Thursday, January 18, 2007

Children's Justice Conf. Coming in March

DSHS is sponsoring its 15th Annual Children's Justice Conference in Seattle, Monday-Tuesday, March 26-27. The conference is "an assembly of multi-disciplinary professionals committed to keeping children safe from abuse and neglect." An indication of the the multi-disciplinarity is that the conference has been approved for CLE credit (by the bar association) and CME credit (by the medical association) -- as well as continuing education for judges and social workers.

I noticed that Trial Ad instructor Craig Sims (King County Prosecutor's Office) was on the faculty, so I looked up his two-part workshop:

"Tortured Children, Brutal Acts: A Complete Investigation of Child Victims and Child Witnesses" - This interdisciplinary workshop examines components of a complete investigation of those horrific cases where pain and agony has been intentionally inflicted upon children, as well as cases in which children have witnessed horrible acts. Panel members representing law enforcement, specialized child interviewers, prosecution, and mental health will discuss their specific roles and how these roles come together to protect children from further harm as well as to successfully prosecute the abusers.

Panel: Kerry Todd, MSW, Craig Sims JD, Mari Murstig, MSW, Detective Michael Hartnett
Level: Advanced
Other sessions with a strongly legal focus (although lawyers could benefit from the other programs as well!) are:
  • Prosecuting Child Fatalities and Serious Physical Abuse Cases In Washington
  • Prosecuting Cases with Developmentally Delayed Victims and Witnesses
  • Ethical Challenges for Judges, Lawyers, and Other Professionals in Juvenile Law
  • Child Sexual Abuse 101: Medical Findings for Non-medical Professionals (includes advice for working with medical professionals during investigation and in court)
  • Juvenile Sex Offenders
  • Service Dogs, Our New Partners in Criminal Prosecutions (panel includes Ellen O'Neal Stephenson, Ellie, and Jeeter, who work at the King County Prosecutor's Office. See earlier post.)
  • Child Neglect Cases in the Courtroom
  • Historical Trauma Leading Up To the Enactment of the Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Psychological Evaluations in Dependency and Termination Cases: What they can and cannot do for you
  • Case Analysis and Ethical Considerations for the Child Abuse Prosecutor
  • Tips for Testifying and Preparing your Expert Witness
This field involves a lot of trauma and stress, so the program includes a couple of workshops about how the professional caregivers can avoid burnout and "compassion fatigue."

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