APA Effective Providers for Child Victims of Violence Program director briefs U.S. Department of Justice officials

Julia da Silva, director of APA’s Violence Prevention Office, discussed the achievements of the three-tiered national training program.

“Through the Effective Providers for Child Victims of Violence program (EP Program), we are mobilizing mental health professionals to embrace trauma-focused treatment models and assessment measures that are evidence-based. Through the program, they will be prepared to make decisions about adopting family-oriented, culturally sensitive, evidence-based treatments for children who are victims of violence,” Julia da Silva, director of APA’s Violence Prevention Office and national director of the EP Program, said in a presentation on April 27, 2012, to officials with the  Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), which is funding the program. 
APA was the only grantee attending the agency meeting, which was also attended by personnel from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, National Institute of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Department of Justice’s Office of Communications.

At the invitation of Phelan Wyrick, PhD, senior advisor to the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs and co-chair of the Department of Justice Defending Childhood Initiative, da Silva discussed the program’s achievements, which included conducting a continuing education workshop at the 2011 APA Annual Convention as well as three regional train-the-trainer workshops in Washington, D.C., Phoenix and Chicago earlier this year. In an extended question-and-answer session, Wyrick praised APA’s accomplishments and expressed interest in finding ways for DOJ to continue to advance the program.

The EP Program will offer an instructional DVD later this month for local EP Program trainers. At the 2012 APA Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., in August, Michael de Arellano, PhD, will conduct a full-day, intermediate continuing education workshop with a detailed overview of six empirically supported trauma assessment tools and five evidence-based, trauma-focused treatments for use with victimized children and adolescents. De Arellano, professor and licensed clinical psychologist for the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, will discuss the risk factors and consequences of children’s exposure to violence; the role of diversity and culture on victimization; strategies for selecting effective trauma assessment tools and evidence-based treatments; a family-centered, culturally sensitive, collaborative treatment approach; strategies for clinicians’ self-care; and, resources for accessing in-depth training and technical assistance on evidence-based treatments for child victims of violence and trauma.

The EP Program will also debut an educational video at this year’s convention that will be available on the program’s Facebook page, website and partnering websites. For more information about the EP Program, contact da Silva via email or at (202) 336-5817.