Save the Date
September 16, 2021
We look forward to seeing everyone at the Stone Mountain Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in 2021!
PCA Georgia partners with the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to host Georgia’s Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Professionals from across the state gather for innovative workshops regarding prevention, intervention, and the treatment of children and families impacted by child maltreatment.
2020’s Virtual Conference
September 16 – October 1, 2020
See Recordings and Materials for Each Session Below
A Vision for Child and Family Well-being in Georgia, Our State’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Plan was released at the 2020 conference, resulting from a year long development process that included input and feedback from over 1,000 Georgians.
View Session Recordings and Resources
Kickoff Keynote, Dr. Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America
Previously, Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, and served on a detail in the Office of the Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families. She served as the lead scientist for the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study at CDC for 8 years. Dr. Merrick successfully leverages her clinical and research experiences to communicate and disseminate the critical public health importance of preventing early adversity to key stakeholders with diverse priorities, backgrounds, and knowledge, including legislators, business and civic leaders, and members of the academic and medical communities. Dr. Merrick is married and has two young children who keep her grounded, thankful, and hopeful for a brighter future for all children.
Recognizing Dr. J. David Earnest, Recipient of the 2020 Mark Chaffin Community Award
In memory of Dr. Mark Chaffin’s dedication to child abuse prevention, this award recognizes child serving professionals who have dedicated their career to helping at-risk children and families with a sense of fundamental ethics and the need to do the right thing.
Dr. David Earnest, Executive Director and President of Brightpaths, has made repeated, significant, and outstanding contributions to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Georgia.
A Vision for Child and Family Well-being in Georgia, Our State’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Plan
Technical Colleges & Economic Development, Dr. Alvetta Thomas, President of the Southern Crescent Technical College and Adie Shimandle, Director of Technical College Directors’ Association
Technical Careers Help Drive Economic Development has three objectives for participants:
- Participants will understand the history of technical skills and how those skills have contributed to the building of civilizations.
- Participants will explore how technical skills are in demand today, the salaries of professionals within technical fields, how to obtain free technical education in strategic industries and what the Technical College System of Georgia has to offer.
- Participants will learn about technical careers of the future, both here on planet earth and beyond.
From Safety Net to Solid Ground: Policy Opportunities to Advance Economic Mobility in Georgia, Alex Camardelle, Senior Economic Mobility Policy Analyst at the GA Budget and Policy Institute
From Safety Net to Solid Ground: Policy Opportunities to Advance Economic Mobility Through Public Assistance in Georgia
During times of economic crisis, hundreds of thousands of families in Georgia turn to state-administered safety net programs to meet their basic needs. However, there are numerous ways that families with low incomes and unemployed individuals still fall through the holes in the net. Women and people of color are particularly harmed by the disinvestment and rules that largely defined the programs over the last thirty years. This interactive session will explore the history of public assistance policies in Georgia, the vital role they can play in lifting people above the poverty line, and offer new policy solutions that ensure assistance can support economic mobility.
Presenter: Alex Camardelle is a senior policy analyst at Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, where he produces research that shows ways to reduce poverty, improve social services and provide support for Georgia’s workforce. Alex’s research and advocacy has informed debates that seek to improve economic mobility policy for all Georgians, including protections for core safety net programs like food assistance and child care for low-income individuals and families. Alex also leads the PROSPER Georgia coalition, a statewide network of workforce advocates who champion an inclusive economy and work to remove barriers to quality training and education for meaningful careers. He also holds a master’s in Policy Analysis & Evaluation from Georgia State University, where he is now a Ph.D. candidate studying the participation of youth in federally-funded job training programs. He is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
Prior to joining GBPI in 2018 he worked for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he was responsible for strengthening economic opportunity through research, grantmaking and partnerships. Alex also serves on the board of directors for Forever Family, Inc., a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting youth with incarcerated parents. The Georgia Center for Nonprofits recognized Alex as one of its 2017 “30 Under 30,” a distinction for professionals who are making a powerful impact in their organizations by exhibiting outstanding leadership, innovation, and commitment to their community work.
Abuse Prevention and Awareness
9 am – 11:30 am
Using Community Data in Your Prevention Strategy, Tommy Pearce and David Giguere, Neighborhood Nexus
Aligning your programs to community needs can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your resources. But how do we know what the community needs? And how do we know what data to use? We’ll share available data tools and a simple framework for thinking about data within your organization.
From this workshop you will get:
1. A framework for thinking about and using data well
2. Practical applications of community data within your organization and/or community
3. Know where to find data and tools to identify community needs and make informed programmatic decisions
Tommy Pearce is a social worker who has spent his whole career in the nonprofit sector. All too familiar with the need for data to make critical community decisions and the limited bandwidth to actually do it well, Tommy joined the Neighborhood Nexus team in 2019 to make community data more accessible to mission-driven organizations across the state. As a strategic planning consultant, Tommy helped leaders understand their constituents, set strategic direction, and maximize impact. As an outreach and intake coordinator, he understands the operational and community impact of leaders’ decisions. Tommy has an MSW from Pitt and a history degree from Georgia Southern. Connect with Tommy on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tommypearce
David Giguere, GISP, is a Geospatial Technologist in the Research and Analytics Group at the Atlanta Regional Commission. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Georgia State University, is a Certified GIS Professional and has twenty years of cartographic and GIS experience across desktop, mobile, server and online platforms. A two-decade career with the ARC provides opportunities to innovate beyond the geospatial field, as David regularly challenges himself through the prototyping and deployment of emerging technologies. An aspiring futurist and champion of intrapreneurial innovation, he seeks opportunities to design possible futures for our region. Connect with David on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidgiguere/
Visit Neighborhood Nexus Website: www.NeighborHoodNexus.org
Data and Resource Maps
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Serving Organizations, Sandra Alexander and Amber McKeen, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Serving Organizations: Collaborating to Inform the Current and Future Direction of Prevention
This session will provide an overview of child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation project to update the guide Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth Serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures. Participants will engage in collective discussion on ways to move the field forward, such as practice-to-research links and opportunities for CSA prevention in youth serving organizations. The goal is to identify opportunities for action that can inform multi-sectoral, comprehensive primary prevention strategies to reduce children’s exposure to CSA and ensure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children.
Amber McKeen, MPH, is a Project Manager with the CDC Foundation. In her role she works closely with the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention to update and expand educational materials related to CSA. Amber has dedicated her career to violence and injury prevention and advocacy initiatives, starting with designing and implementing vocational training programs for youth in juvenile detention. As the Child Abuse Prevention Trainer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta she created and delivered evidence-based multidisciplinary trainings to over 30,000 professionals and community members across the country.
Sandra Alexander, MEd, has 50 years-experience in child maltreatment prevention including early experience in child protective services. For 15 years she has provided subject matter expertise in CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention including leadership for the Essentials for Childhood initiative, Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm and Programmatic Activities and current work on preventing child sexual abuse in youth serving organizations project. She is on the Fulton County Atlanta Child Fatality Review Committee, a past Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and past President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
- View the 2007 Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within YSOs Document: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/PreventingChildSexualAbuse-a.pdf
Access to Early Education
9 am – 11:30 am
(Re)Designing Equity-Focused Educational Policies and Practices in the COVID-19 Era, Jennifer Darling-Aduana, GSU
This workshop will explore how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting children and their families with a focus on the changing role of education and childcare. We will conclude with strategies for (re)designing educational policies and practices to forefront equity in the COVID-19 era.
By the end of the session, attendees will be able to (1) identify policies, practices, and norms that create inequitable access to educational resources, (2) understand how COVID-19 has exacerbated these inequities, and (3) leave with strategies to re(design) a more equitable educational system.
Dr. Jennifer Darling-Aduana is an assistant professor of learning technologies in the Department of Learning Sciences at Georgia State University. She researches the equity implications of K-12 online and virtual learning.
Supporting the Social-Emotional Wellness of Young Children: Tips for Families, Allison O'Hara, DECAL
As we all do our best to navigate the “new normal”, families and communities are trying to figure out the best ways to help young children adapt. This presentation will provide tips and resources that families can use to support social-emotional wellness in young children in the midst of all of these changes and challenges associated with the return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also explore the importance of caregiver self-care as a necessary measure to best support children.
Family Mental and Physical Health
A Case-Based Presentation to Recognize Child Abuse and Neglect, Drs. Verena Brown & Tamika Bryant of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Epigenetics and Generational Trauma, Dr. Brian Dias, Assistant Professor at the Yerkes National Primate Center and Emory University School of Medicine
Dr. Brian Dias is an assistant professor at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory University School of Medicine. He has conducted years of research on the science of generational stress/trauma in mammals, seeking to understand how stress or trauma impacts mammalian neurobiology, physiology and reproductive biology, and how parental legacies of stress or trauma influence offspring. Armed with this understanding, Dr. Dias and his team aim to devise treatment interventions to lessen the effects of stress or trauma in both ancestral and descendant populations.
Strengthening Families throughout Our Communities, Cailin O’Connor, Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy
Strengthening Families throughout Our Communities: Research points us to critical protective factors that all families need to thrive, as summarized in the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework. How can we ensure that families have opportunities and support throughout our communities to build their protective factors?
- 1. Understand how family protective factors are affected by community conditions
- 2. Expand their thinking about where in a community we can act to prevent child abuse and neglect
- 3. Identify new steps they can take in their community to help families build protective factors
Presenter: Cailin O’Connor works to promote better outcomes for young children and their families, with a focus on promoting the protective factors that children, families, and communities need to thrive. She supports communities to build early childhood systems that support early learning and development through our EC-LINC network and our Early Learning Nation project and coordinates the Strengthening Families National Network.
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