National Conferences

The Robert D. McCormick Center for Child Advocacy and Policy sponsors an annual national conference on child abuse and neglect and advocacy.  Many of these conferences have been made possible through funds provided by the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) formerly NJ Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). They feature nationally known professionals in the field of Child Advocacy. They offer presentations, workshops, and poster presentations.

2014 Conference

The Twenty First Century Child: New Technologies and New Concerns


Friday, April 4th 2014

Agenda: Brochure

 Location: Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue
University Hall, 7th Floor
Montclair, NJ 07043

Keynote Speaker:                                                                        
Allison Blake, Ph.D., L.S.W.
Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families
  Dr. Allison Blake was appointed Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families by Governor Chris Christie. Previously, she served as the Director of the Institute for Families at the Rutgers School of Social Work, where she oversaw a portfolio of grants and contracts aimed at strengthening families by building the capacity of the individuals and organizations that serve them. She also served as Vice President of Accreditation Operations at the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international organization that develops best practice standards for public and private organizations that provide services across the continuum of care. Her focus while at COA was on helping agencies build their capacity to improve service delivery.

Dr. Blake spent 18 years at the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, where she worked in various direct service and administrative positions. She later worked with the team charged with developing a blueprint for improving the capacity of the child welfare system to improve services to the state’s at-risk children and families.

Dr. Blake earned her BS in Social Work from the University of Dayton, an MS in Social Work from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University. She currently resides in Raritan Township, New Jersey.


Register here!


Any questions, please feel free to contact us at or 973-655-4188.


 Click the links on the left for more detailed information about each conference (organized by year).

  • The Forgotten Child: Multidisiplinary Approaches to Child Neglect
    April 19, 2013

    Keynote Presenter:

    Dr. Kenneth Schneider is a Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), where he held a faculty position since 1976 and Chair of Department of Applied Psychology.  He has been a certified school Psychologist since 1967, licensed by the NJ State Board of Psychological Examiners since 1979, and has a lifelong career in the field of education advocacy which includes his current interests in advocating for student with developmental disabilities and their families.

    Opening Address:

    Dr. Christine Baker is the Family Life Education Center (FLEC) Director, and Supervising Psychologist of the Metropolitan Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center (RDTC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. She also serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UMDNJ, NJ Medical School. She currently serves on the Prevention Sub-Committee of the NJ Task force on Child Abuse and Neglect and has been qualified as an expert witness for civil and crimanl cases in several NJ counties.
  • Adolescent Advocacy: Perspectives, Policy, Practice
    April 13, 2012

    Keynote Presenters:

    Dr. Stacey Patton, a journalist, anti-spanking activist, founder of Spare The Kids, Inc., and an expert on the history of racialized childhood and public policy

    Jessica Trombetta, LCSW, Director, Office of Adolescent Services, Department of Children and Families

  • Crimes Against Children: the Multiple Faces of Child Victimization
    April 15, 2011

    Keynote Presenters:

    Dr. Susan Cohen Esquilin is a licensed psychologist, trained in developmental and clinical psychology with a career devoted to teaching and service delivery in underserved areas, including child welfare.

    Mr. James Marsh, Attorney, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and its acclaimed Child Advocacy Law Clinic, James Marsh is an experienced trial lawyer and frequent commentator and author on legal issues affecting children.

  • Advocating for Children: Policy and Practice
    April 16, 2010

    Key Note Speakers:

    DAVID BILLINGS, DMin is a lead organizer and trainer with The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond's New York City Office.

    JOYCE JAMES, LMSW-AP is the Deputy Commissioner for Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

    JACKIE STAMPS, MSSW is the Service Region Administrator of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services working with community partners and mandatory reporting groups.

    TERESA McELROY is a Birth Parent Advocate who has served as a parent advocate in Jefferson County's Kentucky's Parent Advocate Program for four years.

  • Families in Crisis: Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and the Child
    April 3, 2009

    Keynote speakers:

    Dr. Evan Stark

    Betsy McAlister Groves, MSW, LICSW