Greetings, fellow Div.37 members. It is my pleasure to provide an update on the Div. 37 Section on Child Maltreatment activities. In February, I was pleased to attend the division’s Executive Committee Board meeting held virtually. We continue to strengthen efforts between the section and division. In 2020, the Section on Child Maltreatment focused efforts on membership and dissemination of relevant information to our members. Relevant policy and practice updates were included in each section newsletter, with reviews of key federal policy issues as well as COVID-19 resources. Social media communications, such as our LinkedIn page and listerv, also served as communications strategies to broaden the reach regarding child abuse and neglect issues.
In 2020, the section also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking ways to support each other in our collective maltreatment prevention and intervention work and research across the country via board check-ins, and contributing our voices to the calls for attention to the issue of maltreatment during the pandemic. We recognize how the impacts of the pandemic are inequitably distributed, and how systemic racism has contributed to many of the economic and health disparities highlighted in the pandemic. We continue to call on our members to continue to confront systemic racism in academia and child welfare and to amplify the voices of our Black and Brown colleagues doing critical work in this field. We look forward to working with Div. 37’s new Diverse Racial Ethnic and Multicultural Special Interest Group (DREAM SIG) as we work to address racial disparities in child welfare, juvenile justice, academia, and beyond. Our mission is to support and promote scientific inquiry, training, professional practice, and advocacy in the area of child maltreatment—and the events of the last year have made starkly clear the need to continue work in these arenas, with a keen eye on racial equity. If our mission and these issues intrigue you, we invite you to join us in this work, by joining the section and/or following us on social media.
This past winter, our board was joined by one new member: Margaret (Maggie) Stevenson (University of Evansville) now serves as the president-elect. We also have a new student co-representative to the board, Samantha Klaver (University of Central Florida). Our student board, currently led by Jill Barbre, is also full after elections. We are excited to have a full board and student board to support the section mission. Several positions (including member-at-large and treasurer) will be open at the end of this year, and we encourage interested division members to consider applying as the positions are announced this spring.
Though we are disappointed not to be able to connect with members in person in 2020, we are looking forward to the upcoming 2021 APA convention (in whatever form in takes!). Section members led or participated in several convention submissions and are eager to represent the section and division, if selected.
I am delighted to announce that nominations for our three Section awards (Dissertation Award, Karen Saywitz Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions in Child Maltreatment in Research and Practice, and Mid-Career Award) are open! All award applications will be reviewed by the Section Awards Committee. Please submit applications by April 16, 2021, to: Stephanie Block, PhD, past president, Section on Child Maltreatment. Applicants will be notified of the decision in May. The award will be presented at the annual APA convention. Application details are as follows:
Dissertation Grant Award
A $400 grant will be awarded to one successful graduate student applicant to assist with expenses in conducting dissertation research on the topic of child maltreatment. The award includes a 1 year free membership in the Section on Child Maltreatment. Applicants are requested to submit:
- one letter of interest, indicating how the applicant would use the award funds toward the completion of the dissertation research;
- a 100-word abstract; and
- a proposal of the research to be conducted, not to exceed five double-spaced pages (inclusive of tables, references, etc.).
Karen Saywitz Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research or Practice
The section is accepting nominations in either category (Outstanding Contributions to Research, or Outstanding Contributions to Practice), with each category being judged separately. Nominees should be professionals within ten years of receiving their terminal degree. They need not be a member of the section. Self-nominations are welcome. The award offers one free year of membership in the section. Nominations should include an electronic copy of the following:
- a summary of the nominee’s accomplishments to date and anticipated future contributions: This summary should describe the nominee’s major accomplishments related to the field of child maltreatment and how the nominee’s work has had an impact on the field;
- the nominee’s current curriculum vitae;
- a letter of support; and
- other relevant supporting material, as appropriate.
Recognizing outstanding teaching, policy, research, or clinical work at mid-career. Nominees should be professionals within 11–20 years of receiving their terminal degree. They need not be a member of the section. Self-nominations are welcome. The award offers one free year of membership in the section. Nominations should include an electronic copy of the following:
- a cover letter outlining the nominee’s accomplishments to date and impact on their field: This letter should describe the nominee’s major accomplishments related to the field of child maltreatment and how the nominee’s work has had an impact on the field;
- the nominee’s current curriculum vitae;
- one letter of support; and
- other relevant supporting material, as appropriate (e.g., no more than two articles authored by the nominee).
Please feel free to contact me to introduce yourself and/or if you have any questions about the section. As a group and as individuals, we are devoted to children’s well-being and welfare, and we would love to find a way to involve you in our important efforts!