An estimated 150-200 people attended “In the Best Interest of the Child” conference, which brought local and state officials to the Manitowoc Holiday Inn to focus on those often forgotten in the opioid epidemic. Eloise Anderson, the Secretary of the State department of the Children and Familes outlined the rising incidence of this crisis.
Anderson also spoke about how we underestimate what children can comprehend.
Lane Kinzel, a supervisor of social workers with Manitowoc County Human Services, was asked during a panel discussion how they determine what the best interest of the child actually is.
Two Rivers Superintendent of Schools Lisa Quistorf was also on that panel.
Julie Ribley, the Director of CASA 9Court Appointed Special Advocates) Manitowoc County, and Attorney and Guardian at Lidem Jerilyn Dietz rounded off the panel. The remaining three featured speakers were Elizabeth Hudson, the Director of the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health, Julie Poehlman-Tynan from the Center of Healthy Minds, and a UW Professor, as well as Wisconsin‘s First Lady, Tonette Walker.
The song below was created for a television program designed for children who have parents that have either been incarcerated, or have passed away due to drug use.
25th District State Assemblyman Paul Tittl of Manitowoc was the moderator for the conference. The idea for the gathering resulted from three grandmothers of opioid affected children who brought their concerns to Representative Tittl.