CATS 2017 Annual Conference

Start Time/Date: 8:30 AM Monday, July 24, 2017
End Time/Date: 5:00 PM Wednesday, July 26, 2017
ADDRESS: Doubletree Grand Rapids Airport
4747 28th Street SE
CITY: Grand Rapids, MI 49512

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Additional Event Information

Child Abuse Training Services Program


2017 Annual Conference



Click on the link below to see the full Conference brochure... 

Conference Information

The Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, Child Abuse Training Services, in cooperation with the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council, and the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to present a statewide, cross-professional Specialized Child Abuse Conference. 

Registration (Free!) 


There is no registration fee or charge for materials for this conference for our target audience.  This includes law enforcement, CPS /DHHS child abuse professionals, CAC forensic interviewers, prosecutors & APAs, and, when space allows, those who are involved with child abuse investigations or prosecution.  Attendees are responsible for overnight accommodations, transportation, meals, and other incidental costs. 

Complete your registration by clicking
 on the registration button by July 11, 2017.  


Plenary Sessions & Breakouts

Monday:  Ballroom
9:00am – 4:30pm

Introduction to Child Sex Trafficking

 Sgt. Byron Fassett & Det. Cathy DeLaPaz

Recognize and understand the dynamics of child sex trafficking from a single system response to a full MDT response by focusing on the fundamentals.

This training will focus on the interaction between CPS, law enforcement, prosecution, and medical MDT team members, all of which are critical for a successful system response on behalf of the victim, and the successful prosecution of the offender.

Tuesday:  Ballroom

Plenary 9:00am – 10:30am

Keynote: Undaunted - Matthew Sandusky

 Matthew was a victim of childhood sexual abuse from the age of 8 to 17 at the hands of his adopted father, Jerry Sandusky.  Matthew shares his personal and powerful story of overcoming sexual abuse as a child. This program will empower the audience with knowledge about the grooming process as well as telltale signs of abusers and those being abused.

Breakout sessions: 10:45am – 12:00pm  Rooms vary

A. Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse-  Danielle Hagaman-Clark

This session will focus on the intersectionality of intimate partner violence and co-occurring child maltreatment.  Discussion will include what intimate partner violence is and that 65% of adults that abuse their partners also physically or sexually abuse their children – what this means for prosecutors and the allied professionals that work in the field. 

B. Grooming, Case studies and the Multidisciplinary Team  – Liz Smith

We will look at grooming as it relates to child sexual abuse and then see these behaviors in action with a review of 2 case studies including one with a female perpetrator.  Finally we will explore ways in which professionals involved on a MDT can find, recognize and gather evidence which demonstrates grooming behaviors in a suspect.  This workshop can help us highlight intent and premeditation sustained over a period of time by some suspects in child sexual abuse cases.  The “Creep Factor.”

C. Inside Lansing – A Legislative Update – Mike Pendy

A legislative update on the happenings of the House, Senate and branches of government...and how the politics of politics intersect.


Plenary 1:15pm – 2:45pm

Specialty Courts in MI -Panel

Judges Sue Dobrich (Cass), Patrick Bowler (Kent) & Geno Salomone (Wayne) share their expertise on specialty courts in MI – family, criminal, sobriety, mental health - what works & why.


  1. Breakout sessions: 3:00pm – 4:30pm Rooms vary

    A.    Techniques for Eliciting Disclosures From Reluctant Child Witnesses – Jason Dickinson

    This session will review the pros and cons associated with number of techniques designed to elicit disclosures from reluctant children, including the use of media and interviewing aids, extended forensic interviews, and presenting witnesses with evidence during interviews. 

    B.   Improving the Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assaults in Older Adolescents – Dede Ford

    This presentation will highlight the legal obligations of law enforcement and the legal rights of the victim when there has been a “recent” sexual assault of an older adolescent who is not treated at a specialized children’s trauma center.  

                    C.    Compasssion Fatigue & Healing - Allie Phillips & Julie Knop  


                    D.    Drug Trends Among Teens - Ken Stecker  
    This session will address the explosive rise of meth production, & new street drugs & their distribution methods & how they affect children exposed to these dangers.  Agencies need to work together with their counterparts & know how their roles overlap.  


    Wednesday: Ballroom
    8:30am – 10:00am

    A Close-Up Look at Female Sex Offenders in Positions of Trust

              Julie Brand

    We have been slow to acknowledge that some females, working in “positions of trust,” sexually abuse children. This workshop examines recent cases of female teachers found guilty of child sexual abuse, explores the dynamics of their teacher-student relationships and looks at ways that the gender of the perpetrator impacts disclosure, public response and sentencing. An interview with a convicted female sex offender (conducted Oct. 2011) offers unique insights into the phenomenon of teacher-adolescent sexual abuse. Participants will learn proactive strategies for possible prevention and earlier intervention.

    10:15am – 12:00pm

    The Best Kept Secret:  Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse   

    Julie Brand

    Our culture denies that mothers can be sexual abuse perpetrators. Mother-daughter sexual abuse is especially under-recognized, under-researched and under-reported. This dynamic workshop describes the complex mother-daughter incestuous relationship: the subtle violations of normal mother-child boundaries, covert and overt abuse and the psychological manipulations used to silence victims. Attendees will learn intervention and prevention strategies for including mothers as potential perpetrators. Six therapeutic issues for victim recovery will be discussed. The presenter is both an experienced school counselor and a resilient survivor of maternal abuse.

    1:00pm – 4:30pm

    What Happens in Misguided Investigations: The Riley Fox Abduction         

    Judge Mark McGinnis

    This presentation will discuss what can occur in a misguided investigation using the Riley Fox abduction and murder as an example.  This presentation will focus on law enforcement, prosecution, media and judicial action and/or inaction that resulted in the incarceration of Riley’s father for eight months – while allowing the true murderer to remain in the community.  Attendees will learn the facts of the case, analyze the investigation, and then develop a plan to be more prepared and better able to handle the next child abduction investigation.   

    Hotel Information

    DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Rapids Airport  - at last check, this hotel has sold out.  You may confirm this information by calling  616-957-0100.

    DoubleTree Reservations:  $75/night (state rate)

    Online: Booking Link:,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT

    Please mention the Prosecuting Attorneys Annual Conference, July 24-26 when speaking with a reservation manager.

    Please make your overnight reservations by July 2, 2017.

    Other hotels in the immediate area of the Conference (within 5 miles) that offer rooms at (or close to) the state rate:

    *Comfort Inn Grand Rapids Airport: 616-957-2080 or reserve online ($75 with state ID or payment)

    *Red Roof Inn: 616-942-0800 or reserve online (online rates start at $58.92) 

    *Baymont Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Airport: 616-956-3300 or reserve online (online rates start at $76.82)

    *Sleep Inn & Suites Grand Rapids: 616-975-9000 or reserve online (online rates start at $84)

    *Econo Lodge & Suites: 616-940-1777 or reserve online (online rates start at $60) 


    Any questions, please contact Jennifer Doerr at 

     Hope to see you there!