February 26 – 28, 2020 – Zero Abuse Project Summit 2020


As a leader in the field of child protection, Zero Abuse Project has developed advanced courses in forensic interviewing, prevention, addressing the spiritual needs of maltreated children and reforming undergraduate training of future child protection professionals.

Offering an expansive variety of session topics, the Zero Abuse Project Summit is an opportunity for professionals in child protection services, law enforcement, forensic interviewing, legal, healthcare, education, faith communities, victim advocacy, and youth serving organizations to advance their skills with best practices from their respective fields.

Certificates/Feedback Survey Links

Thank you for attending the Zero Abuse Project Summit 2020. In order to improve your experience at future conferences, please take a moment to fill out the surveys below for each day you attended. Completion of the surveys is required if you would like a certificate of attendance for the Summit.
Pre-Summit – Wednesday, February 26th – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/82YLW2H  
Day 1 – Thursday, February 27th – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8RDSTMT 
Day 2 – Friday, February 28th – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8FQJ8NP 


  • When Words Matter – Emerging Issues in the Field of Forensic Interviewing, Ethics
  • Prevention – Implementing effective abuse prevention programs
  • Advocacy – Empowering champions for victims of trauma or maltreatment
  • Trauma-Informed Care – Supporting those who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences and traumatic events
  • National Forensic Interview Peer Review – Providing an opportunity to discuss and provide feedback on forensic interviews.

Areas of Interest

Trauma Informed Care, Adverse Childhood Experience research, Sexual, Emotional or Physical abuse, Vicarious trauma, Online safety, Domestic violence, Multidisciplinary teams, Advocacy, Juvenile Justice, Human trafficking, Forensic Interviewing, Trial preparation, Prevention program implementation, Crisis intervention, Ethics, Child Development, Cultural context of abuse

Continuing Ed Credits

Zero Abuse Project has applied for CLE credits (for attorneys) and Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Trainings (POST) credits (law enforcement). For all other professions, individual participants should contact the accrediting body from whom they wish to obtain CEUs and plan to provide the required materials to that body after the Summit concludes. In general, accrediting bodies require an agenda, speaker bio, and proof of attendance. The agenda and speaker bio information will be available on our website. Following the Summit you will receive a certificate as proof of attendance.



  • Jeff Dion is an attorney, survivor, and nationally recognized victim advocate. He comes to the Zero Abuse Project after more than twenty years with the National Center for Victims of Crime, where he served as Director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. He has led efforts to reform civil statutes of limitation to expand access to justice for victims of child sex abuse.

    From 2002 to 2010, Jeff served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, where he chaired the Victim Services Advisory Committee. He has received numerous awards including the 2006 Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award presented by the U.S. Department of Justice for outstanding innovation and commitment to crime victim legislation. He earned his undergraduate and law degree from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University.

  • Plenary Presenter

    Teresa Huizar, M.S.W.

    Executive Director, National Children’s Alliance


    Since 2008, Teresa has been the Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NCA is the national association and accrediting body for nearly 900 Children’s Advocacy Centers in the US. These centers provide comprehensive services to child victims of abuse including: forensic interviews, victim advocacy, medical evaluations, and mental health treatment, as well as coordinating multidisciplinary teams as they carry out investigative, prosecutorial, and treatment functions. In 2018, Children’s Advocacy Centers served over 367,000 child victims of abuse, and provided child abuse prevention education to more than 2 million individuals.

    Prior to her tenure with NCA, Ms. Huizar served as the Executive Director of the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, a technical assistance and training center for 200 CACs and multidisciplinary teams in twelve Western states, as well as Executive Director of two local Children’s Advocacy Centers. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and on the Steering Committee of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths.

    Ms. Huizar has a special interest in child welfare public policy, particularly in reducing child abuse fatalities and in the provision of trauma-focused, evidence-supported mental health treatment to child victims of abuse. She has testified before Congress on child abuse issues and has conducted and participated in numerous child abuse-related Congressional briefings.

  • Capstone Presenter

    Victor Vieth, J.D., M.A.

    Director, Education and Research, Zero Abuse Project

    Victor Vieth has trained thousands of child-protection professionals from all 50 states, two U.S. Territories, and 17 countries on numerous topics pertaining to child abuse investigations, prosecutions and prevention. Victor gained national recognition for his work in addressing child abuse in small communities as a prosecutor in rural Minnesota, and has been named to the President’s Honor Roll of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. In 2012, Victor was awarded the Pro Humanitate Award from the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare, and is current President of the Academy on Violence & Abuse. Victor has been instrumental in implementing 22 state and international forensic interview training programs and dozens of undergraduate and graduate programs on child maltreatment.

    Mr. Vieth graduated magna cum laude from WSU and earned his Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law (HUSL). In 2017, Victor earned an MA in theology from Wartburg Seminary. Mr. Vieth has published countless articles related to the investigation, prosecution and prevention of child abuse and neglect. He is author of Unto the Third Generation, a bold initiative that outlines the necessary steps we must all take to eliminate child abuse in America in three generations, and On This Rock: A Call to Center the Christian Response to Child Abuse on the Life and Works of Jesus (Wiff & Stock 2018).

Breakout Sessions

Tyler Counsil, Ph.D.

Director, Child Advocacy Studies, Zero Abuse Project


Tyler has worked over six years in both the public and private laboratory sector, having been employed as a Microbiologist, DNA Specialist, Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manager, and Forensic Scientist throughout the span of his laboratory career. His most recent venture involved working as a Forensic Scientist with the Indiana State Police, Laboratory Division. Tyler’s forensic training also includes knowledge in the following fields: drug analysis; questioned document analysis; firearms; fingerprinting; photography; trace evidence analysis; crime scene investigation; child forensic interviewing.

In addition to his laboratory service, Tyler has extensive experience working in post-secondary education. With over seven years of professional work experience at institutions of higher education, he has served as an Associate Professor for traditional and online learning platforms, with a combined five years of program development and directorial leadership experience for Child Advocacy Studies (CAST), Criminal Justice and Forensic Science programs. Tyler also possesses an in-depth understanding of program assessment and accreditation for both traditional and non-traditional curricula. Tyler’s academic duties continue outside the classroom through work as both a manuscript reviewer and editorial board member for a variety of peer-reviewed publication outlets.

As both a lab analyst and educator, Tyler has come to appreciate the need for engagement-based learning that prepares professionals from all walks of life to identify and respond to the varying forms of child maltreatment that exists. Tyler is dedicated to using his experience as a scientist and educator to support child advocacy initiatives and improve both academia and research within this realm. As the Director of CAST for the Zero Abuse Project, he pledges to assist faculty with training, development, and implementation as it pertains to CAST programming at their institutions.

Dr. Counsil has a B.A. in Biology from Hanover College (Hanover, IN), a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Oakland City University (Oakland City, IN), and both a M.S. and Ed.D. in Biology from Ball State University (Muncie, IN).

Professional Memberships:

  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences
Alison Foster
Betsy Goulet

Clinical Assistant Professor (UIS)/CAST Coordinator

Jason Mack

Executive Director, Committee Against Domestic Abuse

Chris Newlin, M.S, LPC

Executive Director, National Children’s Advocacy Center

John Pirics
Krystal Rich
Maria Rosalez-Lambert with Vicki Boan

Program Director and Bi-lingual Forensic Interviewer at Oklahoma Interviewing Services, INC

Paula Schaeffer
Jim Sears

Detective, Irving Police Dept (Ret.)

Pete Singer

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

Jane Straub, B.S.

Senior Victim Assistance Specialist, Jacob Wetterling Resource Center

Karla Steckler-Tye
Victor Vieth

Director, Education and Research, Zero Abuse Project, Author

Pre-Summit Agenda, February 26, 2020

Morning: Child Exploitation Investigations – Parts 1 & 2 Rita Farrell & John Pirics Afternoon: National Forensic Interviewing Peer ReviewACE-TIC Training – Jane StraubAfternoon: Child Exploitation Investigations – Parts 3 & 4 ~ John Pirics
6:15 AM – 7:15 AMSet UpSet UpSet Up
7:15 AM – 8:00 AMCheck-inCheck-inCheck-in
8:00 AM – 10:00 AMChild Exploitation Investigations – Part 1Welcome, Introduction and Learning ObjectivesIntro to Zero Abuse (30 min)
10:00 AM – 10:15 AMBreakBreakBreak
10:15 AM – 12:15 PMChild Exploitation Investigations – Part 2Impact on Brain Development, Stress Response System, and Neurobiology of TraumaInteractive Workshop (2 hrs)
12:15 PM – 1:30 PMLunchLunchLunch
1:30 PM -3:00 PMPeer Review (facilitated by Rita Farrell)Impact of trauma/victimization on behaviors, Trigger reminders, Introduction to Trauma-Informed CareChild Exploitation Investigations – John Pirics – Part 3
3:00 PM – 3:10 PMBreakBreakBreak
3:10 PM – 4:30 PMPeer Review (facilitated by Rita Farrell)Trauma-Informed Components and Systems, Resiliency, Reflective ListeningChild Exploitation Investigations – John Pirics – Part 4

Summit Welcome Reception, February 26, 2020

5:00-7:00pm - Location TBD

Summit Agenda - Day 1, February 27, 2020

6:15 AM – 7:15 AMSet UpSet UpSet Up
7:15 AM – 8:00 AMCheck-inCheck-inCheck-in
8:00 AM – 9-:00 AMWelcome & Keynote: Jeff Dion – The Responsibility to Heal: What we can ask of survivors and what tools do we need to give them to be successful?
9:00 AM – 9:15 AMBreakBreakBreak
9:15 AM – 10:45 AMAlison Foster – Contemporary Use of Human Figure Drawings (and Dolls): The State of Research and PracticeJim Sears – OK, you’ve got this sex case…now what???Andrea Darr – “Handle With Care” Model: A statewide trauma-informed response to child maltreatment and exposure to violence
10:45 AM – 11:00 AMBreakBreakBreak
11:00 AM – 12:30 PMRita Farrell – Emerging Issues in the Field of Forensic InterviewingJohn Pirics – Predators in Schools: Thoughts on Prevention from an OffenderKarla Steckler-Tye, Betsy Goulet, and Tyler Counsil – Breaking Down the Silos: Collaboration with Academia to Prepare the Next Generation in Child Protection
12:30 PM – 1:30 PMLunchLunchLunch
1:30 PM – 3:00 PMKrystal Rich with Paula Schaeffer – Evaluating and Supporting your Multi-Disciplinary TeamsTyler Counsil – Forensic Science in Child Abuse Cases: A Contemplative Look at the FuturePete Singer – Individual and Organizational Responses to Secondary Traumatic Stress
3:00 PM – 3:15 PMBreakBreakBreak
3:15 PM – 4:45 PMVictor Vieth – From Sticks to Flowers: Working with Parents Justifying Corporal Punishment Using ScriptureMaria Rosalez-Lambert with Vicki Boan – Use the MDT Process to Speak Up for Vulnerable AdultsAlison Feigh – Sexting: Flirting or Felony?
5:00 PM – 6:30 PMAnnual ChildFirst MeetingOther meeting as needed – TBDOther meeting as needed – TBD

Summit Agenda - Day 2, February 28, 2020

7:15 AM – 8:00 AMCheck-inCheck-inCheck-in
8:00 AM – 9:00 AMPlenary Presentation- Teresa Huizar – Why We Are Failing 1 in 4 Child Victims and How We Can Fix It
9:00 AM – 9:15 AMBreakBreakBreak
9:15 AM – 10:45 AMRita Farrell and Alison Feigh – Empower Me/FIRST Response to Allegations of MaltreatmentJim Sears –Accident or Inflicted Injury: Investigator you decideJane Straub – Consent: What it is and why you need it!
10:45 AM – 11:00 AMBreakBreakBreak
11:00 AM – 12:30 PMChris Newlin- Recent Research Affecting Child Abuse InvestigationsJason Mack – This Place has a Life of Its Own! Lessons on the Journey of Organizational Leadership and Capacity BuildingAlison Feigh – Under a Watchful Eye: Child Abuse Prevention in Youth-Serving Organizations
12:30 PM – 12:45 PMBreakBreakBreak
12:45 PM – 1:45 PMAward Lunch – Program at 1:25. Award Categories: Forensic Interviewer, Law Enforcement, Advocacy, Lifetime Achievement
1:45 PM – 3:15 PMCapstone: Victor Vieth – Ethical Considerations in Child Maltreatment Cases


Payment Information

  • Zero Abuse Project accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal. Online registration will only accept payment via credit card or PayPal.
  • If you wish to pay by electronic or paper check and require an invoice, please contact us.
  • If you are experiencing problems making an online payment, first please call your credit card company and inquire whether there is a problem with your card. If no problem is reported, wait 24 hours, and try again. If you are still experiencing problems, contact us.

Registration Options

Pre-Summit | (Feb.26)

  • $50 (early-bird pricing through January 6, 2020)
  • $75 regular Pre-Summit registration

VIP Summit | (Feb.27-28)

  • $250 (early-bird pricing through January 6, 2020)
  • $300 regular Summit registration
  • Online registration will only accept payment via credit card or PayPal.

Cancellation policy

We offer a refund minus a $75 administrative fee for each cancelled registration. We do not offer refunds if you fail to notify us prior to the conference you can’t attend. Zero Abuse Project must be notified 5 full business days before the start of the Summit to qualify for a refund or transfer (by February 20, 2020).
Transfers: Registrations can be transferred to a different attendee for a $25 administrative fee.


Zero Abuse Project reserves the right to cancel or postpone this seminar if minimum registration requirements are not met or as a result of Force Majeure. Zero Abuse Project will make all attempts to notify registrants of cancellation or postponement at the earliest opportunity. Zero Abuse Project is not responsible for any costs incurred by registrants due to cancellation or postponement, including but not limited to airfares and hotels.


Zero Abuse Project seeks to acknowledge those leaders dedicated to children and adults by working to make the world a safer place. Zero Abuse Project Summit Awards are given for contributions or leadership in the specific fields of advocacylaw enforcement and forensic interviewing at the Summit Awards Ceremony Luncheon on Friday, February 28, 2020. The luncheon is included with your registration fee, but you must register for the event itself on the Summit registration pages– registration ends on Friday, February 21, 2020.


Rosen Centre Hotel

9840 International Drive
Orlando, FL 72758 
Phone: 1-800-204-7234

Room Rates

  • Single/Double: $175
  • Additional Person: $20

Please note: Only a limited number of rooms are reserved in the Summit room block. Rooms begin to sell out by November, so be sure to reserve your rooms early!

Alternative Hotel Options

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a limited number of additional seats at the Award Luncheon. Please stop at the registration table to add your name to the wait list.

Each participant will need to contract with the hotel individually for wi-fi in the conference area.

Hotel air conditioning often runs quite cold. We recommend bringing a sweater or jacket and dressing in layers for the most comfort.

Coffee and tea is provided Thursday and Friday, as well as lunch on Friday for those who have signed up online during registration.

Credits have been applied ONLY for law enforcement (POST) and legal (CLE) disciplines. All other disciplines should consult with the desired accrediting body for specific documentation requirements. Generally, you will be required to present the conference agenda, speaker bios, and your participation certificate.

Certificates of completion will be emailed to all qualified registered participants two-three weeks following the summit for those who have submitted their evaluations online.

Things to Do



2.3 miles from hotel

Bahama Breeze

1.2 miles from hotel


Walt Disney World

10.7 miles from hotel


8.7 miles from hotel


2.1 miles from hotel

Discovery Cove

1.8 miles from hotel

The event is finished.