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April 6, 2018

A Look Back at Orange County’s 30th Annual Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Conference: “Pathways to Prevention”

“I loved learning about so many different topics in the field of child abuse prevention. I now feel better equipped to apply the strategies I learned at the Conference to my work with children and their families in Orange County,” said one Conference attendee.

Educating professionals and community members on the trends and treatments of child abuse is a main focus of Orange County’s Child Abuse Prevention Council, otherwise known as The Raise Foundation. Over the course of March 7 and 8, 2018, 170 individuals heard from leading experts in the field at the 30th Annual “Pathways to Prevention” Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Conference. Attendees included law enforcement, doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, family advocates, and others in their role as parents or guardians.

Driven by her professional experience in Anger Management, Domestic Violence Counseling, and Gender Issues, Keynote Speaker Alyce LaViolette founded one of the first programs in the country for abusive spouses in 1979. During her presentation on March 7, Ms. LaViolette kicked off the Conference with a unique look at the formation of adult perpetrators of domestic violence, how to properly counsel them, and steps to change their belief systems.

After her powerful presentation, individuals attended workshops and enjoyed networking with exhibitors and other guests. They chose from the following sessions: The Role of Health Care Providers in Prevention & Early Intervention to Combat Human Trafficking, The Developing Brain: Childhood Trauma and Homelessness, Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Domestic Violence, and The Evolution of Anti-Human Trafficking Work in Orange County, An Ounce of Prevention: Strategies to Reduce Accidental Injuries and Death in Young Children, Helping Military Families: Unique Stressors & Strategies, and Lessons Learned from Largest Gang Prevention Program in the Nation: How You Get Everyone to Work Together.

This year attendees had the option to join Dr. Anne Light, Medical Director for the County of Orange Social Services Agency, for a special networking reception and learning opportunity to conclude the first day of the Conference. After visiting with exhibitors and other guests, attendees heard an informative presentation from Dr. Light on “The Trauma of Maltreatment” and left with the ability to identify the neuroanatomic changes produced by trauma, relate these changes to behavior, and understand the mechanism of best-practice therapeutics.

For the first year ever, The Raise Foundation hosted its third Parent Conference as a full day program on March 8 for those coming in their role as parents and caregivers of children. Ms. LaViolette delivered a keynote speech that presented parents and community members with the tools to properly handle anger. Additionally, parents received the steps to address different styles of anger and utilize preventative thinking strategies. They then had the option to attend the following workshops: How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children – And Parents Too, Protecting Your Kids from Human Trafficking: What Parents Need to Know, and Why Do I Rage When I Love Him So Much? Understanding the Links between Stress, Children, and Violence.

All Conference attendees had the opportunity to not only attend workshops but also learn about resources available in the community through various exhibitors. These included Community Health Initiative of Orange County, Fristers, Child Abuse Prevention Center – Well Program, UCI Department of Pediatrics, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), OMID Institute, Human Options, Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women & Justice, Olive Crest, Bikers Against Child Abuse, Families and Communities Together (FaCT), Kid Print, and Erin Pollard PP.

The 2018 “Pathways to Prevention” Conference was a two-day experience loaded with inspiring speakers and educational workshops, all designed to prepare attendees with practical knowledge and effective action steps to address child abuse in their communities.

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