Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 188 | September 11, 2023

The Impact of Child Abuse

Chris Newlin

Executive Director at National Children's Advocacy Center


In this episode of Difficult Conversations, Dr. Orsini is joined by Chris Newlin, Executive Director of the National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC) in Alabama, where he’s responsible for providing leadership and management, as well as participating in national and international training programs for the protection of children. He has more than 25 years of experience working as a Forensic Interviewer, Victim Advocate, Therapist, and other leadership roles in child advocacy. Today, Dr. Orsini and Chris delve into the complex world of child advocacy. Chris sheds light on the emotional challenges faced by professionals striving to protect vulnerable children. We’ll hear about his background, tracing his journey from being an army kid to finding his passion for safeguarding children’s well-being. The episode explores the history and evolution of Children’s Advocacy Centers, highlighting their global impact in providing safe spaces for children to share their experiences.

The conversation shifts towards the vital role of forensic interviewers in child advocacy work. These professionals who interact with children and faced traumatic events like child sexual abuse, are discussed in detail. The challenges they encounter in building rapport, extracting accurate information, and creating a supportive environment are examined. Dr. Orsini shares his own experience working with forensic interviewers and child advocates through The Orsini Way and highlights their dedication to improvement. Chris talks about his TEDx Talk focusing on child abuse, the staggering economic costs of child abuse on a national scale, and he cites research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on health, productivity, and substance abuse throughout adulthood. Dr. Orsini and Chris Newlin discuss strategies for preventing burnout among child advocates, emphasizing the significance of self-care, staying genuine, and maintaining emotional engagement. We end with Chris sharing a personal experience of a difficult conversation with a family member facing a serious medical diagnosis and how he navigated through it. He emphasizes the importance of being patient, providing evidence, and allowing time for individuals to process challenging news.

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