Mar 29 2018: 8:30am–11:45am

Working with Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Medical Education, Mental Health and Behavioral Health

NOTE: This event is now full and registration is closed. See other Bradley Conference events »

Bradley Conference is designed to provide education for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, certified counselors, speech/language and occupational therapists, teachers, milieu associates, and other professionals who work with children, adolescents or adults. Topics address different behavioral health populations and treatment modalities and are intended to provide practical, state-of-the-art information.


Melissa_SantoroMelissa Santoro, LICSW is a licensed independent clinical social worker in Rhode Island who specializes in sexual abuse treatment. She has been employed since May 2004 at the St. Mary’s Home for Children’s Shepherd Program, an outpatient treatment program that provides services to families affected by sexual abuse. She is currently the director of the Shepherd Program and oversees around 35 staff that supports families through office, community and home based services. Prior to becoming the program director, Santoro was the enhanced outpatient services (EOS) coordinator and a Shepherd clinician.  Mrs. Santoro earned her master of social work degree in 2004, following an internship with the Shepherd Program, as well as an internship with the State Office of the Child Advocate, where she evaluated children’s residential programs and foster care facilities to ensure agencies were in compliance with State regulations. Prior to this work, Mrs. Santoro earned her bachelor of social work in 1999 and supported families formed through adoption, providing education to adoptive parents and professionals. She has facilitated a number of local and national trainings for parents and professionals regarding sexual abuse specific topics and other child welfare issues. Santoro co-authored the St. Mary's Home for Children manual, "The Non-Offending Parent Education Curriculum" and the chapter “Educating Non-Offending Parents” in The Sex Offender, Volume VI.

Kim Lafountain, LMHC  is a licensed mental health counselor and has over 15 years experience in the field of behavioral health.  She holds a master of education in guidance and counseling from Providence College and a bachelor of science in health and physical education from the University of Maine. Kim is currently employed as a behavioral education development specialist in the Department of Behavioral Education at Bradly Hospital.  She works as part of a team that develops and provides competency based education, evidence-based practices and continuing education and training programs for employees at Bradley Hospital and Gateway Healthcare. Previously, she worked as a clinician in a community based program designed to keep children and adolescents in home placement.  The majority of her career was spent providing outpatient counseling, specializing in sexual abuse specific treatment and juvenile offender treatment. Prior to joining the Department of Behavioral Education, Kim was a trainer for Gateway Healthcare. 


This workshop will focus on how sexual abuse affects families and ways service providers can provide support and education to assist these families with their needs. Training participants will leave with knowledge regarding “red flags” for sexual abuse as well as practical strategies to use with children in therapy.  This workshop will also focus on the needs of the caretakers. Non-offending parents/caregivers are often an underserved population and need the necessary resources and support to cope with the trauma of sexual abuse within their family. This workshop will focus on how service providers can meet the needs of non-offending parents by providing practical interventions to educate and support them.  This workshop would benefit therapists as well as family service/direct care workers/case managers that support children and their families.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:

1.     Recognize knowledge gained in regards to signs and symptoms of sexual abuse.
2.    Describe three new techniques to use with child survivors of sexual abuse. 
3.    Recognize ways to support and educate non-offending caretakers.


  • Target audience: Psychologists, physicians, social workers and other interested health care professionals
  • Instructional level: Intermediate
  • 3 CE hours/credits (see below) 
  • Beverages and light snacks will be offered 

Registration Information

  • Program fee: $59  Lifespan employee discounted rate: $49
  • Online registration closes on Wednesday, March 28
  • Phone registration: Please call the department of behavioral education at 401-432-1087. 
  • For refund/cancellation information please email or call Liz DeFreitas at 401-432-1087.
  • To request reasonable accommodation for a disability, please contact the Rhode Island Hospital CME office at 401-444-4260.  

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation criteria and policies of the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital.  Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by the Rhode Island Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.      

Rhode Island Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CEUs for this event have been submitted, pending approval by the National Board for Social Work (NASW), designating this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education credits for certified counselors, marriage and family therapists.