The Important Role of Social Workers in Preventing Sexual Abuse: A Panel Discussion for Social Work Month

Hosted by: David Prescott, LICSW, ATSA-F
Guest Speakers: Adam Brown, PhD, Melissa D. Grady, PhD, MSW, LICSW, Tom Leversee, LCSW, Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky, LCSW, Jamie Yoder, PhD, MSW

Recorded on: March 29, 2023
Length: One Hour

March is Social Work Month, a “time to celebrate the great profession of Social Work.” This panel discussion is an opportunity to learn about the contributions of social workers to the prevention of sexual abuse. From understanding people in the contexts of their day-to-day lives to working with the systems that our clients find themselves in, the contributions of social workers are often underestimated and misunderstood.

With so many people entering the field in the wake of the pandemic, and the need for trained social workers in the current era, this is an excellent opportunity to find out about what possibilities exist for newly minted social workers interested in this field.

Adam Brown, PhD
Assistant Professor, Silberman School of Social Work

Adam Brown, Ph.D., an ATSA fellow, is an assistant professor of social work at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York, a clinical consultant at the Institute for Sexual Wellness in Weymouth, MA and an expert consultant with Park Dietz & Associates, Inc., in Newport Beach, CA. Currently funded by both the Department of Homeland Security and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Brown’s clinical and research focus is on the assessment of adolescent and young adult males with problem sexual behaviors. He is the author of more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and recently wrote a chapter for a book on sexual harm to be published in April 2023 by the Child Welfare League of America. Dr. Brown serves on the Executive Committee of New Jersey ATSA and is invited to train clinicians all over the United States.

Melissa D. Grady, PhD, MSW, LICSW
Associate Professor, Catholic University’s National School of Social Service

Dr. Melissa D. Grady received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. from Smith College School of Social Work. Her research areas are in the translation of evidence-based practice and on the prevention of sexual violence. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has presented at numerous international, national, and regional refereed conferences as well as been an invited speaker for numerous organizations. In addition, she serves on local and national committees, including the Area 2 Representative for the local ATSA Chapter – MARATSA, and on several editorial boards, including as Associate Editor of Sexual Abuse, and is the Editor in Chief for the Clinical Social Work Journal. She is an ATSA Fellow and has been an active practitioner for over 20 years and maintains a private practice in Washington DC. Her clinical experience includes both work in the public mental health and private sectors. She has worked with clients who have committed sexual crimes and who have experienced trauma, depression, anxiety, anger management, as well as other mental health issues. She is Associate Professor at Catholic University’s National School of Social Service where she teaches in the areas of mental health, clinical practice, clinical theory, and research methods to masters and doctoral students.

Tom Leversee, LCSW
Adjunct Professor, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

Tom Leversee, LCSW, worked for 34 years in direct care, clinical work, supervision and management, and administrative positions in the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections. He has extensive clinical experience with adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior and facilitated the Denver County Sexual Abuse Review Team. Tom currently has a private practice focused on consultation, training, and clinical services for adolescents. Tom has served on numerous occasions as an expert witness, with a recent focus on applying a neuroscience and psychosocial development framework to juvenile transfer hearings. Tom is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work with courses focused on Delinquency and Youth Violence and Forensic Practice. Tom has numerous publications and has presented extensively nationally and internationally. He served on the state Sex Offender Management Board and on the Board for the Association for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Abuse.  

Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky, LCSW
Program Manager for the Office of Domestic Violence and Sex Offender Management, Colorado Division of Criminal Justice

Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky has worked for the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice as the Program Manager for the Office of Domestic Violence and Sex Offender Management since 2006, where he is responsible for overseeing the work of the Sex Offender Management Board and Domestic Violence Offender Management Board on their development of standards for the treatment and management of individuals convicted of sexual offenses, approving treatment providers, and providing legislative and policy input. More specifically, Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky provides guidance to the Colorado State Legislature and Governor’s Office regarding the implementation of federal registration and notification laws including the Adam Walsh Act.

Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, and has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 1990. Prior to his current position, Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky worked as a clinician and evaluator of individuals who have been convicted or adjudicated for a sexual offense.

Jamie Yoder, PhD, MSW
Associate Professor of Social Work, Colorado State University

Jamie Yoder, Ph.D., MSW is an Associate Professor of Social Work. Dr. Yoder’s research interests spans etiology and equitable and effective prevention and intervention approaches for youth sexual and non-sexual violence. She particularly focuses on social justice issues of childhood adversity, regulatory processes, and caregiver relational experiences as developmental pathways to youth violence. She also researches systemic trauma-focused prevention and intervention approaches. Dr. Yoder’s scholarship record exemplifies her dedication to advancing theory, practice, and policy to prevent youth violence. Dr. Yoder’s research interests have been inspired by her clinical experience with youth and families involved in multiple cross-cutting systems including education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health; she seeks to promote responses grounded in social justice to youth and families interfacing with these systems. Dr. Yoder is involved in various funded state, national, and international projects examining pathways and prevention approaches for youth violence. Dr. Yoder serves on the editorial board of Sexual Abuse and Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

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