Annual Conference

The annual conference is centered around one main goal: to deliver best practices and innovative methodologies to child-serving professionals (local law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, Children’s Advocacy Center staff, and multidisciplinary teams).

Our conference drew more than 300 child abuse professionals from across the state, including prosecutors, local and state police, Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigators, as well as medical and mental health professionals. Sponsorships enabled us to bring in renowned presenters, including our keynote speakers Dr. Heather Forkey and Dr. Jessica Griffin, who explored the types of human stress responses, the spectrum of burnout and secondary traumatic stress, and how to address those issues in a professional setting.

In addition, the conference featured workshop sessions on critical topics related to child abuse, such as:

  • Cyber safety and exploitation
  • Missing and runaway youth
  • Empirically-based approaches for prosecutions
  • Responses to youth with problematic sexual behavior
  • Elevating survivor voices
  • Overcoming obstacles for children with disabilities

The vast majority of attendees (95.77% in fact) reported that the conference matched or exceeded their expectations on our evaluation survey, and 97.18% plan to attend future conferences.

In addition, MACA presented the One With Courage Award to Susan Goldfarb. Susan has made it her lifelong mission to help children affected by sexual abuse and exploitation. She built a 30-year career with Child Advocacy Centers and over 20 years serving as the Executive
Director of the CAC of Suffolk County.

Here are some comments from individuals who attended our 13th annual conference:

“I thought the workshops I attended and the presenters for each of them to be excellent. The keynote speakers were great and served as a great reminder to check in on how we, as a team, are taking care of each other, in the workplace. The lunchtime program and honoring of Susan Goldfarb was perfect!”

“I have been going to the MACA conference for years and I recommend it to everyone in my agency. Each year, the conference brings fresh new ideas, concepts, and speakers to the field. The conference is well thought out. The food and snacks are phenomenal!”

“Another terrific conference executed beautifully! Down to every detail, the day was rich and comprehensive. The MACA team was incredibly helpful to the members of our staff setting up to present various workshops – we felt supported through and through. I learned a great deal, and our staff team was excited and engaged with a wide range of topics. Bravo to the entire team for pulling off such an energizing day, and for the beautiful tribute to Susan Goldfarb. Thank you!”

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