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Child Safety Symposium Discusses Internet Safety Issues skip navigation
May/June 2008  
In This Issue

Missing Children's Day
Child Safety Symposium
Juvenile Justice Summit
National Youth Gang Symposium
NIJ Conference
SRAD/EUDL Conferences
State Advisory Groups
Training Wrap-Up
New Publications
Coordinating Council
Advisory Committee

photo of Bob Flores
OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores delivered the keynote address for attendees at the "Possibilities: Creating a Safer Future for Our Children" conference held May 29–30, 2008, in Springfield, MA. Cosponsored by Western New England College and the Association of Missing and Exploited Children's Organizations, this is the second annual conference focusing on children's personal safety presented by radKIDS®. The radKIDS program offers safety instruction courses to children ages 5–11 on how to identify and handle potentially threatening situations.

Held in May in recognition of Missing Children's Day, the conference offered training and information on topics and model programs to social workers, counselors, educators, childcare and youth workers, law enforcement personnel, medical and legal professionals, parents, elected officials, and other interested child advocates. In addition to overall child safety, protecting children on the Internet was a major focus of the conference.

Administrator Flores stressed in his remarks both the rising threat children face on the Internet and the increased efforts of OJJDP staff to confront these dangers:

    Research by the University of New Hampshire showed that one in seven children who use the Internet has received an aggressive sexual solicitation while online, such as an invitation to meet for the purpose of having sex or gifts intended to groom the young person as a potential victim.

    In fiscal year 2007, OJJDP's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces made more than 2,400 arrests and completed more than 10,500 forensic examinations of equipment used to create, store, or disseminate child pornography.

Roughly 250 participants attended a variety of educational programs and workshops on child abuse and neglect prevention as well as workshops for specialized training credits and professional development led by national experts.

Other distinguished guests included Massachusetts State Child Advocate Judge Gail Garinger, Massachusetts State Senator Gail Candaras, and parents of current and former missing children, including John and Maggie Bish, Aaron Runyon, Ed Smart, Doug and Mary Lyle, and Mika Moulton.

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