The planning committee for the Cherish the Child Symposium is proud to be bringing its 15th annual event to Mountain Christian Church on Friday, April 5, 2019.

Since 2005, the Cherish the Child Symposium has been bringing together professionals from the fields of child welfare, mental health, education and many other disciplines for a day of learning and networking. The symposium has grown incredibly since its first year and now hosts over 600 individuals from all over Harford County and surrounding jurisdictions. The day features a keynote speaker, breakout sessions and an ending plenary speaker. With the Harford County Department of Social Services as the lead agency, the committee is comprised of professionals and community members from throughout Harford County who share the mission of educating the community on the importance of child protection and treatment. The event is held every year, appropriately, during April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Committee Chair, Erica Rutka, from Harford County DSS, states, “This conference is the culmination of the work of many individuals who care about the welfare and protection of children. It’s a wonderful day for people who do this special work to come together to learn from each other and then to be able to go back to their jobs refreshed with a few new tools in their toolboxes.”

Headlining this year’s symposium will be Tony Hoffman, former BMX biker, Olympic Coach and recovering addict sharing the story of his decline into drugs and his eventual recovery and redemption. Tony is an inspiration to all adults and young people who hear his story. Tony has dedicated his life to bringing awareness around the country, describing how dangerous prescription pill and heroin abuse are, as well as advocating a shift in thinking towards current addiction-recovery processes.

Tony Hoffman will speak to the youth of Harford County at a special event the evening before Cherish the Child on April 4 at Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air at 6:30. This is a free event open to the community. The symposium on April 5 is a paid conference that requires pre-registration.

For information about the Cherish the Child Symposium and An Evening with Tony Hoffman, please check out the website at:

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