Sexual assault in schools, internet crimes against children, to be addressed at Valley conference

Via Valley Morning Star:

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Child abuse prevention, intervention and investigation in the Valley — including sexual assault in schools and internet crimes against children — will be addressed during the 12th Annual Rio Grande Valley Seminar in Forensic Sciences, which will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4 through Friday, Nov. 6 at the Isla Grand Beach Resort, 500 Padre Boulevard on South Padre Island.

The symposium, which is hosted by Valley Baptist Health System, will provide current information to those involved in child abuse investigations, including law enforcement officers, Child Protective Services workers, social workers, attorneys, nurses, pediatricians, medical examiners, forensic pathologists, coroners, psychologists, EMS personnel, school and day care personnel, clergy, and other professionals. The special three-day conference will address ways to prevent child abuse, techniques used in child death investigations, and other current issues involving child abuse.

Dr. Stan Fisch, Pediatrician and Medical Director of the Child to Adult Abuse Response Team (CAART) program at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, said the forensics seminar will help attendees become “better prepared to deal with the many issues surrounding injuries to children and help provide a basis for the prevention of child abuse.”

Speakers for the conference will include Lyndel Williams, Training Director for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, who will speak on “Sexual Assault on Campus” on the second day of the conference (Thursday, November 5) at 9:15 a.m. (part 1 of her talk) and at 10:30 a.m. (part 2). While sexual assault cases on college and high school campuses have been prominently featured in the national news recently, Ms. Williams will also discuss cases that have occurred involving younger students in middle and elementary schools.

Then on Friday, Nov. 6, at 8:15 a.m., a related topic will be discussed, “Internet Crimes against Children,” by Kimberly Bustos of the Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking, and Digital Forensics Units of the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Tragedies against children of another type will be addressed during talks on “Postpartum Psychosis, Child Abuse, and the Law,” on the opening morning of the conference, Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 9:15 a.m. (part 1) and at 10:30 a.m. (part 2). This issue has been highlighted in several high-profile cases of mothers suffering from post-partum depression, including a case in Houston where a mother, Andrea Yates, drowned her five children in a bathtub. The presenter for this topic will be Diana Barnes, Psy.D, LMFT, with the Center for Postpartum Health in Los Angeles.

Preventing tragedies against children will be the topic for a talk on “DFPS Child Death Prevention Initiatives” by Sasha Rasco, Director of Prevention and Early Intervention for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She will speak on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 11:30 a.m.

Emotional abuse of children will also be addressed, during a presentation which will look at how children can be used as “pawns” during power struggles between divorced or separated parents. Linda Gottlieb Kase, LMFT, LCSW-R, a family and relationship therapist from New York, will speak on “Parental Alienation: a Form of Emotional Abuse of Children,” on Friday, Nov. 6 at 11:30 a.m.

In addition, Dr. Dyann Daley of thee Cook Children’s Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment in Fort Worth, will speak on “Tracking Child Maltreatment” on Wed., Nov. 4 at 3:15 p.m.

Among several other talks will be one on “Understanding and Overcoming the Cycle of Adverse Childhood Experiences” on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 3:45 p.m. The presenter, Dave Lockridge of “ACE Overcomers” of California, will also speak at a separate but related event on Friday, Nov. 6, from 3 to 5 p.m., also at the Isla Grande hotel at South Padre Island (during a free presentation for church youth directors, pastors, Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders, and other interested people in faith-based communities or the general public).

To register for his talk, please contact the “Blue Sunday” child abuse prevention program at (956) 454-4531.

Those interested in the entire three-day forensic conference — or in attending one or two days of the conference, or a case review — can get information on registration, fees, and scholarships by calling Stephanie Hamby at (956) 389-1721, or visiting (Scholarships are made possible by a grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation.) Continuing education credits for the seminar will be available for nurses, social workers, physicians, law enforcement officers, attorneys, judges, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists. The seminar is sponsored by Valley Baptist Health System, Blue Sunday, and the Child Abuse Education Program of South Texas.


Via Valley Morning Star: