SARASOTA, FL – Safe Children Coalition was recently pleased to bring back its popular annual conference, featuring mental health and child welfare experts who addressed a variety of topics. This year, due to the pandemic, the conference was held virtually; the event took place April 29-30. The conference is held every year in April, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Due to the available capacity of the online platform, the event (which was free) was fully booked well before the registration deadline, with more than 500 signed up. The annual conference is geared toward professionals working in realms including child welfare, law enforcement, education, mental health, domestic violence, child investigations, and the court system as well as foster and adoptive families.
The keynote presentation was “Bringing Hope and Healing to Children and Families with Trust-Based Relational Intervention.” Keynote speaker Martie Gillen is an associate professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, is a Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner and a Financial Social Work Educator.
Other topics included the impact of trauma on child well-being, adopting maltreated children, preventing teen sex trafficking in the digital age, protecting children online, the complex issue of psychological trauma, coping with loss, and building a trauma-informed community. Presenters hailed from organizations including Selah Freedom, University of Florida, Saint Leo University, Child Protection Center, Circle of Friends Services, and Directions for Living.
“As our organization has taken on new adventures, so did our conference,” said Safe Children Coalition President and CEO, Brena Slater. “Conducting our conference virtually served to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and actually made participation possible for guests from across the state, while supporting our continuous efforts of educating child welfare professionals and the community.”
Presentation sponsor for the conference was Palm Shores Behavioral Health Center; gold sponsor was Suncoast Behavioral Health Center. For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies who provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.