The 40th anniversary of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, a key piece of legislation that addresses child abuse and neglect, was recognized at the 19th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, held April 30-May 2 in New Orleans.
The only federally sponsored national conference devoted to the issues of child maltreatment brings together social workers, other professionals involved in this area and key leaders who work to address the issue of child abuse and neglect.
NASW CEO Angelo McClain and Director of the NASW Social Work Policy Institute Joan Levy Zlotnik spoke at the conference.
McClain spoke during the opening plenary and congratulated those working within the child welfare community on their achievements.
“Despite the public’s demand for easy fixes … despite that you pursue excellence,” McClain said. “You’re steady in your pursuit of excellence. You have imagination to be innovative and impactful.”
Zlotnik said McClain’s comments were important in noting that to end child abuse and neglect, it helps for everyone to work together.
“(The remarks) were a recognition of the importance of social work, and to recognize the long-standing prominence of NASW’s involvement in these national conferences as well as in recognizing the 40th anniversary of CAPTA,” she said.
Zlotnik gave a plenary presentation about the Institute of Medicine Report called “New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research: Moving the Field Forward.” The report says the effects of child abuse and neglect are not limited to children or childhood; there are cascading consequences throughout life for victims, families and society; and it impacts all aspects of human functioning.
Some of the recommendations in the report are to develop a national process for coordinating and prioritizing investment in child abuse and neglect research; and to create research infrastructure to build and sustain a field of child abuse and neglect research.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, the Children’s Bureau and the Child Welfare Information Gateway sponsored the conference.
Commissioner’s Award recipients include two social workers
The Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner’s Award honors one person from each state and U.S. territory for their exceptional contribution to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Ph.D., MSSW, and assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work; and Marcia Stanton, MSW and coordinator of the Child Abuse Prevention Program at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona, are two social worker recipients of the 2014 Commissioners Award, which were announced at the 19th Annual Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Twenty-eight individual recipients and one group were recognized as well.
A commemorative document titled “40 Years of Safeguarding America’s Children” was handed out at the conference in recognition of the 40th anniversary of CAPTA. NASW’s Joan Levy Zlotnik is quoted in the document, saying “The national leadership of NCCAN, now OCAN, has been critical, especially in recent years around evidence-based practice, promoting home visiting and community-based programs, and really looking at the complexity of how programs get implemented.”