10th Annual Hope and Help for Children Conference
(Winnsboro TX) - - The Tenth Annual “Hope and Help for Children Conference” sponsored by the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center and co-hosted by the Wood County District Attorney Victim Services and the Upshur County Family Violence Intervention Program will be held at His House Ministries September 6th and 7th. This annual training provides expertise to local law enforcement, child protective service workers, sexual assault nurses, licensed professional counselors, social workers, child advocates and prosecutors working with child abuse cases. The public is invited to attend this year’s conference which features several sessions beneficial to public awareness.
“Child abuse cases require a specialized training for those working directly with the victim, their non-offending caregivers, and perpetrators” stated Jerry Edwards, Executive Director of the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center. “Often, many of these agencies can not afford to send their professionals away to a large conference due to financial constraints or manpower required to maintain the agency. I set up this annual conference to give agencies the ability to attend locally while still receiving the advanced training from recognized experts in child abuse therapy, investigation, and prosecution. This training allows coordination and collaboration of services among multiple agencies which decreases the trauma of abuse these young victims have to deal with.”
Each year, Kathy Smedley M.Ed., LPC, LMFT, Program Director for the center, assembles experts from various disciplines within the field of child abuse to present current accepted standards of practice in their approach working with these cases. This year, we will have nine presenters including Mr. Mark Taylor, former Wood County District Attorney; Mr. Martin Braddy, District Attorney from the 8th Judicial District; Jan Langbein, Executive Director of the Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas; Larry Crow, Master peace Officer and former Chief of Police with the LaMarque Police Department; Lee Gill, Region 8 Education Service Center for state and federal programs; April Zinober, reigning Miss Northeast Texas; Jerry Edwards, Executive Director of the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center; and a Victim Impact Panel consisting of two to four victims from East Texas coordinated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services in Austin.
Topics covered this year will include an overview of one of the most violent and vicious cases in Wood County, the link between adult domestic violence and child abuse, education of child safety online, court rules and evidence in child abuse cases, victimization assistance with healing and therapeutic process, ways to apply cultural diversity principals along with non-verbal messages and communication styles, challenges faced by victims when trying to escape their abuser, cyber-bullying and sexting, recognition and reaction to child abuse, and a personal experience for victims to rise up and conquer their past.
Participants wishing to register for the conference are encouraged to contact the center at 903-629-7588. Space is limited. Registration is free and continuing education credits are available for law enforcement, social workers, licensed professional counselors and nursing and district attorneys.