Following the success of our October 6, 1999 training session
on the recognition and reporting of child abuse, we are pleased to announce six training sessions next spring, taught by Douglas J. Besharov.
About the Training
Child abuse is a major national concern. Studies show that each year
over one million children are abused or neglected by their parents. The children who live
through years of assault, degradation, and neglect bear emotional scars that can last for
years. We all pay the price of their suffering. Maltreated children often grow up to vent
on their own children--and others--the violence and aggression their parents visited on
Proper recognition and reporting is a fundamental first step in
addressing the tragedy of child abuse. Better--and more accurate--reporting depends on
continuing public and professional education efforts.
These videoconferences are designed to provide high-quality training on the
recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect. The material will be suitable
for those without any prior exposure to the subject as well as those who have substantial
experience making reports.
Topics and schedules: The
spring 2001 program schedule is as follows:
January 18, 2001. Reporting rights and responsibilities:This program will describe who is legally required to
report, who is permitted to report, and the forms of reportable child abuse and
neglect (including child endangerment). It will also examine the criminal
and civil penalties for failing to report and describe the legal protections for
those who report.
February 15, 2001. Is it physical abuse?: This program will
define physical abuse, explain how to distinguish "reasonable"
corporal punishment from physical abuse, provide guidelines for identifying
"suspicious" injuries (and the battered child syndrome), and provide
guidelines for using behavioral indicators.
March 15, 2001. Is it sexual abuse?: This program will define
sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, sensitize participants to the special
problems that arise in such cases, and provide guidelines for assessing the
statements of children and for using the physical and behavioral indicators for
April 19, 2001. Is it physical neglect?: This program will define
physical neglect and medical neglect, sensitize participants to the need to
distinguish physical neglect from poverty, and describe the indicators of
physical neglect (including physical deprivation and dirty and disordered
May 17, 2001. Is it psychological maltreatment?: This
define psychological maltreatment and provide guidelines for reporting emotional
abuse and neglect (including the two-level approach to reporting emotional
maltreatment and the diagnostic significance of the failure to treat a child's
psychological problems), improper ethical guidance, and educational neglect.
June 21, 2001. Is it a reportable parental disability: This
program will define the severe mental disabilities of parents that are reportable,
including severe mental illness, severe mental retardation, and alcohol and drug
abuse; and will sensitize participants to the diagnostic significance of a parent's
inability to care for a newborn.
In a change from our first program, each
program will also have a professional panel of discussants following each
lecture. (In addition, and as described below, we encourage local sites to have
panels of local experts, after our broadcast, to discuss the materials
The videoconferences will originate in
Washington, D.C., and will be distributed live via C-band satellite signal to
downlink sites across the country. The programs will run for 3 hours (with a 15
minute break at about the program's midpoint):
Eastern time: 12:30p.m.-3:30p.m.
Central time: 11:30a.m.-2:30p.m.
Western time: 10:30a.m.-1:30p.m.
Pacific time: 9:30a.m.-12:30p.m.
The broadcasts will be free one-way transmissions.
Audience questions from remote sites will be submitted by fax or e-mail for
interactive discussion at key points during the program.
Future training sessions will be based on the same textbook (Recognizing
Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned) and curriculum (Recognizing
Child Abuse: The Trainer's Manual). To purchase the textbook or curriculum
please visit our online
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Audience: The program targets individuals who see children who may be abused or
neglected, including professionals who are legally mandated to report suspected cases and
those who train them. The programs are designed for both (1) mandated
professional reporters and others who report suspected child abuse and neglect,
and (2) child protective and child welfare workers who must investigate or
handle reported cases. They will also be appropriate as
pre-service and in-service training for child protective and child welfare
Mandated professional reporters include physicians, nurses, emergency room
personnel, coroners and medical examiners, dentists, mental health professionals
(psychologists and therapists), social workers, teachers and other school officials, day
care or child care workers, and law enforcement personnel.
In some states, the list of those required to report suspected child
abuse also includes pharmacists, foster parents, clergy, attorneys, day care licensing
inspectors, film or photo processors, substance abuse counselors, children's camp
counselors and staff, family mediators, staff and volunteers in child abuse information
and referral programs, and religious healers (such as Christian Science practitioners).
Instructor: The trainer/instructor is Douglas J. Besharov, a professor
at the Maryland School of Public Affairs and first director of the United States
National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (1975-1979). Professor Besharov has
conducted training on this and related subjects before professionals and community
groups for almost 30 years.
Textbook: The textbook for the videoconferences is Recognizing
Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned (The Free Press, 1990), written
by the trainer, Douglas J. Besharov. The textbook is used and referred to throughout
the videoconferences in lieu of other handouts and materials. Although the textbook
is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended and required for those individuals
planning to register to receive CEU Certificates. Discounts are available for
orders of multiple copies. Here is an online
order form that has that information. If you are interested in ordering
the book fax that form back to Welfare Reform Academy at (202)862-5802.
Training Curriculum: Trainer Douglas J. Besharov has created a training
manual: Recognizing Child Abuse:
The Trainer's Manual that is designed to be used by professional trainers.
Recognizing Child Abuse:
The Trainer's Manual
consists of a simple, concise text divided into self-contained training modules
designed to help trainers teach child-serving professionals how to recognize
and report all forms of child abuse and neglect. The manual features a special
segment for trainers. An important objective of the videoconferences is the
training of individuals who will, in turn, train their staffs and others. Hence,
each program will begin with a "train-the-trainers" segment, addressed
to professional trainers (although this segment will be useful instruction for
all attendees). This segment will describe Recognizing Child Abuse: The Trainer's
Manual, a complete training curriculum comprising 21 teaching modules organized
into four units, accompanied by almost 100 overheads.
The curriculum contains everything trainers need to conduct their own training
sessions on child abuse recognition and reporting. Individual modules can be
presented independently of one another, and are easily adaptable to accommodate
sessions that are as short as three hours, two hours, and even one hour. The
curriculum follows the structure of the textbook, Recognizing
Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned, in order to facilitate using
them together, though individual modules can be presented independently of one
Past Training Sessions
Child Abuse Training Session, October 6, 1999: The first Child
Abuse Identification and Reporting training session was broadcast live via
satellite from the University of Maryland on October 6, 1999. It was the
first (and most general in scope) of a series of training sessions scheduled to
be broadcast over the course of the next year.
Cosponsoring the videoconference were Parents Anonymous, Inc.
and Prevent Child Abuse America. Over 500 registered
downlink sites participated in the broadcast. In addition, the program was
broadcast live by the Health & Sciences (HSTN) and Law Enforcement (LETN)
television networks to an additional 2,500 sites. Although, we estimate
that up to 10,000 individuals in fields ranging from pediatrics to day care
viewed our program.
The training was conducted in lecture format and supplemented
with overheads designed for long-distance learning. The program was
divided into the following topics: Trainer's preview; Making a difference;
Reporting obligations; Liability for failing to report; Protection for those who
report; Sources of suspicion; Key concepts; Physical abuse; Sexual abuse;
Physical neglect; and Being prepared.
Here is a sampling of the comments from our October 1999
"Quite simply, your presentation was outstanding.
Apart from the valuable information you provided, your 'TV persona' was
both relaxed and immediate. The camera work was excellent because the
viewers felt you were speaking directly to us (speaking for my wife and
myself). You approached the material with a remarkably appropriate blend
of seriousness required of the material and with good humor and telling
examples. Where someone else might have overpowered viewers with legal
jargon, you kept the material lucid and down to earth. Kudos! And
"We were able to get 3 hours of CEU credit from
the Ohio Licensing Board for Counselors and Social Workers. Speaks well
for the quality of your materials, instructors and information. I was
surprised at how fast 3 1/2 hours went, it really kept our attention.
Please keep us informed of any upcoming videoconferences. I'm sure that
after others speak with those who attended this one - I will be able to
get more people."
"Professor Besharov did a wonderful job. Logical
presentation and development of issues. Perhaps you can have an expert
panel for your next videoconference. We had seven registrants from
Johnson City, TN but 40 showed up for the start of program and 25 were still in
attendance for our local roundtable. Plenty of questions were
"Very organized seminar. This was informative
and helped me to better understand the reporting process. More
videoconferences would be good learning tools and educational for
our community. The more information made available to the public,
the greater the awareness will be for our county."
"As a case manager, I am at times unsure when and
what to report. The speaker was very knowledgeable. Great training! I
would like to have training on signs and symptoms of all types of
The Maryland School of Public Affairs will offer certificates of
continuing education to all individuals who complete the training course and
pass the relevant tests. Eleven hours of credit will be offered for each
program and associated study.
To receive certificates, participants are required to apply online through
our website. Participants must: (1) take a pretest; (2) read the course textbook
Recognizing Child Abuse:
A Guide for the Concerned; (3) view a live or video-taped version of
a videoconference; and 4) pass a post-conference test. Tests may be taken online
and certificates will be mailed upon passing the post-conference test. There
is a $50 fee for the CEU certificate, or $210 for all sessions, which includes
a copy of the textbook (paid via a secure credit card transaction).
The certificates are recognized for continuing education
units (CEUs) by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners and the Maryland State Department of Education. Because the laws
governing issuance of continuing education units vary from state to state and profession
to profession, we cannot guarantee that other states will recognize the certificates for
CEU credit. However, our experience is that the certificates have been recognized
by other states' comparable agencies.
**Go here to
register for CEU's.
Other questions? Email the Welfare Reform Academy.