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San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment

Child Protection Center Director, Gordana Buljan Flander, Assoc. Prof., Ph. D., participated at the 28th annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family maltreatment, presented by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children´s Hospital held on January 26 – 31, 2014, in San Diego, USA.

Over 1800 professionals from USA and 30 countries participated

The San Diego Conference focused on multi-disciplinary best-practice efforts to prevent, if possible, or otherwise to investigate, treat, and prosecute child and family maltreatment, and represents one of the best conferences of this type worldwide. Over 1800 professionals from the USA and 30 countries had the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and experince, spreading the best practices available.

The objective od the Conference was to develop and enhance professional skills and knowledge in the prevention, recognition, assessment and treatment of all forms of maltreatment including those related to family violence as well as to enhance investigative and legal skills. In-depth issues include support for families, prevention, leadership, policy-making. This Conference is also known for adressing and translating the latest research into possibilities for action.

The variety of the program allowed participants to develop their own learning experience that meets their specific needs. Ten pre-conferences, four plenary sessions, three networking sessions, and 150 concurrent sessions were organized, giving participants the option to choose according to their own professional needs.

Lectures regarding issues closely related to our Center

Sessions were arranged in tracks of core and advanced medical, mental health, forensic interviewing, investigations, legal, child welfare, domestic violence, military families, prevention, infant and early childhood, research and global perspectives topics.

Out of the variety of given lectures, from the perspective of Child Protection Center we can underline certain lectures regarding issues closely related to our Center, such as plenary session „Child maltreatment and peer victimization“ held by David Finkelhor, Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire; plenary session „What will it take to move our knowledge of etiology, diagnosis and treatment of child maltreatment to the next level?“, presented by Anne C. Petersen, President of Global Philanthropy Alliance and research professor at Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan; plenary session „They will not suffer from our neglect: Child maltreatment and the social determinants of health“ presented by Robert Block, MD, past president AAP, Chair at Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; plenary session „The link between significant adversity of violence in childhood and poor adult outcomes“, given by Andrew Garner from University Hospitals Westlake Health Center; as well as invited lecture „How can we possibly help all these traumatized kids?“ held by Benjamin Saunders, Professor Associate Director at Medical University of South Carolina; special session „The new science of child abuse and neglect: implicatons for policy and services“ by Lucy Berliner; and a symposium on peer victimization as child maltreatment held by David Finkelhor, Sherry Hamby and Heather Turner.

Interesting forensic interviewing sessions

From the variety of concurrent sessions, we can highlight „Advances in the medical assessment of sexually abused children: Where are we in 2014?“ presented by Lori Frasier, „Medical child abuse: evaluation, investigation and prosecution“ by Jennifer Davis, Nicole Rooney and Michael Weber, „Child maltreatment epidemiology: New developments“ by David Finkelhor, „He´s still in my head: Secondary traumatic stress and the child maltreatment investigative professional“, held by Donna Pence, „Raising awareness on taboo issues“ by Behnaz Mousavi Gourabi and Jeannette Jansen, „The err is human: how doctors go wrong in our thought process“ presented by Antoinette Laskey and an interesting session topic „The conceptualization and development of a universal parenting program to prevent child maltreatment“, held by Colby Lokey.

Furthermore, interesting forensic interviewing sessions were included, just to name few of them: „Forensic interviewing: update on practice and research“ presented by Thomas Lyon, „Applying best practice interviewing principles for prosecutors when presenting children´s testimony“ by Patti Toth, and „Children´s eyewitness memory and suggestibility: new trends and controversies“ brought out by Jodi Quas.

More information about the Conference can be found on their official site.