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  • Amy J.L. Baker

Psychological Maltreatment Alliance Train-The-Trainer

In February the Psychological Maltreatment Alliance hosted a two-day train-the-trainer event at the Fontana Center in New York City. We hosted 2-3 individuals from each of 7 agencies to participate in an intensive training on the topic of psychological maltreatment. Participants came from a variety of agencies throughout the city including Healthy Families, Administration for Children's Services, and Child Welfare Organizations. Two participants came from Indiana to see whether they wanted to bring a two-day event back to their home agencies. We began the 2-day event by presenting a 2-hour curriculum (which is what they would eventually bring to their agencies/communities) and then spent the remainder of the two days developing a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of PM so that when the participants returned to their home agencies/communities they would be well prepared to not only deliver the 2-hour curriculum but they would also be able to address most concerns/questions raised by the individuals whom they trained. Topics covered in the training included the forms/types that PM can take, risk factors, the harm to children associated with PM, prevalence of PM, and theory of prevention/intervention. Over the course of the two days, participants practiced identifying PM in various vignettes, discussed what it means to be an "upstander" instead of a bystander, reviewed principles of positive parenting, and explored some specific ways that they can address PM in their personal and professional lives. From the beginning, the energy in the room was amazing as everyone engaged deeply with the material. Each participant was a highly committed professional in the field of child maltreatment and yet many felt that at least some of the information covered was new to them. The trainers ended the two-day experience with lots of ideas and excellent feedback about how to improve both the 2-hour curriculum as well as the two-day train-the-trainer event. We look forward to working with the participants to plan and implement their own training on PM to their colleagues, staff, and clients. Through this process, we can expand the number of people ready and able to provide research-informed and practical information about this insidious and still misunderstood form of child maltreatment.

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