Children’s Justice Center hosting panel for clergy on child abuse

ST. GEORGE – St. George area clergy are invited to attend a panel on how to best serve members of their congregations facing child abuse and the resources available to them.

The Washington County Children’s Justice Center is hosting an instructive panel for area clergy at the Southwest Behavioral Health Center, 474 W 200 N in St. George, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, April 12.

Called “Chili, Cornbread and Conversation with Clergy,” the panel will focus on how to help religious leaders address child abuse, from the rules surrounding the reporting of such incidents, to the myriad resources and agencies available to victims and their families. Members of the panel will also answer questions posed by participants.

“It’s tough for clergy to know what’s available,” said Debra Wood, the victim’s services coordinator for the WCCJC.

Wood said 13 agencies will be a part of the panel, as well as a representative from the Washington County Attorney’s Office. Clergy will have able to familiarize themselves with the various agencies and what service they have to offer. A county attorney will also be on hand to explain the legal aspects of reporting child abuse.

“[The panel] will put a face to the agencies,” Wood added, noting some clergy saw particular agencies as faceless entities.

In additional to sharing information with the clergy, the event will also feature a chili dinner. Potential attendees are asked to RSVP and contact Debra Wood at 435-634-1134, or email at [email protected].

The panel is being held in conjunction with National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Participants will include:

  • Erin Kimball Foundation
  • Dixie Care & Share
  • Washington County Attorney’s Office
  • Children’s Justice Center
  • Family Support Center
  • HOPE Pregnancy Center
  • Youth Crisis Center
  • Division of Child and Family Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • D.O.V.E. Center
  • Learning Center for Families
  • Utah Foster Care Foundation
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Utah

[email protected]

twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright 2012 St. George News

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