Pragathi Tummala, Executive Director, introducing the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

1. When was your association founded?
In 1977

2. Where is your association based, how many members do you have & in how many countries?
The association is based in Denver, CO USA.  And has approximately 1100 members in over 100 countries

3. Who are your members?
Our members are paediatricians, psychologists, social workers, public health experts, lawyers, judges, law enforcement, mental health workers who all prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.

4. What is your mission & aim of the association?
ISPCAN’s mission is to prevent cruelty to children in every nation, in every form: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, street children, child fatalities, child prostitution, children of war, emotional abuse, and child labour. We are committed to increasing public awareness of all forms of violence against children, developing activities to prevent such violence, and promoting the rights of children in all regions of the world.

5. What are the major challenges facing your association?
We are dedicated to providing reduced rates for developing country delegates and as such we require sponsorships and an ability to fundraise for a difficult topic: Child Abuse and Neglect

6. What kind of events are organised by your association?
We support the professionals who help treat and prevent child abuse to continue to learn and share best practices as they progress in their careers. Bringing together these highly trained individuals to create a network of learning, sharing and support is what ISPCAN is all about. ISPCAN has continuing education resources, opportunities for you to share your research and treatments in our conferences, data collection tools, and best practices from all over the world to share at our events. We have 3 International Congresses per year on a set rotation in set regions. The schedule and which regions are open for bid are listed on the website

See our website for a complete overview of the events, the process and all the documents for interested parties to bid.

7. What is the decision process behind the selection of a destination/venue?
It is a competitive process for each region and bids are evaluated for the strength of the local child abuse and neglect expert, the scientific program theme, the support of the local business or convention bureau, and the overall budget. Specific evaluation criteria:

  • Strength of the Local Child Abuse and Neglect Partner Organization (CAN Partner) is indicated by the strength of the local CAN Partner Organization is the organization’s relationships, partnerships, connections and collaboration with other CAN organizations throughout the region.
  • Commitment to the ISPCAN Legacy is a factor when awarding the conference bid, demonstrated by specific regional needs and ideas for the ISPCAN Legacy.
  • Financial Support for the Conference must be demonstrated by including committed sponsorship, identified grants, a strong city financial/support package, vetted exhibitors, secured scholarship sources for delegates from developing countries, regional and international corporate financial committing financial contributions and/or donated products/services that offset conference costs. Please include the pledged financial support in US dollars within the bid proposal.
  • Budget must be detailed, transparent and fully disclose all cost and PCO commissions in each line item. A transparent budget is necessary to provide all financially responsible parties every opportunity to minimize conference costs and realize profits.

8. Can you share your insights about the latest trends within the association community?
We are dedicated to a legacy event. For ISPCAN this ability to leave a footprint in the communities is a big deal as we are doing more than an event, we are building a safety net for children around the world to PREVENT child abuse and neglect.

We want to see the communities come together and support our events through businesses, messaging, leadership involvement beyond the scientific attendees.  All conferences and congresses require that there be a local group willing to serve as the nucleus for a local organizing committee that ISPCAN will partner with to organize the event. This is the group that will officially submit the bid to host the event. This group is drawn from professionals in the child welfare community and may all come from one agency/organization or be drawn from a variety of government, academic, NGO, and other related groups.

9. What does your association do in terms of legacy, do your meetings have a societal impact on the destination?
The purpose of the ISPCAN Legacy is to continue to build a safety net to prevent child abuse and neglect in the region long after the conclusion of an ISPCAN conference. The ISPCAN Legacy includes the cultivation of ongoing partnerships in the region and to bring together all the disciplines (law enforcement, doctors, social workers, lawyers, case workers, etc.) that work together more effectively when interwoven to create a stronger system of care in the community. Working in many languages, across cultures, utilizing emerging technology and remaining flexible, ISPCAN helps create new policy and solutions for protecting children.

Some unique ways ISPCAN leaves a legacy through our conference programs:

  • Youth Forums bring together youth 16-25 years of age on a topic of their choosing that is a relevant concern in this age group around vulnerability, abuse and neglect. The group of local youth also connect virtually with a global ISPCAN youth council to enhance the discussion and sharing of ideas. ISPCAN greatly values youth participation in our work.
  • Working Group on Child Death Review assesses the public health response and system in place to examine unexpected child death to uncover abuse and neglect in order to establish better prevention triggers within a country’s child protection system.
  • Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data Collection reviews the method of collection of child maltreatment data and the reporting system in place for a country. Discussion and research results are used to establish and strengthen intervention, treatment and prevention.
  • Declaration for the Conference is created at the conclusion of the event in order to capture the main points. ISPCAN leaders, regional leaders and local dignitaries work together to provide political will to drive policy change, influence government and civil decision makers and raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention.

The valuable outcomes from these initiatives are provided to the hosting region at no cost. This information helps to create/augment regional child maltreatment and death data collection which forms the foundation critical to successful intervention, critical care and prevention in your region.

For more information about ISPCAN please check their website: