WWU to Host Conference Aimed at Protecting Children

The William Woods University social work program will host the Missouri Community Partnerships for Protecting Children Conference on Sept. 24. The one-day conference will bring together 200 students, faculty members, families and professionals throughout the state to learn best practices in community prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

“Social workers, teachers, law enforcement officers, juvenile and family court officers, counselors, foster parents, clergy members and other community leaders involved in protecting children and families will learn about more effective strategies for working together,” said Jerrie Jacobs-Kenner, director of the WWU social work program.

“It is also a wonderful opportunity for students majoring in various disciplines to learn from and network with professionals in their chosen field.”

Fredric Simmens, director of the Missouri Children’s Division, and Lorrie Lutz, president of L3P Associates and consultant to the National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning, are the opening speakers. Participants will then attend one of eight workshops across campus. Workshop speakers include representatives from private and governmental agencies and WWU faculty.

Participants will then share their successes and “lessons learned” from communities throughout Missouri over a working lunch. The afternoon session will open with a “Panel of Family Voices” in which parents and youth share their experiences with the child welfare system. One panelist is a resident of Rosa Parks Youth Center, which is located on the WWU campus.

The day will close with a message from Theresa Pringle, program administrator for Family Safety, with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Community Partnerships for Protecting Children is a model program developed and supported by the Center for Partnerships in Child Welfare in New York and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, located in Washington D.C. Financial support for the conference is also provided by the Children’s Trust Fund of Missouri.

For more information on the conference, contact Jerrie Jacobs-Kenner at (573) 592-4271.