserved for the first 30 people to respond.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm — Advanced Breakout Session (Afternoon)**

Plan of Safe Care: Collaborating to Support Infants with Prenatal Substance Exposure

Speaker(s): Jaymie Campbell, PhD

Room:             

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Advocacy

Presentation Description: Recent federal legislation has been put in place to address the epidemic of children pre-exposed to drugs before birth. The goal of the federal legislation and subsequent state policies are to support the health of the infant, mother, and family. In 2016, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that aims to help states address the effects of substance use disorders on infant victims and families by amending provisions of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). CARA requires states to define what population of infants and families are identified as “substance affected” victims, what a Plan of Safe Care is, and who is responsible for developing and monitoring the Plan of Safe Care.

Objectives:

  1. To include infants, children and family victims in the Plans of Safe Care.
  2. To support the health of the infant and mother, not to penalize the mother and family.
  3. To increases access to treatment and support for all women with a substance use disorder and to protect their children.

Effects of Racism on Child and Adolescent Development

Speaker(s): Maria Trent

Room:

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Medical

Presentation Description: The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to addressing the factors that affect child and adolescent health with a focus on issues that may leave some children more vulnerable than others. Racism is a social determinant of health that has a profound impact on the health status of children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families. Racism supports the ideology that some races are superior over others which leads to hate crimes.  Although progress has been made toward racial equality and equity, the evidence to support the continued negative impact of racism on health and well-being through implicit and explicit biases, institutional structures, and interpersonal relationships is clear. The objective of this policy statement is to provide an evidence-based document focused on the role of racism in child and adolescent development and health outcomes. By acknowledging the role of racism in child and adolescent health, pediatricians and other pediatric health professionals will be able to proactively engage in strategies to optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement, and research in a manner designed to reduce the health effects of structural, personally mediated, and internalized racism and improve the health and well-being of all children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families.

Objectives:

  1. Professionals will be able to proactively engage in strategies that optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement and research for racially discriminated victims.
  2. Reduce health effects of structural, personally mediated and internalized racism against those of low-income, racial bias and criminal history.
  3. Improve the health and well-being of all children, adolescents, emerging adults and their families, regardless of race.

Detecting Patterns of Deception

Speaker(s): Darrell Turner, PhD.

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Law Enforcement

Presentation Description: Dr. Turner will present on the process of grooming conducted by sex offenders, its effects on the victim and the struggles of decision making surrounding reporting.  Attendees will leave with a fuller understanding of grooming and its impact. This is a ‘must see’ presentation for anyone who works with victims of sexual predators.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify elements of the grooming process.
  2. Participants will learn about the impact of the grooming on the victim.
  3. Participants will learn about the complexity of the report/don’t report matrix that the victim is faced with.

Corroboration of Evidence: The Key to child Exploitation Cases

Speaker(s): Justin Fitzsimmons

Room: 

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Legal

Presentation Description: Supporting a child’s disclosure through corroborative evidence is essential in child abuse investigations and prosecutions. This presentation covers the potential areas to discover corroborative evidence, and explains the importance of technology based corroboration. The audience is shown detailed examples of how statements made during the disclosure leads to corroborative evidence.

Objectives:

  1. This presentation will teach investigators and crime scene technicians how to handle and collect evidence against those involved in child abuse investigations.
  2. Teach best practices to child advocacy workers on what to listen for when children disclose evidence against those accused in child abuse investigations.
  3. Participants will learn the importance of technology based corroboration between agencies from the beginning of the investigation, up in to trial of the accused individual.

Serving Expectant & Parenting Foster Youth: Collaboration to Reduce Intergenerational Cycle

Speaker(s): Barbara Facher, Kristine Grush, Hipolito Mendez

Room:

Session Type: Advanced

CEUs Available:

Track: Trauma

Presentation Description: Teen pregnancy overall has decreased. However, by age 19, 52% of youth living in foster care have been pregnant, as compared to 20.1% in the general population. A comprehensive study in California revealed that children born to foster youth are 3 times more likely to have a substantiated report of maltreatment by age 5 than children born to same age youth in the general population. Thus, ensuring that young parents in foster care have the support and services they need to parent successfully, complete their education and transition to independence is crucial to stopping the inter-generational cycle of foster care. The workshop will first examine the structural and psycho-social reasons for the high rate of pregnancy among foster youth, as well as the unique issues and need of the population. We will focus on the development and implementation of a collaborative approach in Los Angeles County between the child welfare agency and child advocates to best serve Expectant and Parenting Youth (EPY), and the successes and challenges of the program. The panel will include representatives from the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand some of the reasons for the high rate of pregnancy among youth living in foster care.
  2. Participants will learn about an innovative collaboration between the child welfare agency and advocates in Los Angeles to support Expectant and Parenting Youth (EPY) in foster care.
  3. Participants will be able to list several services and resources available to EPY.

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm — Break
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm — Plenary Presentation: Thom Singer

Speaking to People with Purpose

Speaker: Thom Singer

Room:

Session Type: Plenary

CEUs Available:

Track: All

Presentation Description: There is more to connecting with people than “likes”, “links”, and shares” or “follows. While the popular social media tools can make it seem like we have countless friends and business associates, it is real human engagement that leads to opportunity. It takes objective analysis and intentional evaluation to get back to the basics of establishing connections that will lead to more success in business and life.  In each interaction with others we need to be aware of our purpose in that exact conversation. Real human connection makes the difference. Building a rapport with victims of crime for advocates is paramount in understanding and identifying the needs of the victim. Being present and developing mutual connection and rapport builds a sense of safety around a victim of crime.

Objectives:

  1. The importance of being present in each conversation as an advocate, prosecutor and law enforcement.
  2. Discover intentional ways to relate to people.
  3. Rapport building techniques when communicating with victims of crime.

* Foundational Sessions – In these sessions, basic working knowledge of the topic presented will be provided. These sessions will benefit those that are new to the field or topic being presented.

** Advanced Sessions – These sessions offer higher, more complex level of knowledge and understanding than the foundational level. For these sessions, it is assumed that the participant has basic working knowledge of the topic.

We wish to thank you for your hospitality and the wonderful program and tour of Project Harmony. We are so fortunate to have an organization acting on the behalf of our children with such outstanding enthusiasm and dedication.

- Rotary Club of Omaha Northwest

Thank you so much for coming to Children’s and speaking to our staff. Your talk on “Understanding Poverty” was excellent, and I could see “wheels turning” as some staff members commented on simple ways their interactions might make a difference for children and parents.

- Patty Carrell, CMSW

I have felt that my input has been highly valued and respected when it comes to doing my job, and that is something that speaks volumes to the working environment here at Project Harmony.

- Brenda Jewell

We began collaborating with the Project Harmony through their Connections program last year, and we’ve continued the partnership. Connections represents an extremely valuable partnership and an opportunity to provide our students with a bridge to mental health services.

- Papillion La Vista Community Schools

Our experience and partnership with Project Harmony/Connections has been fantastic! It is a comfort knowing we have a partner who can connect our students and families with the appropriate resources in times of crisis or trauma.

- Millard Public Schools

This shadowing experience actually made me very interested in this field. One aspect that helped me narrow my choice of careers is the environment that Project Harmony had. It was very upbeat, cheerful and bright.

- UNMC High School Alliance Program – Student Journal

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Project Harmony for planning and delivering professional development to our 70 counselors, social workers and community counselors. We feel fortunate to have such a valuable resource in our community to partner with.

- Millard Public Schools

You have a top rate program – really national quality. I’m totally impressed.

- Lisa Fontes

At our last D2 Center Board meeting, I was describing the training and professional development we provide for our staff. At the top of the list was Project Harmony. Please know that you are providing an invaluable service to nonprofits in our community.

- Greg Emmel

Congratulations on the great media coverage of your Stewards class at Project Harmony on WOWT. You did a great job articulating the importance of prevention, and Susan was amazing too. Thank you so much for your partnership and all the important work you are doing.

- Cindy McElhinney – Darkness to Light

Just wanted to know that you made a difference in my life, and I will be using that momentum to make a difference in the lives of others. You are truly a rock star and a role model for me. Thank you for a new life I’m getting the chance to live.

- Anonymous

Many children through my caseload have received a backpack generously donated to the Project Harmony Triage Center. I have witnessed many faces light up when given the opportunity to pick out a new backpack, and I am very grateful for the generosity of the Junior League.

- DHHS – Children & Family Services

I have never felt as valued at other organizations like I do at Project Harmony. I really feel that the culture of a working environment is incredibly important. If an employee feels respected, valued and supported, that person will likely give more to fulfill the mission.

- Javier Castellote

Nick and Javier were great teachers and role players. It gave us an opportunity to see how someone in that situation would have reacted to our questions. They did a great job at showing us the difference between sympathy and empathy.

- Anonymous

I was able to shadow Mr. Nick Zadina. He was in charge of dealing with abused kids and help them. I am thankful to know all the information I learned during shadowing because it was eye opening.

- UNMC High School Alliance Program – Student Journal

The experience at Project Harmony was a deepening reminder of empathy that will be vital in my career as a nurse. I felt my perspective was widened on how others think, especially when discussing the assumptions we make.

- Anonymous

I didn’t know how many people work at Project Harmony, so I drew a lot to show how much Project Harmony means to me!

- Project Harmony Client

As difficult as a removal is on a child, the backpack they receive at Project Harmony provides a sense of belonging and hope. It truly is amazing something that seems so simple can change the perspective and shine light on these children.

- DHHS – Children & Family Services

Great leadership for a wonderful cause with outstanding long-term goals. Keep on doing all the good you do.

- Bill & Jean O’Conner

Project Harmony is the reason I started my journey in college. I just finished my associates and I'm going for my bachelors now in Child Protection and Juvenile Justice. Y'all helped my daughter back in early 2013 and I knew what I wanted to do with my life — help children.

- LaLa Ann

A young lady who works in our field told me that she loved what we do here at Project Harmony — she had been to Project Harmony seven years ago for a forensic interview. She said her positive experience was the biggest reason she is doing the work that she is today.

- Trainee

I found out that my foster son is going to have a forensic interview here at Project Harmony soon. It’s been interesting being on the other side of things and feeling so reassured that the child I care so deeply about is in very caring and capable hands.

- Jessica Kroeker

Nick demonstrated how one person could impact a huge group of student nurses by just attending his presentation. He gave me the reason, the courage to act, and the knowledge how to save victims that I will face in my future nursing career.

- Anonymous

I recently attended the Testifying Training course. Since that class I have been subpoenaed three times, and I had to testify at each hearing. Without this class I would have been less than prepared and too nervous to be credible. Thank you so much!

- Jenny Lewis

You are part of the solution.

The cycle of abuse does not have to continue, but we can’t end it alone. Anyone has the power to be someone who makes our community a safe place for all children.

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