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.


  • 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.


Certificates of attendance are emailed to all qualified registered participants within 2 weeks of the time an attendee has submitted their online evaluations


  • Keynote Presenter

    Jeff Dion, J.D.

    CEO, Zero Abuse Project

    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

Rita Farrell, B.S.
Forensic Interview Specialist
Alison Feigh, M.S.
Director, Jacob Wetterling Resource Center
Tyler Counsil, Ph.D.

Director, Child Advocacy Studies, Zero Abuse Project

Karla Steckler-Tye
Jim Sears
Detective, Irving Police Dept (Ret.)
Victor Vieth
Director, Education and Research, Zero Abuse Project, Author
Chris Newlin, M.S, LPC
Executive Director, National Children’s Advocacy Center
Jason Mack
Executive Director, Committee Against Domestic Abuse
Maria Rosalez-Lambert with Lezley Ball
Program Director and Bi-lingual Forensic Interviewer at Oklahoma Interviewing Services, INC
Jane Straub, B.S.
Victim Assistance Specialist, Jacob Wetterling Resource Center
Neil Sahota
Andrea Darr
Director, WV Center for Children’s Justice
John Pirics

Betsy Goulet

Clinical Assistant Professor (UIS)/CAST Coordinator
Krystal Rich
Paula Schaeffer

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 StraubMorning: AI Topics ~ Neil Sahota Afternoon: Child Exploitation Investigations – Parts 3 & 4 ~ John Pirics
6:15 AM – 7:15 PMSet UpSet UpSet Up
7:15 AM – 8:00 PMCheck-inCheck-inCheck-in
8:00 AM – 10:00 PMChild Exploitation Investigations – Part 1Welcome, Introduction and Learning ObjectivesIntro to Zero Abuse (30 min) AI 101: Helping to Protect Kids (45 min) Zero Abuse.AI Demo (45 min)
10:15-12:15Child Exploitation Investigations – Part 2Impact on Brain Development, Stress Response System, and Neurobiology of TraumaInteractive Workshop (2 hrs)
1:30-3:00Peer Review (facilitated by Rita Farrell)Impact of trauma/victimization on behaviors, Trigger reminders, Introduction to Trauma-Informed CareChild Exploitation Investigations – John Pirics – Part 3
3:10-4:30Peer Review (facilitated by Rita Farrell)Trauma-Informed Components and Systems, Resiliency, Reflective ListeningChild Exploitation Investigations – John Pirics – Part 4

Conference Agenda - Day 1, February 27, 2020

6:15-7:15Set UpSet UpSet Up
8:00-9-:00Welcome & Keynote: Jeff Dion – Topic TBD
9:15-10:45Alison 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
11:00-12:30Rita 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
1:30-3:00Krystal 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
3:15-4:45Victor Vieth – From Sticks to Flowers: Working with Parents Justifying Corporal Punishment Using ScriptureMaria Rosalez-Lambert with Lezlie Bell – Use the MDT Process to Speak Up for Vulnerable AdultsAlison Feigh – Sexting: Flirting or Felony?
5:00-6:30Annual ChildFirst MeetingOther meeting as needed – TBDOther meeting as needed – TBD

Conference Agenda - Day 2, February 28, 2020

8:00-9:00Plenary Presentation- Teresa Huizar – Topic TBD
9:15-10:45Rita 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!
11:00-12:30Chris 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
12:45-1:45Award Lunch – Program at 1:25. Award Categories: Forensic Interviewer, Law Enforcement, Advocacy, Lifetime Achievement
1:45-3:15Capstone: 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

Things to Do



2.3 miles from hotel

Bahama Breeze

1.2 miles from hotel


Walt Disney World

10.7 miles from hotel


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Discovery Cove

1.8 miles from hotel