Events, Programs & Training


November 5, 2020

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

PA Family Support Alliance is holding their annual PA Child Abuse Prevention Symposium virtually on November 5, 2020. This Symposium will feature nationally acclaimed speakers who are experts in child protection, education, the impact of substance use disorder on children, and equity, diversity, and inclusion for youth. Presentations will include a variety of topics that are relevant to professionals and organizations that provide programs to children. Symposium participants will be from throughout the Commonwealth (and beyond).

Registration is required to attend.  Cost is $115. 
*Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors can earn up to 5 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEU) at no additional cost. Attorneys can earn up to 5 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits for $1.50 per credit


9-9:15am                   Introductions

9:15-10:45am           Keynote Speaker (Erin from Freedom Writers)

10:45-11am              Morning Break

11a-12pm                  Keynote Speaker Continued (Freedom Writers)

12-12:30pm              Lunch

12:30-2pm                1st Breakout Sessions

2-2:15pm                   Afternoon Break

2:15-3:45pm             2nd Breakout Sessions

3:45-4pm                   Conclusion



Additional Details


Title of Session:  Keynote: Freedom Writers

Speaker’s Name:  Erin Gruwell, Freedom Writers Foundation

Time of Session: 9:15am-12pm (includes a 15 minute break)


Erin Gruwell is a teacher, an education activist, and the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. She created the Freedom Writer Methods, a progressive teaching philosophy and curricula designed to achieve excellence from all students.

Erin will share her motivational story, as portrayed in the book, The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them.


1st Breakout Sessions:

Title of Session:  Affirming LGBTQ+ Communities in the Prevention of Child Abuse 

Speaker’s Name:  Todd Snovel

Time of Sessions: 12:30pm-2pm


While embracing our intersectional commitment to Equity,
Diversity, and Inclusion, this session will address unique needs and challenges
often faced by LGBTQ+ children and youth and those beginning to question their
sexual and/or gender identities. Learn about ways in which our actions and
words demonstrate competency and understanding of LGBTQ communities, the
increased health needs that exist among LGBTQ-identified community members, and
actions steps towards assisting our agencies in being fully affirming and brave



Title of Session: 

Enhancing Student Safety During a Pandemic

Name:  Jane Straub

Time of Session: 12:30pm-2pm

Summary:  "Safe at Home" unfortunately does not describe the circumstances for all children and youth.  As we work to navigate this new world of Covid-19, we find that our children may be at heightened risk not of illness, but of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Physical isolation puts limits on with whom our children and youth are connecting to in-person, while opening up their connections to the world on-line.  This training will cover the risks to children and adolescents who may be confined at home with someone who abuses them.  We will cover strategies to connect with youth as well as providing preventative measures for adults who may be feeling extreme stress and frustration.  This training will also cover on-line safety for youth and caregivers of youth.  Recognizing signs of abuse or attempts at disclosure are imperative as we connect with youth and families for a very short duration of time.


2nd Breakout Sessions:

Title of Session: 

Mitigating the Impact of Covid-19 as an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) With Positive Childhood Experiences

Speaker’s Name:  Jane Straub

Time of Sessions: 2:15-3:45pm 

Summary: Adverse Childhood Experiences are events that have the potential to become traumatic for a child.  For some children Covid-19 will be that experience.  How do we create buffers for children and families to mitigate the risk?  Positive Childhood Experiences have been proven to lessen the impact of trauma.  Supporting children and families during this pandemic is essential.


Title of Session:  Addiction: Through the Lens of a Child

Speaker’s Name:  Chris Glover

Time of Session: 2:15-3:45pm

Summary: In this training, participants will learn about the illness of addiction and its impact
on family systems. Special emphasis will be on the experience of a child living
in a family experiencing addiction. Training will also introduce participants
to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
behavioral health continuum of care including prevention, harm reduction,
treatment, and recovery. Participants will learn about individualized risk and
protective factors and how they can build protective factors in individuals.


this is a VIRTUAL session

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