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FOR RELEASE: May 31, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council Selects New Officers

New officers for 2002 have been selected for the Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council (CATCC), a 21-member, statutorily mandated council to improve the response to child abuse and neglect and domestic violence through professional training. CATCC also provides oversight for multidisciplinary child abuse and neglect teams in the state.

The new chairperson, John Brown, MHR, represents the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). Lisa Smith, MA, representing the Office of Juvenile Affairs, is the new vice-chairperson.

Brown is a 25-year veteran of child welfare in Oklahoma. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. He has worked as a child welfare worker and supervisor in Stephens, Cotton, Jefferson and Tillman Counties. Brown moved to the DHS state office in Oklahoma City in 1989 as a training coordinator in the Child Welfare Training Unit. He served as project manager for the Oklahoma Family Preservation and Family Support Initiative in the Federal Funding and Community Development Unit, managing the $10 million budget of a five-year project.

More recently, Brown managed the Tribal/State Agreements for Foster Care between DHS and 30 Oklahoma Indian Tribes. He currently works in the Continuous Quality Improvement Unit with the DHS Division of Children and Family Services in the Stephens County DHS office in Duncan.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in criminal justice management from the University of Central Oklahoma. She has been a state employee for 14 years and started her career with the Department of Corrections as a Probation and Parole Officer and later worked for the DHS Child Welfare Division as a social worker and social service supervisor. Smith also worked for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth as an oversight specialist. Currently, she is employed as the federal program administrator for the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

There are 50 multidisciplinary child abuse and neglect teams throughout the state. The purpose of the multidisciplinary teams is to promote greater coordination and collaboration among the professionals responsible for identifying, investigating, prosecuting and treating victims of child abuse and neglect.

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