Hundreds of child advocates are at the Disney Boardwalk Resort for the next few days to talk about how to better serve child abuse victims. They’re participating in the “2012 Krimes Aganst Kids” conference, which encourages child welfare agencies and advocates to look at ways to enhance their practices so they can do a better job protecting children.
One of the conference speakers is Lori Allen, the Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center in Panama City.
"I'll be talking about domestic violence and the impact exposure to domestic violence has to children and families, and discussing how to strengthen investigations, when it comes to looking at that particular maltreatment," said Allen. "And, looking at particular risk factors to prevent what all of us want to diminish statewide, which is child fatalities.”
Allen will be making two presentations Thursday. Another speaker at the three-day conference is Tallahassee Lobbyist Ron Book. His workshop is called "How to be an Effective Advocate in the Legislative Arena. Book says the “Krimes Against Kids” conference also covers a wide range of topics.
“Everything from when the abuse of animals co-occurs with family violence. What do you do?" said Book. "We cover things like bullying, we talk about normal trauma as distinguished from abusive trauma, we cover issues from computer technology and how we can do a better job at protecting children in those regards, we talk about the effects of multiple placement of children in the foster care system and how to better protect and prevent abuse from happening to them.”
Book has a daughter, Lauren Book, who was sexually abused by her nanny for six years when she was a child. Now, they both run “Lauren’s Kids,” a group dedicated to educating adults and children about sexual abuse. In Florida alone, more than 50-thousand children were victims of child abuse or neglect.
The Krimes Against Kids Conference is a collaborative effort of the Florida Network of Children's Advocacy Centers. It takes place at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Lake Buena Vista. The conference started Wednesday and ends Friday.