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Our first annual summit is less than a month away! Please register at this link, which you can also find on the Summit landing page (registration closes at 5:00 pm ET on Monday, April 5th).

Our virtual summit seeks to inspire a group of leaders who will, together, champion a movement to shift how we support children and families, creating systems of care based on understanding, equity, and trust. Morning plenary sessions will feature Dr. Bob Sege’s introduction to HOPE and a snapshot of our current efforts, as well as a keynote address by Rev. Darrell Armstrong, pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton NJ and a nationally recognized leader on issues pertaining to child welfare and family strengthening.

In the afternoon, highly interactive working group sessions will be led by some of the leading national figures in advancing care for children. Each speaker will briefly introduce their topic, share how they are already implementing HOPE in their fields, and then engage the group in a discussion—focusing on your ideas about how to move HOPE forward in the particular area discussed. These rich discussions will inform the future of HOPE!

The complete list of afternoon breakout sessions can be found on our landing page. Each week leading up to the summit, we will highlight some of the amazing workshops you can sign up for. This post focuses on Dr. Melissa Merrick (President and CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America) and Jamie Ward (Director, Curricula Concepts).

HOPE and Early Childhood, Melissa Merrick, PhD

The importance of key positive experiences in early childhood for healthy development and prevention of child maltreatment will be presented. The discussion will focus on the role of the HOPE Framework in the work of different sectors that work with families with young children, including home visitors.

Dr. Merrick is President and CEO of PCA America, America’s oldest and largest organization committed to preventing child abuse before it happens. PCAA, through its programs and affiliated chapters in all 50 states, is a leading champion for all children across the United States.

Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta. She is recognized as one of the country’s foremost experts on the lifelong effects of childhood experiences. The HOPE National Resource Center is currently working with Dr. Merrick and PCA America on a CDC-funded national survey to gauge parent and family experiences during Covid-19. In this session, Dr. Merrick will discuss HOPE in early childhood.

HOPE and Early Childhood Education, Jamie Ward

Jamie Ward, Founder and Owner of Curricula Concepts, will discuss her work with early childhood educators and caregivers on the importance of engaging families with young children. The incorporation of HOPE into relevant models, including the Parent Café program, will be examined.

Jamie Ward has over 20 years of experience in early care and education in a variety of roles. Currently, her focus is on training early educators and caregivers on the importance of engaging families and health and wellness for young children and adults. She is a consultant for Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. She is also the President of the Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health, Past President and Policy Chair of the AR Early Childhood Association, and the current AECA representative to the Southern Early Childhood Association.

We hope to see you at the Summit! Click here to read the previous post in this Summit series.

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