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Expert Q&A

Topic: Working with At-risk Youth with High Levels of Trauma and Risk for (Re)Victimization

Date: March 22, 2017; 2:00–3:00 p.m. e.t.

Description: Organizations that serve these youth should be well grounded in trauma-informed care. This session will address how to mitigate the risk for both (re)victimization and criminal offending, the victim/offender overlap, responding to youth victims of crime, and the complex ethics and mandatory reporting requirements involved in this work.



Grace CallMitru Ciarlante has more than 25 years of leadership in programs advocating for child and youth victims. She created a comprehensive children’s advocacy program model, started a statewide children’s advocacy task force, established peer education programs, and organized a statewide youth activist network. Working through her consulting firm (ACT for Change) and as director of the Youth Initiative at the National Center for Victims of Crime, Ms. Ciarlante has experience creating trauma-informed, direct service program models and curricula for responding to childhood victimization. She received extensive training from the Child Trauma Academy and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
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As a content expert for the American Psychological Association, she developed curricula and training for mental health professionals on the best evidence-based mental health assessments and interventions for children and teens exposed to violence and victimization who are experiencing trauma symptoms. In addition, she has served as a victim advocate for teens and youth. Ms. Ciarlante has written and trained extensively on childhood victimization to build the Nation’s capacity to address childhood victimization, advance youth rights, and ensure youth leadership on issues that affect them. Ms. Ciarlante is the chair of the research and best practices committee of the Vision of Hope Fund of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. She volunteers as the director of development of the William Kellibrew Foundation; and is an advisor to the Teen Dating Violence Research Project of the National Institute of Justice and to the Portland State University Situational Prevention Model for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention research project. Ms. Ciarlante holds an executive certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Psychology from East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania.
Grace CallAngela Downes is an attorney. Her work focuses on public service, policy, and legislative efforts to protect the public trust. She provides training, policy expertise, and technical assistance to nonprofit agencies on the interpersonal violence issues of child abuse, child protection, domestic violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. As a senior program attorney with the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization dedicated to working with government agencies, Ms. Downes worked with prosecutors and district attorneys' offices to improve the criminal justice system through technical assistance, policies, resolution of conflict, programs, and advocacy.
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At the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, National Center on Elder Abuse, and Center for Violence Against Women, she provided technical assistance, training, and research, and wrote publications on domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking, and other interpersonal violence issues. NDAA is the premier agency that represents, trains, and teaches prosecutors, law enforcement, and other allied professionals. Previously, Ms. Downes was the attorney for court programs at the national organization of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to drunk driving and impaired driving issues. Ms. Downes also served as a felony prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in Texas. She served as the supervisor for two courts dedicated to domestic violence. In 2008, Ms. Downes was appointed by the governor to serve on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. She is a graduate of Texas A&M School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law) and Mercer University.

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

It's easy to participate:

1. Register and submit your questions in advance.
2. Log into the session at the time of the event.
3. Listen to the experts discuss your questions.

All sessions are recorded, so you can watch them anytime at your convenience.

Expert Q&A Recordings

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. If you missed a past session, find the recording below.

Expand All
Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography February 15, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Now that the VOCA Final Rule has been released, many more nonprofit agencies can apply for funding to assist unserved and underserved victims. The VOCA Final Rule released some previous restrictions in the VOCA Victim Assistance Guidelines, but this does not necessarily mean every state’s statutes, rules, and/or policies have changed. This session will provide some best practices on how to navigate this complicated state system to maximize your agency’s ability to build capacity in your organization and increase services to our most vulnerable victim populations.
Host Biography:

Grace Call brings extensive experience working with victims of crime to enhance programs across the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and deliver technical assistance to justice reinvestment states. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a visiting fellow at the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice, and directed the VOCA Victim Assistance program for the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy in the State of Washington. Ms. Call previously led the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She started her work with victims in the late 1990s as a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her B.S. in Gender Studies from the University of Utah.
Show Summary Show Host Biography January 27, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Substance use can be a coping mechanism for a trauma response to being trafficked; however, it can also be the mechanism that ensures control by traffickers on human trafficking (HT) victims/survivors. This session will address procedures, for example: How does addiction play a role for survivors of HT experiencing trauma? What should service providers know about substance abuse when responding to survivors of HT or investigating HT? How to balance the substance abuse with the victimization and the trauma that occur?
Host Biographies:

Tracy Busse is a licensed professional counselor and approved clinical supervisor who has provided therapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, and families for more than 12 years. She specializes in working with adolescents and women who experienced various forms of trauma from sex trafficking, childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and other forms of developmental trauma. Ms. Busse has training in several evidence-based practices for treating trauma. Additionally, she provides therapy to adults and adolescents who have challenges related to grief/loss, substance abuse, depression, and family issues. Ms. Busse believes in providing individualized, holistic care through a gentle, compassionate approach that leads to healing and restoration. In addition to providing psychotherapy, she provides training and awareness to the community around the issues of sex trafficking and exploitation. She was a member of the Georgia Governor’s Office Task Force for 5 years and worked with the community to develop training for caregivers and childcare workers. Ms. Busse led therapeutic trainings for safe homes, shelters, and other human service professionals with strategies for working with survivors of sexual exploitation and complex trauma. She co-created a therapeutic model for working with survivors of sex trafficking and led multiple trainings to the therapeutic community in Georgia. Ms. Busse partnered with Moody Bible Institute as an adjunct professor to create a curriculum for an Intro to Sexual Exploitation course, as well as an online course for educating students about sex trafficking. While working as the clinical director for Wellspring Living, she developed residential and transitional programming for adult and adolescent survivors of sexual exploitation. In these programs, Ms. Busse was able to develop new leaders in the fight against human trafficking, create innovative treatment approaches for survivors, and advocate for the needs of women and girls who have been sexually exploited.

Elisabeth Corey is an advocate working against childhood trauma and a life coach for trauma survivors. She offers one-on-one guidance, virtual groups, and email workshops to help survivors build awareness of their inner conversation and heal their trauma. Her guidance is informed by her personal recovery after a childhood of family-controlled sex trafficking and abuse. She trains recovery helpers in the holistic impact of complex trauma and using trauma as a source of connection as opposed to separation. She raises awareness of familial abuse and trafficking through legislative advocacy, media interviews, conference presentations, and published writings.


If you would like to access Guest Host sessions prior to January 2017, please view them on the OVC website.

What is Expert Q&A?

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

How do I register and submit my questions for an Expert Q&A session?

You can register for an upcoming session by visiting the What's New page and selecting the "Register" button. When you register for a session, you will be prompted to submit one to three questions in advance.

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