Saints Support Conference on Child Abuse

“Saints Support Conference on Child Abuse,” Ensign, Feb. 1992, 79–80

Saints Support Conference on Child Abuse

Members of the Church in Denver, Colorado, demonstrated their commitment to moral causes by helping with the Ninth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.

“Volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints saved us many dollars and helped make this conference a warm, welcoming experience for all attendees,” said Nancy Coburn, codirector of the September 1991 conference. “The volunteers have been marvelous!”

The conference brought together about three thousand professionals for four days of seminars on counseling, law, child welfare, parenting, prevention, detection, legislative responses, and other facets of fighting emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

The conference, one of the most significant on child abuse in the United States, was sponsored by the American Humane Association, the C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the American Association for Protecting Children.

Church Public Affairs directors Ilene Dibble and Lee Ann Southam, as part of the conference’s volunteer management team, helped recruit and supervise Latter-day Saint volunteers from twelve Denver-area stakes.

More than two hundred youth and their leaders helped collate and transport printed conference registration materials. About 250 adult volunteers assisted conference attendees at the convention center, the airport, and the participating hotels. In all, Church members comprised more than two-thirds of the volunteers at the conference.

LDS Social Services personnel and public affairs directors staffed a Church booth at the convention center and answered questions. They also offered the Church-produced video Child Abuse: A Global Crisis.

“Education concerning child abuse is essential to helping curb the problem,” said Sister Dibble, of the Denver biregional public affairs council. “The Church can play an important role by offering support and eventual healing for victims, as well as perpetrators.”