The Psychological Maltreatment Alliance is presenting a free virtual conference on psychological maltreatment on Friday December 7, 12 noon to 4pm

The Psychological Maltreatment Alliance consists of:
APSAC (American Porfessional Society on the Abuse of Children)
International Insititute for Child Rights & Development
The New York Foundling’s Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection
Teachers College, Columbia University

Psychological Maltreatment: Moving the Field Forward
A Free Virtual Conference
Friday, December 7, 2023
12:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET
Please use the link to register:

Program: December 7, 2023

12:00 pm – 12:05 pm ET Introduction: Leslie Brand, M.A.

12:05 pm – 1:05 pm ET Workshop Title: Assessing Suspected Child Psychological Maltreatment: An Evidence-Based Method
Workshop Description: This workshop provides an overview of a comprehensive, evidence-based definitional system for psychological maltreatment along with the evidence supporting its reliability, validity, and preventative impacts. Participants will then engage in practice cases using the definition to assess potential caregiver PM behavior and possible harm. Presenters: Marla R. Brassard, PhD. & Amy Slep, PhD.

1:10 pm – 2:10 pm ET Workshop Title: Helping Professionals Intervene When Parents Engage in Problematic Parenting
Workshop Description: Interacting with families can be very stressful, especially when professionals observe parents engaging in problematic parenting. This workshop will present some recent research findings about the types of problematic parenting typically observed by front-line human service professionals. The presenters will also share what other professionals have to say about why they don’t always intervene when they are able to and the support they need to move from being a bystander to being an upstander. The workshop will discuss specific ways that human service professionals can make their environments more welcoming, child-friendly, and less stressful in order to reduce stressors that increase poor parenting. In addition, specific intervention techniques such as motivational interviewing and soft-start-ups will be reviewed in order to provide some specific tools and strategies to help human service professionals intervene on behalf of children. Principles of positive parenting will be briefly reviewed as well in order to provide professionals with some key concepts to share with parents as a way of having a more lasting impact on the parent-child relationship. Presenters: Amy J. L. Baker, Ph.D & Roslyn Murov, M.D.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm ET Workshop title: Undoing the Hurt of Racism for African American Children Inside and Outside of Their Homes – Talk, Touch & Listen While Combing Hair.
Workshop Description: In 2021 the American Professional Society on Abuse of Children, declared, “When directed at youth, racism is child abuse. It is a form of psychological maltreatment and is toxic like physical and sexual abuse.” Around the world the practice of colorism, or the differential treatment of individuals based on skin tone, can lead to feelings of inferiority and rejection, especially in darker-skinned individuals. Similarly, hair bias, or the preference for certain hair types or textures, can lead to negative self-image and internalized racism. Childhood experiences of acceptance or rejection based on their skin tone or hair type has a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of African American children. These forms of discrimination and bias perpetuate harmful stereotypes that lead to psychological maltreatment and lower self-esteem. It is important to recognize and address these forms of discrimination in order to create a more equitable and just society for all children. The presenters will discuss research and community-based interventions for parents and caregivers that include training in Psycho-hairapy© for beauticians, barbers, and daycare center educators, to re-story these intergenerational messages of racial trauma. Presenters: Marva L. Lewis, PhD., IMH-E& Afiya Mbilishaka, PhD.

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm ET Panel Discussion: Presenters will come together for a lively discussion of issues raised over the course of the workshop as well as address audience questions. Moderator: Jody Manly, PhD.