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Child Abuse and Family Violence summit attracts over 140 attendees

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD – October 17, 2011-   Over 140 people attended the Safe Place Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit sponsored by the Washington County Child Advocacy Center at Hagerstown Community College (HCC) on October 14, 201. 

 The summit topics included Child Exploitation Investigations, Physical Child Abuse Identification, Bite-mark Recognition, Investigating Child Sex Crimes, Interviewing Children with Disabilities, and Documentation Caveats. 

 “We’re proud that this summit was able to cover such a diverse range of child abuse maltreatment topics,” said Safe Place Forensic Nurse Joyce Williams who also helped coordinate the summit. 

 Summit speakers included, Dr. Tanya Hinds, a specialist in pediatric medicine in Washington D.C.; FBI Special Agent Mark Hilts, an expert in providing assistance to law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of crimes against children; Dr. David Williams, who responded to the terrorist attack of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA on 9/11 and is an expert on bite mark identification; Dr. Susan Patton, who has done extensive research on developmental pediatrics and injury/violence prevention; Christine Carlson, Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge in Baltimore; and Alberta Cosner, a recognized leader in the field of forensic nursing.

 According to Williams, “a key component for this summit was to engage people within our community who are on the frontlines of child maltreatment.  It was really a labor of love — getting the summit organized — and HCC was so supportive

 Safe Place Child Advocacy Center serves the child victim and the non-offending family or care giver.  The Center has served over 6,500 children in Washington County since its inception in 2001. 

 “Child abuse can be prevented, but it takes hard work, knowledge, and the awareness to recognize early warning signs,” Mutchler said.  “Unfortunately, child abuse can happen in any home and we are always trying to do outreach so that families understand the telltale signs and seek help.” 

 The Safe Place, a multi-agency task force, provides a child-friendly environment committed to reducing the trauma to children who have been abused.  Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, social workers, mental health and medical professionals collaborate to provide timely investigations and therapeutic interventions.

 

Filed in: Child Welfare, Events, Washington County

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