The Governor's Task Force on Children at Risk is always looking for ways to provide quality training to those who work every day to protect our most vulnerable population, Idaho's children and youth. We are excited to partner with our prevention counterpart, Idaho Children's Trust Fund, to bring you a three-day virtual workshop focused on bringing together all stakeholders who support healthy kids and families in Idaho.

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Becoming mandated supporters

Isn’t this really who we are or who we want to be? Not to diminish the importance of mandated reporting but reporting is only needed if we fail to prevent abuse or neglect in the first place. What would it look like to build a system built on mandated supporting for kids and their families?

Join us to see what the future could look like. We are the ones we are waiting for.

Our partner in this year’s SFTI is the Governor’s Children at Risk Task Force which is a part of the continuum of services that make up our current system. CARTF is dedicated to providing informed recommendations to the Governor of the State of Idaho regarding the full scope of issues related to child abuse and neglect. They help us to see what needs to be prevented by supporting a team that reviews child fatalities and by working with the systems that intervene when abuse occurs.


The current system—and the system we envision for the future—has lots of moving parts. We will need prevention education, public policy, racial equity, and protecting children at risk. It’s going to take schools and churches, parents, neighbors, coaches, the rec centers, local and state government. A full continuum means ensuring child well-being – whatever it takes.


The goal of prevention of child abuse and neglect and the goal of keeping kids safe are really child and family well-being. We want to create the environments that give children the best opportunity to thrive and be successful in whatever ways they define success.


Join us at this year’s Strengthening Families Training Institute Online! to help us create the 21st Century Child and Family Wellbeing System.

Roger Sherman, Executive Director, Idaho Children's Trust Fund

Conference will be held March 15-17, 2021 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. MST via ZOOM Webinar.

To register please visit

There is an $80 registration fee.


Scholarships to waive the $80 registration fee are available to members actively working with their county MDT.  Scholarship information is available on the registration page.

Scholarship Steps: Follow these steps to apply for the MDT scholarship.

1.    Select “Individual” under Registration Type

2.    If you want CEUs, select Yes

3.    On the next page select “Invoice Employer” option

4.    Select yes for working with MDT team in Idaho

5.    Answer questions for which county MDT you work with and info on your role 

6.    Complete next page and register for  interested workshops.

If you have any issues or questions, email Mindy at

Workshop Schedule 

Monday March 15, 2021 

8:45-9:00 MST
7:45-8:00 PST

Welcome, Introductions and Housekeeping


9:00-10:15 MST
8:00- 9:15 PST

Keynote Address: Melissa Merrick, Prevent Child Abuse America


10:15-10:30 MST
9:15-9:30 PST


10:30-12:15 MST
9:30-11:15 PST

Documentary: Resilient Idaho: Hope Lives Here!
Panel Discussion


Keynote Address: The Power of Prevention
Melissa T. Merrick, PhD


Melissa T. Merrick, PhD, is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, the nation’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. She has nearly 20 years of clinical, research, and leadership experience related to the etiology, course, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.


Previously, Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, and served on a detail in the Office of the Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families. In partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, she served as the lead scientist for the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study at CDC for 8 years. Dr. Merrick successfully leverages her clinical and research experiences to communicate and disseminate the critical public health importance of preventing early adversity to key stakeholders with diverse priorities, backgrounds, and knowledge, including legislators, business and civic leaders, and members of the academic and medical communities.


Dr. Merrick received her BA in psychology, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, joint doctoral program in clinical psychology, where she served as a program coordinator for the San Diego site of the Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect consortium. Dr. Merrick was a National Institutes of Health-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of Miami Child Protection Team (CPT), where she was involved in a multi-site program of research that examined child maltreatment risk and protective factors in families evaluated by CPTs across the state of Florida


Dr. Merrick is married and has two young children who keep her grounded, thankful, and hopeful for a brighter future for all children.



Documentary: Resilient Idaho: Hope Lives Here!

This much anticipated documentary Idaho-izes ACEs and resilience through the stories of people throughout our state with lived experience of child trauma and healing. It will be released on Idaho Public Television in February. We will screen it for the conference audience and have a Q&A after with people in the video and special guests!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

8:45-9:00 MST
7:45-8:00 PST

Welcome Back and Reflections

9:00-10:15 MST
8:00-9:15 PST

Keynote Address: Sarah Watamura, Denver University

10:15-10:45 MST
9:15-9:45 PST

Networking Time: Ribbons of Hope

10:45-12:15 MST
9:45-11:15 PST

Workshop Session 1


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

8:45-9:00 MST
7:45-8:00 PST

Welcome Back and Reflections

9:00-10:15 MST
8:00-9:15 PST

Workshop Session 2

10:15-10:45 MST
9:15-9:45 PST

Networking Session

10:45-12:15 MST
9:45-11:15 PST

Capnote: Panel on Racial Equity in Idaho hosted by Corey Best