Symposium on Crimes Against Children

Thursday, March 28 2024 • Spring-Ford Area High School

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Only $45

All tickets include breakfast, lunch, snack, and professional credits (CEUs + CLEs.)

Join fellow child abuse professionals to learn from leading experts. Gain valuable insights into the prevention, detection, and intervention of crimes against children.


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Sessions & Presenters

Keynote Address

Randy & Me: A Prosecutor’s Story of His Childhood Sexual Abuse

Presenter: Kevin M. Mulcahy

This presentation will recount Kevin’s own story of sexual exploitation at the hands of his soccer coach, Randy. But, it will not be merely a retelling of the past. Instead, the presentation will address lessons learned from his case by combining Kevin’s experience both as a victim and a long-time prosecutor of child exploitation cases. Knowing what he knows now, Kevin believe there are lessons to be learned from his story for the investigator (Kevin’s was great), the prosecutor (Kevin’s was terrible), and the forensic interviewer (Kevin did not have one). Beyond these (hopefully) useful lessons, the presentation will provide plenty of time for questions from attendees. Given the nature of our work, we don’t often get to ask questions (beyond factual questions) of our child victims. This presentation will provide that opportunity.

About Kevin Mulcahy

Kevin is a survivor of child sexual abuse. He spent over 20 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Throughout his career, Kevin prosecuted a variety of cases, including offenses involving firearms, drugs, bank robberies, threats, terrorism, and a wide variety of other federal prosecutions. But most of his caseload focused on child exploitation crimes, including production of child pornography cases, traveler cases, and other significant crimes against children prosecutions. Kevin now works in private practice in Detroit and also serves on the board of directors of his local Child Advocacy Center. Kevin obtained his undergraduate degree in Statistics and American Culture from the University of Michigan and his JD from Santa Clara School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Santa Clara Law Review. He has 3 kids, 2 pets, and a very nice wife.

Artificial Intelligence and Sexual Abuse Material

Presenters: Dan Barry and Kristina Korobov, Zero Abuse Project

Experts are alarmed at the speed of the development of AI-generated child sexual abuse material, which allows the creation of explicit imagery of specific individuals and creates new images of existing victims. The scale of the problem is a challenge, and with improvements in AI technology, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine if an image is real or AI-generated. This session will provide information on the intersection of AI and CSAM and discuss the range of responses, including legislative advocacy, education, enhanced services, and prevention efforts intended to mitigate the negative expansion and effect of AI.

Thoughts and Considerations When Prosecuting Juvenile Sex Offenses

Presenter: Paul Stern

One of the most difficult decisions that prosecutors make is what to do with juveniles accused of sexual aggressive behavior. The decision process is hampered by misguided laws, poor public policy and a system which is typically counterproductive to thoughtful prosecution in these cases. This career prosecutor offers a review of the articulated rationales for the creation of significant legal and social policies regarding juvenile sex offenders and examines the empirical evidence which challenges or supports those policies. He argues it is incumbent upon prosecutors to ensure that their decisions are guided by the best available research and an understanding of empirical information when they’re faced with the difficult task of prosecuting juvenile sexual offenders.

Grooming 101 – A Predator’s Playbook

Presenter: Michelle Denault, Voices Carry LLC

How often do you see a headline read that a trusted authority figure has been in an “inappropriate relationship” with a minor? These are not “relationships” but instead abuse that begins with grooming. In this presentation, survivor Michelle Denault weaves in her story as she breaks down each step of grooming. This approach allows the participants to see through the lens of a survivor how predators use a child’s natural want for love to manipulate them into consenting to their violation and why bystanders often place blame back on the victim instead of where it belongs. Michelle then incorporates her lens as an administrator’s wife to show how lack of training and societal misconceptions can often cause people to fail children in their care. These failures have lifelong consequences for our children, create lasting divisions between our schools and communities, and can cause massive financial fallout for our institutions.

MythBusters: Gender, Family, Divorce and Family-Based Violence from an Islamic Perspective

Presenter: Dr. Denise Ziya Berte, PhD, Peaceful Families Project

Join us for an orientation to Islamic beliefs and Muslim communities in the United States with a focus on understanding both the religious tradition of Islam as well as the varied intersecting racial, cultural, ethnic, historic and linguistic factors that may affect a particular individual or family. In addition, the workshop provides practical tips and resources for non-muslim organizations to outreach to and interact with Muslim communities in their jurisdictions.

Sextortion and Image-Based Abuse: Prevalence, Recognition, and the Impact on Youth

Presenters: Dan Barry and Kristina Korobov, Zero Abuse Project

As the world becomes more digitally connected, a single offender can now commit multiple virtual sexual assaults without ever leaving home. Sextortion—the use of coercion to compel a victim to engage in some form of sexual conduct—has been steadily increasing over the years and sometimes involves international actors and financial components. Other forms of image-based sexual abuse (such as nonconsensual image sharing) can prove equally devastating to its victims. This presentation will address different forms of image-based victimization and its impact on survivors. The workshop will discuss trauma-informed investigations, including victim interviewing and evidence gathering, protecting victims during the court process, and addressing victims’ needs for their physical safety and mental health. Finally, the group will discuss the need for parental education and community involvement to support survivors.

Digital Dynamics: Navigating Youth & Sexual Behavior

Presenter: Kelly Hagenbaugh, LSW, Creative Health Services

The workshop addresses the intricate intersection of problematic sexual behavior in youth and the influence of technology. Participants will gain insights into the challenges of addressing these issues in the digital age and will learn practical strategies for supporting youth navigating problematic sexual behavior. The workshop also focuses on enhancing communication skills for engaging in sensitive conversations with youth and families about technology and sexual development. Additionally, attendees will be introduced to Mission Kids’ “Promoting Safe Behaviors” program, which employs a collaborative approach to work with youth engaged in sexually acting out or harmful behavior. The program offers insights into education, consultation, and support strategies, positioning participants to foster safe and informed behaviors among today’s youth

Unlocking Insights in Pediatric Injury Assessment for Child Abuse Professionals

Presenter: Dr. Colleen Bennett and Laura Popma, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Tailored for child abuse investigators, this workshop delves into the intricacies of evaluating injuries through the lens of a child’s developmental milestones. Participants will gain a nuanced understanding of how a child’s unique developmental pace impacts the assessment of injury plausibility, equipping investigators with crucial insights. The workshop empowers child abuse investigators to recognize and interpret deviations from expected injury norms, honing their ability to identify potential signs of abuse with a specialized investigative focus. Practical skills for investigators, including techniques for thorough examinations and the integration of physical assessments, will be covered, alongside the role of relevant radiology and laboratory workups in determining the nature and extent of injuries. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, the workshop explores the pivotal role of working with law enforcement and child protective services to ensure a comprehensive understanding of historical details in child abuse cases.

Introduction to the CE-CERT Model to Enhance Emotional Regulation

Presenter: Amanda Mitten, M.A., University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Immerse yourself in our specialized CE-CERT model training designed for professionals in the child abuse field. Explore empirically informed strategies to manage emotion dysregulation, incorporating evidence-based techniques. Learn how the model fosters sustainability in this challenging work and gain immediate, practical insights. Engage in a dynamic learning environment led by expert facilitators, promoting collaboration and hands-on experiences. Elevate your professional journey by integrating these specialized strategies, enhancing emotional well-being and resilience in the vital work of addressing child abuse. Join us for a unique blend of experiential and didactic learning, taking the first step towards a healthier work-life balance while making a positive impact in the field.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorships are available! Partner with Mission Kids to support the education and training of those helping our most vulnerable children during one of the hardest times in their life.


If you want to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, reach out to Paula Jones.

Presenting Sponsor – $10,000

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  • Logo placement with link on conference website, conference marketing materials and signage
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