The 2020 Handle With Care Conference is going virtual this year with one 90 minute session at a time every week.
You will be able to attend every session this year. No more having to choose one out of six breakout sessions and wish you could have attended them all!
All 45 sessions will be delivered on most Wednesdays from August 2020 through June 2021 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. You will be able to register for individual sessions at $10 each. If you would like to purchase all 45 sessions for $150 and pay by check, contact Lisa Carmelia - email@example.com. If you like to pay by credit card, contact Jenny Lancaster - firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you purchase all sessions, you still need to register for each session individually. After payment is received, you will receive a discount code to register for each session.
Questions about this conference? Contact Lisa Carmelia - email@example.com.
Attendance certificates and CEUs will be provided. Descriptions of the sessions and bios are included below. (Sessions are non-refundable)
August 5: HWC During COVID and The Big Transition for Kids
Andrea Darr, Director, WV Center for Children’s Justice
Dr. Kiti Freier- Randall, Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
The WV Handle with Care program has never been as relevant as it is now during the COVID 19 Pandemic. The program is vitally important in identifying and assisting children who need to be Handled with Care. The program works 7/34/365 even when school is not in session! This workshop starts with an overview of the Handle with Care Program and the lessons learned from COVID. The second part of the session will address the psychological factors that impact children in big transitions. The focus will be on that of re-integration and the need to acknowledge the stressors that the children will be facing. How to create an environment that will offer resiliency. Offer strategies that will permit children to perform their best in these difficult and ambiguous times.Click here to register
August 12: Challenges to Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy During COVID-19
Dr. Sharon Cooper, MD, FAAP, University North Carolina
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in numerous ways. Many systems need to be proactive in trying to address the psychosocial, general safety, educational, and child abuse prevention needs which individually and collectively constitute clear and present dangers. From an infectious disease perspective, the U.S. is just beginning to understand the different ways that the coronavirus affects children as compared to adults. The nature of asymptomatic disease remains a quandary for all individuals who are exposed. Consequently, the first responsibility from the perspective of child maltreatment is to assure that parents are not neglecting their children to the degree of endangerment by not practicing social distancing and assisting children in wearing face masks. This presentation will discuss the steps that can be taken to keep children safe and secure. Promoting a safe, stable, and nurturing environment during COVID will require active caregiver reinforcement.Click here to register
August 19: Responding to Child Abuse During a Pandemic
Robert Peters, Senior Attorney, Zero Abuse Project, Founder and Chair, SHIELD Task Force
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new risk factors for child abuse, MDTs still have multiple options for responding to abuse and neglect during this health crisis. This presentation explores creative and effective approaches being utilized in several communities. The presentation will cover: summarizing the expanding role of mandated reporters during the pandemic, articulating the importance of accelerating victim services and court preparation, describe pandemic-era defense initiatives that increase the risk of child abuse and understand enhanced risks for child exploitation and online safety.Click here to register
August 26: Fighting an Invisible Enemy: Building Resiliency in Those We Serve and Ourselves During COVID- 19
Mary Vicario, Certified Trauma Specialist, Finding Hope Consulting LLC
“Endurance does not come from hope alone. It begins with knowing, and having the courage to face and accept, the reality of the ground upon which we stand. Survival comes from balancing reality with optimism and hope.” ~ Amy Acton, MD, April 2020
COVID 19 lives among us, for now, like an invisible enemy whose influence is only seen through its impacts on us or those around us. Knowing it is out there but being unable to clearly see it creates a stress response in all of us. The paradox of this pandemic is that when stressed humans have a biological drive to flock toward safe others, which when done in traditional ways (physical connection) is one of the most dangerous things we can do. So, as we identify what you are already doing to emotionally connect from a physical distance, let’s explore together the top five resilience factors that help us move through toxic levels of stress and beyond it. We will start by exploring how you already support the growth of resilience in those you serve. Then we will build new ways to expand the resilience of our those we serve, our staff and ourselves during these paradoxical and uncertain times.Click here to register
September 2: Regulation Before Education
Lara Kain, Lara Kain Consulting & Regional Community Facilitator at ACEs Connection
Emily Daniels, Founder of Hear This Now
Lara Kain and Emily Daniels have years of experience guiding schools and districts to design and implement whole-child, trauma-informed and socially-just programming. They seek to support school needs in this emerging crisis.
The COVID pandemic is a rapidly evolving collective trauma that is reshaping and challenging the structure and fabric of education. Schools are seeing existing challenges amplified and current strategies struggling. Prioritizing how to identify and support student and staff needs will be critical from day one of the next school year.
This presentation is geared towards leaders and educators that are already committed to this work and looking for strategies and approaches that hold the promise of a better “new normal.” Attendees will gain an understanding of the phenomenon of collective and individual trauma and tangible ways in which the school community can buffer against these struggles. They will begin to have a sense of what to prioritize for the fall and strategies that will aid in establishing a “new normal.”Click here to register
September 9: A Revolution in Our System: Health Care in Transition
Jan Riley, M Ed, Tupelo, Mississippi
In the past two decades, so much has changed in how we approach human health and wellness that learning what we need to learn and doing what we need to do can seem overwhelming. What has been propelling this massive transition? In this presentation we will look at three factors driving this change: a study whose results have everyone talking about something that has come to be known as ACEs; advances in neuroscience that are changing the way therapists, social workers, educators, law enforcement professionals—anyone who works to help people—view and do their work; and a growing understanding of a field of science known as epigenetics. These are all part of a complex system, a system that is incredibly sensitive to positive pushes. We will see how and why the strategic efforts of each organization, of each individual, no matter how slight, can have a significant impact for good on the lives of people.Click here to register
September 16: Emotional Survival: Dealing with Traumatic Investigations
Sergeant Jim Mitchell, Director of Chaplain Services for the West Virginia State Police
The need for one-on-one or group interventions after dealing with traumatic events is important to keep first responders physically and mentally healthy. The mental fatigue of these investigations can no longer be swept under the rug but must be dealt with in order to prevent career ending mistakes, divorce and suicides. Studies have shown that those who are reluctant to seek psychological help are often willing to discuss issues with peer support teams. This presentation will cover the dynamics of dealing with traumatic incidents/investigations, and how to survive the aftermath mentally and emotionally. This will be presented by two experienced law enforcement officers; however, the topic is timely and relevant for anyone involved in traumatic investigations. This is an important class, but the experienced instructors will keep the class engaged and laughing.Click here to register
September 23: Breaking the Cycle of Addiction: Hope in Recovery
Chelsea Carter, Program Coordinator, Brighter Futures Substance and Mental Health Abuse Treatment Center
Hon. William S. Thompson, Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit
In this presentation, participants will gain knowledge about addiction and how it not only impacts the addicts’ lives but how it impacts others’ lives as well. Judge Thompson operates several forms of drug courts in Boone and Lincoln Counties. Ms. Carter is a graduate of his Adult Drug Court and exemplifies what recovery can look like in West Virginia. Since graduating, Ms. Carter has become a masters’ level drug addiction counselor and has helped countless people in their effort to achieve recovery. Judge Thompson and Ms. Carter have shared their story several times, culminating in a meeting at the White House in September 2018. Judge Thompson and Ms. Carter serve together on the Southwestern Regional Day Report Board and Ms. Carter helped Judge Thompson establish the first Family Treatment Court in West Virginia. The presentation will give insight to what hope looks like after addiction, as well as different forms of treatment options available in West Virginia.Click here to register
September 30: Suicide Safe, Recognizing & Responding on the Front Line
Barri Faucett, Director, Prevent Suicide WV
In this presentation, attendees will be introduced to the most recent data concerning suicide in specific high-risk populations; critical assessment parameters of the recognition of at-risk individuals; dialogue on how to identify and refer at-risk individuals; and resources relevant to prevention and intervention efforts for both at-risk individuals and providers. The purpose of the presentation is to increase the willingness and capability of participants to interact with at-risk individuals in providing for appropriate dialogue and a wide array of resources pertinent to suicide prevention and intervention and mental health promotion.Click here to register
October 7: So, What's Wrong with Kids These Days? What We Can Do to Support Youth in a Complicated World
Dr. Jim Harris, Associate Director of Training, WV Autism Training Center at Marshall University
It is no secret that we live in an increasingly complex world and that this complexity has resulted in several challenges for social and emotional development of youth today. In this presentation, Dr. Harris gets back to the developmental basics and helps to give you some ideas about how we can better understand and support youth in an ever-changing and complicated world. Dr. Harris will focus on such topics as the importance of relationships, the value of being challenged, the benefits of success and much more.Click here to register
October 14: Differentiating Autism and Trauma: Symptom Commonality with Dissimilar Intervention Needs
Dr. Kiti Freier- Randall, Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist, San Bernardino, CA
This presentation focuses on the ways in which neurodevelopmental issues of developmental delay, trauma, and attachment disruptions can lead to symptoms that are also characteristics that may be seen in children with ASD but merit differential diagnostics and interventions. This discussion will provide an understanding of the overlap of characteristics and how to begin to differentiate children who present with these characteristics.Click here to register
October 21: In the Line of Fire: Children and Domestic Violence
Sergeant Tony Craigo, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department
Sarah Kingston, Victim Advocate, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department
Whether witnessing or directly experiencing domestic violence, children suffer short and long-term effects. Using actual case examples, this presentation will offer ways to respond more effectively by understanding the child's reaction to trauma.Click here to register
October 28: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: How Substance Exposure Impacts Development and Learning
Cindy Chamberlin MSPT, President of WV Chapter, To the Moon and Back, Inc.
In this presentation we will review substance exposure in utero, its impacts on early development as well as challenges experience as these children grow older and transition into school. We will review current research and trends in care and additional ideas on how to facilitate family advocacy and engagement. Early developmental milestones and bonding with caregivers will be highlighted as well as dispelling myths associated with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.Click here to register
November 4: Drug-Endangered Children Initiative in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Edward Jacoubs, Plymouth County, Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office
The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the United Way of Greater Plymouth County and Plymouth County Outreach, has launched the Drug-Endangered Children Initiative to identify and provide timely and effective services to children experiencing trauma due to substance use in the home. Plymouth County DA’s past and present work with police and schools to address childhood trauma, particularly related to domestic violence and community violence, including hundreds of trainings and awareness efforts about the following topics: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Helping Traumatized Children Learn (in partnership with the Trauma Learning and Policy Initiative of Harvard Law School) for school personnel, and Handle With Care communication procedures for law enforcement and school administrators. This presentation will explain the project’s goals and progress to date, and the key partnerships and policies that make prevention, intervention, and policy change possible.Click here to register
November 18: Why Won’t My Mommy Wake Up?
Jill McFarlane, Program Director, The Sharing Place, Salt Lake City, Utah
Answering hard questions from children experiencing trauma or grief. In this presentation, we will dive into hard topics to talk to children about. Children understand and process experiences in a different way. Learn techniques to talk to them in a developmentally appropriate and supportive way, so they can begin to understand and process the experiences they have endured.Click here to register
November 25: West Virginia State University Healthy Grandfamilies Program: What’s New?
Bonnie Dunn, Extension Specialist, WVSU Healthy Grandfamilies Program
Healthy Grandfamilies began as a pilot project under a USDA funded grant in 2015, between the West Virginia State University Extension Service and the Department of Social Work, is not a statewide program supported in part by the WV State Legislature. This program model provides resources to grandparents who are providing a valuable service to society through their sacrifices on behalf of displaced grandchildren. Grandfamilies represent the fastest growing type of household in the U.S. Grandfamilies have many unmet needs, including financial, healthcare, legal, childcare, parenting, family relationships, and mental health concerns. This presentation will enlighten the listener about how the program has expanded throughout West Virginia and how they may be able to offer support to the program in their respective locations. Stories will be shared about the many challenges that families throughout the state have faced and how the county coalitions have assisted the families in solving those challenges.Click here to register
December 2: Regulate, Relate and Create: Balancing in a World that is Off-Balance
Mary Vicario, Certified Trauma Specialist, Finding Hope Consulting LLC
Neuroscience is demonstrating that some of society’s most vexing challenges and the most difficult behaviors are actually biologically based fear responses connected with toxic levels of stress more related to fear-based dysregulation than intractable behavior. As Maureen Walker reminds, “Strategies for disconnection are an intense yearning for connection in an atmosphere of fear.” In this interactive presentation, we will examine how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and compounding adverse toxic stressors (CATS) create repeated fear responses and disrupt the feeling of safety in our bodies needed for our brains to allow us to calm (regulate), work cooperatively with others (relate) and learn (create). This makes embodied safety, the ability to feel safe as well as be safe, as important to those of us who work with families experiencing toxic stress as it is for the youth and families we serve. Setting power struggles aside, we will explore every day, brain-based interventions to help all of us replace challenging, fear-based interactions with the ability to regulate, relate and create.Click here to register
December 9: Epigenetics: Change That can Span Generations
Jan Riley, M Ed, Tupelo, Mississippi
Epigenetics. Maybe you’ve heard the term but aren’t exactly sure what it means and why it’s important. In this presentation those questions will be answered as we explore how the effects of trauma can impact families for generations by impacting how genes function. We will see that trauma can have an adverse effect on gene function, and changes can be passed on to future generations. The exciting news is that those changes can be reversed! Most importantly, we will discuss what those of us who work with children and families can do to promote this kind of positive change. The theme of this presentation will be hope: hope that what we do can effect change that lasts.Click here to register
December 16: Higher Level: Using the Principles of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to Protect Children and Families
Sam Wilmoth and Aisury Vasquez, WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Just like the individual people who compose them, families are diverse. Practitioners who appreciate this diversity can create valuable opportunities to build trust and rapport with families who need help. Given the moral urgency of addressing tragedies like child abuse, it makes sense for us to scrutinize everything—our biases, our language, and even our history. We do this in the service of one simple question: Are there things we can do to better serve the diverse families we work with?
We believe the answer is yes.Click here to register
January 6: Where There’s Breath There’s Hope
Tonier Cain, CEO/Founder, Tonier Cain International
Tonier Cain takes an audience on a journey to places and subjects that most find too difficult or uncomfortable to fathom. But it is Tonier “Neen” Cain’s joyous spirit and astonishing inner-strength that leaps directly into audience hearts, inspiring renewed hope and compassion for those still living on the fringes. For two decades, Neen hustled on the streets of Annapolis, Maryland, desperately feeding an insatiable crack addiction and racking up 83 arrests along the way. Rapes and beatings were a routine part of life; home was underneath a bridge or inside the locked cage of a prison. In 2004, pregnant and incarcerated for violation of parole, she was provided the opportunity to go to a community trauma, mental health, and addictions program.
Feeling safe for the first time in her life, Neen confronted the haunting childhood memories that she tried to numb with drugs: filth and chronic hunger, sexual assaults by neighborhood men, routine physical and mental abuse dished out by her mother. Realizing for the first time that she had been a victim, she began to heal and reclaim power over her life, embarking on a remarkable “upward spiral,” that has no limit. Today, she’s the founder and CEO of Healing Neen Inc., she works for the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, dedicating her life to being a voice for those still lost and still silent. Traveling the world to give speeches and work one on one with women in prisons and hospitals, Neen continues to transform her own life while helping others to embrace her motto “where there’s breath, there’s hope.”Click here to register
January 13: Tricks of the Trade: Offenders, Perpetrators, & Victims in Sex Trafficking
Dr. Sharon Cooper, CEO, Developmental & Forensic Pediatrics, P.A.
Sex trafficking is a category of human trafficking and an ever-increasing aspect of human victimization worldwide. This presentation will provide information regarding the numerous types of trafficking scenarios, the dangers to victims, and the need to think outside the box when considering the possibility that a youth or adult is “self-exploiting”. Participants will learn of victim vulnerabilities and offender dynamics in this presentation and will understand the need for campaigns such as “There’s No Such Thing as a Child Prostitute”, promoted by law enforcement in the state of California. Case examples of successful prosecutions in this form of exploitation will be provided to illustrate the nature of this aspect of human rights violations and the most underreported form of child maltreatment.Click here to register
January 20: Open Source Intelligence Gathering
John Sedoski, Cybercrime Specialist, National White Collar Crime Center (NWC3)
As criminals use the Internet to communicate and coordinate, it becomes more crucial than ever for law enforcement to leverage this publicly available information. Investigators need to have the skills to locate and act on information as quickly and efficiently as possible, turning “information” into actionable intelligence. This presentation will cover not only mainstream social media sites but also third-party web sites that will allow for quicker identification of pertinent information.Click here to register
January 27: Trafficking Case Study
Kristina Marie Korobov, Assistant US Attorney, Indianapolis, Indiana
Using a case study of a sex trafficking case, the presenter will focus on important lessons learned when investigating and prosecuting sex trafficking cases that involve minors, adults, and multiple perpetrators. We will talk about different ways that victims become involved in trafficking, how perpetrators use vulnerabilities against victims, and victim-offender intersectionality.Click here to register
February 3: Connections Between Growth Mindset & Protective Factors
Dr. Christine Schimmel, Associate Professor, WVU School of Counseling
Teaching students to approach school and life from a growth mindset is gaining momentum in many schools across the country. Research demonstrates that teaching students a meaning making system such as a growth mindset can assist in compensating for the negative effects of traumatic events to which our children are often subjected. This presentation will help participants at all skill levels understand the connections between growth mindset and the protective factors that help children develop resilience. Additionally, this presentation will provide participants with several creative ideas that can be used as universal and targeted interventions to assist student in developing a growth mindset and resilience.Click here to register
February 10: Impact of Parental Psychopathology on Child Development
Dr. Lauren Swager, Associate Professor, WVU Dept. of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry
In this presentation will meet review the proposed Mechanisms of How Parental Substance Use Disorder effects Children; recognize the physical and cognitive effects that encompass fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; review the evidence of prenatal exposure of other substances (tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, opiates) and psychiatric outcomes in childhood; discuss how the treatment of parental substance use disorders can benefit childhood pathology; recognize the impact of borderline personality disorder on the parent/child dyad; and recognize the impact of depression on the parent/child dyad and benefits of parental depression treatment on children.Click here to register
February 17: Dealing with Imperfect Parents in Family Court
Hon. Patricia A. Keller, JD, Family Court Judge, Sixth Family Court Circuit
This presentation focuses on protecting children in families affected by substance use disorder. First, we look at how the role of family court is distinct and different from circuit court; as well as when they overlap. We look at ways to balance parental access and child safety. Discuss what you need to know about drug testing and MAT (medication assisted treatment.) We look at the phenomena of “grand families” - children being raised by grandparents and other third parties who step in when parents are unable.Click here to register
February 24: Recognizing and Reporting Abuse
Susan Harrison, MSW, MPA, LGSW, Director of CASA for Children Inc.
This presentation will explore how to identify, and report suspected abuse and neglect, and examine ways to build protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect.Click here to register
March 3: Empathic Verbal Skills for Deescalating Youth in Crisis
Dr. Allison Jackson, Integrative Minds, Inc.
Brain research teaches us that when the limbic system is activated, people can only react with fight, flight, or freeze behaviors. In these moments, parts of the brain responding to logic and problem solving shut down. Dr. Daniel Siegel states that first me must connect, before we redirect. Empathy drives connection. When responding to youth in crisis, it is critical for us to hold our compassion and use validation skills to support the young person in front of us. This presentation will focus on practices of empathy vs. sympathy, work with participants on utilizing the first 3 levels of empathic validation, and finally teach the principles of the LEAP method developed by Dr. George Thompson. Together these skills will help adults work with youth in crisis deescalate and support positive conflict resolution.Click here to register
March 10: Rule Out Abuse Campaign
Dr. Nora Baladerian, Psychologist, Counseling Center of West Los Angeles, CA
The Rule Out Abuse Campaign is designed to increase recognition of signs of abuse on the part of physicians, social workers, paraprofessionals and others who learn of changes in a person that parents / caregivers cannot explain. The presentation will identify signs of abuse in children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as provide information on the incidence of abuse. Recommendations for action following identification of abuse will be discussed, including providing effective therapy and preparing the individual and their family for the future.Click here to register
March 17: Psychosis, Intoxication, or Both? Tips to Identifying and Handling Varying Causes for Disturbances
Dr. Rachael Hatfield, Psychologist, Huntington, WV, VAMC
In this presentation, we will review specific presentations through case examples and tips to identify potential causes for presentations. Participants will learn safety tips when specific substances are involved as well as the overlap between psychosis and intoxication by substance.Click here to register
March 24: Working Together w/ Different Roles and Responsibilities: GALs and CASA
Kim Runyon Wilds, Western Regional CASA
Maggie Kuhl, Esquire
Maggie Kuhl, Esq., and Kim Runyon Wilds, MSW, will examine the individual functions of GALs and CASA advocates on cases involving child abuse and neglect in Circuit Court. They will discuss the similarities and differences in the responsibilities to the children to which they are appointed. Participants will leave with the understanding of how each role advocates for the best interests of children in court.Click here to register
March 31: Taking the Duel Out of Dual Diagnosis: Reflecting, Honoring and Connecting with Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Differences
Mary Vicario, Certified Trauma Specialist, Finding Hope Consulting LLC
Trauma and chronic toxic stress are now recognized as near universal experiences of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often resulting in a complex array of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Unfortunately, the needs of those with IDD often go undertreated or minimized as behavioral issues. Unresolved and unaddressed, their suffering and pain interferes with their ability to positively engage with life.
This presentation will explore how all behavior is communication, ways to translate that communication into the needs being expressed and the hidden resilience developed through adaption to a world that does not process the way you do.Click here to register
April 7: Your First Response to Alleged Child Abuse
Rita Farrell, Director, ChildFirst, Zero Abuse Project
Protecting children from child abuse and maltreatment requires that everyone understand how to recognize, respond, and report any form of maltreatment a child may experience. FIRST response is often the single most important step in effectively responding and reporting maltreatment. FIRST will give you the tools necessary to better protect kids. This presentation goes beyond recognizing types of maltreatment. The presentation combines both lecture and practicum giving participants the tools and practical skills to better communicate with a child during the initial outcry of maltreatment. This presentation teaches participants how to listen to children who have experienced maltreatment and gather the correct information needed in a way that puts the child’s needs FIRST.Click here to register
April 14: When the Child Trusts You: Understanding & Responding to Child Abuse Disclosures
Robert Peters, Senior Attorney, Zero Abuse Project, Founder and Chair, SHIELD Task Force
A child just disclosed sexual abuse to you. What do you tell the child? Do you know your legal obligations? How can you respond without jeopardizing criminal investigations and the child’s safety? This presentation, presented by a former prosecutor, addresses several hypotheticals, discusses trauma-informed best practices for interacting with abused and neglected children, and reviews mandatory reporting law.Click here to register
April 21: Child Neglect: When Indifference is Abuse
Victor Vieth, Director of Education and Research, Zero Abuse Project
Neglect is a broad concept covering many types of maltreatment. Neglect may include depriving a child of necessary food, clothing, medical care, supervision, education, dental care, and psychological care. It may also include exposing a child to drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and other harmful practices or substances. Because neglect is so broad, it is the most common type of child abuse. In this presentation, students will learn about options in responding to cases of child neglect.Click here to register
April 28: Going Undercover: Igniting the power of Survivors in an Abuse Investigation
Amber Higgins, Advisory Board Member, Featured Speaker, & Survivor - SHIELD Task Force
Dr. Timothy Saar, Director, Saar Psychological Group
Going Undercover portrays a never-before-seen approach to interviewing sexual predators. This presentation features Amber Higgins, advocate, childhood sexual abuse survivor, and featured SHIELD speaker. Amber is joined by forensic psychologist Dr. Timothy Saar to break down undercover footage of her fateful encounter with Richard. This presentation provides an unparalleled look behind the curtain, when a predator lets his guard down and believes no one is listening. Step into the perspective of a survivor as she confronts an abuser alone in a park, with only a wire and hidden camera.Click here to register
May 5: "Instead Of" Tips for Kiddos Who Have Experienced Trauma
Kathleen Guire, Certified Empowered to Connect Parent Trainer
Are you working with a child who has experienced trauma? Are you teaching/counseling/coaching a child who has a capital letter syndrome — such as ADD, ADHD, FAS, SPD, or ASD — or another special need? If so, then this is for you! Kids who have trauma care more about control and survival. When a child has a disorganized attachment style born out of trauma, he will want to control his surroundings. Control will trump following instructions every time. In fact, the very thing that would make him feel more connected, he will fight. Traditional parenting/discipline tends to swoop in and fix the immediate problematic behavior. It is a short-term approach that doesn’t work with kids who have trauma. We trauma-informed professionals, need to know what does work! Join Kathleen Guire for 8 “INSTEAD OF” Tips. These are practical easy to implement tips instead of traditional parenting/ discipline.Click here to register
May 12: Red Flags for First Responders: Developmental Perspective
Dr. Kiti Freier- Randall, Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
This presentation offers first responders some red flags to better identify risk/safety from a developmental perspective. It will provide some information regarding what first responders should know about development within the context of the environment with the perspective of ‘this is a problem’. This discussion will provide a basic understanding on what is normal and what is abnormal development and how the environment may lead to or exacerbate these delays.Click here to register
May 19: Supporting Families Facing Substance Abuse
Kristen Antolini, Esq., Attorney, Lyons Phillips Legal Group, PLLC
Please join us for a discussion focused on practical ideas and tips for supporting families you work with who face struggles related to substance abuse. Our presentation will overview the resources available throughout our State for families affected by substance abuse, and we will take a special focus on ideas for serving children who are affected by parental substance abuse.Click here to register
May 26: Addressing Stigma
Lori Garrett-Bumba, Director of Prevention Services, Youth Services System, Inc.
Shelly Mize, Prevention Grant Director, Westbrook Health Services
Elizabeth Shahan, Executive Director, WV Prevention Solutions
Paige Mathias, Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Potomac Highlands Guild
Individuals, families, helping professionals, prevention specialists, stakeholders and everyone in our society has something to gain from addressing stigma and working to eliminate it. This Addressing Stigma presentation will explore what stigma is, why it is important, and how we can reduce it. Specifically, we will learn about four types of stigma and offer four ways to reduce stigma.Click here to register
June 2: Why It is More Than Just Saying NO: How the Brain Responds to Opioid
Dr. Barry Ball, United Methodist Church
Persons suffering from addiction make no sense to those of us who have not suffered with this disease. Why would anyone choose to shoot up with heroin and risk death, prison, or follow on diseases instead of being a productive member of society? The answer begins in the very basic parts of our brain. This presentation will help participants better understand the brain physiology that allows opioids to take over a person’s life. By better understanding how the brain reacts to opioids we can help to end the negative stigma that has hampered our community’s response to this epidemic.Click here to register
June 9: Bruises, Burns and Bites: Abuse or Not?
Dr. Cathy Baldwin Johnson, MD, Alaska CARES, the Child Advocacy Center in Anchorage, AL
This presentation will review cutaneous (skin) manifestations of physical abuse. We will discuss the red flags from the medical history and exam that should increase concern for abuse, and tips to distinguish abusive injuries from accidents and medical conditions.Click here to register
June 16: Sextortion from a Prosecutors Perspective
Kristina Marie Korobov, Deputy Prosecutor, Marion County
This presentation will focus on the different ways in which children are being extorted online through the use of sexually explicit imagery that they have sent “voluntarily” or that they have been compelled to produce or have been tricked into producing. We will look at examples of how offenders gain access to kids, ruses used, and other ways that sextortion starts. We will discuss investigative techniques that help to gather evidence, and we will look at the impact of sextortion on victims.Click here to register
June 23: TBA
Presentation Description Coming SoonClick here to register
June 30: School is Out and Handle with Care is Still In!
Presentation Description Coming SoonClick here to register
Kristen D. Antolini, Esq. is a 2008 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, and she practices at Lyons Phillips Legal Group, PLLC, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Attorney Antolini brings a strong passion and love for the advocacy of children in her work as Guardian ad Litem to children in Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor Counties. She has previously presented at the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s Court Improvement Program for Guardian ad Litem training and programs. Attorney Antolini can be also be seen working on behalf of parents who struggle with substance abuse in the Netflix documentary, Recovery Boys.
Dr. Nora Baladerian
Dr. Nora Baladerian is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles, CA who for over 40 years has focused her work on the issue of abuse and neglect of people with I/DD. She has developed resources such as books, films, brief “tip sheets,” for parents, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities. She provides training programs for people with disabilities, parents and caregivers, law enforcement, therapists, social workers, and others on reducing the risk of abuse, recognizing and responding to signs of abuse, and providing therapy to survivors and their loved ones.
Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson
Dr. Baldwin-Johnson is a Board-certified family physician and cofounder and volunteer medical director for The Children’s Place Child Advocacy Center for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Alaska. Dr. Baldwin-Johnson served as the medical director for Alaska CARES, the Child Advocacy Center in Anchorage, Alaska from 2005 to May 2020 when she semi-retired. She has provided trainings for medical providers and multidisciplinary team members on child abuse topics in Alaska and nationally. She serves on the Alaska Children’s Justice Act Task Force, Alaska Children’s Alliance board, Maternal & Child Death Review Committee, and Medical Advisory Board for the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Swedish Hospital Family Practice Residency program.
Dr. Barry Steiner Ball
Barry Steiner Ball graduated from The Citadel with a B.A. in Psychology and then from Duke University with a Master of Divinity. Dr. Ball was then ordained as a United Methodist Minister. He served three different charges on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Talbot County. In 1998 Dr. Ball was offered a position with the Maryland Natural Resources Police (game wardens and marine police), working Talbot and Caroline counties and serving as the NRP’s chaplain when needed. In 2008, Dr. Ball was moved into the investigative unit for NRP and worked boating and hunting accidents and larger commercial fishing cases. During this time he also served in the Air Force Reserves as a chaplain at Dover Air Force Base, supporting the work of the Port Mortuary. Dr. Ball began a Doctor of Ministry program at Wesley Seminary in Washington DC focusing on Military Chaplaincy. In 2012 Dr. Ball’s wife, Sandra, also a United Methodist Minister, was elected into the office of Bishop and moved to West Virginia where she oversees all the United Methodist Churches in West Virginia and Garrett County MD. With the move west, Dr. Ball was offered by the NRP a position on a Drug Enforcement Administration’s Task Force in Hagerstown Maryland. In this position Dr. Ball worked larger drug cases in Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. During this assignment he was exposed to the plight of Drug Endangered Children and changed his doctoral project and began working with local United Methodist Churches helping them discover how they can support these children. Dr. Ball earned his doctoral degree, finally, in 2017! He retired from the Maryland Natural Resources Police on Oct. 1, 2017 to work full time with local churches in helping them find their ministry in response to the opioid epidemic. Dr. Ball and Sandra have two grown daughters, Sarah a high school math teacher in Talbot County Maryland and Becky, an aspiring princess at Walt Disney World.
Lori Garrett-Bumba currently serves as the Director of Prevention Services for Youth Services System, Inc. She serves as the Region 1 Prevention Services Lead for West Virginia and leads the Community Impact Coalition and the Northern Panhandle Prevention Consortium. She currently serves on the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction and Prevention Professionals. Ms. Garrett-Bumba also currently serves on the State Prevention Steering Committee, Expanded School-Based Mental Health State Steering Team, the SPF Rx State Advisory Group, and the PFS State Advisory Board. She formerly was a member of the WV SADD State Advisory Board. She is a West Virginia Licensed Social Worker and a Certified Prevention Specialist II. She has been working in the field of substance abuse prevention for 12 years after serving as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley and Information Helpline. Ms. Garrett-Bumba is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Wheeling. She has had extensive experience in grant writing, public relations, event planning and community collaborations.
Tonier Cain is the CEO/Founder of Tonier Cain International. Tonier Cain works tirelessly to raise the awareness about trauma informed care around the world. She has trained providers in all 50 states. Ms. Cain is an advocate and educator, speaking all over the world on trauma, addiction, incarceration, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health. Her work has been used as a model in other countries for the establishment of their trauma informed care protocols. Ms. Cain was the former team leader for the National Center for Trauma Informed Care, with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Director. Currently she works to create international leaders in the field of Trauma Informed Care. She hosts an annual national conference to update and enlighten providers on current best practices. Ms. Cain’s methods have proven to be effective, resulting in numerous awards for her work. She has been honored by two governors, a mayor and a state attorney with proclamations naming days after her, because of her help to transform their city and state. Ms. Cain is the C.E.O. and Founder of Tonier Cain International, Founder and President of Neen Cares, Inc. A 501 C 3, Founder and Co-C.E.O. of M.E.T.-R Integrated Health, Global, as well as the Founder and C.E.O. of Purposeful Entertainment Production Company. She is an award winning Film Producer that is the Creator and Producer of the Upcoming TV Show “Restoration”, Executive Producer of the Film “Walking Thru Bullets”, subject and Co- Producer of the Award-Winning Film “Healing Neen”, along being featured in the Documentary “Behind Closed Doors: Trauma Survivors in the Psychiatrist System and advising on the film “Like Any Other Kid”. Ms. Cain is an author and serves as a Citygate Network Board Member. Her commitment to advocating for those who are often forgotten hasn’t gone without recognition. She has been featured in many articles including December’s 2014 Ebony Magazine and appeared on over 17 talks shows. Ms. Cain uses her life experiences to make a difference for trauma survivors.
Chelsea Carter is the Program Coordinator/Therapist of Brighter Futures Substance and Mental Health Abuse Treatment Center in Madison, WV. She graduated in May 2016 from Concord University with her master's degree in social work. Ms. Carter, like many others has suffered from this horrible disease called addiction. During her time in active addiction, which was from the ages of 12 to 21, she became entangled in a web of lies, manipulation, and chaos which eventually led her to receiving a 2 to 20-year prison sentence for nighttime burglary and conspiracy. After she gained her life back, she decided that it was time to give back to the community what had been given to her, which was her recovery.
Cindy Chamberlin is a physical therapist with over 25 years of experience working with children. She has worked in the Birth to Three program for more than 16 years and Clay County schools for more than 10 years. Prior to that she implemented the developmental care program in Raleigh General Hospital’s NICU. She has been working with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) babies since her NICU days and has seen the steady increase in numbers as well as observed these children as they transition into school and the impacts that it has had on our educational system. She is the WV Chapter President of To The Moon and Back, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support for the families and professionals working with these children.
Sharon W. Cooper, MD FAAP
Dr. Sharon Cooper is the CEO of Developmental & Forensic Pediatrics, P.A., a consulting firm which provides medical care to children with developmental disabilities, and provides medical care, research and training, and expert witness testimony in cases of child maltreatment. Dr. Cooper spent 21 years in the United States Army, retiring as a Colonel. Dr. Cooper holds faculty positions at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill-School of Medicine and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She serves on the boards of several national and international organizations focused on violence against children. Dr. Cooper has lectured both nationally and internationally in well over 300 conferences, including many federal justice agencies, the National Judicial College, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, INTERPOL, and academic conferences focused on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She has provided extensive training to representatives of more than 45 countries whose hotlines are focused on the rescue and identification of child and adolescent victims of sexual exploitation. Dr. Cooper is the lead author of two comprehensive texts on child sexual exploitation and is co-author of a book focused on the complexity of investigation, discovery and recovery of missing children and adults. She served on the International Working Group which published the landmark Survivor Survey of victims of abusive images, sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. She has testified before the United States Congress, the European Commission, the Manitoba Legislature, the Italian Senate and the Russian Duma (Parliament). Dr. Cooper has worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children providing victim-centered training for more than a decade and presently serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Cooper served on the National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence at the request of the Attorney General of the United States. She also served as a member of the bipartisan Homeland Security Advisory Council on Children and Families for Customs and Border Protection regarding migrating populations from the Northern Triangle. Dr. Cooper is the Executive Producer of the documentary Not Just Pictures, which delves into the extraordinary victim impact of abusive images and other types of sexual exploitation.
Sergeant Tony Craigo
Sgt. Tony Craigo is a 19-year veteran of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. Sgt. Craigo currently works as the Domestic Violence Investigator for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department specializing in domestic violence and sexual assault investigations, elder abuse, stress management and training various disciplines on the aspects of domestic violence and non-fatal strangulation. Sgt. Craigo also fills in as a Batterers Intervention Prevention facilitator for the Putnam County Day Report Center. Sgt. Craigo sits on the Putnam County STOP Domestic Violence Taskforce, West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, and is a trainer on the WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Training Team, International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL). Sgt. Craigo consults for other national stakeholders on rural abuse investigations.
Emily Daniels is the founder of HERE this NOW, a trauma-informed consulting firm that provides technical assistance to those seeking to build capacity for being trauma-informed and trauma-responsive. Ms. Daniels has a B.A. in Sociology and Women Studies and a Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Delaware. She also holds an MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability from Antioch University New England. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through the NBCC (National Board of Certified Counselors) and is in her second year of a three-year certificate program in Somatic Experiencing.™ She’s trained in SMART (Sensory-Motor Arousal Therapy) and has trained with Dr. Tina Champagne in Trauma-Informed Sensory Modulation. She is a trained Reiki practitioner and completed a certificate in the Penn Program for Mindfulness. She is the author of The Regulated Classroom: “Bottom-Up” Trauma-Informed Teaching and is a nationally recognized trauma specialist in the trauma-informed movement providing training and consultation in NH and across the US.
Andrea Darr is the director of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice which promotes and supports a statewide trauma informed response to child maltreatment and children’s exposure to violence. The Center, housed in the Crimes Against Children Unit at the WV State Police, streamlines resources and minimizes duplicative efforts to address challenges, barriers, gaps and needed improvements in working child maltreatment cases. The Center includes the WV Children’s Justice Task Force and the WV Handle with Care Initiative. Before devoting her work full time on children’s initiatives, Ms. Darr served as the Coordinator of Victim Witness Services for the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute from 2005-2015. In that capacity she coordinated with prosecution-based victim witness assistance programs as well as community-based programs to improve their collective knowledge concerning available resources and information and to establish a bridge between local, state, and federal agencies regarding victim issues. Ms. Darr has also worked in direct services with victims of crime, violence and abuse while serving as the Victim Liaison at the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Bonnie Dunn was born, raised, and educated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Ms. Dunn received a BS in Education Comprehensive Vocational Home Economics from West Virginia State (College) University and an MS in Vocational Education /Minor Adult Education from Marshall University. Her career spans 58 years in the field of education and her life-long passion has been teaching. She has worked as a middle-school teacher, an entrepreneur, teacher-educator, vocational evaluator, single parent, an Extension Agent, statewide coordinator for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and finally returning to her roots at West Virginia State University where she now serves as an Extension Specialist for Family and Consumer Sciences. Her passion for the last five years has been working with Grandparents who are raising grandchildren. She is currently specialist for the statewide WVSU Healthy Grandfamilies Program that covers all 55 counties in West Virginia. Her passion for this program comes from her maternal grandparents who sacrificed 25 years of their lives to give her life!
Rita Farrell serves as the Director of the ChildFirst® program of the Zero Abuse Project. Ms. Farrell has been in the field for more than 20 years and manages the ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Training Program, ChildFirst® Arkansas state program, and the development of advanced training courses and programs for forensic interviewers. Ms. Farrell is a certified law enforcement instructor and provides training and technical assistance for child protection professionals. Ms. Farrell currently conducts forensic interviews and has interviewed more than 1,500 children. She serves as an expert witness on child sexual abuse, authored many peer reviewed articles specific to forensic interviewing and has trained nationally since 2005 on issues relating to child maltreatment and forensic interviewing. Ms. Farrell graduated from Ball State University with a degree in secondary education and was the founding executive director of Chaucie’s Place, a Child Advocacy Center in Hamilton County, Indiana. As a national trainer, Ms. Farrell continues to champion the cause of child advocacy and the field of forensic interviewing.
Barri Faucett, M.A. received her Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Marshall University in 2003. Currently serving as the Director of Prevent Suicide WV, as well as West Virginia’s Suicide Prevention and Intervention project, Mrs. Faucett oversees and implements directives designed to address suicide prevention and intervention for all West Virginians. Her work involves facilitation, monitoring and evaluation of suicide prevention efforts throughout the state. Her clinical experience includes direct service in intensive outpatient programs related to children and adolescents with mental health and substance abuse issues, covering a broad array of diagnoses. Mrs. Faucett is a Master Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), safeTALK, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer, providing trainings for over 10,000 professionals, consumers, and community members for increased awareness and efficient referral intervention procedures for at risk individuals.
Dr. Kiti Freier-Randall
Dr. Kiti Freier Randall is an internationally known Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist. She has extensive experience with infants, children, and adolescents. She has specialized expertise in infant high-risk populations, neurodevelopmental disability, trauma, and pre and postnatal substance exposure. Dr Kiti is a Professor and Director of Psychological Services for the Department of Pediatrics, Loma Linda University Health and Medical Director for the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center of Excellence. Dr. Kiti works as a clinical expert consultant to the six San Bernardino County SART programs (transdisciplinary 0-5 high-risk clinics). She is also a content consultant to several agencies including San Bernardino First Five, Children’s Network, and IEHP. She is author/director of the Trauma, Loss & Compassion (TLC) program; a bereavement support group which has been implemented in San Bernardino County Preschools for 10 years (Community Service Award in 2018). She has co-developed ‘Time-In 4 Schools’ which provides strategies to assist schools in enhancing social/emotional development and learning. Dr Kiti has had an extensive academic and research career. She has worked at professorship positions at University of Miami, Brown University, Andrews University and Loma Linda University. She has been a co-investigator on several NIH grants and has been a primary investigator on numerous local and state grants. Dr Kiti was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Advocacy (2020) from San Bernardino County California, the Health Ministries Medal of Distinction (2016) from the SDA General Conference, Shine a Light Award (2013) from San Bernardino County, Telly Award (Bronze) With members of the TV Series “Unhooked” as Co-Host of the series Produced by Hope Channel (2012), and the Distinguished Service Award (2007) and the Centennial Vanguard Award for her service in ‘Wholeness’ (2006) from Loma Linda University. Through her work Dr. Kiti has facilitated moving from understanding risk to promoting resiliency via training in over 40 countries. Dr. Kiti has dedicated her career to children, families, professionals, organizations, and communities to enhance the physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual lives of children and their families to promote optimal and healthy living. She is especially committed to ameliorating the trajectories of children in her local and global community.
After three biological children and the National Parents of the Year award, Kathleen and Jerry Guire began the adoption process. The Guire family traveled to Poland in November of 1999 to adopt a sibling group of four. The new Guires came home in February of 2000. Ms. Guire has spent the last several years leading an adoption support group, “Positive Adoption.” The support group is named after Ms. Guire’s first book Positive Adoption: A Memoir, which intertwines her childhood story with the adoption of her children. She has also written Five Things: A Tiny Handbook for Adoptive/Foster Families, Defining Home, Defining Family, and 25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas: An Advent Devotional. Ms. Guire is a certified Empowered to Connect Parent Trainer, a program that relies heavily on the TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) model created by Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues at TCU. You can find more about Ms. Guire — including over five hundred articles she has written about adoption, home, house and family — at https://thewholehouse.org.
Senior Deputy Matthew Hagan
Senior Deputy Matt Hagan is a 20-year veteran of law enforcement and works for the Marion County (Oregon) Sheriff's Office. He is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit as a person’s crimes detective, investigating sex crimes and homicides. He is also the Terrorism Liaison Officer for Marion County. On top of his regular duties, he has been a member of the MCSO Domestic Violence Team since 2011 and has completed the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Violence Investigations Instructor Course. He is also a member of the MCSO Peer Support Team. He is a Stress First Aid Train-The-Trainer Instructor. He has presented classes around Oregon, as well as nationally on Domestic Violence Investigations and Emotional Survival. Senior Deputy Hagan is also an adjunct instructor at Chemeketa Community College in the Law Enforcement program. He is also the Co-founder/Instructor of 1932 Training Concepts LLC.
Dr. Jim Harris
Dr. Jim Harris is the Associate Director at the West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC) at Marshall University. Dr. Harris’s focus at the WV ATC is the improvement and expansion of services ranging for in-home programs to national partnerships. Dr. Harris has presented at a variety of conferences from the local to the international levels on such topics as behavioral intervention, parenting, positive behavior support, trauma-informed care, organizational change, and many more. He has worked with children and families throughout his career as an early interventionist, parent educator, educational consultant, and behavioral health therapist. He has worked with a variety of public and private entities including the Fred Rogers Company, United States Department of Education, the United States Department of Justice, and many more. For more information about the ATC please visit http://www.marshall.edu/atc/.
Susan Harrison has led and grown the CASA for Children Inc. organization to include 4 counties (Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler Counties), 2 Court Jurisdictions and serving more than 400 children each year. In 2010, Ms. Harrison and her husband founded Helping Heroes Inc., a program providing a ‘hand up’ to veterans needing housing stability assistance in the Northern Panhandle of WV. She is a member of the WV State Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children, the lead for the Marshall County Partners in Prevention Team and a trainer of the Mandated Reporting, Making a Difference Curriculum. In addition, Ms. Harrison has taught social work classes at West Liberty University each year since 2012.
Dr. Rachael Hatfield
Dr. Rachael Hatfield earned her Doctor of Psychology degree from Marshall University. For her dissertation, she developed a broad-based mental health training program for law enforcement agencies and examined the effects of the program on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards persons exhibiting a mental disturbance. She is a WV Licensed Clinical Psychologist and is employed by the Huntington VA Medical Center. Her primary responsibilities at the VA Medical Center include consultation and liaison services for the emergency departments and inpatient medical floors, de-escalation techniques and crisis intervention skills with patients exhibiting mental disturbances and facilitating transfers to psychiatric units and mental hygiene commitments. Dr. Hatfield has completed training and is assigned to complete VAMC police officer candidacy evaluations and fitness for duty evaluations. Since 2013, she has worked with various state, county, and city law enforcement agencies to provide annual in-service in mental disturbance identification, de-escalation of crisis, and police officer self-care. Dr. Hatfield was born and raised in West Virginia; she enjoys engaging in many of the outdoor activities WV has to offer.
Amber Higgins grew up in West Virginia with her mother and sisters in an unstable household. From the ages of 8 to 13, she would be abused countless times by her best friend’s father. When she reported this abuse, her claims were not taken seriously by law enforcement or her mother. It was not until Ms. Higgins was 18 that she would find the courage to come forward again to report her abuser. Thanks to WV State Trooper Horne, she was heard and believed. Ms. Higgins faced her abuser alone in a park wearing a wire and hidden camera in hopes of capturing a confession. Today Ms. Higgins is a featured speaker with the SHIELD Task Force. She has told her story to thousands of school-aged youth and been a key resource for the many survivors who have disclosed abuse at SHIELD events. Ms. Higgins also works as Awareness & Development Assistant at Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center.
Dr. Allison Jackson
Allison Jackson, PhD, LCSW, LICSW, CSOTP and Certified Facilitator of Dr. Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ curriculums (CDWF) focuses on advancing effective trauma informed clinical and organizational practices. Specialties include using attachment, mindfulness, and neuroscience interventions to enhance clinical and organizational practices. She is a person of lived experience and a professional having provided services via Behavioral Health, Education, Child Welfare and Criminal Justice systems for over 20 years. For 13 years, she served within an international healthcare organization first as mentor and finally as their VP of Clinical Operations and National Trauma Informed Service Line Leader. Partnering with the National Council of Behavioral HealthCare, she co-led 17 National Teams through the Council’s Trauma Informed Learning Collaborative. Today, Dr. Jackson is the CEO of Integration Solutions, providing trauma informed care consultation to human service and healthcare organizations furthering their integration of resilience practices to consumers via TIC organizational culture principles. http://integrationsolutions.org
Edward G. Jacoubs MSW is currently employed by the Plymouth County District Attorney office as the Director of Grants and Sponsored Projects having been in this position since 1998. He is responsible for grant writing and administration, as well as community education and special projects having administered over 14 million dollars in grant funding since 2000. Prior to working at the District Attorney’s Office he was a Probation Officer for 13 years at the Brockton District Court, supervising juvenile offenders and mental health adults. He also served seven years as the Director of a DYS detention center. He holds a Master’s degree of Clinical Social Work from Boston College and has 42 years’ experience in the juvenile justice and forensic mental health field. He completed his clinical training at McLean Hospital (a Harvard Medical School affiliate) with his concentration on addictions and adolescent behavioral health. He serves on the faculty at Bridgewater State University, Curry College and Stonehill College all located in Massachusetts.
As the Southern California community facilitator for ACEs Connection, Ms. Kain brings her deep understanding of the importance of schools as community drivers for change. Ms. Kain is an experienced educator and consultant who speaks nationally on implementing trauma-informed practices in schools and building holistic, trauma-responsive systems. Ms. Kain brings over two decades of experience at the local, state, and national levels, including developing programs for integrating trauma-informed practices into community schools in Los Angeles. She worked for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as the state homeless coordinator, and practiced her first love, teaching 'at-risk' youth in Washington state. As an example of her understanding of the micro and the macro, Ms. Kain’s experience ranges from supporting individual teachers to designing a trauma-informed schools pilot implemented in 20 schools across the country. Ms. Kain has worked both as a teacher and administrator putting the science of building resilience into practice.
Judge Patricia Keller
Patricia Keller is a Family Court Judge in the Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County), where she presides over domestic relations hearings, including divorce, child custody, visitation, guardianship, domestic violence, and support, as well as modification and contempt matters. In addition to her Family Court duties, Judge Keller has been actively involved in the implementation of both juvenile and adult drug courts in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
Sarah Kingston is a Certified Victim Advocate for the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. Formerly a community-based advocate with Branches, Inc., she continues to provide support to victims and their families while helping to ensure their safety and recovery. Ms. Kingston was certified by The West Virginia State Police Academy as a trainer in Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Response and continues to serve on the WVCADV Law Enforcement Training Faculty. As a trainer for West Virginia Child Welfare Workers and Domestic Violence Advocates, Ms. Kingston co-trains DHHR staff and advocates state-wide. She is the chair of the Kanawha County STOP Team. In 2009, Ms. Kingston received The Diane Reese Advocacy Award from The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence for her “spirited and visionary efforts in coordinating grassroots advocacy on behalf of battered women and their children”. From 2009 to 2012 she served on the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. She was chair of the Putnam County STOP Team who received the United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney Southern District of West Virginia Award for Public Service. In 2015, Ms. Kingston received the Purple Ribbon Award from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence as part of the Law Enforcement Training Faculty. In 2017, the U S. Attorney Southern District of West Virginia presented Ms. Kingston the Excellence in Victim Advocacy and Justice Award.
Kristina Korobov is an Assistant United State Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, where she serves as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, handling crimes against children and sex trafficking cases. Ms. Korobov has worked in prosecution since 1996 in Indianapolis and Leesburg, VA. She has specialized in Special Victims Offenses, including child abuse homicides, sex crimes, internet crimes against children and domestic violence offenses. She has trained allied professionals on the national and international level since 2003.
Maggie Kuhl, Esq.
Maggie Kuhl graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Political Science, and then WVU Law School. She now practices in the Putnam County region in Family and Juvenile law. She is a frequent GAL in Family Court and Circuit Court in multiple counties.
Jill Macfarlane is Program Director at The Sharing Place, a grief support program for children and their families in Salt Lake City, UT. Ms. MacFarlane also facilitates several grief support groups and has been with The Sharing Place since 2002. Ms. MacFarlane received her bachelor’s from the University of Utah in 2002 in family and human development and spent the first part of her career in the healthcare industry as a Child Life Specialist in the Pediatric Dialysis and Kidney Transplant program.
Paige Mathias is currently the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at the Potomac Highlands Guild. Under the West Virginia Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, provided through the WV Department of Health and Human Resources – Bureau for Behavioral Health, she covers Region 2 (Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton counties) in the state of West Virginia. In this position she provides leadership regarding multiple state grants to implement prevention services and trainings related to substance use disorder. She maintains a strong focus in evidence-based prevention programming, strategic planning, workforce development, community mobilization and coalition building. Before working in the prevention field, Ms. Mathias worked in pre-college enrichment at the University of California, Santa Barbara providing academic counseling and social mentoring. She completed two terms as a Community Coordinator for AmeriCorps Energy Express and is endorsed to substitute teach English, Spanish and Social Studies (k-12) in the state of West Virginia. Other professional experiences include public relations campaigns, advertising campaigns, special event planning, fundraising and volunteer recruitment. She received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism (concentration in Public Relations) and Bachelor of Arts in History from West Virginia University simultaneously in December 2004.
Sergeant Jim Mitchell
Sergeant Jim Mitchell has served as a law enforcement officer for thirty one years, twenty four of these years in criminal investigations. He currently serves as the Assistant Detachment Commander for the Oak Hill Detachment. He is also the Wellness Officer and Director of Chaplain Services for the West Virginia State Police. Sergeant Mitchell has served in the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Division and the Beckley City Police Department. He honorably served in the United States Army as a military police officer and veteran of Desert Storm. Sergeant Mitchell has devoted thirty six years to ministry serving as both associate and senior pastor. He is a graduate of Marshall University and is furthering his education from Liberty University.
Shelly Mize currently works as the Prevention Grant Director for Westbrook Health Services. She serves as the Prevention Lead for Region 3 in West Virginia. Ms. Mize works daily to educate children and adults about substance abuse prevention and advocates for healthy lifestyle choices and opportunities in their community. She has a BA in Social Work from West Virginia State University. Ms. Mize is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Prevention Specialist II. She is committed to improving the quality of life for youth in Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt, and Wood Counties. For over a decade, she has educated children in Region 3 by bringing community members together to uplift and guide them. Westbrook Health Services provides a vast array of services and supports designed to better the lives of those we serve. Working with individuals, schools, and other non-profit organizations, Westbrook strives daily to empower people to reach their greatest potential.
Robert J. Peters is the Senior Attorney of the Zero Abuse Project, where he develops and delivers state-of-the-art training and comprehensive technical assistance to prosecutors and child abuse multidisciplinary team members on crimes against children. Previously, Mr. Peters worked as the Senior Cyber and Economic Crime Attorney & General Counsel with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), where his efforts included providing subject matter expertise on topics and training related to technology-facilitated child exploitation, and acting as lead instructor for NW3C’s Judges & Prosecutors courses. Mr. Peters served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Special Prosecutor in multiple West Virginia jurisdictions, where he specialized in the prosecution of sexual offenses, civil child abuse and neglect cases, and juvenile crime. In addition to his prosecutorial experience, Mr. Peters authored several child protection-related articles in peer-reviewed publications, including the Florida Journal of International Law, Handbook on Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan, and Christian Ethics Today. While in law school, Peters clerked at the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Virginia. Prior to serving as prosecutor, Mr. Peters designed comprehensive child protection policies for numerous entities including educational institutions, churches, and parachurch organizations. He assisted the nonprofit GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) by providing legal support and serving as an investigator of abuse perpetrated in the context of faith communities. Mr. Peters is the founder and Chairman of the SHIELD Task Force, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that partners with Child Advocacy Centers and local stakeholders to encourage reporting of sexual abuse and online safety. This initiative has brought age-appropriate abuse prevention education to thousands of school-aged children and numerous civic and community groups. Mr. Peters also serves on the WV Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) Board of Directors and WV Human Trafficking Task Force. In 2019, Mr. Peters received the WV State Police Center for Children’s Justice Extra Mile Award for demonstrated professional leadership and personal commitment in going the Extra Mile on behalf of children and families.
Jan Riley is a retired educator who continues to use her skills, knowledge, and experience to promote the welfare of people, especially children. She has a BS degree in chemistry/pre-med and Master’s Degree in education. She combines her life experience as a teacher, professor, conference speaker, and CASA volunteer with her knowledge of science and counseling to continue her efforts to inform, equip, and encourage those in the helping professions.
Kim Runyon Wilds
Kim Runyon Wilds has a MS degree in Criminal Justice from Marshall University and an MSW from WVU. She is the Program Director of Western Regional CASA and has been with WRC for over 27 years.
Dr. Timothy Saar
Dr. Timothy Saar has been practicing psychology in West Virginia for over twenty years and has a broad range of experience in clinical diagnosis and therapy, forensic evaluations, and geriatric practice. He received his Ph. D. from Cambridge Graduate College in Los Angeles, CA.; his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA; and his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Dr. Saar received his licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy in California in 1990 as well as in Psychology in California in 1995, in West Virginia in 1996, and in North Carolina in 2015. He has also been qualified as a forensic expert in Clinical Psychology in Family, Circuit, and Federal courts. Dr. Saar is currently the Director of Saar Psychological Group, PLLC (SPG), has been an adjunct professor at Marshall University Graduate College, and is on the faculty of West Virginia State University.
Dr. Christine Schimmel
Dr. Christine Schimmel is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University. Dr. Schimmel coordinates the school counseling program and specifically focuses on working with and training school counselors. Prior to becoming a counselor educator, she was a school counselor. Dr. Schimmel has devoted over 21 years to providing staff development and workshops on topics relevant to both clinical mental health and school counselors. She has presented on topics such as impact therapy, creative counseling techniques, counseling theory, dealing with challenging students, and group counseling. Dr. Schimmel has published more than 10 articles, book chapters and monographs on these subjects as well. along with her colleague, Dr. Ed Jacoubs, they have published one of the most widely used group counseling textbooks on the market, Group Counseling: Strategies and Skills, which is now in its eighth edition. In December 2018, her newest textbook with co-editor Dr. Ann Vernon, Counseling Children & Adolescents was released.
John Sedoski is a Cybercrime Specialist with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). He earned a B.S. in 2009 from West Virginia University, majoring in Computer and Electrical Engineering. During this time, he worked in the West Virginia State Police Digital Forensic Lab where he was able to provide aid by using his education and applying it to the field of computer forensics. Mr. Sedoski has provided thousands of hours of training to numerous state, local, and federal law enforcement personnel in topics ranging from basic identifying and seizing of electronic evidence to the analysis of artifacts found in a variety of file systems and operating systems. When Mr. Sedoski is not out providing training, he is either providing technical assistance or developing curriculum..
Elizabeth Shahan is the Executive Director of West Virginia Prevention Solutions, Inc. She is a licensed social worker and a certified as a Prevention Specialist II. She has studied community mobilization in response to conflict in South America and Mexico. She has been training/teaching adults and youth for 17 years. She provides training throughout West Virginia educating professionals, community members, parents, and youth in an array of substance abuse issues. She also works with community members and stakeholders to create sustainable positive change using environmental strategies in substance abuse prevention.
Dr. Lauren Swager
Dr. Lauren W. Morgan Swager is currently an Associate Professor in the West Virginia University Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry where she is the Division Chief for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She received her M.D. from West Virginia University. She completed a general psychiatry residency program and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Currently Dr. Swager serves as the Co-Director of the Education Oversight Committee in psychiatry. She is involved in medical student education and serves as the medical director of the PREVENT clinic for adolescent substance use treatment, has previously served as a consultant to Monongalia County Schools, and is currently the director of the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation service to the WVU Children’s Hospital. She is a nationally Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She enjoys serving her state and working to improve the mental health of pediatric patients and families.
Judge William Thompson
Judge William Thompson was born in Charleston and raised on Lick Creek near Danville. He graduated Salutatorian from Scott High School in 1988. He has a 1992 degree in civil engineering from West Virginia University and graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1995. He was an engineer for American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio, in 1992; Vice President of Danville Lumber Company from 1992 to 2007; and President of Madison Health Care, Inc., from 1998-2007. He was an attorney for Cook and Cook in Madison from 1995 to 2007and a Mental Hygiene Commissioner for Boone County from 2003 to 2007. Then-Governor Joe Manchin III appointed him to the bench in the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit (Boone and Lincoln Counties) in 2007. Judge Thompson was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2016. Judge Thompson has been appointed to be a temporary Justice on the Supreme Court to hear cases in which as Justice was recused. He serves as the presiding judge for the Boone County Adult Drug Court, the Lincoln County Adult Drug Court, and the Boone County Adult Drug Court. He is a member of the Madison United Methodist Church and is actively involved in coaching youth sports for both boys and girls. He and his wife, Keri Dawn, have four children, Grace Madison, age 19, William Joseph Thompson, age 15, Claire Thompson, age 14 and Sophia MaKay Thompson, age 9.
Aisury Vasquez is the Diversity Outreach Coordinator with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Ms. Vasquez works with the Divison's Diversity Ambassador program and serves as a liaison between students and identity-based student organizations. Furthermore, she also enjoys working to promote an inclusive and diverse campus community through programming, training, and events. Ms. Vasquez received her bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and a master's from West Virginia University. She has also served in the US Peace Corps from 2016 - 2018.
Mary Vicario is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor (LPCC-S) and a Certified Trauma Specialist with over 30 years’ experience working with trauma survivors of all ages and ability levels and training on trauma informed care nationally and internationally. She has been a People-to-People delegate to China and Mongolia with the American Counseling Association and guest lectured and participated in a conference on human trafficking in Germany. She holds a Certificate in Traumatic Studies from Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute and has also been honored with a CASA award for cooperative casework. As a former teacher, clinician, and clinical director and now as the founder of Finding Hope Consulting, LLC, Ms. Vicario has many years’ experience working with trauma survivors, addictions, and training. Receiving ongoing training at international conferences and Harvard Medical School since 1992, she has been bringing home to Ohio the latest in neuroscience and trauma research to create cutting edge training and programming for individuals of all ages and ability levels and the systems that work with them. Ms. Vicario is a trainer and coach for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program and co-authored the Foster Parents' Survival Guide, a textbook chapter in Counseling Children and Adolescents: Connecting Theory, Development and Diversity by Sondra Smith-Adcock and Catherine Tucker Eds through Sage Publishing, and other trauma informed articles and curricula. She has been an expert witness on abuse since 1989 and worked with Hamilton County Courts for eight years creating cross system care for the 300 most challenging youth in the county. Ms. Vicario is a proud recipient of multiple grants to further develop and link trauma informed care across systems and communities in Ohio and is honored to provide Trauma Responsive Care Certification through the Tristate Trauma Network for anyone working with trauma survivors.
Victor has trained thousands of child-protection professionals from all 50 states, two U.S. Territories, and 17 countries on numerous topics pertaining to child abuse investigations, prosecutions, and prevention. Mr. Vieth gained national recognition for his work in addressing child abuse in small communities as a prosecutor in rural Minnesota and has been named to the President’s Honor Roll of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. In 2012, Mr. Vieth was awarded the Pro Humanitate Award from the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare. Mr. Vieth is the Director of Education and Research of the Zero Abuse Project, a 501©(3) public charity based in St Paul, MN, committed to education, training, and survivor support in order to eradicate child sex abuse and remedy its resulting harms. He is the 2018 President of the Academy on Violence & Abuse, and founder of the National Child Protection Training Center. With NCPTC and its partners, Mr. Vieth has been instrumental in implementing 22 state and international forensic interview training programs and dozens of undergraduate and graduate programs on child maltreatment. Mr. Vieth graduated magna cum laude from WSU and earned his Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law (HUSL). In 2017, Mr. Vieth earned an MA in theology from Wartburg Seminary. Mr. Vieth has published countless articles related to the investigation, prosecution and prevention of child abuse and neglect. He is author of Unto the Third Generation, a bold initiative that outlines the necessary steps we must all take to eliminate child abuse in America in three generations, and On This Rock: A Call to Center the Christian Response to Child Abuse on the Life and Works of Jesus (Wiff & Stock 2018).
A native of Wheeling, West Virginia, Mr. Wilmoth is a proud alumnus of the West Virginia University School of Social Work. He currently serves as a Title IX Education specialist in the West Virginia University Office of Equity Assurance. Before joining WVU, Mr. Wilmoth was the SART Project Coordinator at the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services. In that capacity, Mr. Wilmoth traveled throughout the state, delivering trainings designed to enhance services for survivors of sexual assault and stalking. Mr. Wilmoth has also served as a project manager for a federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. The funds from this grant were used to support rape crisis centers across West Virginia. Mr. Wilmoth also has substantial experience engaging in preventative programming, having delivered presentations to thousands of students at West Virginia University. Mr. Wilmoth also served as a faculty member for the National Center for Campus Public Safety, where he helps teach a course on trauma-informed Title IX procedures across the nation. Mr. Wilmoth's most formative experiences have been clinical ones. For several years, Mr. Wilmoth worked as a discharge planner on an Intensive Care Unit in a mental health hospital. Though Mr. Wilmoth worked primarily with young and middle-aged people who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, much of his experience has revolved around older adults as well. Mr. Wilmoth has worked with a large number of clients who have dementia, chronic mental health issues, and neurological disorders. Through their grace, wisdom, and obvious love for their families, these clients have taught Mr. Wilmoth more than he could ever imagine. Having worked closely with both in-home and nursing facility care, Mr. Wilmoth has enormous admiration for professionals and loved ones who provide care for older adults.