Viola's Visit To Russia 2011

In August 2011, Viola presented at the First Russian-American Child Welfare Forum (RAF) held at Lake Baikal in the Republic of Buryatia, Russia.The Forum was a historic event and joint venture between the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation; The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC); The Institute for Human Services (IHS); The United States Department of Justice (DOJ); the National Foundation for Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Russia (NFPCC); and the Republic of Buryatia.

This Forum initiated by Russian specialists working as part of the Child Protection Sub-Working Group under Presidents Obama and Medvedev's Bilateral Presidential Commission's Civil Society Working Group.

Over 150 Russian government and non-governmental organization officials attended the First Russian American Child Welfare Forum. The Forum is designed to be an annual event pairing local child welfare service providers with leading Russian and American specialists to tackle the most serious issues facing the child protection and welfare field today. The goal is to further the development of Russian-American dialogue and partnership in resolving pressing national and international child protection-related issues.

While in Russia, Viola represented APSAC in her role as President-Elect and gave three presentations during August 1-6, 2011.

"The History of Child Protective Services in the United States" - Keynote Panel

"Forensic Interviewing in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse"

"Working with Families of Child Sexual Abuse Victims"

Viola also had the opportunity to tour Moscow, Ulan-Ude, and Lake Baikal (in Siberia). She enjoyed learning about Russian history and culture as she visited numerous historical monuments and museums. Russia is rich with beautiful landscapes. Viola is so appreciative of the hospitality of her Russian colleagues. They were generous and accommodating, and the events were exquisite.

She looks forward to a continued relationship with her new found colleagues and is delighted to host the Second Russian-American Child Welfare Forum in Chicago in conjunction with the APSAC 20th Annual Colloquium and 25th Anniversary Celebration. More than 50 Russian governmental leaders, dignitaries, and representatives of non-governmental social service agencies have agreed to attend the Chicago Forum. For a second time, this is anticipated to be an historic event, with child abuse professionals from around the world coming together for the welfare of all children.

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