Dec. 17, 2019, 4:45 p.m.

Rhonda Robbins Gives Keynote Presentation!

Rhonda Robbins, Certified Facility Dog Handler and Forensic Interviewer for the Children's Advocacy Centers of Southmountain Children and Family Services was honored to give the Keynote Presentation at the 2019 7th Annual International Courthouse Dogs Conference in Seattle, Washington. Her presentation was titled “Building a Trauma Informed Community with Four Paws: Utilizing a Facility Dog in School and Community Programs.” As keynote speaker, the presentation highlighted the ways that using a Facility Dog can bridge positive relationships, while creating fun and educational programs in the community. Rhonda shared information about prevention programs that she facilitates including Personal Body Safety, Internet Safety; teaching children and adults the dangers of the internet and ways to keep children safe -a program partnership with McDowell County Sheriff's Office. 

Rhonda also presented on developing intervention groups and small groups that are done in collaboration with local schools. These groups address Grief and Loss, Anger Management, Social Skills, and Divorce. Finally, Rhonda gave the presentation "Paws to Read with Leroy"; introducing reading programs to increase literacy skills for students presenting delays and/or assertiveness in reading.

Facility Dog Leroy IV is North Carolina's first and only Professionally Trained Certified Facility Dog, trained by Canine Companions for Independence. Leroy has been with Southmountain since 2019. Leroy assists children in court, Forensic Interviews and is an ambassador for many community events. We are so proud of Rhonda and Leroy for the great work that they do for children and families and for her presentations at this conference!