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January Marks the 35th Anniversary of the San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment

(SAN DIEGO — Jan. 24, 2020) — Two hundred and fifty speakers and 2,000 attendees from 30 nations will participate in the 35th anniversary San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, presented by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. The center partners with law enforcement, the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, San Diego County Counsel, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office to prevent, identify, and treat abuse and trauma in youth and families. Between locations in San Diego, Chula Vista and Oceanside, center staff members conduct more than 1,000 child maltreatment medical evaluations and forensic interviews each year, and provide therapy to hundreds of young trauma survivors. The center’s highly integrated model, established in the 1980s, has informed the development of hundreds of other programs in communities across the country and around the world.

Scheduled for Jan. 25 through 31 at Town and Country Hotel (500 Hotel Circle N., San Diego, CA 92108), the conference is a global forum for presentations and discussions about multidisciplinary efforts to prevent, investigate, treat and prosecute maltreatment. Since its inception, the event has become an internationally recognized forum for experts to share the latest research, evidence-based education and best practices with fellow professionals.

Along with being a milestone year for the conference itself, it is also one for Charles Wilson, MSSW, senior director of the Chadwick Center, who will retire and pass the leadership to Dr. Suzanne Starling, current medical director and associate center director.

The conference will feature more than 150 workshops and key presentations on topics such as the following:

  • “Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure of Digital Data:” Mark McGinnis, JD, circuit court judgeWisconsin. This workshop will focus on the fundamental framework of searching and/or seizing digital data, and will include discussion on the United States Supreme Court’s recent decisions. (Tues., Jan. 28, 8–9:30 a.m.)
  • “Research of Community Responses to the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth in the U.S.:” Lisa Jones, PhD, research associate professor of psychology at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire; Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD, research associate professor of psychology at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire; and Jennifer O’Brien, PhD, assistant professor of social work at the University of New Hampshire. This panel of lauded researchers will present three papers on community strategies to improve response to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, with specific emphasis on multidisciplinary teams, first responders and victim services organizations. (Tues., Jan. 28, 8–9:30 a.m.)
  • “Digital Technology and Child Welfare: Assessing and Mitigating the Effects:” David Finkelhor, PhD, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. This workshop addresses concerns about how digital technology may affect children in terms of issues such as addiction, sexualization, exploitation, cyber-bullying, privacy and mental health. (Tues., Jan. 28, 8–9:30 a.m.)
  • “Child Abuse and Neglect in Film and Television: An Illustrated History:” Peter Samuelson, MA, a well-known Hollywood film producer and co-founder and president of First Star, a nonprofit organization working to change the lives of youth in foster care through policy change advocacy and higher education preparation programs. Samuelson will discuss how Hollywood, considered highly influential in how our society forms attitudes and opinions about key issues, frames abuse and neglect. (Wed., Jan. 29, 10–11:30 a.m.)
  • “The Child Witness in Court: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Court Preparation:” Andrea L. Hazen, PhD, research scientist, and Leslie Peterson, LCSW, RPT, social worker at the Chadwick Center. This workshop will delve into the Chadwick Center’s Kids and Teens in Court Program, which supports youth who are asked to testify in court, and highlight a recently published effectiveness study. (Wed., Jan. 29, 1:30–3 p.m.)For more information on the conference, visit To learn more about speakers or to request an interview, contact Carlos Delgado, Rady Children’s media relations officer, at 619-261-8392 or

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 524-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit and find us on FacebookTwitter and Vimeo.