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November/December 2001Vol. 2, No. 6FRIENDS Staff Member Facilitates New Jersey Prevention Symposium

With support from the Family Resource Information, Education & Network Development Services (FRIENDS) organization, practitioners in New Jersey participated last spring in "The Power of Prevention in Child Abuse and Neglect" symposium.

Paul Vivian, a consultant with FRIENDS, assisted with planning, implementing, and facilitating the symposium.

The four-part series, in conjunction with the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, the School of Social Work at Rutgers University, the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children provided speakers, key legislators, State officials, and high-level practitioners. Specifically, the sessions covered:

  • Prevention and policy
  • Evaluation
  • What works
  • Building community partnerships.

Each session had a key political or State leader, which included the Acting Governor and the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Additionally, a luncheon was held after each session with important stakeholders to maximize the opportunity for further discussions affecting future planning and legislation. Various discussions occurred, including one regarding child welfare agencies and student interns—a win-win situation for schools, and the agencies providing practical experience for students wanting to enter the profession. There is a follow-up retreat at Rutgers University this November with policy makers and other key representatives from the luncheons.

Speakers and their topics included:

  • Dr. Bruce Perry (child psychiatrist from Baylor University) talked about child abuse/neglect and physical and physiological effects on brain development
  • Dr. Deborah Daro (Chapin Hall Center for Children), and Marney Thomas (Cornell University), talked about challenges regarding the evaluation of child abuse and neglect prevention programs
  • Dr. Joanne Martin (director of Healthy Families Indiana), Dr. Audley Donaldson (L.E.A.D. Associates in Connecticut, and former director of the North Hartford Family Resource Center), and Mildred Winter (founder of Parents as Teachers program in Missouri), talked about involving parents in all aspects of programming
  • Sharon Sneed (project director for theDivision of Family and Children Services for the State of Georgia), and Dr. Maria Guajardo Lucero (executive director for the Assets for Colorado Youth Initiative), talked about the importance of building and nurturing collaborations.

Vivian said he was impressed with the coordination in New Jersey and how the symposium was used as a stepping stone for further policy development in the State.

Contact information:

Paul Vivian
FRIENDS National Resource Center
C/O Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project, Inc.
800 Eastowne Drive Suite 105
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Phone: 800-473-1727 x243