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August 2014 Newsletter: Supporting Victims with Complex Communication Needs

To further raise awareness on protecting children with disabilities, this month’s MECP newsletter continues to explore promising practices for supporting children who have complex communication needs and examines how MECP can support your organization in addressing these challenges.

This month’s 3rd Wednesday at 2 p.m. webinar series featured Dr. Beverly Frantz and Carrie Leonhart of Temple’s Institute on Disabilities, with a presentation entitled, “Supporting Victims with Complex Communication Needs” As part of this webinar, presenters discussed how the criminal justice system can support victims with complex communication needs to ensure all individuals receive equal access to justice. In conjunction with this webinar, presenters highlighted the numerous University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research, and Service (UCEDDs) available to assist practitioners from across the country.  A full list of UCEEDs is highlighted in this newsletter to assist those who serve children with disabilities.

In concluding our series on Protecting Children with Disabilities, MECP encourages you to connect with us to discuss how we can assist your organization, jurisdiction or community in supporting the needs of children with disabilities and other issues relating to missing and exploited children. Through MECP’s training and technical assistance request center and our new chat feature at http://mecptraining.org/, we are able to immediately respond to inquiries  and provide timely  solutions to address your community’s needs.

To learn more about protecting children with disabilities and to read last month’s newsletter, “A Preventative Approach to Protecting Children with Disabilities” please visit here.

3rd Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET Webinar Series: Supporting Victims with Complex Communication Needs

MECP partnered with Dr. Beverly Frantz and Carrie Leonhart from Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities, to examine the prevalence of crime against victims with complex communication needs and how these needs impact the services within the justice system. The presenters focused on best practices for supporting these victims such as implementing V.O.I.C.E. (Validating Others’ Intentional Communication Efforts) as a tool in addressing the barriers met in supporting child victims with complex communication needs.

To view the recording of this webinar, please visit here.

Association of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research, and Service (AUCD)

Through its members, AUCD is a resource for local, state, national, and international agencies, organizations, and policy makers concerned about people living with developmental and other disabilities and their families. To find a center in your area, please visit here for more information.

Upcoming Events

September 23rd - 25th Atlanta, GA: Our Nation’s Hidden Victims - National Conference on Responding to Missing & Unidentified Persons This conference will bring stakeholders together to promote a greater awareness to and understanding of missing person populations that are often hidden or forgotten: adults and children with physical and developmental disabilities, runaway and homeless persons, veterans and active service members, college students and tribal and minority populations. Participants will learn how to utilize the most effective tools and techniques for case management of missing persons who are often hidden of forgotten; identify federal, state, public and non-profit organizations that assist victims and families of the missing; help families cope with ambiguous loss among multiple special populations groups; develop concrete strategies, policies and practices to support and work with hidden victims; and develop specific action plans to improve law enforcement and community response when working with a multitude of types of missing persons cases. To register for this event, please visit here.

September 26th- 27th Atlanta, GA: Family Roundtable The Family Roundtable discussion will take place in Atlanta, GA September 26-27 immediately following the Hidden Victims conference (mentioned above). The focus will again be dedicated to gaining greater insight into what the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs, law enforcement, child protection officials, prosecutors, other professionals, and citizens can do to strengthen the AMBER Alert Initiative. The outcomes from this family roundtable will be made available in an upcoming MECP newsletter. For more information about this invitation only event, please contact [email protected] or 877-71-AMBER. 

October 25th- 28th Course: IACP 121st Annual Conference and Exposition Featuring renowned keynote speakers, forums and technical workshops, and the largest exhibit hall of products and services in the law enforcement community, the premier event for law enforcement provides thousands of dedicated professionals from across the country and around the world with an exceptional, concentrated forum for learning, collaborating and experiencing new technology. Join delegates from local, state, county, tribal and federal agencies at the IACP Annual Conference and Expo.

December 2nd – 4th 10th Global Youth Justice Training Institute On December 2–4, 2014, Global Youth Justice will host its 10th Global Youth Justice Training Institute in Las Vegas, NV. Participants will learn strategies to establish or enhance local youth justice diversion programs through teen, student, youth, and peer courts and peer juries. Topics will include training youth and adult volunteers; providing quality community services, programs, and referrals; conducting mock family intake meetings, grant writing, funding opportunities, and more. Click here to register.

MECP’s Training Center

MECP Website Chat Feature MECP has improved the way in which we deliver information and resources to the field. We welcome you to visit our enhanced website for the latest chat feature which allows for instant communication and collaboration with our MECP staff and to answer your questions about available resources and services.

Have limited funds for training and technical assistance? Need assistance in identifying the core issues impacting your organization and serving missing and exploited children? MECP offers a network of juvenile justice experts to provide training and technical assistance tailored to meet the specific needs of your community or jurisdiction. Training and Technical Assistance opportunities may include:

o Provision of Faculty
o Agenda development
o Conduct of a training program:
o Distance-learning
o Training Scholarships
o Information Dissemination
o Focus/Advisory Groups
o On-site Study
o Peer-to-Peer site visits
o Office-based TA
o Speaker and presenter assistance
o Logistical management
o Curriculum and agenda development

For information on how your agency or organization can receive training and technical assistance on missing and exploited children’s issues, please contact MECP at 1–888–347–5610 or [email protected]. To submit a request for training and technical assistance, please complete a training and technical assistance form.