Spirit on Tap: Protecting Our Children
May 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
“Protecting Our Children”
The presentation will include a very brief history of child protection, a discussion about the PA Child Protective Services Law, including types of child abuse, physical and behavioral indicators of abuse, perpetrators, and mandated reporting responsibilities. There will also be a focus on the do’s and don’ts when getting a child’s disclosure..
Melissa Haydt is currently in her sixth year as the vice president in charge of the Children’s Alliance Center of Berks County, a program of Opportunity House. The Center conducts forensic interviews for sexually abused children and coordinates services for them and their families.
Melissa has been in the field of child protection for 43 years. She worked for Berks County Children & Youth Services for 29 years, supervising the sexual abuse investigative unit. She then worked for Diakon Family Life Services counseling victims of child sexual abuse and domestic violence. She also provided consultation services to various church denominations regarding conflict situations, boundary violations, and helping them set up safe church policies.
Providing mandated reporter trainings to all types of professionals is something Melissa has done for the past 40 years. Those trainings include education about all types of child abuse covered by the law, how to identify the various types of abuse, and about the responsibilities of a mandated reporter.
Melissa received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, and her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, from Kutztown University. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Melissa has been a member of St John’s UCC in Kutztown for years serving on several committees and Consistory, both as a deacon and an elder.
Melissa has been married to her husband, Barry, for 44 years. They are the parents of one son, and the grandparents of one granddaughter and one grandson. They live in Fleetwood.