Young children, especially those with disabilities, are disproportionately affected by abuse, neglect, trauma, and toxic stress. In 2016, the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children wrote a position statement on maltreatment.  During this process, the DEC Protection and Well-Being Community of Practice was formed. This CoP will provide guidance to the early childhood special education field regarding ways to:

1.  Prevent and reduce instances of maltreatment among young children with disabilities. 

2.  Intervene and support young children with disabilities who have experienced maltreatment.

3.  Carry out the long- and short-term goals of the DEC position statement.

Meetings & Events

Past Webinars & Events

Resilience Screening & Panel at the DEC 2019 Conference 

Hosted by the DEC Protection & Well-Being Community of Practice 

Sponsored by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Education


Promising Referral Practices

A Webinar Collaboration between the DEC Protection & Well-Being CoP and the ECTA Center


Part 1: March 7, 2018 - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST

Download the Recording Here.


Part 2: March 21, 2018 - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST

Download the Recording Here.  


Description: Greater collaboration between Early Intervention Systems and Child Welfare Systems can lead to reducing the underrepresentation of children in IDEA Part C who have been maltreated. CAPTA requires referral provisions and procedures to IDEA Part C be in place for children under age three who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect. Two webinars that can be viewed independently or in tandem will provide viewers with a background of the CAPTA requirements and highlight successful collaborative state and local efforts. 


Presenters: Haidee Bernstein (Center for Youth with Multi-System Involvement at Westat), Sharon Walsh (Governmental Relations, Division for Early Childhood), Cathie Huckins (Local Part C Coordinator, Kansas), Kathy Keck (Foster Parent, Kansas), Evelyn Foard Shaw (Technical Assistant Specialist, Frank Porter Graham Institute/ECTA), Jing Fang (Teaching Assistant, University of Kentucky), Lenita Hartman (Program Initiatives Manager for Early Intervention Colorado, Office of Early Childhood), Lorendia Schmidt (CAPTA Administrator, Colorado Office of Children, Youth & Families Division of Child Welfare), Beth Scully (Colorado, Early Intervention Operations Manager), & Sondra Stegenga (Graduate Teaching Fellow/PhD Student, University of Oregon)

Catherine Corr, ccorr@illinois.edu, is interested in supporting the well-being of young children with disabilities (birth - 8 years old) and their families. Dr. Corr addresses issues of maltreatment, abuse, neglect, trauma, toxic stress, and poverty in the context of early childhood special education research, policy, personnel preparation, and practice.


Carol M. Trivette, trivettecm@etsu.edu, is the Associate Director of Research, Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development and Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at East Tennessee State University. She is involved identification of research evidence around DEC Recommended Practices.

How can you participate in the Protection & Well-Being CoP?

Contact CoP leaders Catherine Corr and Carol Trivette.

Protection and Well-Being Community of Practice


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