Section president's column

News from the Section on Child Maltreatment

A farewell from the outgoing section president.

By Jennifer Kaminski, PhD

Greetings from the Section on Child Maltreatment. My term as president comes to an end in December, and thus this is my last Advocate column in that capacity. I am excited to hand over the reins to Penny Trickett, who will serve her two-year term as section president starting in January 2015. Other officers closing out their service are Past President Mary Haskett and Member-at-Large Yo Jackson. Elections will be held soon for a new 2015-2016 president-elect and member-at-large.

In addition to our executive committee meeting and exciting symposia at convention, we presented three awards:

  • The Section on Child Maltreatment Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research was presented to Kristin Valentino, PhD, at the University of Notre Dame.
  • The Section on Child Maltreatment Dissertation Grant Award was presented to Helen Masland Milojevich, MA, at the University of California, Irvine, for her dissertation titled, “The Role of Maltreatment on Adolescents' Development of Emotional Competence.”
  • The Student Poster Award was presented to Div. 37's graduate student representative, Linda McWhorter, for her poster, “Associations among Caregiver Psychological Factors, Parenting Behavior, and Child Maltreatment.”

Although Jackson's member-at-large term is officially ending, she continues to advance her initiative, Systems of Mental Health Care for Youth in Foster Care. The work has two primary goals:

  • Create a subgroup of experts who can provide opinions about what is and what is not working in the system to meet the mental health needs of youth in foster care and organize those views into a comprehensive report.
  • Develop a research agenda on the mental health needs of foster youth and policy issues that may work to improve the care of kids in the foster care system.

Jackson has been recruiting experts with diverse experiences in different areas of the foster care system to contribute to the report on the greatest needs for system improvement for accessing mental health services. She is also working towards a research agenda to highlight what is known and still unknown about foster youth's use of mental health services and to suggest methodological improvements to advance the field.

In closing out this column and my term as section president, I would like to thank Div. 37 for its continued support of the Section on Child Maltreatment. I have served on the Div. 37 board in one capacity or another for nine of the past 14 years, and have nothing but respect for the mission and membership of the division and the commitment it honors to the section. I hope to continue to find ways to serve both the section and the division. As always, division members should feel free to contact me at with any suggestions or concerns they have regarding the section.