2015 Annual Conference Workshops


Nonprofit Strategic Planning: If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

Workshop Description:

Having a long-range strategic plan in place, an organization is in a position to be proactive rather than reactive to fluctuations in the economy, the community environment, and among other organizations. Without a strategic plan, organizations are often ill prepared for any crisis, large or small.  They may be short-staffed or under-funded because care and thought was not put in at the outset; rendering them reactive.  If your organization has a plan that is more than two years old or that has been completed within the last two years but is not being used, you now have “The Forgotten Plan.”

This workshop will cover the reasons why all nonprofits must have a current strategic plan, how it will benefit them, the components of a good plan and the procedure for creating one or revising an existing plan.

 Presentation Handouts 


Mary Migliaro, M.Ed., is President and CEO of Mission Possible Consulting and has over 20 years of experience working with and serving on nonprofit boards.  As a co-founder of the Cherokee Child Advocacy Council in Woodstock, Georgia, Mary worked with child protective service, law enforcement, prosecution, and others to create their child advocacy center in 1995.  She served the organization for nearly ten years as founding President of the Board of Directors and their first Executive Director.

Mary also served as the first executive director for the Georgia Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers.  During her tenure, she established the state office and worked with both existing and developing children’s advocacy centers as well as multidisciplinary teams across the state.  With expertise in nonprofit governance and management, she frequently works with clients on board development, and strategic planning and provides technical assistance for organization executives.  She presents workshops on child welfare and nonprofit issues at a number of state and national conferences each year.

An educator with over 30 years of teaching experience, Mary is also a part-time faculty member with the Department of Social Work and Human Services at Kennesaw State University.  For the last 15 years, she has provided training and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and multidisciplinary teams in numerous states including Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arkansas.


The Impact of Maternal Substance Abuse on Child Development

Workshop Description:

Maternal substance abuse (MSA) can result in significant physical, cognitive, social and emotional issues for a child. Developmental effects of MSA and prenatal exposure, including disease, prematurity, sub-optimal caretaking, poverty, exposure to violence, and maternal psychopathology will be discussed. Interventions and resources for children impacted by MSA will be offered.

Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the effect that maternal substance abuse has on the development of a young child.
  • Explain the findings of long-term developmental effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to alcohol (FASD), nicotine, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and opiates as described in scientific studies.
 Presentation Slides  


Karen Kuehn Howell, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor for Emory University School of Medicine’s Center for Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development. Dr. Howell received her Bachelor’s degree from Emory University, her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Memphis, was a doctoral intern at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Psychiatry, and a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University’s Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Howell’s role at the Center for Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development is a multiple one. She is primarily responsible for psychological assessment of infants, children, adolescents and adults prenatally exposed to alcohol, nicotine, illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as prescription medications such as opiates. Dr. Howell also conducts psychological assessments of substance abusing women/mothers participating in the Center for MSACD as well. Dr. Howell is responsible for coordinating prevention efforts regarding maternal substance abuse, which include information dissemination, professional and parent education and training, and community-based process participation. Dr. Howell is also a staff psychologist for the Emory Neurodevelopmental Exposures Clinic, which is the only specialized diagnostic and treatment facility of its kind in the Southeastern United States.

Dr. Howell has authored and co-authored 2 book chapters regarding maternal substance abuse, 10 journal articles, and has presented at over 300 national and statewide conferences and forums. She is an invited member of multiple local and statewide coalitions and task forces.


GrandFamilies: Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

In Georgia, there are 110,000 children raised by grandparents in parent-absent homes. The reasons these children are in the care of grandparents include parental abandonment, neglect, abuse, substance abuse, and incarceration.  This workshop will focus on the challenges of these vulnerable children and grandparents, as well as strategies for supporting them. Lessons learned from a 20 year old evidence-based program, Project Healthy Grandparents, will be shared.


  1. Describe the major contemporary reasons why grandparents are raising grandchildren.
  2. Discuss the challenges faced by grandparent-headed families.
  3. Describe the Project Healthy Grandparents model for serving grandparent-headed families.
 Presentation Slides  


Dr. Kelley, RN, Ph.D., has spent the majority of her career researching various aspects of child maltreatment, including multigenerational families where grandparents are raising grandchildren. She is the founder and director of Project Healthy Grandparents at Georgia State University, a research/community service program that aids grandparents raising grandchildren in parent-absent homes. To date, Project Healthy Grandparents has served almost 800 families and 2000 children. The program has also secured over 5 million dollars if federal, state, and private funding.


Spanking and Other Forms of Corporal Punishment: What Experts and Parents Say

Workshop Description:

Few, if any parenting topics spark as much emotion and controversy as spanking and other forms of child corporal punishment. We will review what research has shown on the effectiveness of spanking and alternatives such as timeout, redirection, privilege withdrawal or reinforcing alternative behaviors. Also, covered will be the different strategies taught by evidence-based parenting programs, both with parents who use normative corporal punishment and with harsh or abusive parents.  The available research on corporal punishment suggests that its benefits and risks are complicated, and may differ depending on how harsh, how frequent, and how exclusive the punishment may be, as well as the child’s age and the tone of the overall parent-child relationship.  We will also address cultural and socioeconomic differences in endorsing and using corporal punishment, examine how attitudes and practices have changed in the US over time, and examine policy experiments in other countries intended to impact corporal punishment.

 Presentation Slides  


John R. Lutzker, Ph. D. is a Distinguished University Professor, Associate Dean of Public Health, and Director of the Center for Healthy Development at Georgia State University. He also is and Adjunct Professor of Global Health at the University of Georgia and Affiliated Professor at the University of Haifa (Israel). He has published 165 articles and chapters, seven books, has delivered 450 professional presentations. Among his awards are the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Kansas, Outstanding Research Career Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and Visiting Scholar in Practice, Emory University School of Law, Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy. He is on the editorial boards of six professional journals. Among his media appearances he has been interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition, ABC’s Good Morning America, and served as a consultant for 60 Minutes on CBS. His research involves the prevention of child maltreatment, and parents with intellectual disabilities.

Angie S. Guinn is a second-year MPH student in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. She currently works for the Center of Healthy Development as a Student Assistant for the Associate Dean, John R. Lutzker. She serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the GSU Public Health Student Association and has an active membership in a non-profit student health organization HealthSTAT. She is concentrating in Epidemiology with an interest in how adverse child experiences impact health outcomes.




Introduction to Child Sex Trafficking

Workshop Description:

This workshop will discuss basic information related to child sex trafficking.  It will provide definitions, state and national statistics, risk factors for victimization, and pathways to entry.  The session will also briefly discuss males as victims.  The workshop will end with resources available for victims.

1.  Be able to define child sex trafficking.

2.  Be able to list three risk factors for child sex trafficking.

3.  Be able to recall two resources for victims of child sex trafficking.

 Presentation Slides  


Angie Boy, DrPH is the Program Manager for prevention and education at the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the implementation of multiple projects related to child abuse and neglect including child sex trafficking, prevention of child sexual abuse, and mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect.  Dr. Boy directly manages a partnership program with the Department of Family and Children’s Services designed to increase the communication between child protection officials and child abuse pediatricians during child abuse investigations.  Prior to coming to Children’s Healthcare, Angie worked for the GA Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the Project Connect Coordinator.  In this position, she oversaw GA’s participation in a national initiative focusing on domestic violence and women’s health.  Angie completed her doctoral work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.  Her research centered on the experiences of Latina victims of domestic violence.  Dr. Boy has over 10 years of experience in the field of family violence and has a special interest in the impacts of family violence on mothers and their children.


Strengthening Families Georgia: An Effective Approach To Supporting Families and Communities

Workshop Description:

Strengthening Families Georgia addresses the needs of all families with children aged birth through five in the state of Georgia by providing a framework of resources and support necessary for the protection and healthy development of young children.  This framework is comprised of five protective factors designed to build on family strengths, buffer risk and promote better outcomes for children and families alike.  Family serving staff, parents, volunteers, teachers and administrators will increase their awareness of the national Strengthening Families Approach and will identify ways to use the information and resources to benefit the families they serve.

Participants will:

  1. Increase their awareness of Strengthening Families Georgia (SFG) efforts to embed SFG into all family serving agencies and organizations.
  2. Identify the key elements of the Strengthening Families five protective factors
  3. Brainstorm ways that their unique programs/agencies might promote the protective factors for the families and children they serve.
 Presentation Slides    Presentation Handouts 


Cheryl Smith Turner, M.Ed.,  is a seasoned teacher trainer and consultant with more than 35 years of experience in the field of education.   As a trainer for Georgia State University’s Best Practices Training Initiative, Cheryl worked collaboratively with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (Bright from the Start) in developing and providing professional development for Georgia Pre-K teachers, site directors and other education practitioners.  She now conducts professional learning workshops and one to two-day trainings on a variety of content topics including classroom management, social-emotional development, language and literacy development, critical thinking skills and play based learning.  Currently, Cheryl is a nationally certified trainer for classroom management and differentiated instruction as well as a state approved trainer for Strengthening Families Georgia.  Additionally, Cheryl is CEO and lead consultant of Reach TLS, LLC an educational consulting firm.


 Better Brains for Babies: Stress and Brain Development

 Workshop Description:

This workshop will cover the basic processes of brain development, including the development of the brain’s emotion centers in the limbic system. We will discuss the three levels of stress and examine ways that stress can affect brain development. We will also discuss simple ways that adults can help young children build safety and security under stress in order to reduce the negative effects of chronic toxic stress on brain development.

 Presentation Slides 


Dr. Bales is an Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Science and a Human Development Specialist with UGA Extension at The University of Georgia. She provides leadership and outreach programming in early childhood development. Her primary outreach and applied research emphases include educating the public about early brain development; helping child care providers teach healthy habits to preschoolers; and using technology to educate adults about child development. She is co-leader and lead content specialist for the Georgia Better Brains for Babies (BBB) initiative and the co-creator of Eat Healthy, Be Active, an initiative to teach nutrition and physical activity to preschoolers. She is active in promoting healthy brain development, both in Georgia and nationwide. She has a Master’s and Ph.D. in child psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.


 Engaging Business for Strategic Investments to Prevent Child Maltreatment 

Business leaders and employers are beginning to recognize that their current success and a strong economic future depends on strategies that set children on the path to success beginning at birth and continuing throughout their lives.  Investments in strategies and policies that promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for today’s children can increase a business competitive advantage, improve their bottom line and have broader societal impacts, including preventing child abuse and neglect.  This workshop will discuss how to make the case for prevention to business leaders and employers.  It will include how child maltreatment affects business, how business thinks, how to frame our outreach to them in a way that is consistent with their professional or personal priorities, key actions business can take and specific examples of how one business is providing a supportive, family friendly workplace.

Learning Objectives:   Participants will understand:

  • Why business is an important prevention partner
  • How to make the business case for prevention
  • Specific examples of how business can support safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children and families in their workplace and in their community


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 CDC, she has provided leadership for several key child maltreatment prevention initiatives including DVP’s Knowledge to Action Child Maltreatment Prevention Consortium, Essentials for Childhood and as the subject matter expert on a cross-division shaken baby prevention initiative.   She also represents the CDC on other national child maltreatment initiatives including the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and the Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect.  She is a member of the Prevent Child Abuse America Program/Research Committee and the Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Advisory Committee.  Ms. Alexander served as a board president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) from 2000-2001 and currently co-chairs the APSAC prevention committee. She is the former chair and current prevention advocate of 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 also has experience in child protective services, adoption and foster care, and non-profit management and leadership experience as Executive Director of two Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters.  Sandra authored the chapter on “Prevention” in Child Maltreatment – A Comprehensive Photographic Reference Identifying Potential Child Abuse published by G.W. Medical Publishing in 2005 and “Preventing Future Deaths Through Effective Prevention Recommendations and Actions”, in Child Fatality Review, published by G.W. Medical Publishing in 2007.

Michael Axelrod, J.D., is the Managing Member of Trinova Partners LLC, a firm providing consulting services to start-up and small businesses. From 1982 – 2004, he practiced law with the firm of Cohen Pollock Merlin Axelrod & Small, P.C.; his practice concentrated on business law and transactions, with an emphasis on the health care industry and venture capital transactions. He served on the Board of Directors of Pediatric Services of America, Inc., from 2001 – 2007, a public company in the business of providing home health care services to medically fragile children, serving as Chairman in his final year on the board.  For the past three years, in addition to his consulting work, his activities have included developing an entrepreneurship program at a local high school and serving as an arbitrator in a large health care industry dispute.  In addition, Mr. Axelrod serves as guest lecturer at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University, Atlanta, GA and he is the co-author of The Great Entrepreneurial Divide – The Winning Tactics of Successful Entrepreneurs and Why Everyone Else Fails!, first published November 2007 and now in its 4th edition.  Mr. Axelrod has been involved in a wide variety of community activities. From approximately 1987 through 2013 he was involved in the area of prevention of child abuse and neglect in a variety of roles, first with Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, Inc. (which included serving as President of the Board) and then with Prevent Child Abuse America, Inc. (which included serving as Chair of the Board). He has been a member of the board of The Weinstein Hospice, Inc., in Atlanta, GA since 2009 and currently serves as President.


 “ Please pay me some attention”-  Identifying and Recognizing Signs of Child Neglect

 Workshop Description:

The most common form of abuse to children is “neglect”. This type of child abuse accounts for almost 60% of all child protective services cases. Neglected children are often hungry, dirty, infected with parasites, lack medical care or dental care, frequently absent from school, socially isolated, etc. This workshop will help participants to identify and recognize signs of child neglect, and when and how to report children that are at greatest risk of long term damage due to the neglect. We will also share some recommendations for some solutions, so that all children we come in contact with can be cared for and protected.

 Presentation Slides 


Vale A. Henson, MSW

Adjunct Professor, Kennesaw State University Department of Human Services and Social Work

Retired, Social Services Specialist, Georgia Division of Family & Children Services


Talking with Children About Safety From Child Sexual Abuse

Workshop Objectives:

  1. The participant will be able to name the 2 building blocks of safety from sexual abuse as Relationship and Resilience.
  2. The participant will be able to define resilience as the ability to bounce back from challenges or hurts.
  3. The participant will be able to verbalize that children knowing proper names for body parts helps with disclosure of abuse.
  4. The participant will be able to list the body parts of a child that others should not touch.
  5. The participant will be able to verbalize that most children are abused by someone known to them and explain the value of giving what if examples of people the child knows.
  6. The participant will be able to identify that comfortable and uncomfortable are words to teach a child about how interactions feel.
  7. The participant will be able to describe example scenarios in the “What if” game.
  8. The participant will be able to describe the “Five Senses” game.
  9. The participant will be able to describe the value of letting children create their own options and choices for dealing with risky situations.
  10. The participant will be able to identify age 8 as the recommended age by which the child is taught about the act of sex.
  11. The participant will be able to describe what “Public and Permanent” refers to with respect to digital safety.
  12. The participant will be able to give one example of a boundary for older youth.


Tiffany Sawyer joined the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy as the Director of Prevention Services in 2006. In her capacity at the Georgia Center, Mrs. Sawyer is responsible for the statewide planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of the Center’s statewide sexual abuse prevention initiative with the goal of training adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.  Prior to her work in Georgia she worked for three years as the Associate Director of Programs at Darkness to Light, a national non-profit for the prevention of child sexual abuse.  While at Darkness to Light, she assisted in the creation of the Stewards of Children training curriculum and helped to launch the program on national and international levels.

She was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal in August 2014 to serve on the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel.  She is a member of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families’ Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Taskforce and serves as a core team member of the SAMHSA-MacArthur Foundation Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative: Improving Diversion Polices and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Disorders.  Tiffany has conducted over 300 trainings and presentations both nationally and internationally throughout her career.  Some conferences include Governor’s Second International Conference on Children,  Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, Children’s Act Grantee’s Conference, Washington, D.C., Genesee County CASA for Children Conference, Child Sexual Abuse: New Perspectives on an Old Problem, Batavia, NY, and Georgia Grantmakers Alliance, Atlanta, GA.


“Child Policy and Advocacy in Georgia”

This workshop will review the 2015 Georgia legislative session and potential impact on child wellbeing. Additionally, the presentation will review the process for developing a policy agenda as an organization, and the opportunities organizations and individuals have to influence policy both at the Capitol and with state agencies.

After the presentation participants will be able to: identify key outcomes of the 2015 Legislative Session, understand the process for developing child policy objectives and priorities, and recognize opportunities for organizations and individuals to advocate for policy change.

 Presentation Slides 

Erica Fener Sitkoff, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Georgia Washington University in 2006 and has since worked in a variety of capacities serving children and families. She has experience in clinical psychology and special education services administration. Dr. Fener Sitkoff is currently the Policy and Outreach Director for Voices for Georgia’s Children where she advocates for child health, mental health, family supports and school-based services.