12th Annual CACGA One Team Conference: The MDT Response to Child Abuse & Neglect
  1. Amy Cunningham, Keynote Speaker, Ms. Cunningham currently serves as a Talent Management Consultant for CHRISTUS Health. (MDT, ALL)                Keynote Address: How Vicarious Trauma Affects The Multidisciplinary Team.


  1. Amy Cunningham, Presentation: “Compassion Fatigue” This workshop will teach participants how to differentiate between, stress, burnout, and Compassion Fatigue. (MH, CAC, MDT)
  • Participants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of Compassion Fatigue
  • Participants will be able to Identify the trajectory, and begin to implement
  • Participants will learn the 5 resilience’s needed to assist you achieving post traumatic growth.


  1. Alan Cook, J.D., professor of law, University of Georgia Presentation: “A Survey of Prosecutorial Practices in Georgia”  This workshop will discuss surveying the state’s DA’s regarding how they prosecute child sexual abuse cases. (PROS, MDT)
  • Participants will learn how many specialized units and specialized prosecutors exist in Georgia
  • Participants will learn about the success rate of child abuse prosecutions to those offices having specialized units/prosecutors, & CAC’s in their circuits/counties.
  • Participants will discuss how CAC’s and prosecutors can increase their effectiveness in prosecuting such cases.


  1. Marybeth Nelson, LCSW, Georgia Center for Child Advocacy – Presentation: “Forensic Interview 101, Nuts & Bolts” (FI, CAC)  Forensic Interview 101 – “Nuts and Bolts” As child abuse professionals are preparing for court testimony, it’s important to remember the basics of a quality forensic interview.  An overview of the current Child First Protocol and general forensic interviewing best practices will be presented.
  • Participants will learn strategies to use when preparing for court testimony.
  • Participants will discuss specific challenges to the forensic interview; including the use of anatomical drawings and anatomical dolls.
  • Participants will be asked to submit questions and concerns regarding their current forensic interviewing practices.


  1. Andrew Oliver, MSSW, & Markia Hearst, LCSWA,VSP, Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center – Presentation: “Victim Advocacy Reimagined: Enhancing the role to improve case outcome” This workshop will help advocates identify new opportunities and strategies to impact families and add value to the multidisciplinary team partners to build upon the strengths of these talented professionals to better support children and families affected by child sexual abuse. (VA, CAC, MDT)
  • Explore how advocates are uniquely positioned to positively impact the investigative experience.
  • Learn strategies for effectively engaging caregivers upon referral to the CAC
  • Develop creative ways to enhance professional relationships to effectively advocate for families


6. Jim Sears, Detective(RET), Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center  and Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Dallas Ft. Worth, – Presentation: “ Investigations”  This presentation is appropriate for investigators, first responders, and prosecutors and will cover three primary areas: (LE, PROS, MDT)

  • Death: What should be done, what to look for, and what will the investigators need to do to complete a thorough investigation into the death of a child.
  • Injury: overall strategies of serious injury investigations
  • Discussion on in-depth specifics into current on-going cases
  • Sexual: Breaking the Myths: Understanding what is not common knowledge in sexual abuse cases including social norms, and discusses strategies for overcoming those ideas for a successful investigation and prosecution.


  1. Stephen Messner, MD, Child Abuse Pediatrician  Medical Director & Chair, Child Abuse at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta Presentation: “Medical  Evidence Testimony  in  Child Abuse Hearings” (MED, MDT, CAC)  It is not uncommon for medical providers to give testimony in child abuse cases.  This session will help to demystify the courtroom experience and allow for the attendees to become more comfortable with providing expert testimony.  After the session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the role of medical testimony in child abuse cases
  • Know the different types of court hearings that you may be subpoenaed to
  • Recognize that there are often limitations about what the medical evidence is, and know how to explain what the findings are


  1. Donnie Winokur, Executive Director of Education and Founding Executive Director of NOFAS GeorgiaPresentation: “Preventing the Perfect Storm”  This workshop promotes a basic understanding of invisible disabilities, particularly fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and the challenges of children who experience this life-long birth defect. (MH, CAC, MDT )
  • Statistics, risk factors and the impact on the justice system will be explored as a means to better support individuals who live with these challenges.
  • Participants will understand best practices around intervention and outcomes for children with various disorders who become victims of crime.
  • This discussion designed for law enforcement professionals, attorneys, crisis intervention teams, victim advocates, forensic interviewers and health care providers who work with children living with developmental disabilities, intellectual impairment and/or mental illness.


  1. Michele Thames, Executive Director, Safe Spot, Fairfax Virginia & Christine Rouse, MSW Children’s Trust- Presentation:No One Does A Perfect Interview; A day in the life of an Interviewer”  This workshop will address vicarious trauma and taking care of you, not only in the workplace but also in your personal life, and tactics to ensure longevity in the field. (FI, CAC, MDT)
  • Participants will address challenges and difficulties in forensic interviews based on case studies
  • Participants will explore the link between working in a system of disarray and how it impacts overall wellbeing
  • Participants will recognize how vicarious trauma impacts a forensic interviewer and tactics to employ


10. Meghan Ready, LMFT. Capstone Center for Counseling– Presentation: “Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Model for School-Age Children and Their Caregivers” from an MDT perspective. The MDT often works with cases of child on child sexual abuse. In these cases we know how to provide effective, evidence-based treatment for the victim child. However, we are often left wondering what we can do for the child with the problematic sexual behaviors. PSB-CBT is a treatment available for children with problematic sexual behaviors and their caregivers. (MH, CAC)

  • Define problematic sexual behaviors
  • Identify where problematic sexual behaviors come from
  • Discuss how we can respond as an MDT to cases involving PSB-CBT with school-age children


  1. Lalainer Briones, Director, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,Presentation: “Investigating and Prosecuting severe Child Abuse & Child Homicide Cases” (Morning Plenary, ALL)


  1. Matt Bochneak, Founder, Network Ninja Presentation: “It’s Not Spelled Like HIPPO” A practical and social worker-friendly HIPAA primer for advocacy centers handling sensitive data. (MED, CAC, MDT)


  1. Francey Hakes:  ‎CEO – ‎Francey Hakes Consulting, LLC Presentation: “The Virtues Of Vigilance” This course will discuss what motivates child sex offenders and are there warning signs we can uncover to protect our children from them. (LE, CAC, MDT)
  • Participants will learn how to spot the child sex offender and what motivates them
  • Participants will leave armed with knowledge of the red flags that law enforcement has learned indelibly mark the behavior of those who are grooming children for abuse.


  1. Stephen Messner, MD, Child Abuse Pediatrician  Medical Director & Chair, Child Abuse at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta Presentation: Forensic Medical Exams 101 (MED, MDT)  This session will introduce medical and non-medical professionals to the field of child abuse pediatrics in order to better understand the medical aspects of a child abuse evaluation.  Mechanisms of injury, fracture types, and sexual abuse findings will be discussed.  After the session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the role of the child abuse pediatrician in the evaluation of child abuse cases
  • Recognize the purpose of the medical examination in sexual abuse cases
  • Know how medical providers use the history, physical exam findings, laboratory data, and imaging studies to make a determination of whether a child was maltreated or not.