IU Northwest to Host 25th Annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect April 24

rot1Conference theme is ‘Crazy About Kids: Strategies and Initiatives’

On Friday, April 24, in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Indiana University Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and its community partners will host the 25th Annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium in the Savannah Center.

The theme for this year’s free event is “Crazy About Kids: Strategies and Initiatives.”

A continental breakfast will be served during the registration period between 8:15 and 9 a.m., followed by introductory remarks by Elizabeth Guzman-Arredondo, St. Monica Home; and Marshelia Harris of the IU Northwest School of Social Work.

This year's forum will feature a keynote address, “The Essentials for Childhood,” by Sandra Alexander. Alexander is an expert in child maltreatment for the Division of Violence Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she is currently co-leading the Essentials for Childhood Initiative.

Breakouts this year will include sessions on a variety of topics, including: Lake County’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives initiative; bullying and peer aggression prevention; suicide prevention; human trafficking; childhood post-traumatic stress disorder; adverse childhood experiences; the impact of domestic violence on young children; parenting; early intervention and identification of child neglect; options and opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth; sexual assault and identifying child abuse.

The sessions will be led by prominent experts, including: Sandy Runkle, education director of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana; Ellen Hennessy-Harstad, clinical assistant professor at IU Northwest and a local family nurse practitioner; Anne Mitchell, certified suicide prevention trainer and coordinator of nursing student services at IU Northwest; Ruby Roy, attending physician at LaRabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago; and Judge Thomas Stefaniak.

Closing Plenary
Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura, director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, will deliver the closing address. Bonaventura previously led the Lake County Juvenile Court, considered the toughest court in Indiana. She has been recognized by many organizations for her dedication and outstanding service to children over her many years of service.

A representative of Prevent Child Abuse Lake County will present the annual Dr. Richard Hug Cherish the Children Award.

Because seating is limited and lunch is provided, early registration is encouraged before April 20. Registrants should send an e-mail to iunforum@gmail.com that contains their name, organization, address, phone, e-mail address and the breakout sessions they wish to attend, and if you are in need of CEUs or a certificate.

Walk-ins are welcome; however they are not guaranteed seating or lunch. Live streaming video will be available at: http://www.indiana.edu/~video/stream/liveflash.html?filename=2015_Child_Forum

Continuing-education credits (CEU) will be available. Please contact Ellen Hennessy-Harstad at 219-718-0203 or ebhennes@iun.edu for more information about CEUs for nurses. Social workers should contact Marshelia Harris at (219) 981-5630.

Parking is available in the main IU Northwest parking lot on 33rd Avenue just west of Broadway and just north of the Savannah Center.

The forum is sponsored by: Prevent Child Abuse Lake County, Mental Health America of Lake County, Lake Area United Way, NWI AHEC, The Villages, Early Learning Partnership of NWI, Indiana Department of Child Services, IU Northwest Schools of Public and Environmental Affairs, Social Work and Nursing, Purdue University Calumet School of Nursing, Ivy Tech School of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, Geminus Community Partners, St Monica Home of Franciscan St. Margaret Health, The Indiana Kids First Trust Fund, The Lake County CASA Program and the IU Northwest Center for Urban and Regional Excellence.

For more information about registering for the 25th Annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect, contact Mental Health America of Lake County at (219) 736-4966, ext. 108.