Child abuse and neglect maybe be a physically hidden from the public eye, but its affects are very real and tangible to those who come in contact with children who suffer physcial, emotional and psychological abuse. These victims of abuse are often withdrawn, angry, scared and insecure children who grow up to be adults that experience difficulties with jobs, relationships and feelings of self-worth and value. Anytime an adult is unable to function productively in a community, it hurts everyone around them.
Many advocates are urging the state and the public to increase awareness and prevention efforts. Local members of various agencies that deal with or treat victims of abuse will come together and address the issues of abuse at the 16th Annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect at Indiana University Northwest on Friday, April 7 beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Savannah Center Auditorium.
Co-sponsors for this event, which is one of the several activities highlighting Public Affairs Week, are the IU Northwest School of Social Work, Prevent Child Abuse Lake County, Northwest Indiana Chapter- American Society for Public Administration and the IU Northwest Division of Social Work.
The agenda for the forum is as follows:
8:30 a.m. – Networking, Coffee and Donuts
9 a.m. – Welcome and Introductions by Richard W. Hug, associate professor at the IU Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs
9:15 a.m. - The State Perspective: Legislation, Policy and Implementation
Judge James W. Payne, Director, Indiana Department of Child Services
Andrea Marshall, Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana
10:45 a.m. — The Local Perspective: The Regional Services Council
Jane Bisbee, Director, Lake County Department of Child Services
Gladys Van Til, Member, Board of Directors, Prevent Child Abuse Lake County
Forum panelist Andrea Marshall, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, said in an article published last year in the Indianapolis Star, "If we don't do a better job of preparing ourselves to be parents and caregivers, the abuse and neglect issues are never going to go away. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Everybody can use some help."
This event will be eligible for continuing education units (CEU's) for foster parents and licensed social workers. Social workers should call the IU Northwest Division of Social Work at 219-980-7111 to register. Foster parents can complete all CEU paperwork on the day of the event.
This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the main lot (north of the Student Activities Building). Guests may use the visitor Parking Lot (west side of the main lot) or may park in the main lot itself. Campus police will suspend enforcement of the usual rules requiring stickers for Friday morning only. Visitors should, however, avoid reserved and handicapped spaces. IU Northwest is located at 3400 Broadway, Gary, Ind. For more information, please call the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science at (219) 980-6695.