It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

Leonardo da Vinci

Animal Friends

Lisa presented a day-long workshop at Animal Friends in Pittsburgh, PA, for professionals from a range of disciplines who work with youth, including social workers, attorneys, probation officers, judges, school counselors, teachers, child care providers, mental health professionals, and community members.

The session began with a discussion of the role companion animals play in children’s lives. We discussed the growing body of research on the relationship between animal abuse and other types of antisocial behavior, focusing on animal abuse as an important risk factor in children. Participants learned about animal abuse as an early marker for conduct disorder and research that suggests animal abuse may be related to other adverse childhood experiences, including maltreatment. Using case studies and video vignettes, we explained why all professionals dealing with children should be aware of animal abuse as a risk factor, and discussed what professionals should look for and the types of questions that might be asked about animal-related experiences.

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