April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Montclair State University Presents Third Annual National Conference on Child Abuse Prevention

Montclair NJ - Four children will die today in the United States from child abuse. In New Jersey alone, the numbers are alarming. According to the Department of Youth and Family Services, 23 children died in New Jersey in 2006 due to abuse or neglect. The statistics raise the need for a quicker and more comprehensive child abuse prevention effort across the State. Montclair State University has established the first and only child advocacy program in New Jersey, The Center for Child Advocacy. On April 11, The Center for Child Advocacy will present its Third Annual National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect entitled “Cultural Competence and Child Maltreatment: Theories and Application.” (Click here for more information about child abuse and neglect.)

"We are proud to be leaders in the fight against child abuse," says Robert D. McCormick, Ph.D, director of the Center. "We offer academic programs and an annual conference that brings together nationally recognized experts in the field of child advocacy with the full range of information addressing key issues about recognizing and dealing with child maltreatment and its effects. Montclair State's Child Advocacy Program and the Conference have grown each year and its impact is evident."

Keynote speakers at the Conference include two nationally prominent experts on child abuse prevention, Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D. and Veronica Abney, Ph.D. Dr. Fontes has written "Interviewing Clients Across Cultures: A Practitioners Guide" and "Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families." Dr. Abney is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst specializing in the treatment of trauma. She is the past president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.

A sampling of the workshops and presentations being offered include: "Interviewing Culturally Diverse Families About Child Maltreatment," "Corporal Punishment, Positive Discipline, and Culture," "Interviewing Children with Developmental Disabilities," and "Cultural Issues and Parenting." (Click here for a complete brochure and registration information.)

The Conference will conclude with presentations dealing with Latina adolescent suicide, school truancy, and protecting the mental health of sexually abused children and adolescents.

The Center for Child Advocacy at Montclair State currently offers three programs: an undergraduate certificate in child advocacy, a post-baccalaureate certificate in child advocacy and a Master of Arts in Child Advocacy. Each has been designed to provide students with a multidisciplinary understanding of the role of the child advocate as seen through the disciplines of law, sociology, education and psychology, among others.

Note: Robert D. McCormick, Ph.D., director of the Center for Child Advocacy at Montclair State, is available as a spokesperson. For more information, contact: Paula Maliandi, 973 655 7900.

Released: March 27, 2008