Mercy’s spring Protecting Families Conference to feature international speaker
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
The Mercy Child Advocacy Center, a service of Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City, will host the annual spring Protecting Families Conference from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Sioux City Convention Center.
The biannual continuing education conference for physicians, nurses, midlevel practitioners, social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, law enforcement officers and educators is designed to provide the latest information about the recognition, treatment, prosecution and prevention of child abuse. Anyone is welcome to attend.
“It is a means of educating and keeping them up to date on the most current practices,” said Carla Granstrom, education coordinator for the Child Advocacy Center at Mercy. “It gets us communicating on the same level with other members of the multidisciplinary team. It also serves as a state of the art training for people who aren’t able to get to national conferences.”
She added that they like to bring national speakers to Sioux City so “they have a better opportunity to be exposed to that kind of education. It is easier to have the speakers come here than to have them go everywhere else.”
Robert Hugh Farley, MS, a retired commanding officer of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, Child Exploitation Unit in Chicago, will address conference attendees on the topic of Investigating Technology Facilitated Crimes Against Children. He will present four talks throughout the day.
“He is going to be talking about the technology that goes along with child abuse and the internet,” said Granstrom. “Before we have had conferences on the perpetrator, but with the new technologies that are out there, webcams and other such technical equipment, we thought it was necessary to do education on that.”
As a highly decorated detective, unit supervisor and Deputy United States Marshal, he has over 28 years of experience conducting and supervising all aspects of child abuse investigation – from sexual abuse to child homicide.
Farley is one of the child abuse experts in the two VIRTUS videos that the Diocese of Sioux City shows to adults looking to interact with children.
On Oct. 21, 2011, Farley, a John E. Reid training instructor, became the first police officer to ever conduct a child sexual abuse training seminar for the clergy at the Vatican in Rome.
“He talked to them about an overview of the problem, identification of child molester profiles and strategies for the prevention of child abuse,” said Granstrom. “There were approximately 300 members of the Roman Catholic clergy present.”
The Vatican seminar was not the first international child abuse training seminar for Farley as he has also conducted child abuse training seminars in 22 countries for INTERPOL. In addition, he supervised the investigation of child sexual abuse allegations at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Deadra Stanton, MS, will give a presentation during lunch titled “Don’t Shoot Skinny Rabbits.” She holds a Master’s in Education from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. She is owner and presenter for her company, Creative Communications and has been a teacher for English, speech and theater for over 25 years. When not in the classroom, Stanton is a frequent and motivational humorist for numerous audiences across the nation.
Also at the conference, an award will be presented to a nominated MDT member who has done an outstanding job in the field of child abuse, noted Granstrom.
Continuing education credit will be awarded for healthcare professionals, those in the field of mental health services and social workers. Nursing, physician and physician assistant credits will be offered and other professionals will be given certificates of attendance so they can apply for their own credentials, said Granstrom.
The registration fee after April 4 is $45. For more information about the conference, visit Mercy’s web site at www.mercysiouxcity.com, or call (712) 279-2507.
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