FARMINGTON, ME (September 29, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce ”A Look at the High Costs of Childhood Abuse and Neglect,” a public presentation by Katherine Kemp, UMF lecturer in rehabilitation services. The second topic in UMF’s popular “The Public Classroom” faculty speaker series, this lecture will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.

A serious and prevalent public health problem in the U.S., child abuse and neglect has reached a critical level in Maine, and specifically in Franklin County. Overall, more than 100 children in every 1,000 living in Franklin County experience  some form of abuse and/or neglect each year—an estimated 1 in every 10 children.

Although neglect is considered to be the most common form of abuse, many also experience chronic physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Research during the past twenty years demonstrates that an array of human and social problems resists solutions if we do not respond to the urgent need to prevent the abuse and neglect of our children.

In this talk, Kemp introduces three branches of science that have allowed for the greater exploration of knowledge about the effects of psychological trauma, abuse and neglect. These are neuroscience, the study of how the brain supports mental processes; developmental psychopathology, the study of the impact of adverse experiences on the development of minds and brain; and interpersonal neurobiology, the study of how our behavior influences the emotions, biology and mind-sets of those around us.

Kemp will also introduce the ACE study, an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente, as a tool to analyze and solidify the relationship between childhood trauma and the risk for physical and mental health disabilities in adulthood.

Kemp’s area of expertise is working with individuals with severe and persistent mental health disabilities in the field of case management and counseling. A licensed clinical social worker, she is a teacher and advocate with a strong belief in the strength of community partnerships as a tool to challenge and change this serious public health problem. She works diligently to help students appreciate the critical connection between social problems, social programs and policy and how research contributes to the competency of a profession and leads to evidence-based systems change.

Kemp received her Masters of Social Work at the University of New England.

“The Public Classroom” series is sponsored by the UMF Office of the President. Lectures in this series are free and open to the public.


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