In July, the annual Arizona Statewide Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Conference returned to its in-person format for the first time in three years! There is something irreplaceable about in-person connections. In the words of one attendee, “The most valuable aspect of the conference was the interactions, the time we spent getting to know others, and together joining in to learn new things.” The Prevent Child Abuse Arizona team is so grateful for time with “our people” – those who share a passion for caring for families and providing them the resources they need to raise their children, prevent trauma, and heal from trauma that may have already occurred.

The Child Abuse Prevention Conference is the only Arizona conference dedicated solely to strategies that aim to strengthen families upstream, before trauma occurs. This year, 620 Arizona parents and professionals gathered around the CAP Conference theme: “Reimagination: Starting Where We Are. Rethinking What We Know. Strengthening What We Do.”

Participating in the first in-person CAP Conference since 2019 also contributed to a sense of appreciation for shared humanity, reflected in key topics like culture, race, gender, and community. “The emphasis on diversity was amazing and really reminded me of what matters,” one attendee shared, while another remarked, “I loved hearing from those with very different life experiences to mine and attending workshops that help me learn more cultural awareness.” One child welfare professional said she was inspired to “recommit to foster a better connection with my communities of color.”

The end goal is for participants to take what they know and create a ripple effect within the families they serve and coworkers they serve alongside. According to attendee demographics, the information shared at this year’s CAP Conference will touch the lives of more than 33,000 Arizona families. “I’m more informed and empowered to bring my best self to my families,” a participant reflected.

The CAP conference is a tapestry woven by hope, compassion, strength, and positivity. Every year, Arizona child welfare professionals come together to heal trauma. “Trauma does not define an individual,” one attendee noted. “With the appropriate support, motivation, environment, and people around us, we can move past that trauma and live successful lives.”

Thank you to our attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors for providing strength in numbers and showing how many enthusiastic, intuitive, and prepared individuals and organizations are working toward ensuring successful lives for all Arizona children.