Team at Child Protection Center Presents at National Florida Conference

The Giving Coast

Photo courtesy of CPC. For more information, visit cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277.

The Florida Network of Child Advocacy Centers’ annual Krimes Against Kids (KAK) conference was held recently in Orlando, where Sarasota nonprofit Child Protection Center (CPC) was selected to provide three presentations. Comprised of over 50 workshops in a three day period, the KAK conference reaches professionals who work in the child welfare system across the country—including law enforcement, child protective service personnel, victim advocates, attorneys, therapists, counselors and social workers.

CPC’s Personal Safety and Community Awareness (PSCA) team, which also presented at last year’s conference, gave three presentations this year. The first, Child Abuse Prevention: A Local and Informed Approach to Personal Safety Education, was aimed for Child Advocacy Centers who are either looking to either implement or expand their prevention efforts. “The power is in prevention. The opportunity to promote child abuse prevention education to individuals at a national level helps to strengthen the safety net for all children," said Director of PSCA Michelle McSwain in her presentation. "Because of this workshop, individuals from other Child Advocacy Centers feel equipped and empowered to start prevention education programs in their communities.” 

The second, Encouraging Safe Practices: An Informed Approach to Protecting Children Online, highlighted the risks that come with the use of the internet as well as the importance of discussing online safety with children. “Feeling empowered as adults helps empower our children. As overwhelming as the internet can be, it is our responsibility as adults to help children navigate their online world in a safe and appropriate way," said Ariane of PSCA in her presentation. 

Prior to COVID-19, it was estimated that 1 in 5 children will be solicited online at some point in their childhood. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children also reported a 97% increase of enticement reports to the cyber tipline during the pandemic. “The pandemic has changed a lot—including kids having more access to technology," said Ariane. "More access can mean greater risk, so it is important that online safety stays relevant and updated to what trends we are seeing throughout this pandemic.” PSCA will also be addressing this topic in the upcoming Prevent Child Abuse America national conference.

Lastly, CPC’s Therapy Program presented, “Self-Esteem in the Shadows of Abuse: Restoring Self & Safety,” which addressed the impact of abuse on children’s self-esteem and self-identity—including correlation with symptoms and safety/risk factors, formal and informal ways to assess for self-esteem impacts, as well as individual and group treatment strategies for treating abuse-related self-esteem concerns. The Clinical Director of CPC's Therapy Program, Amanda Jans, mentioned the audience was primarily other mental health professionals who also serve abused children and their families. 

“It is our hope in sharing this presentation that treatment providers have increased their awareness of the critical impact that abuse has on self-esteem, and the necessity of addressing self-esteem as a part of effective and comprehensive abuse treatment," she said. "In addition, we hope that they gained practical tools and an array of intervention ideas that they can implement immediately to enhance their direct work with clients.”

Photo courtesy of CPC. For more information, visit cpcsarasota.org or call 941-365-1277.

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