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Is It Them Or Is It Us? Understanding and Enhancing Children’s Disclosures in Sexual Abuse Cases

Presented by Laurie Fortin, LCSW

Date: August 8, 2019

Time: (Check-in at 8:30 am) 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Location: Los Angeles, CA


Course Description: MDT agencies are tasked with the investigation and protection of children, yet we are continually challenged to do so when sometimes the only evidence is the child’s disclosure. We are quick to identify things about the child’s disclosure that makes us question their veracity, but is it really them or is it us? This training will explore our own misconceptions and biases related to sexual abuse, as well as ways in which we can negatively impact a child’s credibility through our questioning of them and/or misperception of their behavior and actions. Likewise, the training will broaden our lens in understanding the child’s disclosure in a way that better enables us to protect them and to utilize techniques that help maximize their abilities.

Agenda for the Day

I.  Exploring personal bias and surfacing myths/misconceptions/stereotypes related to sex abuse

II.  Understanding victim dynamics

III.  Understanding perpetrator dynamics

IV.  Our role in maximizing children’s abilities in the interview process

Presenter: Laurie Fortin, LCSW, began her social work career as a CPS worker with San Diego Child Welfare Services, then moved into an area of specialization around child sexual abuse. She spent 10 years working with juvenile and adult sexual offenders providing assessment, individual, group & family treatment, and case management services. Thereafter, Ms. Fortin spent 15 years (2000-2015) as Forensic Interviewer at San Diego’s Child Advocacy Center, the Chadwick Center. In addition to conducting upward of 3,000 forensic interviews, Ms. Fortin served as Clinical Coordinator of the program and Coordinator of the County’s Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). She has been qualified as an expert witness in the area of child sexual abuse, testifying in over 100 court proceedings in military, juvenile, family, and criminal court settings, as well as for the Attorney General’s Office and civil court proceedings. Ms. Fortin has been a full-time consultant/coach and trainer for the Academy of Professional Excellence since 2015, supporting best practices with children and families in which abuse is alleged or substantiated. She remains active in conducting forensic interviews for Palomar’s Forensic Health Program, San Diego, and providing expert testimony in sexual abuse cases.

Additional Information:

A confirmation letter with map and details will be emailed to you following registration.

Course meets qualifications for 6 hours of Continuing Education Units.  The Center for Innovation and Resources, Inc. (CIR) is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs and LCSWs.  CEUs will be available at training for a fee of $45.

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations to participate in this training should contact Kellie Prather at Requests must be made by July 26, 2019.

For additional information please contact Kellie Prather at or (805) 876-0295.


Produced by the California Child Abuse Training and Technical Assistance Center of the Center for Innovation and Resources, Inc. with funding provided by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Victim Services Branch, and co-sponsored by the California American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (CAPSAC)

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