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A National Dialogue

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a collective effort. The COVID-19 public health crisis is requiring our systems and families to rapidly adapt to changing environments. Protecting children requires bringing together people, systems, and technology to strengthen families and build the capacity of community-based services.

Leading child welfare experts and stakeholders joined our national dialogue on April 23 in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event featured two panels, with discussions covering how systems can be transformed to protect children, efforts underway during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what programs and services are supporting and building the evidence for community-driven efforts in prevention.


Moderator: Alisa Santucci, MS, LCMFT, Principal Associate, Abt Global

Panel 1 – Webinar #1: Transforming Systems to Protect Children
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET

  • Jerry Milner, DSW, Associate Commissioner, HHS/ACF/ACYF/Children’s Bureau
  • J. Bart Klika, Ph.D., Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Prevent Child Abuse America
  • Teresa Rafael, MSW, Executive Director, Children’s Trust Fund Alliance (formerly the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds)
  • Vivek Sankaran, J.D., Director, Child Advocacy Law Clinic, University of Michigan Law School

Read the transcript of Panel 1 (PDF)

Watch the Panel 1 video:

Panel 2 – Webinar #2: Supporting Community-Driven and Evidence Building Prevention Efforts
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

  • Allison Hyra, Ph.D., Project Director, Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families Project, Abt Global
  • Deborah Northburg, M.A., Sr. Director, CITC Child & Family Services, Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families Grantee, Cook Tribal Inlet, Anchorage, AK
  • Raven Sigure, FRIENDS National Center Parent Advisory Council Member
  • Valerie Spiva Collins, Ph.D., Director, FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention

Read the transcript of Panel 2 (PDF)

Watch the Panel 2 video:

Event Brochure

Please view the event brochure to learn more about our speakers and Abt’s work.