The 40 conference attendees included professionals from schools, churches, non-profits, and youth organizations. Francey Hakes - a leading child protection expert - was the keynote speaker for the conference. Ms. Hakes is the country’s first National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, a post appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. Joining Ms. Hakes were employment attorneys Ryan Mick and Jillian Kornblatt from Dorsey & Whitney law firm, Faribault Chief of Police Andy Bohlen, Dr. Peter Martson, a forensic and industrial psychologist, and several members of the Rice County Social Services staff who work in child protection.
During the day-long conference, attendees learned about their responsibilities in hiring, training, and working with employees and volunteers in keeping children safe. The perils of social media were reviewed during a panel discussion. And, a better understanding of the grooming process that takes often takes place between offenders and victims was reviewed.
Prior to the public conference, Ms. Hakes spent Monday working with the entire SSM community - students, faculty, and staff.