CHaD Co-Hosts Conference on Protecting Children from Abuse
April 13, 2012
As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) recently co-hosted the ninth annual Shield Our Children from Harm Conference.
Joining CHaD in welcoming more than 130 child-protection professionals from New Hampshire and Vermont to the conference were the DHMC-based Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Grafton and Sullivan Counties, and the CAC at The Family Place in Norwich, VT. Experts from the systems of health care, law enforcement, courts, and a wide range of social-service agencies shared information about new ways to identify, investigate, prevent and deal with child abuse. National statistics estimate that one out of every four girls and one in six boys endures sexual abuse before they turn 18.
Conference organizers recognized three area professionals as "UnSung Heroes" for their work helping victims and preventing abuse: social worker Kristan Desmarais of the Claremont office of the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF); victim advocate Pam Weigel of Vermont's Windsor County Attorney's Office; and Police Chief Aimee Moller of Thornton, NH.
Presentations covered such topics as drug-facilitated sexual abuse, working with non-offending caregivers, child abuse and neglect, proving abuse cases to juries, and teamwork among professionals from various fields. Working with their multidisciplinary team, the CACs approach suspected cases of abuse from many angles with the goal of reducing trauma to children and families, and providing justice and healing.
"We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed team of professionals in all the disciplines that we work with in both Grafton and Sullivan Counties," says CAC program manager Cathy Brittis, MSW. "Providing best-practice services to all the children and families impacted by child abuse in our area is something that could simply not be done without a multidisciplinary team working together with a common goal and in the spirit of true cooperation."
Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in evidence-based and patient-centered health care. The system includes hundreds of physicians, specialists, and other providers who work together at different locations to meet the health care needs of patients in northern New England. In addition to primary care services at local community practices, Dartmouth-Hitchcock patients have access to specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at Dartmouth Medical School and centers of excellence including The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI).
For more information contact David Corriveau at (603) 653-1978.