15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Patricia E. Scibak, Esq.
Patricia E. Scibak, Regional Legal Counsel for the Central Massachusetts Region of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, has been an unflagging champion for Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) prevention and the Department's leader for the last three years. Her focus on SBS began in 2001 when the Central Region experienced several SBS-related deaths and severe injuries in rapid succession. As Regional Counsel, she became involved in the legal aspects of these cases ... but did not stop there.
Working with other Central Region staff and the Massachusetts Citizens for Children, Ms. Scibak initiated organizing a regional preventive response to the occurrence of SBS. Drawing on SBS prevention experience across the nation and under Ms. Scibak's leadership, the Central Region developed a comprehensive approach to prevention. This approach focused on a broad public awareness campaign, training for new mothers in obstetric wards at the region's hospitals, and school-based training to reach young males.
In the past year, deaths by Shaken Baby Syndrome have drawn attention across Massachusetts. Once again, Ms. Scibak has assumed the leadership challenge, coordinating and leading the Department's efforts to build a broad-based coalition for SBS prevention in the State. Under her leadership and in coordination with the Department of Public Health, an SBS prevention statute has been filed with the Legislature for the first time, and the Department of Public Health has taken on SBS prevention as a key priority area.
The committed strategic, passionate, and inclusive work of Patricia Scibak on Shaken Baby Syndrome already has saved lives in Central Massachusetts. Her impact now promises to extend across the entire State of Massachusetts.