Workshop Descriptions

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mary Migliaro
"Got Bias?"  Recognizing personal bias and how it impacts your work.
Those working in human services must deal with a diverse population and be as unbiased as possible.  Recognizing that we all have personal bias and that it may impact the work we do, it is important to identify that bias and gain an enhanced sensitivity in dealing with our clients.

(A1)  Building Resilience in Children: The magic ingredient in a successful prevention program
Increasing resiliency in children and youth can help to reduce or minimize their risk factors.  Resiliency skills coupled with information from a prevention program, provides children with the magic ingredient to assist them in avoiding risky behaviors or situations.
(B1) The Correlation Between Animal Abuse, Child Abuse, and Domestic Violence
Research is beginning to validate the correlation between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence.  Participants will learn the motivations for and characteristics of these abuses and explore case histories indicating the correlation.  The importance of cross-reporting will be explored as well as emerging best practices in this area.

(C1) Who takes care of me? Caring for the caregiver in all of us.

Working in the field of child abuse prevention is stressful and emotionally draining work.  Participants of this informative and relaxing workshop will recognize the effects of stress and experience stress reduction techniques they can use immediately to take better care of themselves.

Frank Hudspeth

(A2)  Neurobiologically-Informed Play Therapy to Address Complex Trauma
Complex or developmental trauma can be overt or covert and are typically ongoing/repetitive. As such complex/developmental trauma should be addressed, in stages, with Neurobiologically-Informed Play Therapy that includes: (a) building on the safety and security of caregivers and community, (b) being developmentally sensitive, and (c) addressing affective-behavioral dysregulation.

(B2 & C2)  Neurobiologically-Informed Play Therapy to Address Complex Trauma (Cont.)

Bill Fulbright

(A3)  Overcoming Defenses in Child Abuse Cases - Investigation & Prosecution
This presentation will review some of the most common defenses raised in cases of sexual abuse, physical abuse and abusive head trauma, and avenues that the team can explore to be prepared for and rebut the defenses at trial.

(B3)  Prosecutors and Law Enforcement:  Working with Victims and Witnesses with Developmental Delays
Prosecutors and Law Enforcement necessarily must work with many children who are suffering from emotional issues, cognitive disorders, and developmental delays.  Even though often not diagnosed by a professional, many children are especially vulnerable to abusers as a result of these issues, the trauma of child abuse itself can leave victims with similar symptoms, and investigators and prosecutors must work closely with the children and their families throughout cases.  This workshop is a discussion about practical steps in working with children who are highly vulnerable to abuse and those who are deeply affected by the abuse, to give all involved the best chance of holding offenders accountable.

(C3)  Corroborating Evidence in Child Abuse Cases:  a Team Effort
Most child abuse investigations lack traditional physical evidence, leaving children at a disadvantage in court.  It is the multi-disciplinary team's responsibility to corroborate what the child has disclosed, giving the child the best opportunity to see justice done on their behalf.  This workshop will discuss as a team to build a strong case, various areas of necessary corroborating evidence, its sources, the significance of the different items of evidence, and presenting cases at trial with limited evidence.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Russell & Myra Strand

Neuroscience of High Stress and Trauma
Neuroscience has discovered that when human beings experience high stress and/or trauma, they often undergo a process that is highly misunderstood by both the professionals responding to them and the victim themselves. People who have experienced trauma(s) may respond to the experience(s) in different ways and are often difficult to work with. There may be no visible signs, or there may be dramatic responses ranging for irritability, sudden mood swings, anxiety, anger, denial, fear, inability to articulate or to remember- they may be illogical and/or may not be able to practice good hygiene. They may not be able to remember what you told them or to follow even the most basic of instructions. Unfortunately, many first responders, advocates, members of law enforcement, prosecutors, counselors and other allied professionals, do not truly understand trauma and are not providing true trauma informed response and care. And, far too often, first responders and other allied professionals are unaware of the deep impact trauma can have on their own lives- which leads to more secondary victimization. We now have information provided by hard science to support the fact that we need change the way in which we respond to victimization and other complex experiences. This presentation will focus on the neuroscience of high stress and/or trauma, issues with our working knowledge of memory, detangle complex trauma and to explore solutions and tangible strategies towards improvement.

Deception Detection
Deceit is at the center of all criminal activity from victim selection, deceptive actions, and of course as an effective tool to avoid suspicion and identification. It is the number one reason why victims often fall prey to those who would cause them harm. The truth of the matter is that truth matters. However, our ability to detect a real solid version of truth is extremely difficult and our skills at deception detection are often lacking. The cornerstone of criminal investigations and the criminal justice system is determining truth and credibility – which in many, if not most cases is a seemingly impossible task. What we don’t know can have dire consequences on our investigations, interventions, victim advocacy, and prevention efforts. Law enforcement, judges, attorney’s, victim advocates, medical and mental health, and all other professionals working in the domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse fields will walk away with a better understanding of determining the truth deterred neither by fear or prejudice.

Trauma Responsive Investigations and Prosecution (TRIP)
A trauma responsive investigation and prosecution (TRIP) differs from the traditional in that it incorporates an understanding and application of how high stress and trauma impacts the human body.  Neuroscience has illuminated that what we, as a criminal justice system, do not have a clear understanding of memory or trauma.   This presentation will provide up-to-date research, case studies and emphasize preserving, corroborating and presenting evidence within the context of the whole experience. We expect victims and suspects to respond to complicated experiences in very one-dimensional ways never considering the four or five-dimensional nature of experience.  There are tangible changes we can make to improve how we capture experience and context by refining the way we corroborate impact, evidence of trauma and fear, understand and document changes in behavior, understanding decision making within context, improving our use of fact witnesses and properly preserving and presenting evidence.