Enhancing Care for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Evaluating the Role of Child Advocacy Centers

Includes a Live Web Event on 06/26/2024 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

PLEASE NOTE: This webinar is a live event only and will not be recorded or archived for later viewing.

Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) stand at the forefront in identifying and addressing the distinctive needs of children who have endured commercial sexual exploitation. Yet, conventional treatment practices often fall short in providing adequate care for this population. Effectively recognizing, engaging, and treating patient-victims of commercial sexual exploitation of a child (CSEC) demands creativity and collaboration among healthcare providers.

This presentation offers a multifaceted, interdisciplinary exploration of the implications of CAC involvement for this population. Through a compelling case study of a child who experienced sexual exploitation, the presenters will illustrate a nuanced approach to engaging a patient-victim. The session will encompass an overview of observable indicators for providers to recognize a child potentially experiencing sexual exploitation, effective strategies for building trust and rapport, defining acute and follow-up care, delineating the process of evaluation at a CAC, and adapting clinic procedures to enhance engagement and rapport-building. Throughout the session, attendees will also become acquainted with the Stages of Change model and its application to the CSEC population, emphasizing the importance of continuity of care and sustained engagement.

Dana Kaplan, MD, FAAP

Director of Child Abuse and Neglect for the Department of Pediatrics at Staten Island University Hospital

Staten Island University Hospital

Dr. Dana Kaplan is the Director of Child Abuse and Neglect for the Department of Pediatrics at Staten Island University Hospital as well as the Associate Program Director for the Pediatrics Residency Training Program. She is also the Medical Director for the Staten Island Child Advocacy Center. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Donald and  Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell.  

Dr. Kaplan serves as the Site Director for Staten Island University Hospital, Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Training Program, Maimonides Medical Center/Infants and Children's  Hospital of Brooklyn.  She is also the Western Regional Director for the Northwell HEART Program.  

Dr. Kaplan is board certified in General Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a Member of the Ray E. Helfer Society.  She is the current co-chair for the Helfer Human Trafficking Subcommittee as well as the co-chair and co-founder of the Helfer Solo Child Abuse Pediatrician (CAP) Special Interest  Group.  She is also co-founder and consultant for the CSTAT (child sex trafficking action team) through New York State AAP Chapter III.

Dr. Kaplan received her MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her residency in Pediatrics at New York University.  Dr. Kaplan went on to complete her fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The Warren Albert Medical School of Brown University.  Dr. Kaplan’s specific area of interest is in commercially  sexually exploited youth. Dr. Kaplan has lectured both regionally and nationally and has published multiple chapters and articles on the subject of child abuse and human  trafficking.  Most recently, Dr. Kaplan was co-author to the 2023 AAP Clinical Report on “Exploitation, Labor and Trafficking of Children and Adolescents” in Pediatrics. 

Adebimpe Adewusi, MD, FAAP

Medical Director at CARES Northwest

CARES Northwest, Portland, OR

Dr. Adebimpe Adewusi is a Nigerian born, Texas raised child abuse pediatrician, who is currently the medical director at CARES Northwest in Portland Oregon since March 2021.  She completed medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2008 then completed her general pediatric residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2011.  She then worked for two years as a nocturnist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia then entered her child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Brown University in Rhode Island in 2013.  She moved to Portland, Oregon in May 2017 then moved into a leadership role at CARES Northwest at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dr. Adewusi is the 2023 award recipient of The Randall Children’s Hospital John W Paisley, M.D Award, which recognizes a pediatric subspecialist who demonstrates expertise in clinical medicine, joy in mentoring junior physicians and trainees, as well as grace and humor in everyday practice.  In 2024, Dr. Adewusi received the Oregon Attorney General’s Trafficking Intervention Advisory Committee’s Award for going Above and Beyond for work in the medical field within the anti-trafficking movement and advocating for victims of trafficking.  Dr. Adewusi is a state and national expert on sex trafficking.  She sits on the Washington County Human Trafficking Task Force and serves as co-chair for Helfer Society’s Human Trafficking Subcommittee.  

Hannah Helms, MSW, LCSW

Mental Health Provider for the Trauma Therapy Team at CARES Northwest

CARES Northwest, Portland, OR

Hannah Helms, MSW, LCSW is a Mental Health Provider for the Trauma Therapy Team at CARES Northwest in Portland, Oregon where she works with children who have experienced various types of maltreatment, including commercial sexual exploitation. As a former child welfare caseworker and foster care provider, her therapeutic approach to working with children and adolescents is informed by a thorough and nuanced understanding of the complex systems that affect her clients. Hannah’s professional experience also includes serving as a medical social worker at a rural critical access hospital in Northern California for nearly a decade. During this time, she worked as the Human Trafficking Task Force Lead at Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta and oversaw implementation of the Dignity Health Human Trafficking Response Program at that facility from 2016-2020. She also founded and co-chaired the Siskiyou Anti-Trafficking Coalition from 2016-2020. While in this capacity, she provided human trafficking education to first responders, law enforcement, community groups, and local government, as well as consultation regarding identification and response to suspected human trafficking cases.


06/26/2024 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  90 minutes
06/26/2024 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  90 minutes PLEASE NOTE: This webinar is a live event only and will not be recorded or archived for later viewing. Participants will be able to print/download a certificate of participation.
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