Handle With Care Conference
October 16 – 18, 2019
Civic Center, Charleston, WV
Handle With Care WV

2019 Workshop Descriptions

Children have a unique perspective in viewing the world. While it’s long been held that alcoholism and drug addiction are a family disease, there are relatively few opportunities for children to be an integral part of the recovery process. Come learn about how children get impacted by addiction and how they see it in their families. More importantly, witness how they embrace the healing journey. There is much hope today for these kids.
Unfortunately, if you are working with children and families today, you are likely encountering trauma and its’ effects. In this presentation, Dr. Harris helps you better understand how the experience of trauma can have a profound effect on the physiology and psychology of children. Dr. Harris will explore different types of trauma and how they impact the developmental trajectory of children. He will also explore how understanding these potential effects can help us provide more responsible and effective interventions.
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.
Cyber S.W.A.T. (Safety While Accessing Technology) is an innovative extra-curricular program for middle school and high school students in which school resource officers help peer mentors learn and share the principles of online safety. As the online space has become increasingly integrated into the community ecosystem, teens’ lives have rapidly moved online. Just as they learn how to be safe in other situations, teens need to learn to navigate their online communities safely, making positive choices and avoiding unnecessary risks.
Why have an MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team)? Who really needs to be present? Do the benefits of having an MDT meeting outweigh the time and work involved? This panel presentation will walk you through the process and allow conference attendees to engage with those professionals / individuals who make up the MDT in abuse & neglect and delinquent cases. Panelists will include a circuit judge, prosecuting attorney, DHHR case worker, CASA representative, public defender, guardian ad litem (GAL), education representative, residential provider representative, BJS representative, parent/foster parent and juvenile. Participants will learn 1) statutory expectations of the MDT composition, 2) what makes a quality MDT, and 3) the benefits of a quality MDT.
Fitting a square into a circle doesn’t work without modification or change. This presentation will focus on the unique collaboration between the child welfare system and domestic violence advocates known as DV Specialist. The presentation will enhance participant’s knowledge on how the two entities can work together to best benefit adult and child victims of domestic violence while holding the perpetrator accountable through a systems approach.
Research clearly points to a variety of risk factors for children growing up in families hurt by alcoholism and drug addiction. By moving from a damage model to a strengths based perspective, we’ll explore the research on resilience and specific tools to enhance positive youth development.
In this presentation, Dr. Harris explores practices for building resiliency in children that have experienced trauma. Dr. Harris will identify key developmental factors that build resilience and explore ways to work across systems to provide them for children. The focus of this presentation is practical understanding and strategies.
As the saying goes, ‘if they cruise, they bruise’. Since injuries are an expected consequence of childhood it can be extremely challenging to distinguish between accidental and inflicted trauma. This presentation includes forensic photographs of various pediatric skin findings often seen in non-accidental injury (NAI), and will provide evidence-based recommendations for a comprehensive and well documented forensic-medical evaluation.
A picture is worth a thousand words and everyone with a smart phone has a tool at their disposal to document potential evidence in a child maltreatment case. This presentation will provide the basics of photography and more specifically crime scene photography. Tips on taking photos as it relates to subject, scale, reference object, and light will be given as well as composition.
This presentation will focus on the truths, the myths, and the mixed bag of DVPs. Participants will gain an understanding of how to file a DVP, confidentiality standards associated with a DVP, and the individual roles of various disciplines reviewing DVP. The presentation will end with a confab on how to best serve a child who is also a victim of domestic violence.
Learn the key indicators of abuse and trafficking, best practices for responding to abuse, and recent updates to mandatory reporting legislation. This presentation, presented by a former prosecutor, will review peer-based and offender-based online threats to students such as cyberbullying, solicitation, sextortion, and sexting, and how to respond to them.
The primary focus of this session will be current and emerging drug trends across Appalachia. These drug trends present an increasing threat to children. This session will include information on the abuse of these substances by caregivers, which could result in more ignored, abused, and abandoned children. The education of professionals from a variety of disciplines about these ever-changing drug trends will increase the likelihood that the indicators of abuse of new substances can be identified earlier, thus diminishing the threat to children.
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.”
This presentation offers innovative best practices for helping to mitigate the negative effects experienced by children’s exposure to trauma and highlights a promising initiative (Handle with Care) between schools/child care agency, law enforcement and treatment providers. “Handle with Care” provides the school with a “heads up” when a child has been identified by law enforcement at the scene of a traumatic event. Schools are responding, with interventions, to help mitigate the trauma and mental health providers are co-locating at the school to provide services. Handle with Care programs promote safe and supportive homes, schools, and communities that protect children, and help traumatized children heal and thrive. This presentation will also include examples of implementing the program.
The presentation will cover the wide range of clinical findings in cases of child neglect. Encompassing nutritional neglect, medical neglect, physical neglect, to the consequences of supervisory neglect the presentation will define and illustrate the effects neglect has on a child. Case based illustrations will be utilized discuss each type of neglect
This session will cover examples of trauma sensitive responses to children at the scene of crime, violence or abuse. Included will be examples of things that work well to help a child acclimate to the presence of law enforcement as well as highlighting lessons learned from the field of common mistakes to avoid which cause further harm and trauma.
This presentation will introduce the concept of family treatment courts to the attendees. It will explain how the principles of problem solving courts can be applied to abuse and neglect proceedings. It will show how family treatment courts can help this state at least turn the corner on the foster care crisis.
This presentation will review key risk factor data for children placed in foster care. The information will be useful for developing programs to help this vulnerable population.
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.
Adverse Childhood Experience or ACEs are traumatic events that occur in a child’s life. These events can include physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect, household dysfunction or even witnessing violence. Science has shown that these types of events have a direct impact on children’s developing brains which can increase the risk for negative health and well-being outcomes as an adult, including everything from heart disease, diabetes and cancer to substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide. Oftentimes law enforcement not only deals with these issues when they are experienced by the child, but the aftermath of that experience as lived out by the child when they become an adult. By learning more about ACEs and utilizing a trauma informed approach in our work with the community, law enforcement has a unique opportunity to help break this intergenerational cycle. By addressing childhood adversity we can help reduce the risk for poor health and social outcomes in adulthood, lessening negative interactions with the criminal justice system later in life.
Child sexual abuse has been a recognized form of child abuse for over 40 years. In that time, the medical literature has grown as the medical findings were better understood. The presentation will review the key literature; noting topics such as medical exam findings, healing of injuries, and the occurrence of sexually transmitted infections. Key references to important scientific articles will be incorporated throughout the presentation.
For those who spend their careers caring for others, it's not uncommon to forget to care for themselves. This presentation will give an overview of self-care and its importance for anyone, but especially those who serve their communities. We will cover what to watch for in yourself and others as well as some techniques to help reduce stress and burnout. Taught by a twenty-year law enforcement veteran who has battled P.T.S.D., anxiety, and depression; this will be a frank discussion but one that will also make you laugh and learn a few things along the way.
There is an association between high ACE scores and criminal justice involvement for adults and juveniles, which suggests rates of trauma are areas of concern for justice-involved youth and adults. While traumatic events are experienced differently, legal professionals can become aware of signs and symptoms of trauma, incorporating trauma awareness and trauma-informed responses into the legal practice. These practices can be used with juveniles, victims of crimes, or criminal defendants during the course of legal representation. ACEs information (including offender rates), suggestions on how to interact with clients in a trauma-informed manner, and other relationship and advocacy tools will be discussed.
It is well documented that one of the major challenges in working with young people today is addressing behavioral issues. It can be easy for adults to forget how powerful they are to our youth. In this presentation, Ms. Burdoff shares real life examples explaining how you can be the most important person to a child. She will also share with you a framework for understanding challenging behaviors and some practical strategies to support positive behavioral change.
This presentation will provide an overview of key concepts surrounding addiction, including etiology, the treatment continuum and levels of care, recovery and recovery management strategies. The presentation will also address issues of stigma and the use of language as we address addiction in our communities.
This presentation will provide an overview of a recent study of the impact of the opioid epidemic on West Virginia teachers in the classroom. We will summarize survey results from over 2,700 K-12 public school teachers’ responses about the changes, challenges, preparedness and impacts stemming from the opioid crisis. The presentation will also include recommendations and an overview of plans for an upcoming training module pilot.
Child maltreatment effects all people involved in a variety of ways. Adverse childhood experiences and the toxic stress they induce have been shown to have profound effects on the physical, behavioral, and emotional well-being of victimized young children. These include acute and longstanding effects on the child. The families involved in cases of suspected abuse also have a multitude of effects including family members caring for the abused child after the event. While there is paucity of research on this matter in the medical literature review from a focus group of affected families will be highlighted. Lastly, we will review the effects child abuse has on the professionals involved in the cases.
Through facilitated discussion, videos, and practical demonstrations, participants will learn about online risks and how to protect children from technology facilitated crimes. Topics of discussion will be: sexting, child pornography, online predators, social networks, apps, sharing photos, peer to peer downloads, sextortion, cyberbullying, the dark web, other dangers and additional resources.
A collaborative effort of the juvenile justice, social service, law enforcement, and education systems; Juvenile Drug Courts are courts designed for youth with substance disorders who come in contact with the juvenile justice system. Numerous studies have examined and questioned the effectiveness of these courts, but they are and can be effective when the program implements best practices. This presentation will include a discussion of the national guidelines, evidence-based strategies for working with youth, and practices which correlate to significantly higher graduation rates from the program.
This presentation provides an overview of family health and youth caregiver research in several areas, including opioid abuse and overdose, neurological disorders and Alzheimer’s disease in the Latino community. Data presented includes health related quality of life, social support, and disease education. Discussion will highlight how to engage a variety of community-based organizations to conduct applied research, informing caregiver education, support and school-based programming. Current youth caregiver programs developed by Dr. Kavanaugh will be used as exemplars of community engaged applied research.
West Virginia is not alone in experiencing the effects of the opioid epidemic; but it does lead the nation in overdose deaths, drug-affected babies born, and Hepatitis B infection rates. Seeing the effects of the epidemic make it easy to forget how we got here and the origins of the opioid epidemic. This presentation begins with the pro-opioid movement that sent “thought leaders” across the country to promote Big Pharma’s products, the emergence of heroin, an examination of why West Virginia has been so ripe for opioid addiction, and how the state is now moving (back) into stimulant use.
ACE Study. Opioid epidemic. Drug-endangered children. Extreme behaviors. Public schools are facing challenges that they have never before faced. In an effort to support the whole child, Lincoln County Schools is now in year four of becoming trauma-informed/trauma-sensitive to support the needs of the entire child.
Children with disabilities are three times more likely to experience sexual abuse, yet communication challenges often make it hard for advocates to provide effective support. This presentation will provide practical tools for effective communication with children and teens with a wide range of disabilities and unique needs. It will also help providers make their programs and services more accessible to people with disabilities.
This presentation addresses the common trademarks and typologies of the child rapist as well as characteristics and behaviors that this person may have. For many of these individuals their problem is not only the nature or quality of their sex drive of being attracted to children but also the quantity because they must have frequent and repeated sex with children. The workshop will also address characteristics and behaviors that make the child more vulnerable. Important strategies about investigating the suspect and the crime scene are covered giving the investigator important tools needed for a successful prosecution.
This presentation will include a review of the most recent West Virginia case law and statutes regarding child welfare as well as an update to Family First Prevention Services Act 2018 implementation.
While everyone is concerned about child abuse and neglect in their communities, certain groups of people are more likely to have the opportunity to recognize and report abuse and neglect. This presentation will help mandated reporters understand the definitions of child abuse and neglect and address what information is needed to report. We will review procedures for reporting and provide an explanation of what happens after a report is made.
The mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Heroin(e) Education Action Team (USA HEAT) is to reduce the growing harm to West Virginia families and communities caused by drug abuse, by increasing our understanding of the drug epidemic in our state. USA HEAT is a partnership between the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and families who have lost loved ones to overdose. These courageous moms, dads and other family members share their stories with the hope of preventing others from suffering the overwhelming grief of losing a loved one to a drug overdose. USA HEAT seeks to inform our communities of what we are up against, and what we can do to fight back and reclaim our families and communities. Our team members deliver a compelling message, based on their personal tragedy. USA HEAT seeks to mobilize our communities to implement a coordinated, effective response to this growing threat. U.S. Attorney Michael Stuart partners with HEAT Team member, Stacie Archer, to deliver a truly powerful message to students and community groups about the growing drug epidemic and its real impact on our families. This presentation begins with an overview of street drugs and their prevalence in the state. A HEAT team member will share their compelling story of a loved one lost to addiction, including their poor choices, red flags and missed opportunities. Messages of abstinence and hope from incarcerated inmates and recovering addicts are shared with the audience, as well as resources for treatment and healing.
This presentation will cover the basics of emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to process emotions and build healthy relationships. You will learn about this vital skill set and its applications in schools - techniques that you can use with your students to reduce stress and anxiety, increase calm and focus, and improve performance for everyone in your classroom, all while upping your own EQ! Jeannie Harrison is the founder of Yoga for Emotional Intelligence (Yoga EQ), a Social and Emotional Learning program taught in schools, recovery centers, and corporations.
School based health centers are a unique delivery model that represents a partnership between schools and community health organizations. Their objective is to give students meaningful access to care in a location that is safe and convenient. Onsite health care professionals collaborate with schools to address the broad range of concerns and adverse experiences that affect students’ healthy development. In this presentation, you will hear how one school based health center is working to address both the medical and behavioral health needs of the students in their schools.
This presentation will address the duties of investigating officers and detectives as they begin to investigate a child death by providing investigative techniques to help them determine whether the cause of the child’s death was natural, accidental, suicidal, or homicidal. Investigators will be provided with essential information on child neglect, the dynamics of physical abuse, and the reconstruction and investigation of soft tissue injuries. The presentation will also address the duties of the first responding police officer, which in some small agencies may be the officer who will ultimately investigate the child’s death. Emphasis will be placed on the initial investigation of the residence or area where the child’s body was located, and what can be done to help assure that the entire crime scene was thoroughly processed.
In this presentation, we will dive into the context of human trafficking, paying special attention to red flags that educators, first responders, and medical providers can potentially see in practice. We will discuss long-term trauma bonds in children being trafficked by family members or other trusted adults. We will also cover WV laws on trafficking and how to report suspected cases.
Organizational leaders, managers, and supervisors play and important role in creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all survivors. This presentation will give you practical skills for developing organizational policies and providing leadership and supervision to further your mission and live your values. It will address both specific strategies for inclusion of survivors with disabilities and broad strategies for creating a trauma-informed workplace.
This interactive presentation will challenge your thinking in regard to stigma surrounding substance use disorder (SUD). Even the most seasoned health care providers, social workers and prevention specialists can utilize stigmatizing language without even realizing it. Facilitators will not only share their own knowledge and experiences, but encourage session participants to challenge their own assumptions about SUD and stigma.
Vicarious traumatization is unique to police officers, social workers, and other crisis workers because of their frequent contact with human suffering, especially when dealing with children. Multidisciplinary child abuse members routinely have to respond to situations where they are exposed to the worst of people and the worst of what people do to each other. The psychological impact of such incidents is referred to as vicarious traumatization. Vicarious traumatization is the psychological cost of caring for victims who have been traumatized while feeling a sense of responsibility to help. This presentation will address ways police officers and social workers can deal with the two types of trauma that may be experienced: secondary traumatic stress disorder and vicarious traumatization.