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FT. LAUDERDALE — Three new members have been appointed to serve on the National Review Board (NRB) by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The NRB advises the bishops' committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. The NRB was established by the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, which the bishops adopted in 2002.
As Cardinal DiNardo said in a letter sent to all newly appointed members, "The National Review Board plays a vital role as a consultative body assisting me and the bishops in ensuring the complete implementation and accountability of the Charter… The whole Church, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needs to be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children and young people."
The three new NRB members include those with expertise in law, victim advocacy and child protection and they are as follows:
Ms. Stacie LeBlanc is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center and the Director of the Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center of Children's Hospital in New Orleans. She began her career as a child abuse prosecutor and is the former chief of the Felony Child Abuse Division in Louisiana. LeBlanc obtained a master's degree in Early Childhood Development and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans. She designed two educational programs, Teens, Sex and the Law, and Painless Parenting, and has trained an average of 8,000 people annually on these and other mandatory reporting programs. To battle child abuse, LeBlanc developed a social media campaign, Dear Parents, and launched No Hit Zones at Children's Hospital and its subsidiaries to raise awareness of the harms of corporal punishment, which is the most prevalent risk factor for child physical abuse. She has been recognized for 11 successful legislative amendments and named the Champion for Children for Policy and Legislation by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. She has received a Victims and Citizens Against Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, the FBI Directors and Community Leadership Award, Outstanding Prosecutor Award, recognition as Catholic Graduate of the Year and City Business' Health Care Hero Award. LeBlanc is currently the President of the Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers and the Vice President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).
Ms. Theresa Simak is an Assistant State Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She has been with the State Attorney's Office since 2003 and was made a Division Chief in 2009. Simak
has spent most of her career focused on the prosecution of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence offenses. She is active in the community of Jacksonville and serves as chair of the University of Florida Child Protection Team Community Advisory Council and serves on their Operations Advisory Council. Simak currently serves on the State Forensic Interview Protocol Task Force to help develop a standardized protocol for forensic interviews of children suspected of having been abused. She also works closely with the sexual assault and domestic violence centers in Northeast Florida to include Hubbard House, Quigley House and the Women's Center of Jacksonville. Simak received the Mayor's Judicial Victim Advocate Award for outstanding service to victims in 2014 and received the State Attorney's Office Distinguished Service Award for dedication and outstanding performance in 2015. Simak is married, and she and her husband have three children.
Ms. Jan Slattery served as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago from 2003-2015. Previously she was the Director of Ministry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to working in the Archdiocese, Slattery was an administrator at Loyola University Chicago. She has been a consultant for various religious denominations on child abuse prevention and has been a frequent presenter on child abuse prevention. She gave a presentation on pornography at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2012 and is co-author of Conversations, a program that addresses loneliness and life issues in diocesan priesthood. She was a member of the USCCB Higher Education Committee and Chairperson of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators. While Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, she partnered with the Children's' Advocacy Center in Chicago and Prevent Child Abuse America to further awareness of child abuse. Slattery currently serves on the Review Board for three religious communities. She has an MA in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Loyola University Chicago.
Details regarding the National Review Board, its functions and other members can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection/the-national-review-board.cfm
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Review Board (NRB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, sexual abuse, child and youth protection, Charter for Protection of Children and Young People
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