The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) is a national, nonprofit, multidisciplinary, membership organization focused on enhancing the ability of professionals to respond to children and their families affected by abuse and violence. Incorporated in 1987, APSAC has over 2,000 members from the disciplines of mental health, medicine and nursing, law, law enforcement, child protective services, social work, and education. The organization is committed to providing professional education that promotes effective, culturally sensitive, multidisciplinary approaches to the identification, intervention, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. APSAC promotes research and formulates guidelines to inform professional practice, and it endeavors to educate the public about child maltreatment.
To fulfill its mission, APSAC sponsors an annual 4day colloquium, 1-day advanced training institutes, and weeklong forensic interview clinics. The colloquium offers a variety of seminars and workshops covering all aspects of child maltreatment, including prevention; assessment; and intervention and treatment with victims, perpetrators, and families affected by physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and neglect. The Advanced Training Institutes are usually 7-hour trainings on topics such as forensic interviewing, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, medical evaluation, children with sexual behavior problems, the expert witness, and ethics. APSAC’s Forensic Interview Clinics focus on training professionals responsible for conducting investigative interviews with children in suspected abuse cases. These comprehensive clinics offer an intensive 40-hour training experience and personal interaction with leading experts in child forensic interviewing. The curriculum emphasizes state-of-the-art principles of forensically sound interviewing with a balanced review of several models.
The APSAC complements its hands-on training activities with a focused publishing program that includes a quarterly newsletter, a quarterly research journal, a series of practice guidelines, and a handbook. The APSAC Advisor is a quarterly newsletter featuring practical, easily accessed articles on topics that focus on particular aspects of practice, detail a common problem or current issue faced by practitioners, or review available research from a practice per spective. It also offers news of the organization, brief synopses of current research articles from a range of professional journals, a review of recent legislation and policies relating to child welfare, and a calendar of conferences of interest to the field. Child Maltreatment: Journal of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, sponsored by APSAC and published quarterly by Sage Publications, is a respected, peer-reviewed research journal that fosters professional excellence in the field of child abuse and neglect by reporting current and atissue scientific information and technical innovations. Child Maltreatment emphasizes perspectives with a rigorous scientific base that are relevant to policy, practice, and research.
APSAC’s board of directors, staff, members, and many experts nationwide participated in the formulation, review, and development of the Practice Guidelines series. There are currently six guidelines for ethical and effective practice and others are in development. Each topic is succinctly covered in a booklet of 8 to 16 pages, and the Practice Guidelines now available cover investigative interviewing, psychosocial evaluation of children, descriptive terminology in child sexual abuse evaluations, photographic documentation, use of anatomical dolls in child sexual abuse assessments, and psychosocial evaluation of suspected psychological maltreatment in children and adolescents. The second edition of The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment is an edited volume with chapters contributed by leading authorities in a variety of specialized areas. This 582-page resource provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary coverage of the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. This book offers research based applications for practice, including medical, psychological, and legal points of view about physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and psychological maltreatment.
- Myers, J. E. B., Berliner, L., Briere, J. N., Hendrix, C. T., Reid, T. A., & Jenny, C. A. (2002). The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children: https://www.apsac.org/
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