Child Protection Rounds: Recognizing and Responding Safely to Child Abuse and Neglect

Conference Date 
Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 14:00 to 15:00
Name of speaker 
Dr. Melissa Kimber and Dr. Harriet MacMillan

The Violence, Evidence, Guidance, Action (VEGA) Project at McMaster University has created evidence-based guidance and education resources to assist healthcare and social service providers in recognizing and responding safely to family violence (child maltreatment and intimate partner violence). VEGA developed these resources with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (2015-2020) in collaboration with 22 national organizations. The resources are comprised of learning modules (e.g., care pathways, scripts, how-to videos), interactive educational scenarios and a Handbook. 

Melissa Kimber, PhD, MSW, RSW, is a Registered Social Worker with a PhD in research methodology and who conducts research at the Offord Centre for Child Studies focused on child and adolescent mental health, child maltreatment, and intimate partner violence. She is a full-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. On a part-time basis, she continues to provide social work and psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, and their families at a private practice in Hamilton, Ontario. With colleagues at McMaster University, the University Health Network, McGill University, and the University of Calgary, she is leading the RISE Project, which among other activities, involves a multi-province evaluation of VEGA. 

Harriet MacMillan, CM, MD, MSc, FRCPC, is a psychiatrist and pediatrician conducting family violence research at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University. She is a Distinguished University Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and of Pediatrics, and holds the Chedoke Health Chair in Child Psychiatry. Harriet was the founding Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital, a multidisciplinary program committed to reducing the burden of suffering associated with family violence. In collaboration with colleagues and representatives from 22 national organizations, Harriet led the Violence Evidence Guidance Action (VEGA) Project and continues to facilitate uptake of the VEGA resources described above. 


  1. To summarize the prevalence, risk factors and consequences of child abuse and neglect.
  2. To identify how to use VEGA’s family violence educational resources, with a focus on child abuse and neglect.
  3. To become familiar with the RISE Project, which is evaluating VEGA’s educational resources.



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