BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For the next two days professionals from across the state are at a conference in Biloxi where they are learning how they can help children who have been abused.
A little comedic relief is just what the professionals - who work around the clock to help kids in crisis - needed.
"We started off the day with a little motivational humor. Obviously this is some difficult work that our professionals have to respond to, so we have a number of sessions around vicarious trauma and how this work impacts the professional that's in this field," said Karla Tye, executive director of Children's Advocacy Centers of Mississippi.
According to Tye, the goal of the conference is to educate and take a multidisciplinary approach to child abuse.
"You may have a law enforcement officer that needs to know information from a child. Child Protective Services needs information; obviously the medical, mental health. We want all the professionals working together so that they're collaborating in the best interest of the child," said Tye.
Two speakers from West Virginia took the stage Wednesday morning to talk about a program they developed called Handle with Care. It's a school notification service that confidentially helps teachers know which students may need special attention.
"If you're getting this notice on little Johnny, that means he's been on the scene of a police incident in the last 24 hours. [He] might exhibit academic, emotional, or behavioral problems, please handle this child with care," said Andrea Darr, director of the West Virginia Center for Children's Justice.
Tom Broome, a Hinds County judge and chair of Mississippi Council of Youth Court judges, says the conference is important for the overall well being of children in crisis.
"Education is critical to being able to provide the very best services we can to these children because they have suffered horrendous acts at the care of their custodians, parents, and care givers, and sometimes by strangers," said Broome.
It is the fourth year of the conference, and organizers say 150 more people attended than last year.