The closing keynote session for the Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect, hosted by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Northwest, takes place this Friday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. During the session, keynote speaker Melissa Merrick, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, will present Congressman Frank Mrvan with the 2021 Dr. Richard Hug “Cherish the Children Award.”
Mrvan established the “No More Secrets” program after he discovered that Indiana has the second-highest rate of forced sexual intercourse among high school girls in the nation. The program facilitates conversations about body safety, Internet safety, and phone responsibility, and it currently educates, enables, and empowers all students in every K-12 school in the state.
Now in its 31st year, the IU Northwest Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect is one of the premier events on the topic in the nation. I encourage you to attend and cover the event, and invite your audience to do so. If you are interested in speaking to organizers of the Forum, please let me know and I would be happy to arrange a pre-event interview.
Additional details on this Friday’s session appear below. To register, click here.
About the Closing Session
Theme: Growing a Better Tomorrow for All Children
Speaker: Melissa T. Merrick, Ph.D., President and CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America
Friday, April 30 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Among other things, this session will provide a description of the thinking behind the Thriving Families, Safer Children initiative, a ground-breaking effort led by the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Prevent Child Abuse America, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Casey Family Programs. The premise of the initiative is that the child welfare system needs to be transformed into a child and family well-being system. Using a community garden metaphor, Dr. Merrick will urge her listeners to join the movement to help positive childhood experiences take root for all children. Her presentation will challenge individuals, organizations, and communities to proactively create the conditions and contexts for strong families and communities across the country.
About the Speaker
Melissa T. Merrick is president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. Prior to this position, she served as a senior epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC in Atlanta. She is recognized as one of the country’s foremost experts on adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) and is one of the principal architects of the Thriving Families, Safer Children initiative. Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA), founded in 1972, is the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.