The annual ATSA Conference was held last week in Montreal. Attending the conference from Safer Society was Executive Director Mary Falcon, and Sarah Snow, Marketing, Sales and Media Associate (a long title, which only covers about half her responsibilities). For the first time at a national conference, we had separate exhibits for the Press and the Foundation. This enabled us to remind attendees of our twofold identity: as a publisher (the Press) and as a nonprofit charity (the Foundation).
Congratulations to Maia Christopher, Kelly McGrath and the rest of the ATSA team for putting together another wonderful conference.
Mary has written about some of her major impressions from the conference:
At the ATSA Awards Presentations, we proudly watched our dear friend Bob McGrath, Safer Society Press author, former board member, and current member of the Safer Society Foundation International Advisory Committee, accept the ATSA 2015 Lifetime Significant Achievement Award with his usual grace and aplomb. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Bob.
Speaking of the International Advisory Committee, our luncheon, held once a year at the conference, went off without a hitch and as always we learned a great deal about the field as well as the importance of grounding sexual abuser research in the scientific method.
For us, the most informative presentation of the conference was given by University of Montreal Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology, Richard Tremblay, Ph.D. His longitudinal studies clearly show that (1) chronic physical aggression starts in early childhood and (2) preventive interventions during that period are much more likely to be effective than interventions during adolescence. Evidence such as this reinforces the value of our burgeoning focus on children—in particular, the ChIPs Program, which assists caregivers and professionals in their work with children of incarcerated parents—children who are seven times more at risk of being incarcerated as adults than the general population.
Indeed, our display of ChIPs storybooks was the most popular among all the exhibits. All the fliers and free sample storybooks were scooped up by the dozens of conference participants who work with children, nearly all of whom promised to visit safersociety.org after the conference to support this important program. (To learn more about the ChIPs program click here.)
Finally, and most gratifying for us, was the incredible amount of interest in the Forward-Focused Model among conference participants who work with justice system-involved youths — many of whom told us that they have been searching for an effective, comprehensive treatment approach for their adolescent program. (To learn more about the FFM click here.)