From Education to Implementation is Theme for Child Welfare Conference

Nadine Stuehm
UNK Department of Social Work, 308.865.8738

“From Education to Implementation” is the theme for a child welfare conference set for Wednesday, April 1, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, according to Nadine Stuehm, UNK senior lecturer in social work.

The conference will open at 8:30 a.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room with a presentation by Dr. Maria Puig from the Colorado State University (Fort Collins) School of Social Work. Dr. Puig’s topic is “What Every Social Worker Should Know About Immigration Law and Policy.”

The presentation will cover ways that immigration laws affect child welfare and the impact of refugee children in the foster care system. Dr. Puig, who has more than 21 years of social work experience, has written book chapters on immigration law and policy. Immediately after Dr. Puig’s presentation, Dr. Maha Younes, UNK social work chair, will provide information about the child welfare initiative.

“Juvenile Sexual Offender Treatment: What Works?” will be the focus of a 10:15 a.m. session by Keri Batchelder, an instructor and research associate at the Colorado State University School of Social Work. Batchelder will discuss techniques for dealing with juveniles who commit sexual offenses and her recommendations for social work practitioners.

The final session for the morning will be an 11:15 a.m. presentation on “Early Childhood Education: The Positive Impact of School for Toddlers.” Kristin Lindsay Danhoff, a graduate research assistant with Poudre School District’s Research and Development Center at Colorado State University. Danhoff’s work at the center helped the Early Childhood Education Program obtain approval for a pilot tuition-based preschool program.

The daylong conference will conclude with two afternoon presentations. A 1:15 p.m. presentation, titled “Understanding the Impact of Abuse & Neglect on Infant & Toddler Mental Health,” will focus on the impact of trauma on children from birth to age five. Dr. Tobi Delong-Hamilton, an infant mental health specialist  and licensed clinical social worker in Colorado, will give the presentation.

Concluding the conference will be a 2:30 p.m. presentation on “Ethics and Child Welfare” by Dr. Sandra Cook-Fong, UNK associate professor of social work. Dr. Cook-Fong will present an overview of social work ethics and lead group discussion with case scenarios. The workshop fulfills the two continuing education units in ethics required by the State of Nebraska Licensing Board.