DHR Experts Conduct Abuse And Neglect Workshops During National Association Of Social Workers’ Conference

BALTIMORE – Two Department of Human Resource policy experts will conduct workshops for both private and public sector social workers during the Maryland Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers conference at Martin’s West on March 26, 2011. March is designated National Social Work Appreciation Month and the theme for this year’s conference is “Social Workers Change Futures.”

Abuse and neglect of our vulnerable populations is a serious problem in the United States. In 2009, states received an estimated 3.3 million referrals involving the alleged maltreatment of approximately six million children. It is also estimated that one to two million reports of elderly and vulnerable adult abuse occur yearly.

DHR experts, Vernice McKee and Valarie Colmore, will provide insight and strategies to address incidents of abuse and neglect.

Vernice McKee’s workshop, “The DHR View of Reporting Abuse and Neglect,” explores the ethical and legal issues relating to the reporting of child abuse and neglect. Attendees will learn about how to identify abuse and neglect based on state policy and definitions, the evidence needed to meet the legal definition of child abuse and neglect, how to file a report, and what happens after you make a report.

McKee is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) and a policy analyst with the Social Services Administration. She is a graduate of Towson State University and the University of Maryland Baltimore. McKee has seventeen years of Maryland state service. She has served as lead worker in the Anne Arundel County DSS unit responsible for investigations of allegations of abuse and neglect. McKee’s other counseling and social work professional experiences include her work with the Department of Juvenile Service, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, and St Joseph’s Medical Center.

Valarie Colmore’s workshop, “Adult Protective Services: How to Report and Identify Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse,” will provide information on how to identify and report signs of abuse and neglect, what constitutes an Adult Protective Service investigation, and roles and responsibilities at the local Department of Social Services level.

Colmore has a Master of Social Worker (MSW) degree and manages community-based programs in the Office of Adult Services and has over 19 years experience in the human services and social work field. She has worked at several local departments offices including Baltimore City, Calvert and Prince George’s Counties. She presently serves as the North East II Regional States Representative, National Adult Protective Services Association, representing District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. She has also taken various professional training courses at the University of Baltimore, Schaefer Center for Public Policy and University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

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