This year we are going virtual
On Thursday, November 5th, we will be hosting a virtual symposium to discuss child protection, education, and the impact of substance use on children, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion for youth.
In a time with heightened focus on our education system, and COVID-19 impacting child abuse reports, it’s crucial that every child in Pennsylvania is safe and protected.
Keynote speaker Erin Gruwell, founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation will share her motivational story as told in her book The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them. Erin and her students utilized writing as a tool for positive social change on issues like poverty, racism, and violence. Erin will be joined by Tye and Sue Ellen who were part of the original freedom writer’s group, to share their story of breaking the cycle of abuse.
Additionally, there will four different sessions geared to specific subject areas: LGBTQ+ needs, substance abuse, and student safety and support during the pandemic.
- Todd Snovel, former Executive Director of the PA LGBTQ Affairs, will lead a session addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ students in the school, home, and community settings.
- We all know addiction has a major impact on families, and Chris Glover from Joining Forces for Children will be hosting a session focused on how children experience substance abuse disorders. As part of his session, Chris will explain and introduce participants to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Another topic that will be addressed in enhancing student safety during the pandemic. We’ll specifically address the risks to children who may be confined at home with someone who abuses them. This session will be led by Jane Straub, a Senior Victim Assistance Specialist with the Zero Abuse Project. Jane was a feature presenter at our symposium last year and we’re thrilled to have to her back!
- Supporting children and families during the pandemic is essential, and because of that, we’ll finish the symposium with another informative session by Jane Straub. This session will talk about how events such as COVID-19 have the potential to become traumatic for children. She’ll discuss how parents and caregivers can create buffers to lessen the impact of that trauma.
Our symposium is designed for anyone that works with children and families. Upon completion, individuals who work in area such as social work, marriage and family therapy, and professional counseling, can earn Continuing Education Units at no cost. Attorneys can even attend and earn Continuing Legal Education Credits (CLE).
We are living an unprecedented time. Our children have been impacted by the pandemic in ways we’ll probably be discovering for years to come. From their mental health to their lack of social interactions, they’ve endured the difficulties that the pandemic has brought, maybe even more so than adults. It’s vital—perhaps more important than ever—that we remember it’s going to take all of us working together to ensure they are safe and protected. While we won’t have the opportunity to meet in-person at this year’s symposium like we did in years prior, all of us at the Pa Family Support Alliance are looking forward to seeing everyone virtually! We still have a few seats open at the symposium, so if you or your organization are interested in attending click here.
Wishing you all peace and health during this challenging time.