MINCA Professional Development Conference

Planning is well underway for the 2016 conference and you can review highlights below.  We are currently accepting abstracts for workshop presentations at the conference.  Please Click Here to go to the abstract submission page to submit your workshop abstract.

Conference Links

 Conference Overview  Online Registration & Payment  Schedule & Mobile App
 Keynote Speakers  Conference Brochure  Exhibitor Application
 Location/Directions  Conference Center & Lodging  Continuing Education
   Session Handouts  

The MINCA Spring 2016 conference will be held April 18-19, 2016 in Traverse City Michigan. We will explore the latest trends in the investigation of crimes related to children.  Please review the conference brochure or conference schedule from the links above regarding conference session descriptions and speaker information below before completing online registration.

Conference Mobile App

Stand Up Step Forward
A few years ago the Michigan Chapter of the National Children's Alliance partnered with the National Children's Alliance to produce a public service announcement titled "Stand Up Step Forward".  You can view that PSA on the MINCA home page by clicking the home link above.  Matthew Sandusky, who is the opening keynote speaker at this conference, is a perfect example of the Stand Up Step Forward message.  Matthew is the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, the subject of one of the most publicized child sexual abuse cases in history. Matthew now uses his story to motivate others to help prevent child sexual abuse.  We hope you can join us for the 6th MINCA CAC/MDT professional Development Conference.

Tom Knapp
Chapter Coordinator

Keynote Speaker Information

We are pleased to announce that Matthew Sandusky and David Mandel will be keynote speakers at the conference.  You will find information on the keynote and other confirmed speakers for the conference listed below as information becomes available.

Matthew Sandusky is the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky. The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal was one of the most highly publicized sex abuse cases in history. During the trial, Matthew disclosed that his adopted father, Jerry Sandusky from ages 10-16, sexually abused him. Matthew’s disclosure interview, to police, was leaked to the media. He and his family were placed in the center of a media firestorm. Through the traumatic experiences Matthew has experienced he has decided to take on the role of advocate for CSA survivors. Matthew is giving survivors a voice to raise awareness to an epidemic that still remains mostly silent. He is also showing survivors there is hope and that healing does happen. Founder of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, along with his wife Kim, Matthew helps promote stronger statute of limitation laws, education for children, stronger mandated reporter laws, and other legislation as the need arises. Peaceful Hearts also helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse find the support and love they need and deserve. Matthew uses his life’s story to motivate people to take action to prevent CSA and how to positively engage and support adult survivors of CSA. He hopes that by telling his story he is able to show survivors that hope always exists and that healing will happen. “We have been broken, but with Love and Support, we will rebuild and become stronger than we ever could have imagined”. Matthew Sandusky attended Penn State University, studying Business. He was married in 2011 to his wife Kim. They still currently reside in State College, PA along with their five children.

David Mandel has over 25 years’ experience in the domestic violence field, David’s international training and consulting focuses on improving systems’ responses to domestic violence when children are involved. Through years of work with child welfare systems, he has developed the Safe and Together™ model to improve case practice and cross system collaboration in domestic violence cases involving children. He has also identified how a perpetrator pattern-based approach can improve our ability to help families and promote the development of domestic violence-informed child welfare systems. David and his staff have consulted to United States’ child welfare systems in a number of states including New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Oregon and Ohio. This includes overseeing a statewide network of domestic violence consultants for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families; training domestic violence subject matter experts for Florida’s Department of Children and Families; improving collaboration between child welfare and domestic violence advocates in Colorado; and the development of certified Safe and Together trainer network to support the roll out of differential response in all 88 Ohio county child welfare agencies. David Mandel and Associates collaborates with domestic violence agencies such as the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. Their Safe and Together Model Advocacy Institute has helped domestic violence advocates from across the country improve their ability to collaborate with child welfare, and advocate for child welfare-involved adult and child domestic violence survivors. Their Safe and Together Core Practice Certification model is being implemented in the US and internationally. David Mandel & Associates trainings have been delivered in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Singapore. David has written journal articles on batterer’s perceptions of their children’s exposure to domestic violence and the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare practice. His chapter on “Batterers and the Lives of Their Children” was published in the Praeger Series Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships.

Jordan Benning, M.Ed., has been involved in the children’s advocacy center movement since 2008 when she joined Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois as their Associate Director of Training and Education. She continues her commitment to the movement and its professionals as the Program Manager of Quality Assurance and Communications at Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Jordan earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grinnell College, followed by a master’s degree in education with a specialization in elementary school counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her years of direct service and administration in schools and nonprofits share a common focus on enhancing children’s health and well-being. She will be co-presenting at this conference with Kori Stephens on building, implementing, and evaluating a cultural competency plan.  She will also offer a second presentation on professional development and networking opportunities for all MDT professionals. 

Sarah Brown, DO, FACOP, FAAP, is a Child Abuse Pediatrician at the Center for Child Protection at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She also provides medical services at the Ottawa County CAC in Holland, Michigan.  She attended medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her Pediatrics Residency at Michigan State University at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.  Dr. Brown is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Child Abuse and Neglect and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and Treasurer of the Michigan Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.   She provides expert testimony in many counties across the state.  Dr. Brown leads a Peer Review program for physicians across Michigan to improve the medical care of sexual abuse victims.  Her presentation at the conference will present, through case-based learning, the benefits of strong multi-disciplinary collaboration during physical and sexual abuse investigations

Julie A. Welch is the Director of the Child Abuse Training Services Department within the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM).  PAAM is a voluntary association of the 83 county prosecutors, the Attorney General, and the U.S. Attorneys serving in Michigan. PAAM works to keep the prosecuting attorneys of the state informed of all changes in legislation, law, and matters pertaining to their office. Julie’s duties include planning and implementing specialized trainings dealing with child abuse and neglect, foremost the Forensic Interviewing Protocol training.  Julie also works with other agencies in and outside of Michigan assuring cross professional relationships continue to grow to assist children of crime.  She is a regular trainer in forensic interviewing, child development and working with kids.  She has also consulted with other states on child welfare issues including Nevada, Maine, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. She has presented at past Michigan Chapter of the National Children's Alliance conferences on the forensic interview and the relationship to the MDT and advanced forensic interview procedures. Her presentation at this conference will focus on how predators try to gain access to children on the internet.

There are other speakers scheduled to present at the conference.  Please check back here often for information as we will be adding speaker information to this page as the information is received from the speakers. 

Conference Sponsors

We are thankful for the support of the sponsors listed below. In addition to presentation support from all sponsors, additional funding was received from the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. Points of view in this document do not necessarily represent the official position of our sponsors.


Conference Center

The conference will be held at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City Michigan.  Situated on 900 acres in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula along the shores of Lake Michigan’s East Grand Traverse Bay, the resort is located six miles northeast of Traverse City and ten minutes from Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport. The resort features a variety of recreation offerings, including: five indoor and four outdoor tennis courts, two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, a beach club, an upscale shopping gallery with a world-class spa, diverse restaurants and lounges, and live entertainment nightly.

Hotel rooms for conference attendees will be at the federal per diem rate.  However there is a resort fee that will add approximately $10 to overnight lodging rates.  Grant funding can be used as taxes and fees are not considered when determining per diem rates. Lodging information will be available soon.

We believe that you will find many activities in the Traverse City area for the entire family. Children and guest are sure to have many sites to see and attractions to explore while you are attending conference sessions.

Directions to the Grand Traverse Resort

You may use the interactive map below to obtain directions to the conference center.  Just click on the location icon to obtain driving directions to the Grand Traverse Resort.

Continuing Education Credits

*This course is approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative. Approval #022715-08
*This course has been submitted and approved through the MCOLES Network and use of 302 Training Funds will be allowed.


Conference Session Handouts

You will find handouts that have been provided by presenters below.  If you are attending any of the listed sessions, you should print out the handouts to bring with you to the conference.

 Monday Session Handouts  Tuesday Session Handouts

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