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Smiling ChildThe American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children is the leading national organization supporting professionals who serve children and families affected by child maltreatment and violence.

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Our Vision: APSAC envisions a world where all maltreated or at-risk children and their families have access to the highest level of professional commitment and service.

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Dr. Mark Chaffin, PhD.
8/21/52 - 8/23/15

On Sunday, August 23rd, Dr. Mark Chaffin died of a sudden heart attack during a bike ride near his home in Georgia. Dr. Chaffin is survived by his wife Barbara Ann and their daughter Roxanne. 

Born in Oklahoma City, Dr. Chaffin grew up in Verden, Oklahoma. He was a Sooner, obtaining all of his professional degrees from the University of Oklahoma: As a professor at the University of Oklahoma for most of his career, and most recently at Georgia State University, Dr. Chaffin influenced thousands of students over the years.

Dr. Chaffin was a brilliant scholar, not only in the field of child maltreatment, but also in the field of developmental disabilities and clinical child psychology. He was a long-time member and supporter of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC). Throughout his career, Dr. Chaffin contributed immensely to the field of child maltreatment through his extensive publications and research. He was the founding editor of APSAC’s Child Maltreatment Journal and served as Editor-in-Chief until 2004. Many would say he made the journal what it is today – top in its field. More recently, he participated in producing an APSAC Guideline on Evidence-Based Service Planning, contributing to an important dialogue about what child protective services can do to help families become safer. He was also involved in more than 70 peer reviewed publications, mostly as lead author, and many of his publications had a direct impact on prevention and intervention in child maltreatment.

Dr. Chaffin also received multiple honors and awards, including:
• President's Honor Roll, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 1992
• Outstanding Service Award, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 2000
• Pro Humanitate Literary Award, recognizing intellectual integrity and moral courage to overcome political and social barriers to best practice in the field of child welfare, awarded by the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare in 2002, 2006, and 2008
• Fellow, American Psychological Association, 2004
• Article of the Year Award, Child Maltreatment, 2006, 2010
• Friedrich Memorial Lecturer, Mayo Clinic, 2009

Dr. Chaffin will be remembered for his ability to take complex issues and get to the core of what really mattered. His capacity to effectively communicate to a wide range of audiences was a true gift. His was admired for his adherence to fundamental ethics and a need to do the right thing. Dr. Chaffin had a great sense of humor, including his opinions on sandals in the work place.

He was such an amazing colleague, researcher, and friend, a “BIG THINKER” and made many significant contributions to the child maltreatment field. He will be greatly missed.

24th Annual APSAC Colloquium

June 22-25, 2016

Call for Abstracts - New Orleans

Accepting through November 4, 2015 (online

Printable Form

New Issue of APSAC's Alert:  Evidence Based Service Planning for Child Welfare. Read it now!



APSAC's Voice is being heard by the United States Supreme Court!  

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued a decision in Ohio v. Clark. Earlier this year, APSAC submitted an Amicus Curiae Brief to SCOTUS in support of the petitioner, the State of Ohio.

Not only did SCOTUS rule unanimously in Ohio’s favor, they also cited APSAC’s brief in their decision! (Check it out on page 9 of the opinion!)

Read more about Ohio v. Clark on the official SCOTUS blog

APSAC's Amicus Curiae Brief

U.S. Supreme Court decision full text

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For a complete online calendar of APSAC and related industry events, please visit the Event List under the Events Tab.

2016 Advanced Training Institutes -San Diego Jan. 23-24 - Hold the Date - Sign up soon!

23rd Annual APSAC Colloquium -

         See what you missed!

2015 APSAC Child Forensic Interview Clinics

APSAC's Child Forensic Interview Clinics offer 40 hours of intensive training on investigating interviewing of children.

  • October 5-9, 2015 -Rescheduled  
  • August 17-21, 2015- Seattle, WA 

2016 APSAC Child Forensic Interview Clinics

  • July 25-29, 2016, Seattle, WA


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