A child-abuse pediatrician and a psychiatrist with more than a decade of experience with trauma victims who suffer from addiction are on the slate of speakers presenting at “A Brighter Future: Ending Child Abuse through Advocacy and Education” conference on March 31 at the University of South Carolina Upstate. The conference will be held on the main campus in the University Readiness Center located at 800 University Way, Spartanburg.
The conference, in its eighth year, features six confirmed speakers, including Greenville pediatrician Nancy Henderson, M.D., who practices at the Center for Pediatric Medicine and is affiliated with Greenville Memorial Medical Campus, and also practices at the Julie Valentine Center for Sexual Assault & Child Abuse Recovery, also in Greenville.
Another confirmed speaker, psychiatrist Susie Wiet, M.D., is a co-founder of Salt Lake City, Utah’s Trauma-Resiliency Collaborative.
“We bring national experts to Spartanburg to examine pressing issues related to child abuse and neglect,” said Dr. Jennifer Parker, director of the USC Upstate Child Protection Training Center. “Our attendees are front-line child protection professionals and community leaders. With a diverse program and audience, we can obtain a deeper understanding of the complexities of child maltreatment and improve our response and prevention efforts.”
Parker said that child abuse and neglect are prevalent and can harm not only the child’s development but the entire community.
“We are educating students so that they come into this field with better skills to detect and respond early. We are also bringing hands-on training to the professionals who are already working to improve the lives of children. It is not always possible for our professionals and community members to attend national conferences, so we bring that level of training here, and we do that for a modest fee.”
As many as 400 attendees are expected at this year’s conference, and while many will be professionals in a range of child-protection fields, Parker said she hopes the conference will be educational for others in the community, as well.
“We also want business and community leaders to attend – that’s the awareness piece,” she said. “There’s awareness of the problem and the need for it to be addressed, not only by social services, but by everyone from education to nursing to business to patient services.”
Registration is $35 for participants and $15 for students. In addition, continuing-education credits will be offered.
For more information or to register, visit the Child Advocacy Conference page.