Collaborating to Advocate for Children and Adolescents is the Theme for Justice for All Conference Friday, Feb. 18, at UNK

Scott Barber
graduate assistant, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, 308.865.8615

Collaboration to Advocate for Children and Adolescents is the theme for the Justice for All conference set for Friday, Feb. 18, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The conference is sponsored by the Graduate Association of School Psychologists (GrASP) and Chi Sigma Iota, the UNK counseling honor society. Members of the educational and mental health communities throughout the region will attend sessions that focus on ways to respond to the reality of social injustice and the need for advocacy.

Mark Ells, a research assistant professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Center on Children, Families, and the Law, is the keynote speaker. His presentation, Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Forensic Interviews with Children, describes interviewing principles that mental health professionals can use to facilitate disclosures from child abuse and neglect victims. Ells is a member of the team that provides Nebraska’s week-long, practicum-based training for forensic interviewing of children.

Other presenters for the conference include: Kelly Shada of Kearney, Joyce Stoural of Omaha, Mark Hald of Scottsbluff and Relationship Empowerment for Students, Parents, Educators and Community Through Theater (R.E.S.P.E.C.T.).

Shada, master’s level counselor and registered nurse in Kearney, will present Homeward Bound?, a session exploring the decisions involved in the placement of a child in the biological home, foster care or adoption.

Currently practicing in Omaha, Joyce Stoural is certified in psychiatry and addictions. She has worked in psychiatric and dual diagnostic hospital settings for 35 years, dealing with children and adolescents for 22 years and eating disorders for 13. Stoural’s presentation, Assessment and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders, will familiarize participants with the current concepts in recognizing, assessing and treating children and adolescents with eating disorders; introducing a multidisciplinary approach to eating disorders; and discussing prevention of eating disorders.

Mark Hald’s presentation, Infant-Toddler Mental Health, is an interactive session about ways the networks that deal with infant-toddler mental health can collaborate effectively. Hald is a licensed psychologist and partner with Options In Psychology, LLC in Scottsbluff. His professional interests include assessment and intervention from toddlers to preadolescent children, adolescents and families; neuropsychology; and interventions for behavior disorders, learning disabilities, brain injuries and various other childhood mental disorders.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. presents educational theatre for students in grades K-12. These age-specific plays use professional actors to address the topics of bullying, harassment, relational aggression and dating violence. The group will perform SCRAPS, the story of a new girl in school trying to fit in until she finds herself the target of a bully. Behaviors such as rumor spreading, innuendo and exclusion, as well as the roll of the bystander are addressed. A discussion will follow the play.

The conference is open to UNK faculty/staff/students ($10), other higher education students/faculty ($25), NSPA/NCA/CSI members ($45) and other professionals ($65). Agencies from across the state will be available during breaks, lunch and after the conference to discuss the services they provide. For more information and to register call the UNK Department of Counseling and School Psychology at (308) 865-8508.

The conference schedule is as follows:

8:00 – 8:45          Registration/Continental Breakfast
Lobby of the Conference Center

8:45 – 9:00         Welcome and Announcements

9:00 – 9:30          Opening Remarks

9:30 – 10:45         Breakout Session 1

Mark Hald

Kelly Shada

10:45 – 11:00     Break/Refreshments

11:00 – 12:15      Breakout Session 2


Joyce Stoural

12:15 – 1:00         Lunch (provided)

1:00 – 2:30         Keynote Speaker

Mark Ells

2:30             Closing Remarks/CEU Disbursement