FT. LAUDERDALE — Three new membershave been appointed to serve on the National Review Board (NRB) by CardinalDaniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).The NRB advises the bishops' committee on the Protection of Children and YoungPeople, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. TheNRB was established by the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People,which the bishops adopted in 2002.
As Cardinal DiNardo said in a lettersent to all newly appointed members, "The National Review Board plays a vitalrole as a consultative body assisting me and the bishops in ensuring thecomplete implementation and accountability of the Charter… The wholeChurch, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needsto be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children andyoung people."
The three new NRB members includethose with expertise in law, victim advocacy and child protection and they areas follows:
Ms. Stacie LeBlanc is the ExecutiveDirector of the New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center and the Director of theAudrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center of Children's Hospitalin New Orleans. She began her career as a child abuse prosecutor and is theformer chief of the Felony Child Abuse Division in Louisiana. LeBlanc obtaineda master's degree in Early Childhood Development and her Juris Doctorate from LoyolaUniversity New Orleans. She designed two educational programs, Teens, Sexand the Law, and Painless Parenting, and has trained an average of8,000 people annually on these and other mandatory reporting programs. Tobattle child abuse, LeBlanc developed a social media campaign, Dear Parents,and launched No Hit Zones at Children's Hospital and its subsidiaries toraise awareness of the harms of corporal punishment, which is the mostprevalent risk factor for child physical abuse. She has been recognizedfor 11 successful legislative amendments and named the Champion for Childrenfor Policy and Legislation by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. She hasreceived a Victims and Citizens Against Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, theFBI Directors and Community Leadership Award, Outstanding Prosecutor Award,recognition as Catholic Graduate of the Year and City Business' Health CareHero Award. LeBlanc is currently the President of the Louisiana Allianceof Children's Advocacy Centers and the Vice President of the AmericanProfessional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).
Ms. Theresa Simak is an AssistantState Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She has been with theState Attorney's Office since 2003 and was made a Division Chief in 2009. Simak
has spent most of hercareer focused on the prosecution of sexual assault, child abuse and domesticviolence offenses. She is active in the community of Jacksonville and serves aschair of the University of Florida Child Protection Team Community AdvisoryCouncil and serves on their Operations Advisory Council. Simak currently serveson the State Forensic Interview Protocol Task Force to help develop astandardized protocol for forensic interviews of children suspected of havingbeen abused. She also works closely with the sexual assault and domesticviolence centers in Northeast Florida to include Hubbard House, Quigley Houseand the Women's Center of Jacksonville. Simak received the Mayor's JudicialVictim Advocate Award for outstanding service to victims in 2014 and receivedthe State Attorney's Office Distinguished Service Award for dedication andoutstanding performance in 2015. Simak is married, and she and her husband havethree children.
Ms. Jan Slattery servedas the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in theArchdiocese of Chicago from 2003-2015. Previously she was the Director ofMinistry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to workingin the Archdiocese, Slattery was an administrator at Loyola University Chicago.She has been a consultant for various religious denominations on child abuseprevention and has been a frequent presenter on child abuse prevention. Shegave a presentation on pornography at the Pontifical Gregorian University inRome in 2012 and is co-author of Conversations, a program that addressesloneliness and life issues in diocesan priesthood. She was a member of theUSCCB Higher Education Committee and Chairperson of the Jesuit Association ofStudent Personnel Administrators. While Director of the Office for theProtection of Children and Youth, she partnered with the Children's' AdvocacyCenter in Chicago and Prevent Child Abuse America to further awareness of childabuse. Slattery currently serves on the Review Board for three religiouscommunities. She has an MA in Higher Education Leadership and Policy fromLoyola University Chicago.
Details regarding theNational 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), CardinalDaniel DiNardo, sexual abuse, child and youth protection, Charter forProtection of Children and Young People
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