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Covenant Children’s Hosting Child Abuse Summit

Covenant Children’s Hosting Child Abuse Summit

Continuing education units are available for health care workers, others.

Lubbock County communities experience an unusually high rate of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect. The last five years of data from the Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS), 2010-2015, reflected an average of 18.5 children for every 1,000 children as confirmed victims, against a state rate of occurrence averaging 9.2 children for every 1,000. Lubbock County has recorded seven child fatalities due to abuse and neglect in the last five years of available data. An average of three children per day were confirmed victims of abuse and neglect in Lubbock County in 2015, with the majority of victims under the age of three.

Covenant Children’s is hosting a summit to raise awareness around child abuse and enhance the skills of health care professionals and the general community around prevention, investigation, and treatment of abuse in children. The event is 8 a.m. to 4p.m. March 24 in the Arnett Room, on the 6th floor of Covenant Children’s, at 4000 24th St.

“We have a moral and civic duty to protect children, as they cannot protect themselves,” said Marguerite Fallon, Covenant Children’s chief nursing officer. “This conference will provide both educational information and practical guidance on a wide range of topics such as criminal prosecution of child abuse, early recognition of non-accidental trauma, and insights from a survivor, among others.

“While the summit’s primary audience is health care workers such as physicians, nurses and social workers in the field of emergency medicine, family practice, pediatrics and all pediatric specialties, we have designed the first half of the day to be tailored more toward general child abuse topics of interest to both the general public and health care providers. The second half of the day focuses on information for health care providers. We encourage anyone interested in child abuse prevention and intervention to attend,” she said.

At the conclusion of the day’s series of workshops, participants will be able to

  • Recognize the role shame plays in the child sexual abuse victim (and its impact on disclosures, reports and prevention)
  • Define and clarify the role of health care professionals and social service agencies in investigations and prosecutions
  • Recognize a clear operational definition of “trauma-informed care” and common traps that are the opposite
  • Determine common reactions to vicarious trauma and identify a system to address the impacts of vicarious trauma
  • Discuss potential child abuse cases and determine next steps
  • Identify the risk factors for abuse, symptoms that could indicate such, and priorities in caring for abuse

The conference's opening will feature national guest speaker Jenna Quinn, a survivor, and author of "Pure in Heart: A Memoir of Overcoming Abuse and Passing Jenna's Law" for whom the measure was named, and passed by the Texas Legislature in 2009. There also will be a mayor's proclamation for Go Blue Lubbock.

Registration fee is $50 for licensed medical professionals and $25 for non-licensed medical professionals and students, with all fees paid at the door. To register, email or visit


7 – 8 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast

8 – 8:15 a.m. Welcome, Mayor Dan Pope

8:15 – 9:45 a.m. Matt Powell, Lubbock County district attorney, “Criminal Prosecution of Child Abuse”

9:45 – 10 a.m. Break

10 –11:30 a.m. – Jenna Quinn, “Pure in Heart: Insights from a Survivor of Child Abuse”

11:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m. Michael Gomez, MD, “Trauma-informed Care and Vicarious Trauma” 12:30 –

1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 3 p.m. Case discussions with panel review

3 – 4 p.m. Belinda Waters, RN, “Early Recognition of Non-accidental Trauma”

4 p.m. Closing Remarks and Evaluations

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