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Third Annual Child Abuse Prevention Forum Held at SIC


The discussion panel answered questions from guests during the Child Abuse Forum on April 7 at Southeastern Illinois College. Pictured are (L-R) Gwen Basinger (Illinois State Police), Sheryl Woodham (The Guardian Center, Inc.), Courtney Field (Department of Children and Family Services) and Ginger Meyer (Children’s Medical Resource Network).

HARRISBURG, Ill. (April 14, 2016) – The Southeastern Illinois College Criminal Justice department held its third annual Child Abuse Forum on April 7 at the college in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month,.

Over 60 people were in attendance to hear the panel talk of the significance of responding agencies working together as a team as well as what the community can do to help prevent child abuse.

“Child abuse is a topic that not many people want to talk about but it needs to be talked about, said Brent Maguire, SIC Criminal Justice instructor.  “The forum provides an opportunity to have that much needed talk, which is especially important for students entering criminal justice or nursing fields.”

During the forum guests were able to go into a variety of sessions that included “Team Approach to Investigating Child Abuse,” led by Gwen Basinger, Sergeant, Illinois State Police District #19; “What is a Child Advocacy Center?” and “The CAC Model of Child Abuse Investigations,” led by Sheryl Woodham, Executive Director of The Guardian Center; “The Role of Law Enforcement in Child Abuse Investigations” and “The Role of Medical Professionals in Child Abuse Investigations,” led by Ginger Meyer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Children’s Medical Resource Network; and “Signs & Symptoms of Child Abuse,” led by Courtney Field, Administrator at Department of Children and Family Services.

Additionally, informational tables were set up by The Guardian Center, Department of Children and Family Services, Wabash Area Development, Inc. Community Action Partnership and the Egyptian Health Department to share practical information on what each of us can do to help prevent child abuse and give victims a “voice.”