At the State of the City/County address at Rooster Booster in January, Mayor Ron Payne and County Judge Executive Al Mattingly declared 2016 as the “Year of the Child.”
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Ohio Valley will use National Child Abuse Awareness Month in April to host a conference that will bring private and non-profit organizations, business and community leaders, educators, social services providers and concerned citizens together at the Owensboro Convention Center, Saturday, April 30.
The conference, “For the Child,” will address abuse, neglect, domestic violence, diversity, collaboration, community resources and implementation planning.
“Many programs are already doing great work in our community to address child poverty, abuse and neglect. But we can do more together! This conference hopes to build on what’s already being done,” said Rosemary Conder, CASA of Ohio Valley Executive Director. “For the Child is designed to be more than a one day event; we hope to raise awareness, formulate a vision, and together form a direct plan of action to further address the issues of poverty, abuse, neglect and homelessness affecting the children in our area.”
The event is a collaboration between the City of Owensboro, Owensboro Health, Daviess County Fiscal Court, The Public Life Foundation of Owensboro, Kentucky Youth Advocates, Kentucky CASA Network, Owensboro Civitan Club, and other organizations.
Continuing Education credits will be offered to professionals who attend, but organizers hope to attract a diverse crowd, which is why a celebrity was chosen for the keynote.
Actress and Kentucky native, Ashley Judd, will be presenting the keynote address, sharing a message of hope and recovery from her own childhood experiences with poverty and abuse.
“We hope having Ashley Judd here will attract people from the general public to come hear this information and ultimately take it back to their schools, workplaces and familes,” Conder said.
Other speakers include:
- Terie Dueussi-Smith, co-author of the book Bridges Out of Poverty (with Dr. Ruby Payne), who will give a presentation on The Cycle of Poverty.
- Tracy Fauver, CEO of Yolo County CASA, who will give a presentation on ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Trauma.
- Amy Swann, Senior Policy Analyst for Kentucky Youth Advocates, who will facilitate a community conversation and present a “toolbox” created by the Public Life Foundation to help develop a plan of action to further the work of the conference.
Ticket sales for the conference begin mid-March.