In This Issue

▪ New NCA standards
▪ National Mental Health
  Awareness Month
▪  PSB conference

▪ Photo essay: April 2016
▪ Mannarino event recap 
▪ Conference wrap-up
▪ Fall advocate conference
▪ "Here's to Your Health" 

▪ Tony's trauma resources


Webinar Wrap-Up




Noteworthy News    

Volume 3, Issue 11   May 12, 2016                 

Dear Partners,

Wow, what a month April was! We are still reeling from the many exciting events that took place, including the Child Abuse Prevention Rally at the State Capital, the Percy Malone luncheon to honor the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County Director Beverly Engle, the Tony Mannarino dinner at the Governor's Mansion, and three great days of TF-CBT training in Little Rock. May can't possibly top that but we all may need a breather anyway. Read on for highlights from these events, new NCA standards, and upcoming events on Problematic Sexual Behaviors and the fall CAC conference. For newsletter subscriptions or to share your ideas and comments, email us.


New Children’s Advocacy Center Accreditation Standards
The newly revised accreditation standards from the National Children's Alliance for Accredited Members, such as Arkansas' 14 Child Advocacy Centers, will take effect on January 1, 2017. We want to call your attention to a couple of updates to the mental health standards. These emphasize the use of standardized assessment measures to guide treatment and spell out the importance of periodically completing follow-ups to document a client’s progress (See Mental Health Standard C.2). 
Fortunately, our state's CAC mental health professionals are ahead of the curve and have been using the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), both of which are recognized standardized assessment measures. The UCLA assesses for traumatic symptoms while the SDQ evaluates behavioral concerns (e.g., depression, acting out).
For this upcoming fiscal year, we are offering an incentive to CACs for the completion of a valid UCLA PTSD Reaction Index follow-up. A CAC may earn up to $25 for every three-month follow-up that is completed. 

One in Five: Why We Should Pay Attention to National Mental Health Month
Wouldn't it be nice if the whole country took a collective pause this month to consider the state of mental health in America? In the past year the number of adults diagnosed with a mental disorder was nearly one in five—roughly 43 million Americans. Nearly 10 million American adults (1 in 25) have serious functional impairment due to a mental illness, such as a serious mood or anxiety disorder. An astounding 20 percent of children ages 13-18 (one in five) currently have or have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder. By comparison, 8.3 percent of children under age 18 have asthma and 0.2 percent have diabetes. There is obviously a big need for information dissemination. View sites devoted to promoting national mental health awareness this month from NAMI, NCTSN, and NIMH.

Spring Conference to Feature PSB Expert
The 2016 Psych TLC Spring Conference will feature “An Overview of Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB)” by Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., LPC, Co-Director, School-Age Program, Treatment for Children with Sexual Behavior Problems, Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Mr. Widdifield will discuss the latest research on child sexual development and common misconceptions regarding children with sexual behavior problems. He will help participants learn to distinguish between problematic and normative sexual behavior in children and to identify research-supported components of treatment for children with sexual behavior problems.
Psych TLC is a partnership between the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI) and the Arkansas Department of Human Services to enhance access to child and adolescent mental health expertise throughout Arkansas. CEU credit hours will be awarded to attendees. The $20 registration fee includes a box lunch. The conference will be held on Friday, June 10, 2016, at UAMS, Jack Stephens Spine Institute, 12th Floor, with sign-in from 8-8:30 a.m. Register by May 27 at


National Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2016: A Photo Essay
We did a number of things to recognize this special month here at ARBEST and hope you did, too. Share with us how you and your center marked the occasion.

Mannarino Wowed Audience at Governor's Mansion 
Anthony P. Mannarino, Ph.D., the co-developer and ARBEST trainer of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), was honored for his seven years of contributions to our state at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion on April 28. Tony has devoted countless hours of his time to ARBEST. With his support, we have trained 1,061 mental health professionals across our state in TF-CBT, thereby improving the lives of many children. This year two local mental health professionals who work with ARBEST, Jan Church, Ph.D., and Ben Sigel, Ph.D., became nationally-certified TF-CBT trainers and will be conducting our future training. We were delighted to take a moment to honor Tony as he passed the torch. We are deeply indebted to him and so grateful for his contributions. 

ARBEST would like to say THANK YOU to all the supporters from around the state who showed up to support us and to honor Tony. There were many people in attendance representing a number of CACs, which was very impressive, especially given that some had traveled very far to be there. Tony was touched, it was an awesome night, and we are grateful for the show of support. If you weren't able to see Tony's remarkable presentation firsthand, you can watch now. 

That's a Wrap: 2016 TF-CBT Training Draws Nearly 400 to Little Rock 
The Seventh Annual Introductory TF-CBT Conference was held April 27-28 with 209 attendees. The Sixth Annual Advanced TF-CBT Conference was attended by 155 people on April 29. The training was led by renowned TF-CBT co-developer Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D., with co-facilitators Jan Church, Ph.D., and Ben Sigel, Ph.D. We appreciate the attendees coming from all corners of the state, listening well, and participating enthusiastically. 

Save the Date! Fall CAC Conference Planned
This year's fall CAC conference will again be held at Ferncliff, but will span two days and include an overnight with some time for rest and relaxation in the center's beautiful setting. We will again have both co-sessions and breakout times for therapists and advocates. We will also be doing more of the popular role-playing activities. Mark your calendars for September 27-28. 

UAMS' "Here's to Your Health" Focuses on Child Abuse
The well-known UAMS "Here's to Your Health" with Dr. T. Glenn Pait airs weekly on local NPR station KUAR 89.1 and offers short audio clips on a wide variety of health-related topics. The most recent series is on child abuse and covers five topics: recognizing abuse, protecting children, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Trusted by thousands of listeners every week, T. Glenn Pait, M.D., began offering expert advice as the host of “Here’s to Your Health” in 1996. Listen to all five and share with your friends and colleagues. 

From Tony's Treasure Chest: Five of His Favorites
If you were lucky enough to be trained under the esteemed yet approachable Dr. Anthony Mannarino here in Little Rock last month, you may already know about these great resources. If not, here's a second chance to get in on some of his trade secrets. Find below five of his favorite TF-CBT resources that he gave a shout-out to while presenting here. 

Meet a VIP

We regularly feature a VIP (Very Interesting Person) in our newsletter. This issue meet Kaleigh Dodson, Mental Health Professional, Texarkana Children's Advocacy Center.

May VIP: Kaleigh Dodson
Kaleigh Dodson completed her initial TF-CBT training last month but she has been working at the Texarkana CAC for a year. She did not set out to work in mental health. In fact, she was on her way to becoming a physical therapist, her lifelong dream, when she stumbled into a roadblock—she did not like it. Fortunately for her sake, her physical therapy program required applicants to work in the field before submitting an application. It was in fulfilling that step that she quickly realized it was not the career for her. She figured out the part she did like was helping clients, so from there she made a last-minute decision to apply to a University of North Texas at Dallas counseling graduate program and found her life's work. She loves her job and especially loves working with kids and kids with disabilities. The oldest of five girls, she is a natural caretaker and says, "That's my role, that's where I'm comfortable." 

She most enjoyed at this year's conference hearing Dr. Tony Mannarino talk about his actual cases and hearing that even he occasionally has some TF-CBT challenges. Her takeaway from the two days
of training was how critical parent or caretaker involvement is, which the online training didn't impress upon her as much. Kaleigh thinks getting parents involved is the biggest challenge to successfully implementing TF-CBT. She explains, "This approach was created for the guardian and the child, but their cooperation isn’t always easy." She has found that teaching cognitive coping to younger clients is also challenging.

Kaleigh advises therapists brand-new to TF-CBT, "Don’t be afraid to take risks with trying new things. Each child is different, and they each require unique techniques in order for them to understand the concepts." She believes in the power of TF-CBT and remarks, "It's all about empowering the child. We are there more to facilitate that process for them." 

Kaleigh Dodson, Mental Health Professional, Texarkana Children's Advocacy Center. 

Most likes about her job: The team approach we take to provide hope and healing to children who have been abused.
Most likes about using TF-CBT: Its structured yet flexible and eclectic approach—you can bring in and utilize all types of techniques and skills to empower the child.
A typical day at the office looks like: Forensic interviews, TF-CBT, paperwork, and processing with co-workers.
Enjoys doing when not at work: Home projects and spending time with my hubby. 

Send us your suggestions for our next VIP.

Webinar Wrap-Up [& Preview]

In a webinar that aired on April 13, 2016, "Cyber Crimes: Protecting our Children Through Online Investigations," Will Jones, JD, Assistant Attorney General, Special Deputy Prosecutor, Cyber Crimes Unit, discussed online investigations, the relationship between local law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and common myths about online child exploitation. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, the webinar was not recorded.

Arkansas is one of just 20 states in the country to have a specialized cyber crimes unit. Ours is unique in that it has state-of-the-art computer and forensic evidence labs, works closely with the state police, and does a lot of public outreach. Mr. Jones challenged listeners to quit using the term "child porn" and replace it with "child erotica." He noted that children who are exploited online are done so over and over and forevermore as removing images from the internet is nearly impossible. In addition to this nonstop and lifelong revictimization, those who suffer online sexual exploitation also face the horror of their images being used to coax and abuse other children. One victim said, "I am horrified by the thought that other children will probably be abused because of my pictures." 

Mr. Jones called the internet "a pedophile's playground" and handheld computers one of his worst enemies. While desktop computers are more traceable and physically accessible, smartphones can be more easily moved, hidden, or destroyed. The best defense to fight these and perpetrators' other highly-advanced tactics is prevention, which falls on the shoulders of parents or caretakers. To prevent exploitation from happening in the first place, parents need to be very involved and even nosy, instill confidence, create open communication, and build trust with their children.

A pedophile can turn even an innocent Facebook picture into an object of sexual desire, warned Mr. Jones. His staff also works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to upload images and cross-reference the ones already there. Thus far, 139 million images are in this critical database. Should you come across any while online or know a child you suspect is being exploited online, call the Center's CyberTipline at 1.800.THE.LOST (843.5678).

After all of this insightful and sometimes alarming information, you might be tempted to call Will Jones' job Herculean, impossible, or overwhelming at the least. He combats this by "doing what we can with the abilities we have" and bending steel (literally) here and there to relieve his frustrations. 

For a recording of other webinars, visit our archives.

Preview of May Webinar
May 18 ▪ 12 pm "Is This Helping? Using Assessment Tools to Monitor Clients’ Symptoms and Program Outcomes," with Chad Sievers, MSSW
Is the intervention that I’ve selected helping this family? We’ve probably asked ourselves this question at least once when working with our clients. In this webinar, participants will learn about the assessment tools that are available on the ARBEST website that can help guide clinical decisions and determine whether a therapy is helping.

May 18 ▪ 12 pm ARBEST webinar, "Is This Helping? Using Assessment Tools to Monitor Clients’ Symptoms and Program Outcomes," with Chad Sievers, MSSW, ARBEST Project Coordinator.
May 20-21 ▪ River Cities Dragon Boat Festival to benefit the Children's Protection Center. Lake Willastein, Maumelle. 
June 10 ▪ Psych TLC Spring Conference, “An Overview of Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB).” Featured Speaker Jimmy Widdifield, Jr. UAMS, Little Rock. Register by May 27 at
September 27-28 ▪ ARBEST CAC Fall Conference at Ferncliff, Little Rock. 

Please send us events for this calendar.

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