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IUN to host 30th annual forum on child abuse and neglect

Times - 9/24/2020

Sep. 24--The Indiana University Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs and community partners will host the 30th annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect starting on Friday. One of the state's largest and longest-running conferences on the topic, this year's theme is "Reframing Child Welfare."

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the forum will be hosted online, with a morning of events Friday and five workshops in October.

The events are free and open to the public, and continuing education credits will be available to licensed social workers. Each event requires a separate registration.

Keynote addresses

Friday's program begins at 9 a.m. with opening remarks from Terry Stigdon, director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, and Sharon Pierce, CEO of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana. They are followed by two keynote speakers:

--Jerry Milner, an associate commissioner of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will speak from 9:15 to 10 a.m. on "Strengthening Children and Families Through Primary Prevention."

--Monica Evans, trainer in Restorative Practices and Crisis Intervention and Trauma Responses, will speak from 10:40 a.m. to noon on "The Restorative Approach to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)."

To register for the opening event, visit


In October, workshops will cover topics encouraging attendees to revise the way they see the child welfare system. Each workshop is led by child welfare advocates from Indiana. Each workshop will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

--Oct. 2, "The Restorative Approach to Situational Crisis," led by Monica Evans. To register, visit

--Oct. 9, "Domestic Violence, Animal Abuse and Child Abuse and Neglect," led by Andrew Campbell. To register, visit

--Oct. 16, "Implicit Bias and Institutional Racism: Making the Connection," led by Brenda Graves-Croom, Joann Price, Jená Bellezza, Naara Olivero, and Anthony McDonald. To register, visit

--Oct. 23, "Parenting While Poor: Product of Poverty," led by Jená Bellezza. To register, visit

--Oct. 23, "Using the CDC's Essentials for Childhood Framework to Promote Great Childhoods for All," led by Bart Klika. To register, visit

Partners for the 2020 IUN Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect include IU Northwest's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the schools of Nursing and Social Work and the Center for Urban and Regional Excellence; Prevent Child Abuse Lake County; Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana; The Villages of Indiana; Early Learning Partnership of Northwest Indiana; Indiana Department of Child Services; Calumet College of St. Joseph; Geminus Community Partners; The Indiana Kids First Trust Fund; the Lake County CASA Program.

For more information about the events and on obtaining CEU's, download the forum flyer from the Prevent Child Abuse Lake County website at or call 219-762-3465.

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