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Hosted by: Scott LaMar



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witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

Radio Smart Talk: Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children director; assessing damage and learning lessons from Sandy

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 12, 2012 4:00 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, November 13:

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The Jerry Sandusky case raised awareness of child abuse and also made society realize that we have to be more vigilant when it comes to protecting kids.  In the year since the former Penn State assistant football coach was arrested and eventually convicted of sexually assaulting and molesting at least ten boys, a spotlight has been focused on child abuse.

Penn State established the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children to improve detection, protection, and treatment in child maltreatment cases.

The Center's director, Dr. Benjamin Levi, will appear on Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk.

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Director of the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children Dr. Benjamin Levi on Radio Smart Talk.

Also, it's been two weeks since Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey coastline and other areas on the East Coast.  What caused the damage and what lessons can be learned about building construction as the result of Sandy?

Architect and engineer Robert Illo joins us to discuss the storm and its aftermath.

Listen to the program:

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Comments: 4

  • rahbie img 2012-11-13 09:28

    As a young mother, the mandatory reporting laws were frightening to me. I constantly expected a dreaded knock at my door. This is because my son, a heart patient on coumadin, bruised easily, and as a toddler learning to walk and naturally falling, frequently had large "goose eggs" on his head and elsewhere on his body. The looks I would get when out, say, at the grocery store or library, were plentiful and often scathing. I found myself pre-emptively explaining to people his medical situation because I could just see in their eyes what they were thinking, they were thinking he was abused.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-13 09:41

    Email From M.W.:

    Two years ago, we published mandatory reporting statistics that were shockingly low and highly ignored. Working with the PA Family Services Alliance, the rates were as low as 15% of required mandatory reporters had actually received MR training. At the time there was no mechanism for holding anyone accountable for this type of training. Has new legislation been introduced that would make this enforceable?

    This may not seem like a big deal, but when dealing with suspected abuse, it is important not to re-victimize the child and not to introduce any implication of taint in the testimony of the victim. It is priority to protect the child and a large part of that protection is holding the offending parent, guardian or offender accountable.

    As a former member of the Adams County Child Abuse Task Force, they created a very specific protocol for reporting abuse in Adams County. This was built around a multi-disciplinary team approach to helping the victims. However, once we developed the plan, we had to then go out and convince every Chief of Police and every school district to adopt and follow that protocol. Unfortunately, at the time there was a general apathy about the subject all throughout the county and it took nearly two years to finally implement the change. Even to this day, some folks have still declined to follow the adopted plan.

    Is there any hope that these standardized approaches to reporting, treating and prosecuting abuse cases will be mandated from the state?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-13 09:42

    Email From Pastor Naomi:

    I am a pastor in a local congregation that is in the process of developing a child protection plan.
    In our implementation of this plan, most members are very understanding of the need for this plan, but there is some pushback from members who understand why this kind of thing is important in schools, but don't think it is necessary or feel like it is too invasive (with background checks, training, etc) for a church.

    Do you have any suggestions for those who are reluctant to get on board with this very necessary step to make sure our children are safe?
    Thank you.

    Peace-Shalom

  • Robert Colgan img 2012-11-13 10:13

    It's unfortunate------as well as extremely saddening------that most cases of child sexual abuse fail to be discerned. Psychiatrists, pediatricians, general practitioners, and other child specialists have not recognized the aberrations they saw in child clients as the aftereffects of incest or molestation. The number of children whose symptoms were deemed simply hyperactive or depressive------and treated with pharmaceuticals instead of effective release of embodied trauma------is in the millions in the USA.
    We're still missing in our screenings of children many of the subtle clues that might reveal the actual nature of what they experienced.
    Our diagnosticians------including all who are mandated reporters-----need to become more sensitized to those smallest red flag details since many childhood victims compensate by covering up with denial or minimization what happened to them....but who as adults continue to experience that trauma through relationship difficulties, illnesses, anxiety, depression, self esteem issues, etc etc etc

    Early intervention can be lifesaving.
    I hope PSU eventually leads to a much more powerful education for everyone connected to children ----the better to ascertain the true nature of what the child is really saying to the world, the better to help that child not carry that abuse into adulthood.

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