2014 Speakers and Presentations

Mark Chaffin

Watch the keynote speech HERE 

Dr. Chaffin has recently join Georgia State University’s School of Public Health as a Professor. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He was an Associate Professor in Pediatrics and a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Chaffin has served on the APSAC Board of Directors and was executive editor of the APSAC Advisor.  He is published in numerous journals in the field of child maltreatment and in the APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment (Sage). Dr. Chaffin’s main areas of research focus on child abuse and neglect and delinquency intervention and service systems, particularly the development and implementation of evidence-based prevention and treatment approaches within public sector service systems. His research is supported by the National Institutes for Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current studies by Dr. Chaffin include testing new treatments for preventing child maltreatment recidivism among families in the child welfare system, examining different approaches to implementing models in large statewide children’s services systems, testing interventions designed to reduce delinquent behavior, and studying long-term service outcomes. Dr. Chaffin has served as Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Child Maltreatment, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

James ‘Jim’ Hmurovich

Jim Hmurovich is president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America where directs PCA chapters in 50 states that manage over 350 prevention strategies, and almost 600 Healthy Families America home visitation sites in 39 states. Prior to his current position he was also a juvenile probation officer for Monroe County, Indiana; and worked for twenty years at the Indiana Department of Correction, serving as state parole officer, state director of probation, director of administration, deputy commissioner, and director of planning. Hmurovich was then appointed director, Division of Family and Children for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. During his nine-year tenure the administration was awarded seven federal high-performance cash bonuses for successes in welfare reform and child welfare, and received national recognition as a leader in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and for the Healthy Families Program, a voluntary home visitation program. He is the recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, which is the highest award that can be given to an Indiana citizen for leadership and accomplishment. Hmurovich also managed his own consulting business for five years after thirty years of public service. Hmurovich has been an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University for more than 18 years, where he earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology, and a master’s degree in counseling. “Every child is our child,” he said. “We must connect the dots for the American public. It’s a community issue and a national issue. If you think (abuse) happens in a family and it stays there, you’re wrong,” Hmurovich said. “We all have a role…but there’s a big gap between what we know and what we’re doing. We need to engage people in the solutions.”

“Agencies and Individuals Collaborating for Child Saftey” Panel Discussion

Bobby Cagle  is the appointed Interim Director of the Division of Family and Children Services . Previously he served as Commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. He has also served as the Director of Legislative and External Affairs for the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. Additionally he served as the Family Services Director for DFCS and was responsible for statewide policy and program development in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence, sexual assault and provider contracting. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Child Care Administrators (NASCCA) and the National Advisory Board of the Center on Enhancing Learning Outcomes. Cagle earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ashley Willcott, J.D.  is the Director of the Office of the Child Advocate for Georgia. Willcott is a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist who has served as an attorney in various capacities in juvenile courts since 1992. Willcott had her own private practice and was a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Human Resources and Rockdale and Dawson counties’ Department of Family and Children Services. She was appointed DeKalb County Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem and previously served as the Fulton County Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem. She was the executive director of the Fulton County CASA, Inc. and the corporate counsel for United Cleaning Specialists, Inc. Willcott earned a bachelor’s degree from Newcomb College, Tulane University in Psychology and English and a law degree from Emory University.

Pamela Perkins Carn is the coordinator of the Interfaith Children’s Movement (ICM).  In that capacity, she has responsibility for coordinating ICM programs and it’s statewide expansion.   ICM is a statewide advocacy movement dedicated to the well-being of Georgia’s children by engaging the interfaith community in advocating for children both at the services level and at the policy level.

Pamela’s vision is that ICM will serve as a model by which effective, beneficial and lasting policy changes for children can occur in our society, and that ICM is a place from which people can dedicate themselves to establishing a future of hope and well-being for all children.  Pamela’s dedicated leadership of the Interfaith Children’s Movement and her commitment to safe and healthy children were acknowledged by her receipt of the Human Rights Award by Cobb County’s league of Church Women United.  For its work on juvenile justice reform, ICM was honored by The Sapelo Foundation as its 2010 recipient of the Smith Bagley Advocacy Award.  In 2012, Pamela represented ICM at the White House Forum on Urban Innovation. info@interfaithchildrensmovement.orgwww.interfaithchildrensmovement.org

Pat Willis (Moderator)  is the Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children, a statewide organization that provides research, communication, and advocacy for issues related to children and families.  In her role as Executive Director, Ms. Willis serves on the Georgia Children’s Cabinet, chaired by Georgia’s First Lady, and is an advisory board member of Great Start Georgia, overseeing the state’s home visitation programs.  She also is a member of the Leadership Team for Strengthening Families, a statewide effort to embed protective factors for families into the values and strategies of child-serving agencies. Ms. Willis became the first director of Voices in August 2003 after achieving over 30 years of accomplishments in the corporate sector, the public sector and in volunteer service.  Ms. Willis spent the first seven years of her career in the Research and Evaluation Division of Atlanta Public Schools and also served as a political campaign consultant in Atlanta in the late 1970s. In Georgia, Ms. Willis is on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, the board of Georgia Family Connection Partnership, and the Advisory Boards for the Georgia State University College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Atlanta Junior League.  Nationally, she serves on the board of the Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform in Kentucky.

“Telling Your Story: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media”

This workshop demonstrates how to focus your social media strategy. Whether you are recruiting volunteers, addressing an issue, building support, or raising money, social media is an important tool. I will talk about how to build a campaign, provide information on useful, free or low cost tolls, and show how to incorporate social media into your work.

Margaret (Peggy) Palmiter, PhD, consults with nonprofit organizations on social media campaigns and website development.  She teaches an elective on Social Media for second year MSW students at Georgia State University and also teaches technology to older adults.  For more information visit www.tellthestorynow.com and www.yourcomputerwhisperer.com.

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“Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers”

Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers is an interactive workshop designed to assist child and family direct service professionals and volunteers to successfully engage with and involve Fathers.  Participants will have an opportunity to explore professional and personal values that may impact our work with Fathers.  We will discuss the importance of a Fathers involvement in the lives of children and the negative consequences associated with a Fathers absence.

Darrell Green is currently a Staff Development Professional and Project Administrator with Georgia State University, School of Social Work, Professional Excellence Program.  During the past 8 years he has provided training and staff development for DFCS Administrators, Supervisors and frontline Case Managers.  During his 25 years of service in child welfare, Mr. Green has served as a Project Administrator with the Carter Center of Emory University, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Coordinator in Fulton County Juvenile Court, a community organizer, a parenting course instructor and a parenting curriculum developer with a focus on initiatives for non-custodial fathers.  As a professional speaker and trainer, Mr. Green has delivered numerous keynotes and workshop presentations at professional conferences and training events.  As the father of three sons, Mr. Green is passionate about his role as a parent and committed to helping other fathers embrace their responsibility as parents.

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“The Role of Social Media in Bullying and Teen Dating Violence: Impacts and Prevention” 

This presentation covers the role of social media in bullying and teen dating violence, including how children and teens can use social media platforms to bully, intimidate and threaten their peers/dating partners.  The focus will be on intervention and prevention strategies that adults and teens can use to address online bullying and abuse, and stay safe online as well as in face-to-face interactions. In addition, information on how to recognize signs of bullying and teen dating violence will be discussed.

Amber McKeen, B.S., is the Child Abuse Prevention Trainer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children.  In this role, she develops and implements child maltreatment prevention programs and also creates and delivers multidisciplinary training sessions on various child maltreatment topics. She is the creator and director of the Center’s webinar online education program and in her time at Children’s has educated more than 10,000 professionals and community advocates. She also serves on several committees with a focus on planning child abuse prevention initiatives. Amber graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Florida State University.

Kara Klein, CCLS, B.S., is the Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children and has been in this role since 2008.  As the child life specialist, Kara helps reduce anxiety and aids with coping in patients that have been physically and sexually abused. She prepares patients for their medical exams and forensic interviews through developmentally appropriate avenues and provides procedural support throughout their exams. It is through Kara’s work with this population that she has noticed the need for preventive education for at-risk youth and for the people that interface with them. She is also the handler of the center’s therapy dog, Bella. Kara has educated professionals both nationally and locally on the subjects of Teen Dating Violence and the use of therapy animals in the hospitalized setting. Kara earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Auburn University.

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 “Essentials for Childhood: Expanding Prevention with Non-Programmatic Strategies”

Many child abuse prevention efforts have relied on specific “programs”.  Structural problems with programs include the frequent need for continual financial support, getting the message/service to the key target populations, replicability, and taking the program to scale.  Even if programs prove effective they have yet to make significant reductions in child abuse incidence overall. Preventing the complex problem of child maltreatment requires a more comprehensive approach.

Using the CDC Essentials for Childhood framework, this session will address alternative strategies for child abuse prevention across the social ecology that can help create a “context” to support and augment evidence-based programs. Broad scale strategies that will be explored include:  using a collective impact process for prevention planning, policies, initiatives to change cultural norms, public awareness campaigns, technology, and using results from the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and neuroscience research in anticipatory guidance in the health care sector as well as to make the business case for other sector involvement in prevention. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples of ways in which change can be made in the public’s attitudes and behaviors to help prevent child abuse and enhance safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children.

Sandra P. Alexander, M. Ed., is a Subject Matter Expert in Child Maltreatment in the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has provided leadership for DVP’s Knowledge to Action Child Maltreatment Prevention Consortium and Essentials for Childhood initiative and as the subject matter expert on a cross-division Shaken Baby Prevention Initiative. Currently she is co-leading the Essentials for Childhood Initiative. She represents CDC on other national child maltreatment initiatives including the Federal Interagency Child Maltreatment Workgroup and the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.  She is a member of the Prevent Child Abuse America Program/Research Committee, the Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Advisory Committee and Co-chair of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Prevention Committee, and also served as a former chair and is currently the prevention advocate on the Fulton County Child Fatality Review Committee.  She has developed numerous prevention programs including shaken baby prevention, provided training on prevention nationally and internationally, and served as a prevention voice for local and national media.  She has prior experience in child protective services, adoption and foster care, and non-profit management experience as Executive Director of two Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters:  Prevent Child Abuse South Carolina and Prevent Child Abuse Georgia.  Ms. Alexander also served as a board president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, from 2000-2001.

 “Creative Funding for Your Organization”

Is your nonprofit looking for more revenue? Could you use more money for your programs and services? This workshop helps identify creative funding you may not have thought of yet.  Participants will gain knowledge about the importance of diversified revenue streams and some little used methods for raising more money including: cause-related marketing, planning giving and bequests.  Participants will also learn about the importance of having a financial plan and how to cultivate and nurture donor relationships.  Information will be given on how each organization can create a compelling story about what they do and rise above the nonprofit competition for dollars in their areas.

Mary Migliaro, M.Ed. is the CEO of Mission Possible Consulting, a consulting firm designed to help nonprofits achieve their missions through board development, strategic planning and technical assistance for boards and executive directors.  As a founding nonprofit board chair and founding executive director for the Cherokee County PCA council, she has walked the walk and works to smooth the paths of others in the nonprofit field.  Her consulting clients include local and state nonprofits across the United States.  As an educator, Mary has over 30 years of experience in both the public school and university arenas.  She has served as a part-time faculty member with the Department of Social Work and Human Services at Kennesaw State University for 14 years where she teaches both child welfare and nonprofit courses.

Margy Lohman co-founded Prevent Child Abuse Pickens in 1994 and implemented First Steps and Healthy Families in 1995 and later added Parents as Teachers in 2009.   A graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and Churchman School of Business, Margy has served in many capacities for PCA Pickens from service delivery to grant writer and fundraiser.  When not working at PCA Pickens, Margy pursues her other interests related to the nonprofit world such as:  building community relationships; program implementation; fundraising events; and out of the box thinking to create positive outcomes for families.

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“Project Healthy Grandparents”

This presentation provides an overview of grandparents raising their grandchildren; explore challenges that they face in their role as caregivers; and describe effective strategies for supporting their needs. The Georgia State University based “Project Healthy Grandparents” model for supporting grandparent-headed families will be described and “lessons learned” will be shared.

LaDonna Hightower, BSW, MS, has worked as a Social Worker for 15 years for Project Healthy Grandparent (PHG), a research-based program under the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions.   As one of the lead social workers she provides home visiting services to grandparent headed households. In addition, she manages the monthly case staffing meetings and facilitates the monthly grandparent groups.  LaDonna greatly enjoys providing case management services and working to improve the physical and emotional well-being of the many intergenerational families that are served in Project Healthy Grandparents.

Robin Stith, MSW,  is a social worker for Project Healthy Grandparent (PHG), a research-based program under the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions. She is a graduate of Georgia State School of Social Work. In 2010 she earned a bachelor degree in social work. During that same year she was accepted into the Advance-Standing Master’s program in Social Work and completed her Master’s Degree in in 2011. Robin received a Graduate Research Assistantship during the summer of 2010, joining the Project Healthy Grandparent team as a data collector. Shortly after she graduated Robin assumed her current position at PHG as the Intake Coordinator and Early Intervention Specialist. Robin also actively participates in community partnership efforts and out-reach for PHG.

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